Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The reviews are in

The Star Phoenix editorial board follows up on yesterday's report on Elections Saskatchewan with an editorial slamming the Sask Party's continued attacks on the independence of one of the province's most important non-partisan institutions:
(A)bsent a rational explanation as to why the government is attempting in midstream to unilaterally change the hiring process for a position that since 1998 has been considered an independent officer of the legislature, unhealthy speculation grows that the Saskatchewan Party merely is biding time until after the 2011 election to hire someone sympathetic to its world view.

If that involves lending even tacit support to a bit of gerrymandering -- redrawing riding boundaries after the next election to create more blended rural/urban seats that provide an advantage to the Saskatchewan Party, the damage done to undermine public confidence in the independence of the office will be immeasurable.

Even though the Opposition likely is being obstructionist in refusing to consider any other candidate except Mr. Wilkie, the NDP is quite right that a principle is at stake. Hiring an independent officer of the legislature -- especially the one whose job it is to ensure that MLAs are elected playing by the rules -- cannot be dictated by a caucus vote and a partisan vote shouldn't override the recommendation of a bipartisan selection committee.

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