Mr. Speaker, we Canadians are lucky. Our country's political and democratic institutions are sound and have the confidence of the people. They have served us well in a long history. They were used to resolve some of the most fundamental conflicts any society can face, the role of government in private lives and the power of centralist institutions in conflict with regional aspirations.
The resolution to these and many other conflicts were never supported by all Canadians. Before votes, they were discussed widely and heatedly. They divided families, friends and regions. But after the votes were counted, the democratic decision was accepted. Losers licked their wounds and resolved to fight again by the same rules.
This democratic tradition will be tested severely when the votes are counted today, when the stakes are higher than they have ever been before, when many fear the end of Canada.
I pray that all Canadians and especially we in these chambers continue to follow our successful democratic tradition and accept the people's-