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The Northwest Territory's last election

The political process of Canada's Northwest Territories is as unique as its landscape. There are no political parties. Instead, candidates are elected by the community based largely on family ties and personality. The N.W.T. has seen dramatic changes from its days of "benign neglect" before 1950 to the evolution of its current consensus-style of government. Deeply rooted in native tradition, the Northwest Territories' distinct form of government has been described as the most interesting parliamentary system in the world.

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The geographic and political landscapes of the Northwest Territories are being negotiated in preparation for the creation of a new territory called Nunavut. Former government leader Dennis Patterson tells the CBC that consensus government will be tested like never before. With the monumental task of redrawing borders and dividing up diminishing government assets, and with almost half of the MLAs leaving the legislature in Yellowknife, apprehension over the split is becoming the overriding election issue.
• The 1995 election resulted in dramatic changes. Most of the incumbents were swept out and replaced with fresh faces. Of the 24 MLAs elected in the previous election only seven returned.
• Don Morin was elected as the premier. He held the post from 1995 to 1998.
• Nunavut was created on April 1, 1999, giving the Inuit self-rule and control over their own institutions. The birth of Nunavut marked the first change to Canada's map since Newfoundland joined Confederation in 1949.
Medium: Television
Program: Sunday Report
Broadcast Date: Oct. 15, 1995
Guest(s): John Amagoalik, Jim Antoine, Mike Ballantyne, Kevin Ng, Dennis Patterson
Host: Wendy Mesley
Reporter: Eric Sorensen
Duration: 2:27

Last updated: May 3, 2012

Page consulted on September 15, 2014

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