What will it do to the province of Alberta that does not have a provincial sales tax? Are we going to make that government collect 15 per cent of taxes, then rebate people? The government does not brag about things like that. That is very smart politics. The Liberals know how to pull the wool over people's eyes, to distort the truth just a little by talking about what they are doing and how they are doing it. If they say it often enough then people might just believe it.
Do the Liberals brag about all the broken promises they have made but have not kept? There must be a lot of people that voted Liberal who are very disappointed in the government's efforts. In fact, I happen to know of a lot of backbenchers that are unhappy with the government's efforts. I know why they are unhappy. They are unhappy about that GST and the promise of replacing or eliminating it. The red book says replace.
The newspapers have been quite clear that when the Liberals campaigned door to door-I cannot name the members because I do not know their ridings-many of the members around Toronto said, "We will get rid of the GST. We hate the GST. This is an awful tax. It is not going to be there. You vote for us and it is gone. The GST is gone".
The red book says replace which I understand. I understand the Prime Minister saying: "I hate it. I would kill it. We will get rid of it. Now I have to find something to replace it with". I know he did say that. He said that in some speeches. I heard him say that in Calgary when I went to listen to him speak.
However, I hear that a lot of the backbenchers around Toronto did not say that. They went door to door and said: "Vote for me, we'll get rid of the GST". They did not say that would replace it with something revenue neutral. They did not get that elaborate. A lot of the backbenchers are worried about the next election. They are saying that unless the government gets rid of the GST, harmonizes it, hides it or something, and tries to keep this promise, their chances of getting re-elected are nil. It is about integrity. It is about keeping one's word. It is about making a promise and keeping that promise. The government is slowly eroding the foundations of the word called integrity. A national sales tax will be the son of the GST. However, once again it is smart politics but it is not good government.
One of the biggest promises made by the Prime Minister during his campaign was made September 10, 1993, about a month and a half before the vote. He said there would not be a promise that he would make in the campaign that he would not keep. Fair enough.
Five days later he said something to the effect that anyone could go before him at any time with that red book, wave it in his face and say, where are you with your promises? By the points that I made, where is the Prime Minister with his promises?
He broke the promise on NAFTA. He broke the promise on protecting the civil service. He broke the promise on big spending cuts. He broke the promise on the GST or he has not kept it yet, although he still has time. He can still get rid of it. We will wait for him. Mr. Prime Minister, where are you with your promises? Mr. Prime Minister, why are you acting like your predecessor, but even worse? How can you sit on that side of the House?
Reformers could never do that. Once we become the government, we are going to keep our promises. We are going to run this government the way we said we would. We kept our promises. We have kept everything up front, above board and we plan to do that all the way through. The government said one thing to get elected and now its members act like the previous government did in power.
That is a great and huge disservice to the Canadian voting public. That is not the way to retain one's integrity. I do not understand how the Prime Minister can get away with saying one thing in opposition and doing another in government. Now in government the Liberals say they will do something, then not do it or do the opposite.
The Prime Minister is sending out such confusing and convoluted messages whether he says it in French or in English. No matter who is listening, it is confusing, convoluted and complicated. Why can we not get a clear direction from the government? We ask questions in question period. Are we going to have a national referendum on the issue of national unity? Should Quebecers decide for themselves whether or not they should be voting on that issue or should all Canadians have a say?
Anybody can petition for divorce but both parties have to agree to the terms. Maybe that is where some of the separatist members of the Bloc Quebecois can see the government's side. When one gets to the terms of the settlement, perhaps it does take two sides to negotiate and to decide what the consequences of that break-up would be.
This is where the Bloc members could take a look at that new cabinet minister who is not a member yet. He is suggesting that both parties look at it.
Why will the Prime Minister not run Parliament like he promised when he was in opposition? Why will the Prime Minister not live up to the standard that the Canadian public expected of him? He is a very popular individual. He has a personality that is liked by all walks of life. He is an individual who has spent 30 years of his life serving the public.
At the end of those 30 years, is it not worthwhile to be able to say that he kept his word, his promises? Is it not better at the end of 30 years to be able to say that he meant what he said, that he said what he meant and did it instead of caging this all in flowery rhetoric, confusing everybody, hiring spin doctors to give the right image and playing politics all the way through?
I am embarrassed for the government. I am embarrassed that it is doing a worse job than the Conservative Party ever did in terms of the rules of the House and how it is trying to force its legislation through with the use of closure, time allocation and with motions that make it appear to be a government that is not interested in following the democratic process.