A welcome opportunity to learn

A proud moment for me yesterday. A big cardboard envelope arrived in the mail. It contained my certificate in fundraising management from Ryerson University in Toronto. I earned the certificate online, one course at a time, over three years. What I learned I’ve already been using for years, literally. I found distance learning challenging. It … Read more

Does consensus government provide enough accountability?

This interesting question came up at one of the doors tonight. The voter was unhappy with the low standard of accountability required of the government during the 17th Assembly. And she’d like to have a say in who becomes premier, rather than leaving that decision up to the MLAs. She wondered if parties would answer some of these questions.

The fact is, they would. Parties would provide structure. They would group like-minded candidates together around a common set of values to pursue public policy priorities. They could provide resources to candidates to help them organize and finance their campaigns. This help would be especially useful for women trying to get elected. Having parties would allow all voters to have a say on who would be premier and what the government’s priorities should be, rather than leaving that decision up to the 19 MLAs. Parties would also provide discipline and influence among a disparate group of regular MLAs and improve government accountability. And maybe best of all, parties would attempt to field a candidate in every riding and thus bring the sorry practice of acclaiming candidates to an end.

The last time parties were tried at the territorial level – the NDP fielded candidates in 2003 – none of the candidates were elected.Since then, the cabinet has become increasingly remote, operating as executive decision makers. There have been numerous complaints from regular MLAs that they hear about decisions in the media like the rest of us. Regular MLAs have had trouble exercising their influence – and power – because they don’t act as a cohesive group most of the time. Maybe it’s time to talk about parties again.

Let me recommend a thorough summary of consensus government as it exists now, warts and all: http://uphere.ca/articles/norths-own-game

Lots to think about when the dust settles on this campaign.

GO!

Today I had the opportunity to look through a window into my riding on an ordinary Monday morning and see what people were doing. The task at hand was to get 20 residents of the Yellowknife Centre riding to sign my nomination forms. A quirk of the Elections and Plebiscites Act requires the people who … Read more

Last chance to get set!

A busy day getting ready for the launch tomorrow… figuring out where people who are signing my nomination papers will be, finalizing my canvassing plan, and swinging by the funeral home to thank the volunteers who are building my signs. Except for taking some time out to make a set of dog boots and walk … Read more

Get Set!

Canadians elected 88 women on Monday – fully a quarter of MPs. That’s short of equal representation but the numbers are going in the right direction – up. The situation is dire here in the Northwest Territories. There have never been more than three women sitting in the Legislative Assembly at one time. Who knows … Read more

On your mark!

My mum and I spent an hour this afternoon vacuuming my campaign headquarters and wiping down the hard surfaces. How lucky am I to have my mum to help me with my campaign? Very lucky. My parents had me when they were young so they are in good shape, now in their mid-70s. My mum … Read more