House of Commons Hansard #86 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreement.

Topics

Pearson International Airport Agreements Act
Government Orders

5:45 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me the few remaining seconds which my colleague wanted to take up.

No one here has ever doubted Mr. Nixon's integrity-far from it. Mr. Nixon fulfilled the mandate given to him by the Prime Minister. But the Prime Minister had stated that he would shed light specifically on the twists and turns surrounding the Pearson Airport privatization process. So why stop halfway, after getting a summary evaluation, after even Mr. Nixon-whose integrity was never in doubt-stated that there were very weird things in this matter involving extraordinary influence by former political staff and lobbyists, and that he had never seen anything like it. So why be afraid to shed light on the subject. As I mentioned previously, if there is no truth to the assertion that these are friends of the Liberal Party of Canada, why be afraid to get right down to it? We want the truth, the exact truth.

Mr. Nixon identified certain problems that were sufficient to justify immediately stopping the privatization process. But we do not know everything there is to know about this whole process, the players involved, the fact that unseemly behaviour may have occurred, gross irregularities in the financial transactions, and we cannot know it without an exhaustive public inquiry into the specifics of this matter, in which the people who were closely or remotely connected with the privatization process would be made to appear as witnesses. But the truth about this attempted privatization and the influence wielded by the lobbyists involved will never be entirely known. This is why we are calling for an exhaustive review, and never did I or my colleagues cast any doubt on Mr. Nixon's integrity. I believe that satisfactorily answers my colleague's remarks.

Pearson International Airport Agreements Act
Government Orders

5:45 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

Order, please. It being 5.51 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of Private Members' Business as listed on today's Order Paper .

The House resumed from May 25, consideration of the motion; and of the amendment.

Non-Confidence Motions
Private Members' Business

5:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, on January 20 this year, the hon. member for Mission-Coquitlam tabled a motion whose purpose-and I say this for the benefit of our listeners who may be wondering where all this started-was to allow members to express themselves freely and to vote against the party line, without fear of bringing down the government should a vote, fortunately or unfortunately, go against the government, and the hon. member made it clear such a vote should not be interpreted as a motion of non-confidence.

That being said, there are a number of elements in this motion, and I am trying to put them in order because to discuss the amendment to the amendment without discussing the main motion would be to overlook the broader implications. When we talk about a free vote, and I read the hon. member's speech, we are talking about seeking the views of constituents to ensure that the member responds to these views through the way he votes in the House. Supporters of a free vote claim this is necessary if the member is to fully represent the views of his constituents.

Nothing could be further from the truth. You will agree, Mr. Speaker, that the member's role is not just to represent the views of his constituents but also and above all to promote the interests of those constituents. In fact, we all realize that our constituents do not all share the same views. There is a wide range of views. There is also a range of interests. So how do we pick and choose between these views and interests? Are we supposed to turn into a calculator and wait until the telephone rings and the mail comes in and see which pile is the biggest? This pile is bigger so we should do that. Good heavens, if that is what a member is supposed to do, a calculator could do the job.

I believe members are also and above all elected for their good judgment, or at least I hope so. Whatever we discuss, the member will have to examine the issues, talk about them, do research and finally get a handle on the subject. This is not a matter of opinions or interests, it is a matter of having a good grasp of the issues. Through his membership in various committees and through his own research and the research done by his staff, a member is able to develop and define his position, in the best interests of all his constituents. This exercise cannot take place in a vacuum.

We have to meet our constituents. Like all members, when I am in my riding on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I try to meet as many constituents as possible. I go to various meetings, I take part in a number of festivities, I meet members of municipal councils, senior citizens clubs and chambers of commerce, I meet business people, workers and various types of employees, and I listen. I listen to what they have to say, I check their interests, I tell them about the results of my research and my studies, and I explain what I have seen and heard.

Through dialogue, and not through the use of a calculator, I can better identify the real issues and ensure improved services and a happier life for my fellow citizens. Our constituents' opinion serves as a guide helping us to better target our research and better serve our ridings.

In reality, an MP is never alone. He or she works with a caucus and also with all the other parties in this House. Indeed, even if I thought I had the best ideas for my constituents, I would still have to convince my peers, first the members of our caucus and, eventually, the members of this House.

How can that be done, if not through the processes in place? I am not saying that these processes are great. In fact, I think they are totally outdated and ineffective, but they are there and we must make do with them.

