Mr. Speaker, I listened to the hon. member for Winnipeg Transcona's comments with interest and I agreed with very much of what he said. In fact his own party was born from a reform tradition. We in the Reform Party have made many comments about Canada's reform tradition not only in western Canada but in the province of Quebec, at that time it was Upper Canada.
Even in Atlantic Canada there were some Reform movements that have sprung up.
The problem is not the fact of understanding what reform is all about and the changes that need to be made. I think we all understand that. We even understand, in spite of what the hon. member said, that some changes have been proposed and adopted by this House that would relax the confidence convention. However, the Prime Minister has not seemed to relay that message to his caucus and that is what concerns us.
We have seen the same problem in provincial legislatures. In fact, provincial legislatures which are governed by the hon. member's party, the NDP, exercise extremely strict party discipline.
One other matter that needs to be clear, and I would like to get the hon. member's comment on, is that we are not talking about free votes as being free spirited endeavours on behalf of individual members. We are talking about the members' freedom to vote the wishes of their constituents. There is quite a difference between voting how I might feel I should vote as an individual and in fact voting the wishes of my constituents.
We in Reform have not come here and promoted just a bunch of free spirits voting however they please on every issue. We have been talking about difficult or divisive issues where in fact the party's position may differ from that of a member's constituents. I am sure it happens on the government side where the government has proposed legislation which individual member's constituents are definitely opposed to.
We know what happened in the last House with the GST where members were told not to support the GST and they came into this House and stood with the government on the GST. Through their hands they said to their constituents: "You don't count. We don't care what you say. We have to vote with the government", even though these reforms apparently were in place.
The matter is not that the reforms are not there to be used. The problem is in acting them out in this House. I would ask the hon. member to respond to that and in fact even with regard to the provincial legislature where his party is the governing party.