Common sense consensus government in the NWT | NWT News |

Abolish cabinet and turn over departments to professionals

Jack Sigvaldason Publisher of

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011


The return of the majority of the incumbents and the disgraceful turnout in some areas demonstrates how irrelevant the antics of our legislators appear to many territorial residents.

Our current patchwork government system is top-heavy and dysfunctional, although admittedly less so than the adversarial system of our Parliament or the American Congressional system.

We should challenge the ill-informed opinions of critics of consensus government, few of whom saw it when it functioned effectively in the North. It is a system which has proven to be effective at the municipal level and in other countries.

As a reporter and editor, I was privileged to see consensus government at it its best. The majority of members were federal appointees when I started reporting on territorial council in 1969, but it gradually evolved to a fully-elected body. For a decade I reported on the legislature and for 40 years I have watched it.


When a system is not working effectively it should be fixed.