I would first check in committee to see if my ideas get the support of my peers, and then I would turn to my caucus. I would also try to find out if other MPs from my region share similar views. We all have constituents who, up to a point, share the same concerns, worries and hopes. We have to find solutions which suit the population as a whole.

So, are those ideas of mine as good as I think they are? The regional and national caucus would enable me to find out what my colleagues think. They too, of course, have ideas. I am not the only one to have useful information or brilliant ideas. My colleagues express their views and this dialogue eventually leads to a decision, by the caucus, as to which solution is the most adequate for all the members.

Within our caucus, my vote is strictly a personal decision. I can always freely express and discuss my views, hear other opinions, and eventually accept a consensus. Consequently, when I come here in the House, I back the position developed by the caucus, and not just my own point of view.

It would be extremely simplistic and probably somewhat pretentious on my part to think that I have this ability to come up with the best solutions. In that context, it is easy to see that a free vote would become an excuse to bypass party colleagues and openly express dissenting opinions. This is not what the democratic process is all about. Rather, it means that we go and get the information from our constituents, that we get any other information available, that we put it all together to come up with acceptable solutions, all the while benefitting from our colleagues' experience and knowledge, before finally reaching a consensus on the best solution, which we, as members of a caucus, then defend in this House, in accordance with its rules.

Non-Confidence Motions
Private Members' Business

6:05 p.m.

Reform

Daphne Jennings Mission—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I wanted to point out to the hon. member from the Bloc that my motion today has nothing to do with any wonderful or brilliant ideas I might have as a member of this House.

What we are talking about today is representing our constituents in this House. Those are the people we were elected to represent and we are responsible to them.

I appreciate the opportunity to begin the debate in the last hour of Motion No. 89 which advocates the relaxation of the confidence convention and, flowing from that, freer voting as party members of this House.

I have listened with interest to those who have spoken in the debate in this place and I have also listened attentively to witnesses who have come before the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs who have addressed the issue of freer votes.

There are those who argue against the motion of dissent being exhibited through freer voting by the attempt to change the basic premise upon which this motion is founded in order to argue against it. For example, the member for Vancouver Quadra explained that we are not all here as independents elected on our own. I agree. We in the Reform Party realize this fact. We do not want to reduce the House of Commons to chaos and we do not believe that the timely expression of dissent by a few members would do so.

The opinion of those involved in the writing of the McGrath report in 1985 and those who sat on the House management committee in 1993 was that dissent should be allowed to be expressed without fear of retaliation by the leadership of the political party concerned. They thought it would make this House a healthier place where members on occasion would not have to vote the party line on all legislative matters.

It might help members better represent their constituents and it may also allow those constituents to feel that their views were being directly represented on the floor of the House of Commons.

Speaking of representing the views of constituents, I want to thank the member for Hamilton West for referring to this matter in his speech on this motion. He stated, referring to me: "The hon. member opposite is sadly mistaken if she thinks I or anyone else on this side of the House can be blindly led. If I supported a government objective that went against any of my well known principles I would be laughed out of this House, out of this job".

However, at the end of his speech he wavered from this bold statement when he said: "It is not the individual vote, it is the collective. It is the understanding of what we believe to be in the best interest of our constituents, of our riding, of our province and of our country".

I am not sure but I believe this second phrase contradicts the earlier bold one in which the member stated he would support his constituents' points of view against any attempt to be led around by the nose by his party.

I also want to assure my friend from St. Boniface that by the adoption of this motion the kinds of judgments we have to make as members of Parliament will not be automatically replaced by views advanced by constituents. It is the belief of the Reform Party that matters will come along in the life of a Parliament which were not addressed either directly or indirectly during the previous election. There is no prior party position on these matters.

It is our belief that if a member wishes to dissent from the position eventually taken by the member's political party, the member should be able to do so without fear of retribution at the hands of the party leadership.

We are not advocating, as was expressed by the member for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, that everything be a free vote. I listened to the hon. member when he spoke in this House on May 25 and I appreciate the fact that confidence was taken out of the standing orders of the House of Commons as a result of the first report of the McGrath committee.

However, what I do not believe the member realizes is the fact it was removed made little difference. The attitudinal change on the part of the member so strongly advocated by McGrath has not taken place.

