Madam Speaker, in this land that stretches from coast to coast called Canada, every citizen is represented by three parliamentarians: a member of the provincial legislature, a member of the House of Commons-there are 295 of us playing this role-and a senator in the other House.
As you can see, this is a lot of representation. We could even talk about redundancy, although redundancy sometimes has its merits. For example, every airplane has two control circuits: one on the left and one on the right; the same goes for ships. Thanks to this built-in redundancy, if one circuit fails, the other can take over and ensure the safety of passengers. This shows that redundancy has its uses.
We must now ask ourselves whether redundancy in our parliamentary system, the so-called bicameral system, enhances the safety, reliability and effectiveness of government operations?
If the other House had helped us a few years ago to avoid plunging the country so deeply into debt, we would all undoubtedly agree that our bicameral system, our other House of Parliament, can be effective, but such was not the case. Despite its redundancy, our parliamentary system does not improve government operations or enhance public administration. In fact, the exact opposite is true.
I thank my colleagues from the Reform Party for allowing us today to reflect on the usefulness of the other House. What I find regrettable is that this reflection is restricted to the other House because this House has its own operating flaws. If you consider the obligation to toe the party line, the way the House fulfils its responsibilities, the extent to which each member can represent his or her constituents, you will agree with me that the problem extends to the whole parliamentary system.
We must contemplate a comprehensive review of the parliamentary system from coast to coast. In conclusion, let me say that the partnership proposed by Quebec would lead us not only to a review of the system but also to a modern system that would enable us to face the challenges of the 21st century.