There is an idea. Maybe we should have a Reformer sit on the membership of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society. I do not know. Perhaps that makes complete sense. As somebody said, maybe it makes sense to have Jack the Ripper in charge of a knife store. I do not know.
That is the argument members across the way are making. We need to have the separatists in charge of Canadian heritage. It is completely ridiculous. We should have the separatists in charge of the defence committee which, in light of what happened after the referendum or just before the referendum, is something that needs serious examination. If I were the defence minister I would be a bit concerned about that. I would be questioning my own members and saying: "Are you sure you really want to do that?" He has a responsibility to do that, in my judgment, after what happened.
Let me conclude by saying the Liberals made some promises. They made a promise to reform institutions like committees so that they were allowed to reflect the wishes of members of the committee. In other words, they wanted to give members of Parliament more power. They denied that by giving the member for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, the chief government whip, almost absolute power to go in there and say: "If you don't support the separatists then you will be in big trouble". We have seen what has happened to members in the past, where they have been kicked off committees because they voted the wrong way.
The second point I want to make in conclusion is that we have a situation today where people are deeply cynical about the way politics work. They are deeply cynical and very pessimistic about their futures. When we have a situation where promises of all kinds made in the red book are completely forgotten two years later we can understand why they feel that way. The government has helped contribute to the great pall of pessimism that has fallen across the land.
Third, this is a democratic institution. In this place of all places people should have the right to elect the people they want to elect without interference from the government. We raised a question of privilege the other day on the issue of the government interfering in the business of Parliament. In that case there was a very serious accusation, but we see it happen in all ways, shapes and manners in this place because the government keeps resisting the need to change.
The fourth point I want to make is from a common sense point of view. We have a separatist vice-chair on the Canadian heritage committee, the committee that is supposed to be in charge of helping to keep the country together. We have a Canadian unity committee that has sprung out of the Canadian heritage committee and we have a separatist vice-chair who is part of that committee, who will be helping to run that committee. It is absolutely nuts. We will have a separatist as a vice-chair on the defence committee as well. In light of what has happened that is ridiculous.
In conclusion, the attitude of the government was betrayed when Mr. Speaker very wisely ruled not long ago that based on parliamentary precedent the status quo had to be accepted in terms of leaving the Bloc-