By comparison with Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand, Canada's political parties are the most tightly controlled by their respective leadership. In Australia and New Zealand, while voting against the party line is tolerated, the influence of the private member is greatest when there is a labour government. In that situation the caucus elects members to sit in cabinet and the Prime Minister allocates the portfolios.

As I have said before, this situation leads to constant interaction between leadership and backbench members wherein the views of backbench members have great influence on public policy. Is that not what we want?

In order to be elected by caucus to serve in cabinet one must have the support of those who will not be in cabinet. To be re-elected to cabinet one surely must have demonstrated a willingness to listen to the concerns of caucus members and adjust legislation accordingly. This would result in increased influence over public policy being placed in the hands of backbenchers. That is a good sign.

However, it is in Britain where in recent times backbench independence has been asserted with members voting against the party line and in some cases defeating government legislation.

Professor Philip Norton, an academic on freer votes in Britain, explains that this phenomenon of cross-party voting led to a growing awareness of what could be achieved by such action and a recognition that the consequences expected from government defeats such as resignation or punishment by the leadership did not materialize. They did not perceive it as a threat.

This produced a change of attitude of many MPs as the old differential attitude was replaced by a participatory attitude. Backbenchers became involved in and were influencing government policy. This situation continues today in Britain.

Finally, I want to refer to the evidence given by Professor Robert Jackson when he appeared before the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs a few weeks ago. He does not believe in freer voting by members and he is a strident critic of the McGrath report, a report that is really accepted by members in this House. His main concern was that freer voting would result in chaos, with the government virtually unable to govern. This is absurd.

We are only advocating limited dissent expressed from time to time without fear of repercussions from the leadership. We in the Reform Party want to see the House express itself positively on this motion and therefore we accept the amendment advanced by the member for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell.

However, in recognition of the fact that freer voting or the expression of dissent from the party line rarely occurs in this place I wish to make a further amendment.

I move, seconded by my friend from Calgary West, that the amendment be amended by adding immediately following the word "continue" the word "increasingly" so that the motion as amended would read:

That, in the opinion of this House, the government should continue increasingly to permit members of the House of Commons to fully represent their constituents' views on the government's legislative program and spending plans by adopting the position that the defeat of any government measure, including a spending measure, shall not automatically mean the defeat of the government unless followed by the adoption of a formal motion.

Non-Confidence Motions
Private Members' Business

6:10 p.m.

Bloc

Gilbert Fillion Chicoutimi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to speak on the motion put forward by the hon. member for Mission-Coquitlam who raises some very important issues. First, there is the question of confidence mentioned in her motion. Solidarity is the corner stone of party discipline which is the guiding principle behind the party system in Canada.

The system of government in Canada is based on cohesive political parties. The Canadian parliamentary system is a system of responsible government. The party with a majority in the House of Commons must prove that is has the support of the majority of members of Parliament. A majority government seldom has problems, since the voters have used their power to make their wishes known. So, why erode this principle?

In a responsible government, the party in office is mandated by the voters to implement a specific legislative agenda. How can members think they can better serve their constituents by choosing not to support their own political party? Party discipline is linked to the concept of responsible government and the principle of confidence. The Constitution Act of 1867 provides Canada with a responsible executive within a parliamentary government.

In 1983, the Canadian Study of Parliament Group ordered Gallup to conduct a poll on public perception of Parliament. It is mainly in Quebec that members of Parliament are seen as proxies rather than delegates. That is due to the differences in the way constituents perceive their elected members of Parliament.

The issue of freer votes is linked to the role each hon. member must play. Freer votes would tend to imply more autonomy for individual members of Parliament. Yet, members can express their views, for example, before their party caucus, where members regularly hold discussions to define and clarify the positions to be taken. I do not think that we have been elected to reform the parliamentary system of Canada.

Of course, a relaxation of party discipline would increase the autonomy of backbenchers. But what would the collapse of our system give us? Short-sighted freedom. Let us have a look at the wording of the motion. It says that the government should permit members of the House of Commons to fully represent their constituents' views, which suggests that MPs do not represent their constituents' views, in short that the present system of representation is not working. Why is the member making no mention of the notion of party? Are MPs working in isolation and did they not explain, during the election campaign, the policies they would support? MPs are members of a political organisation which they support, they are closely intertwined.

