Cameron used an article in today’s Guardian to seize the initiative from Labour. Writing ahead of a speech at the Open University, he said he would give ‘serious consideration’ to introducing fixed-term parliaments.
He also pledged to open up the legislative process to outsiders by sending out text alerts on the progress of parliamentary bills and by posting proceedings on YouTube.
The Tory leader’s proposals come in the wake of a radical call for electoral reform by Health Secretary Alan Johnson, seen by many as Labour’s leader-in-waiting.
The respected blogger Mike Smithson, editor of politicalbetting.com, posted this morning: ‘I am coming to the view that when it comes to tapping into the public mood and dominating the news agenda David Cameron is even smarter than the past-master, the leader that Labour foolishly sacked, Tony Blair.’
Smithson added: ‘As an example of his skill in agenda-changing his article in today’s Guardian is a classic. He’s managing to move on from the change narrative of electoral reform to more Tory-friendly territory - the power of Number 10 Downing Street.’
Fellow blogger Slugger O’Toole wrote: ‘With this rhetorical fanfare, David Cameron dramatically ups the stakes in a bigger and bigger game of Reform poker. Following on from open primaries for candidates, Cameron easily trumps Labour plays for electoral reform and parliamentary procedure from Alan Johnson and Ed Miliband. And to think, all this was Gordon Brown’s baby!’
And blogger Howard Denton wrote on his Events, Dear Boy, Events blog: ‘You have to hand it to Cameron. He really does know how to chime with the public mood... The proposal for ending the prime minister’s right to call an election will hit home. It puts Brown on the back foot and highlights his refusal to go to the country… In one hit, Cameron puts Brown on the defensive and directly challenges Alan Johnson.’
At 11am today, Cameron was due to take questions exclusively from an online audience following a speech on ‘New Politics’ at the Open University in Milton Keynes.