Preston Manning has an op-ed in the Globe and Mail this morning, putting on the table a few concepts to improve Canada’s parliamentary system: establishing primaries, referendum ballots – the usual.
The text is rather bad. The ideas feel half-formed and he takes half the space talking about the Cirque du Soleil, trying to make a comparison that doesn’t fly. One gets the impression the former Reform leader is bored with the current state of Canadian politics and hopes for something more entertaining, not necessarily more effective.
Still, the fact that Manning would put those ideas forward illustrates that Canada’s conservative movement is confident that its ideas would prevail in an environment where citizens are offered a more direct role in the policy-making process. Not necessarily because they think most people already agree with those ideas, but because they are confident in their ability to convince them, through their use of Netroops, judicious use of war chest money and the dynamism or their grassroots. Interesting.