Voters who elected the 54 Bloc members voted for the ideas the Bloc Quebecois is promoting. They form a strong delegation and when I vote, I feel I represent my constituents in the House. People in my riding placed their confidence in me because they knew what to expect. They voted for a program, they voted for the ideas we are promoting here on their behalf.

I chose the Bloc Quebecois because this party is in my likeness. It opens its arms to anyone who is concerned with the well-being of Quebec and tries to promote our country, either here or elsewhere. I was elected on a political platform for a good reason, I share the ideas promoted by my party, and I cannot see how I could be unfaithful to my constituents by doing what they elected me for. This way of looking at things opposes elements which, far from being contradictory, are in reality interconnected. To come to such a conclusion shows a total lack of understanding of our political system.

The Bloc Quebecois presented an electoral platform to the people of Quebec who, democratically, elected 54 members of our party to represent them in the House of Commons. I repeat that saying that I am not in touch with my constituents because I would be voting with my party is absurd. It negates the fact that I belong to a political party that I joined because of a very deep conviction. Joining a political party means sharing a vision and therefore being stronger. The platform of a political party is

intended to regroup people who have something in common, who share a number of points of view.

The people in my riding elected me because I belonged to the Bloc Quebecois and I do not see how and for what reason I could separate myself from my group. I have a clear mandate from my constituents and voting along party line seems only natural. As I said, we cannot play the wishes of our constituents against the party line because the people who elected us also chose our party and our leader. We have a clear and concrete program, and what the hon. member is suggesting does not apply to us.

The wording of the motion does not take into account the fact that those who voted for the Bloc Quebecois share a number of objectives. They mandated their member to defend Quebec's interests. Obviously, Quebec spoke loud and clear during the last election. Quebecers decided to send to Ottawa a large group with a clear mandate. We are not an old party, we do not have the problems associated with a weak ideological cohesiveness.

Our constituents trusted us. They gave us their votes on October 25. We are not worn out by years of politicking, and unlike others we are not uprooted. We were given a mandate and that implies responsibilities. Quebecers exercized their rights under a universal suffrage system.

As for the amendment by the hon. member for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, that the motion be amended by adding after the word "should" the following: "continue to", I have only one comment. This, Mr. Speaker, is simply playing with words, it seems to indicate that members always have the possibility to vote as they please. Therefore, the Bloc Quebecois is against the amendment and against the motion.

Non-Confidence Motions
Private Members' Business

6:20 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to speak to this much discussed motion again today. The member who introduced the motion said in her motion, first of all, that the government should permit members of the House of Commons to fully represent their constituents' views, and so forth.

The motion assumed that members were not doing that, since its purpose was to permit them to do something that was apparently prohibited before. As was pointed out by the hon. member for the Bloc, nothing could be further from the truth. Parliamentarians are here to represent the interests of their constituents. If they already represent their constituents, they need no permission to do so. However, if we dig a little deeper, we see there is something else in this motion which asks the government to permit members to fully represent their constituents' views. If one asks the government, presumably this means a member on the government side, because after all, the Bloc member opposite seldom asks me, in my capacity of Deputy Government Whip, how to vote. Of course this also applies to the hon. member for Mission-Coquitlam, who seldom asks me how to vote on a bill, and I do not expect her to.

So presumably, the hon. member's request was for government members to be allowed to vote freely. I do not see why she did not mention opposition members. Was this an oversight? A few days ago, there was a vote in this House on a proposal for a high-speed train between Montreal and Toronto, if I remember correctly. The Quebec City-Windsor corridor-of course, the train would not be built simultaneously in the entire corridor. No one was suggesting that. The proposal was for building this high-speed train. We on the government side noticed that members of the Bloc Quebecois all voted the same way, that members of the Reform Party all voted the same way, and that members of the Liberal Party, the government members, were the only members to vote on the basis of a free vote. Some were in favour and others were against. So it is clear the motion should have been amended. Members of the government already had the right to vote freely, and they did so on that day.

There were two options: first, amend the motion to allow opposition members to vote freely. After all, members on the government side were already voting freely. Or the motion would be amended to say that we would continue to permit government members to vote freely since they were already doing so. That is when I moved my amendment that government members be able to continue to vote freely.

However, I am always a little worried about members opposite. I really would like Reform Party members to be able to vote freely as well.

How pleasant it would be if Reform members could vote freely as we do in the Liberal caucus. Mr. Speaker, you will understand my concern in that regard because they have not yet had free votes in the Reform Party. The same applies to the Bloc. I only wish that they could vote as freely as we do on the government side.

