Tuesday, July 13, 2010


James Wood reminds us that Elections Saskatchewan remains in a state of flux due to the Sask Party's stubborn insistence that anonymous caucus members should be able to veto the Chief Electoral Officer approved of by every party in the province without giving any reason for doing so. But perhaps the most interesting news involves the likely result for the 2011 election:
(W)ith the relative closeness of the next election, (Justice Minister Don) Morgan said it is difficult to gauge whether someone brought in from outside Elections Saskatchewan as chief electoral officer would be able to oversee a provincial election, even if that person was hired immediately.

"I don't know that. That would depend on the person. If it was somebody who was familiar with Saskatchewan, they might be. But if it was someone who came from outside they may well not be," he said.
Of course, there's no indication that anybody within Elections Saskatchewan has ever been under consideration for the CEO position other than...David Wilkie, the candidate vetoed by the Sask Party. But if it's already too late to bring in somebody from outside the province to oversee the run-up to the 2011 election, then presumably that job will fall to...David Wilkie, in his role as acting Chief Electoral Officer.

So for all the other criticisms that have been leveled at the Sask Party's obstinacy, let's add one more. The Wall government's stand against all-party agreement and cooperative appointment looks to be entirely useless, as it has no apparent chance of changing the identity of the individual in charge of the 2011 election.

Instead, the only impact the Sask Party's stand can have is to make sure that the temporary nature of Wilkie's appointment prevents Elections Saskatchewan from carrying out any long-term planning. And that deserves a new round of questions as to why Wall and company consider themselves entitled to stand in the way of a permanent appointment.

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