An Open Letter to Michael Nadli

On the EDGE | Opinion

Mr. Nadli,

I’ve never met you and don’t know exactly what happened the night your spouse ended up with a broken wrist. I also have no doubt you’ve endured a lot and are completely committed to counselling and healing yourself and your family.

However, after your most-recent conviction, you spent eight days in jail, which you told the CBC: “Gives you time to reflect, and there were some deep moments where the pendulum of thoughts swung both ways. Either you don’t run, or you continue the work.”

Read Nadli’s full press release:

Here’s a statement from Nadli: #nwtpoli #nwt

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— Guy Quenneville (@gq_in_yk) October 27, 2015

In deciding to run, you’ve stopped the pendulum in the wrong place. Trumpeting the stated support of your community implies that what you’ve done is ok.

Elections NWT says only people convicted of a “Major Elections Offence” in the previous five years aren’t eligible to become candidates. That means as someone twice convicted under the Criminal Code of Canada, you’re legally allowed to run in the Deh Cho riding. The thing is, and I’m sorry to be the one to have to tell you this, you shouldn’t.

While you’ve acknowledged your mistake and would take your actions back “in an instant,” standing for re-election hollows your claim of taking full responsibility. At the very least, “full responsibility” means sitting this one out in recognition of your voided moral authority to stand for public office, if not forever, then at least during the period you were slated to be incarcerated.

Something your press release doesn’t say: domestic violence is a huge issue across the NWT. I’ll assume you know this, so I won’t throw out the usual eye-popping statistics. And quite honestly, broadcasting this information hasn’t changed much over the years.

But you know what might make a difference? People around the territory seeing a political leader truly own the consequences of assaulting his spouse. Instead of glossing over what happened in an empty-platitude filled press release, why not step aside and take real responsibility? If you’ll forgive the cliche, I can’t think of a clearer case of actions speaking louder than words.

You have until Friday at 5 p.m. to withdraw your candidacy. Doing so will cost you a $200 deposit while inviting the respect of an entire territory.

Sincerely and respectfully,

Brent Reaney



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