In any case the Reform Party now says that the motion should be amended so that it would read that the government should continue to increasingly permit free votes. I am not sure how one does that but I am certainly not against it because government members already have that freedom I previously described.

I was hoping that the member for the Reform Party would amend the motion to finally provide for a means by which opposition members could vote freely. That really would have been innovative. That would have made the Reform Party a truly modern parliamentary institution as is the present government.

I guess we will have to wait for that motion to occur some other time. Perhaps I could put a motion on the Order Paper which would read something like this: ``That this House permits the third party to vote freely as does the government''. That would be a good motion. I think my colleague, the member for St. Boniface, would agree that it would be a very progressive thing to do, to permit opposition members to vote as freely as we do on this side of the House.

I heard the discourses of hon. members from the Reform Party and others. There is a statement or at least an insinuation in there to the effect that the rules right now make it such that everything is a matter of confidence. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have already explained, and I have given evidence, how in private members' hour the government side is the only side that votes freely. The opposition maybe some day will come around to it.

On the issue of supply days, members know very well that the report of the Special Committee on the Reform of the House of June 18, 1985 already has made that change to the standing orders. It is on pages 106 and 107 and highly commended to the people across the way. It is excellent bedside reading. Members will know, having read it, that at least as it pertains to supply days and opposition days, they are no longer automatically a matter of confidence. That was passed on June 18, 1985.

I know that the Reform Party is not a progressive bunch but it has been nine years. One would think that after nine years even its members would have been aware of the change. It is three days short of nine years, mind you, because this is June 15, 1994. It was passed on June 18, 1985. Perhaps over the next three days, members will become aware of it.

Finally, members of the Reform Party have a misconception that works something like this. Government MPs are coerced to vote for the government and opposition MPs spontaneously all vote the same way without coercion. Of course that is sheer nonsense. Members of the Liberal Party vote similarly on many issues because fundamentally they believe in the same things. Reform members presumably vote similarly because they believe in the same things.

If members across the way, particularly the member from Calgary who is paying close attention to this and I think is getting ready to take copious notes, do not realize this and if the hon. member thinks that government members are somehow coerced into voting in a similar way then surely the argument has to be extended to say he does it too. After all, I understand he is the deputy leader of his party. Therefore he would probably be in a position to dictate to other members of his party.

Members can see that the arguments presented by the members across just do not work. When they say the government members should be voting more freely, they should put a mirror in front of the first desk in the House and look within to see that in their own party they, least of any political party in the House of Commons, have anything that could even be remotely considered a free vote.

On the other hand, we in our party have proven in the past and the voting record of the House would demonstrate that we have voted freely on the government side. Such has not happened either in the Reform nor in the Bloc Quebecois.

I am not trying to defend the Bloc. That is the last thing I would ever do, as most members know, but at least they do not pretend they are doing otherwise. The member has given an excellent discourse on how he believes the constitutional conventions have worked traditionally and how a party stands as a unit and how it works that way.

Of course I think he took this assumption a little further than it should be taken, but in any event, at least he did not claim to go against the party line. But when I hear the Reform Party, for instance, that wants to set rules for others which the party itself is not prepared to follow, I say: Let us not get carried away!

Hon. members opposite know perfectly well that Liberal members in this House were elected with an excellent prime minister and a red book we are now busy implementing. We intend to offer the people of Canada good government, while exercising the freedom I just described in the last few minutes.

I intend to indicate to this House that as far as I am concerned, I will support the motion on the amendment to the amendment as moved by the hon. member for Mission-Coquitlam.

Non-Confidence Motions
Private Members' Business

6:30 p.m.

Reform

Stephen Harper Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, can you tell me how much time I have? I gather we are near the end of this.

Non-Confidence Motions
Private Members' Business

6:35 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

The member will have until 6.39 or approximately five to six minutes.

Non-Confidence Motions
Private Members' Business

June 15th, 1994 / 6:35 p.m.

Reform

Stephen Harper Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I will be brief. I am addressing the motion of the member for Mission-Coquitlam to permit free votes more frequently in the Chamber, specifically for MPs to fully represent the views of their constituents of the government's legislative program, and that a defeat of the government not automatically be considered a measure of confidence.

