and the winner is tom

The NWT just elected its newest government. The winner is Dave. And Sandy. And Robert. And… who cares? If anything, the latest election in…

The NWT just elected its newest government.

The winner is Dave. And Sandy. And Robert. And… who cares?

If anything, the latest election in the Yukon’s sister territory proved just how dreadfully dull party-of-one politics really is.

Who beyond Hay River South cares who Jane Groenewegen is?

How is her election going to alter the direction of the NWT?

What were the major policy issues facing the NWT?

What direction will the territory go in now?

Does anybody really know?

Probably not, because the candidates didn’t discuss it.

The NWT faces difficult issues around resource revenue sharing, the fate of the Mackenzie Valley pipeline, Arctic sovereignty, to name a few.

Were they prominent in the election?

Nope.

According to national media reports, the electorate — focussed as it was on Dave, Sandy, Jackie and the other 16 individuals — talked about crime, the high cost of electricity and the necessity of a bridge.

Ottawa, which is reaping huge resource revenues from the territory, benefits from this small-town political focus.

It could be argued, because the territory’s political clout is splintered among 19 independents, the territory is easily ruled from Ottawa.

In the NWT, there is no territory-wide political organization raising and fighting the bigger political battles with Ottawa.

The territory’s citizens won’t even have a clue who outgoing Premier Joe Handley’s successor is until October 18.

Citizens have no direct say in the matter.

The position of premier is, as they say, a crap shoot.

The “winner” will be chosen through hardscrabble backroom negotiation (read promises of goodies for supportive ridings) by the members of the legislative assembly, followed by a vote.

In Canada, there is a lot of sentimentality surrounding NWT concensus politics. In the family of confederation, it’s crazy uncle Fred.

Nobody wants to be crazy uncle Fred, but everyone loves the guy — he’s adorably nutty.

Every election, there is this wispy talk about how Yukoners would be better served if they dumped party politics in favour of independents.

But, despite its wrinkles, the party system serves the interests of the greater Yukon better and is far more democratic and accountable than the NWT’s system.

On Monday, we learned who won the territorial election — Tom, and 18 other people.

But the small-minded campaign revealed who the losers were: the territory’s citizens. (RM)

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Throne speech promises COVID-19 support, childcare, internet upgrades

Yukon premier said he is “cautiously optimistic” about many commitments

Culture Days comes back to Whitehorse with in-person activities, events

Clay sculpting, poetry readings, live music, moose hide tanning, photo walks and… Continue reading

Business relief program expanded, TIA told travel restrictions likely to remain until spring

The Yukon government has extended the business relief program

Driver wanted in alleged gun-pointing incident in downtown Whitehorse

The suspects fled to the Carcross area where the driver escaped on foot

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Sept. 25, 2020

Canada Games Centre could get new playground

Council to vote on contract award

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Harescramble brings out motorcycle community

This year’s event included 67 riders

YG seeks members for youth climate change panel

“Yukon youth deserve to have their voices heard”

Yukon NDP hold AGM

This year’s meeting was held virtually

Watson Lake man arrested on cocaine charge

Calvin Pembleton, 53, is facing multiple charges

Liard First Nation’s language department receives literacy award

Decades of work has made Kaska language available to many

Yukon government releases new guidelines for COVID-19 symptoms and sending children to school

The advice sorts symptoms into three categories: red, yellow and green

Most Read