Rules set for 1st mid-term review of N.W.T. cabinet in 20 years
Secret ballot vote an issue for cabinet
N.W.T. MLAs have set the ground rules for a mid-term review of cabinet ministers of the 18th assembly, though cabinet does not agree with the process.
It will be the first mid-term review since the 12th assembly.
The process will be very similar to the way MLAs select the premier and cabinet. Each member of cabinet, including the premier, will speak about their accomplishments during the first half of their term, then face questioning from MLAs.
Then a secret ballot vote will be held. MLAs and cabinet ministers will vote on whether they have confidence or do not have confidence in the performance of cabinet as a whole and the performance of each individual cabinet minister.
The big issue for cabinet is the secret ballot vote.
"Cabinet believes that this recommendation is fundamentally inconsistent with the commitment we have made as members to openness and transparency," said government house leader Glen Abernethy on Thursday.
Cabinet wanted an open vote.
Abernethy also said the review was never supposed to focus solely on cabinet, that under the N.W.T.'s consensus form of government all MLAs have a collective responsibility to work toward the goals they identified in a mandate they agreed on at the beginning of their term.
The committee that developed the rules decided a secret ballot vote was the only way to avoid cabinet ministers from voting as a block in support of one another. If they do, they would need the support of only two other MLAs to survive the review intact.
The committee decided that the secret ballot vote was the only way to give cabinet ministers a chance to vote independently.
"The only person who is going to know how they vote is the individual who casts the ballot," said Frame Lake MLA Kevin O'Reilly.
"That will be something for each individual to know and decide, unless cabinet is going to publicly announce how they intend to vote."
The mid-term review is scheduled to be held in November 2017.