I am happy to follow the previous speaker, the hon. member for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, not only because he endowed a promotion on me today but because he raised a number of issues that are crying with such misinformation that they demand a response. I am happy to do so if anyone is still watching after that particular discourse.

The member gave an example of what occurred in Parliament, that there has not been very much cross party voting. It is a good illustration of what we are talking about here. The motion does not talk about members wildly firing off in all directions on every particular issue. It implies that under certain conditions and for very particular reasons of constituent representation we would expect and allow members of various parties to represent those views.

So far, as we all know, the government has presented a very light legislative agenda to the House. The issues that are divisive between the parties have in every single case touched directly upon the program on which we as members of the Reform Party and which they as members of the Liberal Party were elected.

The one instance the member provided of some free voting in the House was when three Liberal members broke with the government to vote different from government members on one particular private member's motion which he chastises our party for not having split on. That particular motion was that we build an expensive infrastructure of high speed rail between Windsor and Quebec City. Given the ridings of members of Parliament of the Reform Party, it is not hard to figure out that they would be unwilling unanimously and freely to agree to such a ridiculous proposition from the point of view of their own constituents.

That should clear up some of the misconceptions raised about free voting and about what it means. Voting freely, which we favour and which we have advocated, is not that we would vote stupidly as the member for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell suggested.

The second point that really should be made concerns background. We should remember when we get into notions of cabinet confidence and caucus solidarity a bit of history. I seriously hope the member is not trying to convince the House and Canadians that there is no such thing as confidence in the Chamber today, any more than there is no such thing as parties. These kinds of positions are maybe legalistic but clearly ridiculous.

Historically the function of confidence has changed dramatically. We should remember that in the early days of the parliamentary system the purpose of the confidence convention was to ensure that ministers of the crown, who originally were representatives in a very true sense of the Monarch, had the confidence of the elected people to function in their capacities. Today the meaning or the context has entirely changed. Today the Monarch is not usually a direct participant in the political affairs or daily affairs of the nation. The cabinet is representative of the outcome of general elections. The cabinet confidence and the confidence convention applied to the Chamber in this day and age is not to make cabinet report to the House. It has been turned around in the new context to make the House responsible to cabinet. That is the problem we have to look at.

I fully support the motion. We should give some thought to why it is, in spite of the legalistic declarations that appear in some of the standing orders and others, that the confidence convention has not been broken. We should ask ourselves what needs to be done to create a new kind of system.

We have suggested from time to time that the Prime Minister could rise and suggest to the House that there be the freedom to vote more freely. It is true, but in and of itself it is not adequate. It suggests that the Prime Minister possesses such power that he or she could simply determine whether or not votes were free and, that raises questions about whether votes really are free.

There are a number of mechanisms in other countries; the three line whips in Great Britain, the fact that political parliamentary parties are organized on a more bottom-up basis in countries like Australia. This allows a very different style of leadership to emerge whereby it is not just the formalities of practice that apply but there are real issues of diversity of power within political parties that give members greater say and a greater ability to represent their constituents, particularly where those conflict with more broad party interests that are not necessarily representative.

There is a lot I want to say on this issue of how we should examine the deficiencies of the power structure. Unfortunately, I do not have the time. I appreciate the Chair's patience and I will terminate my remarks now.

Non-Confidence Motions
Private Members' Business

6:35 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

I thank the hon. member for Calgary West. I would like to extend to the member for Mission-Coquitlam, whose private members' motion it is, M-89, the opportunity to close the debate.

Non-Confidence Motions
Private Members' Business

6:35 p.m.

Reform

Daphne Jennings Mission—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to sum up today. This is my first experience with having a motion drawn in a private members' situation and I am honoured that it was deemed to be a votable one.

I and members of the Reform have really enjoyed debating this issue that is so dear to our hearts with other members in the House. I respectfully urge all members to support Motion 89, for this is why we are here in the House, to democratically make change. Nothing is stagnant. I am not asking to make change for the sake of change, but relaxation of the confidence convention will result in a more accountable and workable House of Commons. I urge everyone to support us on this motion.

Non-Confidence Motions
Private Members' Business

6:35 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

It being 6.39 p.m. it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put all questions necessary to dispose of Motion M-89 now before the House.

The question is on the amendment to the amendment. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the amendment to the amendment?

Non-Confidence Motions
Private Members' Business

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Non-Confidence Motions
Private Members' Business

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

On division.