We've tried a number of things in the past. We used to do all of the estimates on the floor of the House of Commons, and that was just a game. It took up a lot of time. It wasn't very helpful in terms of giving meaningful advice to governments about how to improve their spending and the results of their spending.
We then went out to the standing committees, gave them investigations in view of legislation and the estimates. It seemed like a lot of work. There weren't enough committee meetings. There weren't enough committee members. There weren't enough time slots.
We tried saying you could change the estimates within a narrow range, maybe 5% above or below what's proposed, and make the government explain why it accepted or failed to accept that recommendation. As I mentioned in my opening comments, that was used rarely. It goes way back to the seventies, and it was rarely used by committees.
It really requires some discussion in each of the party caucuses behind closed doors to say to the leaders that you didn't come down here just to applaud when the great leader gets up to speak, and you didn't come here to thump your desk and yell across the chamber. You came here to contribute to better public policy, you want a chance to do that and you want to do it in a committee setting. You'll find your own ways to publicize to the folks back home in Saskatchewan that they're getting good value from their member of Parliament. Maybe through the local media you could talk about the work you did in changing agricultural policy, perhaps. It wouldn't happen overnight. It would take a number of years of reporting on the pattern of spending in the agricultural department, but eventually you'd get them to shift some money into an area you considered important to Saskatchewan.
That seems to me the most constructive role you could play.