I ask you that because there are a number of bills that came forward. In fact, we had, and I recall well, the democratic reform week, and this was part of it. I believe it was on the Wednesday of that particular week that this one was announced.
I'm just trying to get a picture of where the government is going in terms of democratic reform. I say that because there are a number of pieces out there on democratic reform. I certainly am trying to figure out what this government's vision is, because it seems to me, and I might be wrong on this—I'm sure you'll suggest that I am—that we're kind of just throwing things out there, and Bill C-56 is an example of that, without really understanding where we're going.
I say that. We're in committee. We're just trying to probe here. We don't have an overall picture. I know the philosophy of the government is trying to get things done, and we'll do a little piece at a time. So fixed-date elections we supported; the loophole funding we supported. Those were initiatives we had claimed as a party. But when you look at this bill, at Bill C-56, and at the Senate bills, which seem to be contradicting each other, the fixed terms and then electing senators, and then not acknowledging that we have to go back to the Quebec Conference of 1865 and take a look at what the debate was, even with true Grits, not the kind like those here but the reformers of the time—Brown, etc.—there was a very definite idea, historically speaking, of the role of the Senate. I'm really concerned that we're on a collision course, not consciously, not intentionally, of course, where we're going to end up with a real mess by way of not having an understanding or vision.
I say that because this bill—and you've somewhat confirmed it for me—was brought up because we needed to be doing something on democratic reform, because there were some concerns about getting some of these bills through.
The bill in the Senate obviously isn't going well. The bill extending the distribution of seats after a census has obviously been pulled—and I can ask you a question about that after.
So we're trying to get these little pieces done to be seen to be doing things. I can say that.
So I'm pleading with you to do more than tell us about studies. I know some of these studies. I know some of these people. They weren't addressing this as being a direct expansion of voter opportunities, as you put it.
When you took social science I'm sure you dealt with statistics. This isn't a dependent variable here that would automatically provide....
Well, this will be my question to you. Do you believe that this expansion of voter opportunity will directly result in higher voter turnout?