Editor: Finally! A candidate taking a truly visionary - and gutsy - stand on how the NWT is governed!
I applaud Yellowknife Centre challenger Julie Green’s call for a broad and public review of our consensus system of government, as she told the Dene Nahjo forum last Thursday. She is right on in her assessment that regular MLAs, her opponent included, rarely get it together enough to truly hold the cabinet to account, and to use their majority weight to balance cabinet’s “increasingly remote and executive style.”
I saw this during my term as (Great Slave) MLA from 1999 to 2007, and it has become even more so.
Bob McLeod is also correct in saying that, from one consensus assembly to the next, their job is at least in part, carrying forward good ideas. The Dehcho Bridge and achieving devolution are examples of multi-assembly work toward an end. But a huge and fundamental ingredient of democracy has been missing over the past decades: the voice of the people. Consensus politics only gives us the choice of who we want to govern. It denies us the choice, at the voting booth, to say what it is we want them to do.
That is what party-style government would bring to the NWT. And for all its flaws, it would be worth it.