Idlout’s NDP nomination win by coin toss a first for Nunavut

After two tied votes, a virtual ‘coin toss’ chose Idlout as the party’s candidate

The New Democratic Party’s Nunavut candidate was selected by a coin toss this week, after two tied votes. (Photo by Mélanie Ritchot)

By Mélanie Ritchot

Iqaluit lawyer Lori Idlout’s nomination as the New Democratic Party’s candidate in Nunavut made history as the first nominee elected to the party by coin toss in the territory.

After Monday’s vote among NDP members was tied between two potential candidates — Idlout and Clyde river-born Aliqa Illauq — twice, the results fell to chance, as outlined in the party’s policy, Charlotte McLeod, a spokesperson for the party confirmed.

“If ties cannot be resolved amongst the tying candidates, one re-vote will occur on the final day of convention,” the party’s Quick Guide to Elections for 2021 reads. “If that vote results in a tie, a coin toss will determine the result.”

With the nomination meeting having been held virtually due to the ongoing pandemic, the “coin toss” was done through a website that spun a wheel with both hopefuls’ names on it, ultimately landing on Idlout’s, her counterpart, Illauq confirmed.

“It just was meant to be that way,” Illauq said, commenting on how she came so close to representing the party and ultimately lost by chance.

If anything, Illauq said she hopes the coin toss encourages Nunavummiut to become members of the party so they can vote next time there is a contested nomination and have their voices heard.

“It’s been an amazing process, I’ve met incredible people and I will never stop fighting for Nunavummiut,” she said.

“I will never stop fighting to hold the government accountable on what they promised all of our families and that was to be treated like [other] Canadians.”

Illauq said she will “never” put her name forward in the running to be a candidate for another party than the NDP and is not yet sure whether she would consider running in a future federal election.

Using a coin toss to settle a contested nomination hasn’t happened before for any other parties in the territory either, which have similar approaches to tied votes.

The Liberal party uses a preferential ballot model for their members to vote, meaning voters can list the candidates in order of preference.

But, like the NDP, a coin toss is the solution if there is a tie with the preferential vote.

The Conservatives also turn to chance if there is a tie between potential nominees, through a “drawing of lots” — like drawing names from a hat or picking straws — according to their nomination rules.

The Green party also does a coin toss if there is a tie, but it hasn’t happened in Nunavut.

It did happen for the Greens in Victoria, B.C. in 2012, when the winner of the coin toss stepped aside because of the nature of his win.

A couple years later, in northern Manitoba in 2015, an NDP candidate was chosen by a coin toss to run in The Pas.

In Nunavut, the NDP is now the only party with an official candidate, while nomination dates haven’t been announced for the others.

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(25) Comments:

  1. Posted by Luck of the Irish on

    Two-Face would be proud.

    “The world is cruel, and the only morality in a cruel world is chance.”

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  2. Posted by Carey Cachour on

    Re Aliqa Illauq who will “never stop fighting for Nunavut.” You could start by moving to Nunavut and running your fight from there. Perhaps more appropriate than Gaitneau or Kemptville.

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    • Posted by North Baffiner on

      Did you not read the previous article where it states that Ms. Illauq is taking university courses in the south? She is doing what many Inuit had to do to get a recognized degree, and that is to head to southern universities to obtain one in the field of her choice.

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  3. Posted by Bubba on

    bubba wants coin plz

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  4. Posted by Harry’s not Dirty on

    Someone should create a pole on Facebook. It might be slightly inaccurate, but I think it would show if the committee had the best interest of the people. Just a thought.

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    • Posted by So much manipulation on

      It will be as skewed as the thumbs up and down are in the Nunatsiaq News comment section 😆

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  5. Posted by Lol on

    Is that not how the NDP and Liberals make all of their decisions?

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    • Posted by Calrity on

      While Conservatives decide by consulting closeted “old stock” males from the 1950’s.

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  6. Posted by Lucky Duck on

    The NDP was spoiled with 2 great candidates. I would have been happy to vote for either of them.

    Onto the General. Any idea who the other parties are putting forward?

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  7. Posted by temp on

    I voted NDP last election, not for Ms. Qaqqaq, but because I liked Mr. Singh. I will not vote NDP this election. I think the coin toss is fitting for this joke of a federal party: leave things to chance, have no real plan.

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    • Posted by Suglu on

      I don’t believe you.

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    • Posted by Sherpa High on

      I think it would be fair to ask if the NDP is a party more seriously committed to its ideals than it is to winning elections, and ultimately to governing? It assumes a roll as the party of conscience, giving voice to those it says are on the margins. Rarely does it appear to cast its nets toward the center.

