There's a new *grassroots effort* to defend democracy with a CPC MP-sponsored petition campaign to back it up.
"Defend Democracy is a grassroots effort to put pressure on Justin Trudeau’s Liberals to commit to holding a national referendum on the issue of electoral reform prior to enacting any changes.
We believe firmly that no one government has the moral authority to fundamentally alter the nature of our democratic system without direct approval from Canadians."
Defend Democracy was created by Harrison Ruess and Stephen Taylor.
House of Commons petition E-48 was launched by Michael Rybacha and sponsored by CPC MP Scott Reid
So how grassroots is it?
Stephen Taylor - self-described "Conservative Party of Canada Pundit", president of the online company Rally For Canada Inc. offering "online issue campaigns, petition drives, and data mining" since 2009. Launched the short-lived HarperPAC with Trudeau attack ad last June. HarperPAC, registered to Rebel.ca Corp, still exists but is password-protected now.
Harrison Ruess - Harper's former Strategic Communications Content Manager in the PMO.
Michael Rybacha - Constituency assistant to former Con MP James Moore in Ottawa
Scott Reid, MP, petition sponsor - Conservative democratic institutions critic
Funny story about Mr. Reid.
In 2011, someone who worked under Conservative Speaker of the Senate Noel Kinsella for ten years interviewed Morton Blackwell of the US Leadership Institute for his dissertation. You'll perhaps recall Morton Blackwell, mentor of a young Karl Rove, as the Republican delegate who once handed out pink band aids mocking John Kerry's war wounds in Viet Nam. His Arlington Virginia Leadership Institute (budget - $14.8M per year) is a training ground for conservative activists practicing "grass-roots efforts".
"Scott Reid, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington, had on two occasions arranged for the Leadership Institute to run day-long seminars for Conservative parliamentary staff and interns.
Members of the Leadership Institute eventually began to organize candidate training schools in Canada. Mr. Blackwell also mentioned receiving a visit from Preston Manning, the founder of both the Reform Party and the Canadian Alliance, when he was establishing his retirement project, the Manning Centre for Building Democracy.
When asked about the criteria the Leadership Institute uses to decide which ideological groups in other countries the organization will work with, Mr. Blackwell indicated his test was their congruence with the political philosophy of Ronald Reagan.
Today, the staff of the Leadership Institute runs training programs a few times a year through the aforementioned Mr. Reid’s office."
h/t Canadian Cynic .