Friday, 18 March 2011

consensus governments and party politics

There is no party politics in Nunavut. We have what is called "consensus government" instead. This makes it rather difficult for a functional civil society to form and provide balance and credible response to the sometimes arbitrary actions of an anonymous bureaucracy which rarely acts in the interest of Nunavummiut.

In other jurisdictions in Canada party politics plays some of this role of a civil society where collective action can form and coalesce around explicit shared interests and values that community-based groups and intelligentsia can rally behind long enough to legitimize the political process.

One logical outcome of a lack of party politics is that federal and territorial elections are largely popularity contests among the candidates; another one is that political platforms and election promises are impossible to ascertain or assess so that it's practically impossible to evaluate where we are as a society, not to mention where we want to go.

We see atrocious acts, like the loss of $110,000,000 of mismanaged funds that was slated for much needed social housing, and nothing happens. No one is held to account. The scarer thing still is that we are sitting on top of natural resources up to the yin-yang with no civil oversight to protect us other than the very politically manipulable Institutes of Public Governance (they're called commissions, like water commission, elsewhere).

Without party politics our society easy to manipulate, easy to divide and conquer, easy to silence the voices of dissension, etc. Bureaucrats love the consensus government that we have.

Do we deserve this?

Jay

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