Yukon Liberals lay out rules for upcoming leadership race

Yukon Premier Sandy Silver in March 2021, announcing the territorial election that would ultimately see his majority government reduced to a minority. A year and a half later, he asked his party to find a new leader.  (Danielle d'Entremont/CBC - image credit)
Yukon Premier Sandy Silver in March 2021, announcing the territorial election that would ultimately see his majority government reduced to a minority. A year and a half later, he asked his party to find a new leader. (Danielle d'Entremont/CBC - image credit)

Yukon Liberals will select their next party leader through a ranked voting system, and sitting ministers won't need to resign from cabinet to run.

Rules for the upcoming leadership race were released by the party on Wednesday. A date for the leadership convention, however, has not yet been set.

The party must choose a successor to Sandy Silver who announced in September that he would be stepping down as premier. He asked his party to find a new leader, and said he would stay on as MLA for Klondike until the next territorial election.

Silver has been the party's leader since 2012 and premier since 2016.

The leadership convention rules were decided by a steering committee set up by the party. The rules outline who is eligible to run, how they can campaign, and how the vote will be conducted.

Candidates will each have to pay a $7,000 fee to the party to run, and need 10 party members to sign their nomination form. They need to be a member of the party and eligible for election to the Legislative Assembly, under the Elections Act. The party's steering committee must also approve the person's candidacy.

The rules do not require sitting cabinet ministers to resign their posts before running for the leadership. Yukon's opposition parties pushed for such a rule, saying it would ensure ministers don't use their positions nor government resources to campaign.

To date, none of Silver's ministers have announced intentions to seek leadership.

The rules also explain how voting will work at the leadership convention.

The convention will be open to anyone, but only party members will be able to cast ballots. Members will also be able to vote by proxy.

They'll use a ranked ballot, where they can indicate their preferred candidates in order.

A candidate will need more than 50 per cent of the first-choice votes in order to win. If nobody wins on the first count, the candidate with the least number of first-choice votes is eliminated, and those votes go to the second-choice candidates indicated on the ballot.

The winner then becomes Liberal leader and premier.

The party's president must announce the date of the leadership convention at least 42 days ahead of time.

The nomination deadline is 21 days after the date of the leadership convention has been announced.