Mr. Lamoureux was getting to your first point in his question too. Perhaps I should have been more explicit this time, but in the last committee appearance I dealt with the question directly.
In my proposal, I would argue that the eligibility of those eligible to run for particular posts would not change. For the committees that are designated government committees, it would mean that only government members could run for those positions. For the committees that are designated opposition-chaired committees, only opposition members could do that. Eligibility would not change. You would still not have cabinet ministers running for committee chairmanships and various other things.
In that respect, I think it deals with the issue you're dealing with. Yes, if government members ganged up and liked a particular opposition member, they could all vote for that opposition member, and that opposition member could end up as the chair even though most of the opposition members preferred someone else to be the chair.
But again, as I said to Mr. Lamoureux, that's easier said than done in a secret ballot. Having watched how many rounds the election of the Speaker went last time, where people's various votes were going back and forth, it's fairly difficult to do. It's not impossible. You could have the 20 government members most friendly to the opposition all elected as chairs if the opposition supported them in a minority situation. Again, that's possible.
The British experience, as I've been able to look through it, doesn't seem to support that this is what happens. In some of the recommendations and reports on it, they've said that this has been a profound change and that it's worked fairly well for them. What seems to be the case—I don't have a hard quote to back this up, but I wish I did—is that the people being elected as chairs in Great Britain tend to have expertise in certain areas or who have reputations. That tends to be where Parliament has gone rather than the top trying to manipulate.
The dual mandate question, I agree with you, is one of the more difficult ones. That's why I dealt with it with the potential three strikes and you're out rule, or come back and forth.... Again, there are different forms of punishment when someone misbehaves. My parents were not fond of sending me to a corner. They tended to prefer corporal discipline. But sometimes when someone misbehaves, you might want to send them over to a corner for a time out, for a quiet time. You don't necessarily want to kick them out of your house and expel them.
I think it's also possible that once a committee chair is removed, some steam would be let off, and the committee would be fine with letting him back. Again, we've had this problem in the past. You could have a situation where a committee could repeatedly fire a chair and he could get repeatedly reappointed by his party. We could have the potential for the endless loop in this situation too. It's not a new problem. It's just a different way of dealing with the problem, and it would be more public when it happens.