My colleague across the way says it is a new party. It has been around for nine years. How long is it going to be new? Its members sit in the House of Commons and claim they are the national opposition, and at the same time they claim they are a new party. There is no such thing as a new party.
I go back to the Hamilton East election. They forced the deputy prime minister to resign and the Prime Minister called a byelection. What happened? Five hundred thousand dollars of taxpayers' money was spent to conform to Reform Party policies. The Reform Party spent $45,000 to promote their candidate. What happened? Their candidate got 2,688 votes only. If we divide 2,688 into the $45,000 they spent, it means they spent over $15 per vote of taxpayers' money for no reason at all.
What happened to the Bloc Quebecois? It did not even bother putting up a candidate.
I hope the House passes my motion. The last time the Reform and Bloc Quebecois ganged up to defeat this bill. They did not allow it to be votable because the leader of the Reform Party and Lucien Bouchard are two sides of the same coin. They are both regional parties. They both sang the same tune every day of the week for the last almost three years. They have been dividing the country through their regional interests and Canada as a nation cannot benefit from in this process.
In the last election in 1993 there were 295 ridings. Thirteen political parties participated. All of them put candidates in each and every province, including Reform. It put candidates in all provinces except the province of Quebec. The Natural Law Party ran 451 candidates. Somehow Reform members do not accept the fact that they should become a national party and that is why they oppose my bill.
Marxist-Leninist Party put forward 51 candidates. The Bloc Quebecois put up 75 candidates in one province, the province of Quebec, which qualifies them to be a national party. It won 54 seats and became the official opposition. The Reform Party complained and asked why does the official opposition have to be separatists. It claims to be federalist and with only one seat less than the Bloc Quebecois so Reform members believe they should be the official opposition.
A party has to earn the title of being official opposition or national opposition. A party cannot be the official opposition or national opposition in this system if it is a separatist party or if it is a regional party.
When my bill was before the House previously I mentioned in my speech that when I was running for the Liberal Party in Don Valley North I saw signs in my riding which said: "We will run the country the way we run the campaign". Reformers ran in the campaign without Quebec. They ignored Quebec totally. If this is how they are going to run the country, God save us from the Reformers.