Don’t ignore the losers
After any territorial election, it’s natural for the public to fix their attention on the winners. It’s the winners, after all, who will soon be wielding power, or, at least what passes for power in Nunavut.
But it’s not just the winners who made this week’s territorial election such a resounding success in Nunavut. Many of those who lost – and that means the vast majority of those who ran – contributed ideas, raised issues, and did what they could to encourage public debate.
Such talents, and such desires, should not go to waste, as they so often do in Nunavut. We hope the winners will find ways to help the losers continue their participation in Nunavut’s public life.
Here are a few examples. They’re picked more or less at random, and we acknowledge that there are equally talented people out there whom we have not mentioned:
Rebekah Williams: Williams may have lost to Levi Barnabas in Quttiktuq, but that is no reason why Nunavut should lose the benefit of her talents. As an MLA, she demonstrated a strong interest in justice system and social issues. We hope that she will be able to find another way to contribute in those areas.
John Amagoalik: A longstanding proponent of the Nunavut idea, Amagoalik lost by a wide margin to Ed Picco in Iqaluit West. But that is no excuse for ignoring him. He raised substantive issues and demonstrated a strong desire to get involved in the public government system. Amagoalik should not be shut out of that system, and we hope someone can find another way for him to participate in it.
Kevin O’Brien: O’Brien may have lost badly in this week’s election, but it should not be forgotten that he was once the Kivalliq region’s most effective MLA. His talents and experience should not go to waste.
Other talented losers include people like Rebecca Kudloo, Mary Ellen Thomas, Mike Courtney, Jerry Ell, Phoebe Palluq Hainnu, Millie Kuliktana, and many others we don’t have space to mention. Don’t throw them away. Nunavut needs all the talent we can muster. JB