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Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson sits for a photograph outside City Hall in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday January 21, 2014. (DARRYL DYCK For The Globe and Mail)
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson sits for a photograph outside City Hall in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday January 21, 2014. (DARRYL DYCK For The Globe and Mail)

Nothing left to chance in the NPA candidate selection process Add to ...

Dear NPA Member:

In short order the NPA Board will reveal its choice for the candidate who will challenge Vision Vancouver’s Gregor Robertson in the Vancouver civic election. We are also finalizing the candidates we have chosen for council, school board and park board. There has been much media speculation about why the candidate selection process has taken as long as it has. The liberal media in particular has obsessed about the “secretive” nature of the process and has insinuated that our venerable organization may be less than transparent. I can assure you that nothing is further from the truth.

Our candidate selection process begins with the identification of potentially suitable candidates by our Candidate Selection Committee. The committee consists of an ever-changing unnamed group of community leaders, well-positioned to identify and attract the best potential candidates.

Potentially suitable candidates are taken to lunch and engaged in casual conversation to determine their political leanings and their views on social issues. This is sometimes followed up with an evening cocktail to determine whether the person’s demeanour is affected by the consumption of alcohol.

Once potential candidates have been identified, they are abducted in the dead of night and transported to an undisclosed location to be interviewed by the committee.

This is done with the utmost respect and is necessary to protect the privacy of the individuals and the integrity of the process. Once the black hood comes off and we explain what’s going on, there’s often quite a chuckle, let me tell you.

Potential Candidates are required to submit all personal documents including all financial and tax records, medical history, motor vehicle records, criminal record check, social media passwords, Facebook “likes,” tweets, unsent tweets, high school yearbooks and dream journals for scrutiny by the committee.

While this material is being examined, the potential candidate will undergo a rigorous “Q&A” session with members of the NPA Board. This is done to test each applicant’s stamina and resilience in high-pressure situations such as debates or media scrums. This process may take a considerable amount of time and may involve alternating board members playing various “roles.” To determine the success of the process, it may conclude with the applicant being asked to identify the number of lights in front of them. The applicant may be restrained in a firm chair during this process for his or her own safety. The process may also include a short dental examination.

At the end of the process, the potential candidates are returned to their families and monitored to determine whether they have been able to keep the process confidential and are able to provide a convincing explanation for their 48-hour absence.

Those who successfully complete this phase of the process move ahead to the Green Light Committee, where they will undergo further physical and psychological testing.

This testing takes place in a secret, torch-lit cavern beneath the Vancouver Club.

Members of the committee typically wear hooded robes in accordance with NPA tradition and to protect their identity.

Following the Green Light process, those candidates shortlisted by the committee will gather in the Chamber of Prosperity, where they will swear an oath of loyalty to members of the NPA board who will be present along with a giant, slowly rotating holographic image of the head of NPA President Peter Armstrong.

The symbolic “blood” ritual takes place next, with medical staff in attendance should anything go awry.

Finally, names from the shortlist are placed into a goblet of fire with the successful candidates’ names being spat out in a rush of red flame.

The names are then recorded and shared with all NPA members.

Our candidate selection process is based on the belief that to attract the best candidates for civic office, their confidentiality must be respected.

We have made our selection process completely transparent, and trust these notes will serve you when it comes to answering questions about how we choose candidates.

Thank you.

All hail Gozer the Gozerian.

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