There is the hon. member for Kindersley-Lloydminster, who quoted this very statement in his speech the other night, applauding it. Yet I note on the other hand that he is supporting the Senate amendments to this bill.
We are not just asking him to vote for the one amendment the government supports. He is saying we should support a whole bunch of them and has proposed an amendment to do. We are saying reject it because those amendments are not good amendments to this bill and we are asking the Senate to withdraw them. That is what the motion states. It is a sensible bill.
What is the principal objection the Reform Party has? I suggest there are two. One of them is not dealt with in any of these Senate amendments and it was not dealt with in the bill, but there are two. The first was that Reformers wanted the possibility in a riding of moving away from the provincial quotient to the variation permitted to be 15 per cent above or below instead of 25 per cent above or below.
The result of such a change would be to ensure that the ridings would be closer in size. In other words, there would be one person equal to one vote a little more closely across the country than is the case now. In fact it would only apply within a province, but it would result in a substantial shift.
The hon. member for Kindersley-Lloydminster and the others who are hooting and hollering over there tonight know perfectly well that it would result in changes so that large rural ridings such as that occupied by the hon. member for Bellechasse-I could name a whole host of others in this House, but he is here, he was on the committee, he knows the argument-would be enlarged enormously to fill it up with more people to get it closer to the provincial quotient in numbers and other ridings in big cities would be cut up and divided into smaller units. More ridings would move to the cities than there are now and there would be fewer rural ridings in Canada.
I am surprised that hon. members opposite, largely from rural parts of the country themselves, are supporting this kind of amendment. I know their hope lies in winning additional seats in other parts of Canada, but I know perfectly well their hope lies in rural Canada. If they cannot win seats there, they are going to be in difficulty.