      Well, so be it. Some would say this is a net positive for the body politic.

      Yet in filling this particular niche it has never had to think seriously about, or had to prepare itself for, real world governance. On the one hand this positioning can liberate the party take greater risks, to make claims about the world and demands on government that the Liberal or Conservatives would never dare. At worst, however, its lack of tethering to any kind of center, where differing attitudes and perspectives are forced to negotiate their shared world, can lead the party to promote all kinds of radical non-sense that, from the inside, might appear completely normal.

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      • Posted by Dipper Nigh on

        The NDP has not been left of centre since the early eighties. There has always been a movement to pull them left since the waffle in the mid seventies and before. We shouldn’t paint them as a leftist party when they repeatedly straddle the centre and appear as a reasonable alternative to the LPC. A good party to vote for no doubt, but not the leftist radical party you describe.

        The days of the NDP as the party of conscience and pinko commies is long over. It’s time to stop pretending that it isn’t.

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        • Posted by Sherpa High on

          Thanks for the feedback, my point was not that the party is inherently radical, only that they are far less tethered to the opinions of the electorate on a broad scale and that this can at times lead to some bizarre and yes, at times radical, stances on various issues.

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  8. Posted by All in on

    Fishy. How was there no tie breaker by the chair person of their group? Smells fishy

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  9. Posted by Truestory on

    Groan. Even the coin is anti Phase 2 expansion. Guess she’ll have complete control over the Nunavut economy.

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    • Posted by Clarity on

      Presuming she wins the election and represents Nunavut as an NDP MP in Parliament, she still would wield no power of the Nunavut Government.

  10. Posted by Chesley Mesher on

    Loyalty and string pulling means party is more important than and has to be given top billing by MPs. Jody W-R has stood on principal to a party and leader, it happens to be the right choice yet meant she is person non grata/no longer welcome. Parties also feed off the fat of corporate donors to pay for air time campaigns meaning the power is with said donors that back more than 1 candidate to win to have the ear of successful….

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    • Posted by Clarity on

      Wilson-Raybould was an inept MOJAG who not only failed to disclose her conflict in the SNC-Lavalin matter and sat on the Glen Assoun file for 18 months, but also attempted to extort the PM when he exercised his prerogative in shuffling his cabinet. That, not “standing up”, is why she was banished to the naughty-step of independent MPs.

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      • Posted by Personal Benefit on

        Not to mention that Wilson-Raybould was well-known for using her MP benefits for personal use.
        .
        “Taxpayers covered the cost of 138 individual flights for her husband between her Vancouver-Granville riding and Ottawa, as well as other Canadian cities, since the Liberals won power in the 2015 federal election: 18 flights in 2015-2016, 45 in 2016-2017, 39 in 2017-2018 and 36 in 2018-2019.
        In all, her claims for spousal travel cost taxpayers $125,755, ranging from flights costing less than $1,000 to those clocking in at more than $3,000.”
        .
        Yes, her husband flew 138 times over 4 years, including 45 times in one year alone, on the taxpayer dime. While Wilson-Raybould claimed $125,755 in designated traveler expenses during that time, the other 34 members of Cabinet claimed a combined total of $421,504.

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  11. Posted by Voter on

    I do hope more voters will follow the polls and vote strategically, we need a MP that has easier access to their colleagues the ministers and the PM, when we he a MP from the opposite side it’s not as easy for them to be a priority over the ones in the same party.
    Who is currently leading the polls, who will more than likely be in power?
    We missed a lot of opportunities with our current MP, always looking for a fight and not solutions, all the additional funds made available Nunavut could have received if we had a capable MP that could work with instead against.

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    • Posted by Missed the News? on

      Maybe you missed the news? Federal Ministers came here to shamefully to try to buy Nunavut votes. This was a direct response to Mumilaaq embarrassing them on their inaction and failed promises to Nunavummiut.

      What did Hunter bring to Nunavut? Not a whole lot.

      We do better when we can push the Liberals to do more, rather than carry their water.

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      • Posted by Pork Pie on

        Not sure if I agree or not, but this is an interesting comment worth taking note of. Thumbs up.

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      • Posted by Colin on

        Hunter was kicked out of the Liberal party he was an independent MP and how did that work out? The last two MPs for Nunavut have not done a whole lot for us, we need a MP with the ruling party, if not it will be another waste with a opposing MP.

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  12. Posted by Brucie the Friendly Northern Store Panhandler on

    *extends hand* Did someone say “Coins”?

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