Mr. Speaker, I simply want to make a few comments. Let us go back to the beginning of this Parliament, after the election held on October 25, 1993, because some discussions took place between the parties at that time.
I want to tell you about two statements that were made back then. One was to the effect that the Bloc Quebecois was coming to Ottawa to impede the proceedings of Parliament. However, as we have seen for a little over two years now, those who are guilty of filibustering are not Bloc members, but Reformers.
Since the very beginning, we have complied, rather closely I would say, with British parliamentary tradition. To be sure, our views differ from those of the Liberal Party. However, we agree to play by the rules. This is obvious to me, and I should point out that Quebec's National Assembly, which is the oldest parliament in
America, agreed to follow the same rules as the British Parliament as early as 1791.
I also want to say that I participated in the negotiations that took place between the parties to bring some changes in this House. We tried to settle the issues of office allocation, and Heaven knows how long that took, House agenda, speaking order in the House, as well as committee membership. At that time, the Bloc Quebecois showed that it was very open-minded and said: "Yes, we are prepared to give up a number of vice-chair positions". The Reform Party told us: "We want to provide the chairperson for the public accounts committee and the vice-chairpersons for finance, foreign affairs, national defence, agriculture and trade. Period. We will not accept anything else". How about some apple turnover with that?
This proposal made no sense. And with its "we take that or nothing" position, the Reform Party ended up with nothing, because it did not know how to negotiate.
Now, we are told about a love affair between the Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois. Those who see a love story between the members opposite and the Bloc Quebecois certainly do not follow current politics very closely. Sure, we respect each other, but our views and our goals are certainly different. The only such attempt took place between the hon. member for Sherbrooke and the Reform Party.