Consensus Government

As our federal politicians clash on the hustings, we ask if they might learn something from Nunavut and the Northwest Territories where political decisions are made by consensus.


Consensus Government - Panel

We started this segment with a clip of parliamentarians at work in the dying moments of the 40th Parliament. Those final hours were some of the most raucous and rancourous of the session. And as the election campaign goes into full swing, we have no reason to expect the acrimony to fade. So as we gear up to choose our next government, it seems fair to wonder if things could be different. Could there be a better way?

Well, there is another model of government in Canada. Just look north.The Northwest Territories and Nunavut are governed by consensus - in legislatures without political parties. Hunter Tootoo is the MLA for Iqaluit-Centre, and minister of Education and Human Resources. He's been an MLA ever since Nunavut came into being in 1999. Hunter Tootoo was in Saskatoon today. Jane Groenewegen is a member of the Northwest Territories legislature. She was in Hay River. And Keith Martin is a former Reform, Conservative and Liberal MP. He tried to bring in changes to make Parliament more effective. He decided not to run in this election. He was in New York City this morning.

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