Democracy runneth over - Macleans.ca

Democracy runneth over

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Preston Manning sees hope—or the possibility thereof—in David Cameron’s Britain.

… here in Canada, will any political party be willing to experiment with the “open primary” to attract more Canadians into the process of putting candidates’ names on the ballot and thereby, one hopes, increasing public interest in the campaign and election to follow?

In North America, it is the United States that has made greatest use of the primary system, which is why Canadian liberals and social democrats – pathologically averse to adopting U.S. political practices – are unlikely to embrace it.

But what about Canadian conservatives? If the British Conservative Party – far older and tradition-bound than any Canadian counterpart – can experiment with such democratic innovations, why can’t Canadian conservatives?