Madam Speaker, those were mostly comments that my hon. colleague and neighbour-seeing that we have adjacent offices in the West Block-made. First, he said that the premier of Newfoundland was certainly the best communicator in Canada; we, on this side, have always called him Captain Canada, and this was not meant to be derogatory in any way. We do agree that, as a communicator, the premier of Newfoundland has spearheaded practically everything that was done in Canada. That is probably also one of the reasons why he got elected.
My hon. colleague commented on my calling the attention of the House to the fact that Newfoundland had just set a precedent, but I was just making a connection between the case of Newfoundland, where a 54 per cent result is readily recognized in this House, and Quebec, where the application of democratic rules is being questioned.
I think that what my hon. colleague is saying it that we are setting a precedent by passing this here. The precedent has already been set anyway. It was set at the international level, at Charlottetown, when the results were not questioned, because the 50 per cent plus one rule came into play. They were not questioned with respect to Meech, the 1980 referendum or any other referendum until now.
I sincerely believe the Prime Minister of this country is right when he says the basic problem and the first thing we should do, not myself personally, but those of my constituents who still believe this is possible-yes, some still do-would be to try to persuade Quebecers they must remain a part of Canada. Under those circumstances, a referendum would not be any problem.
Needless to say I have my doubts. I have been concerned with politics for 30 years-not actively involved but at least watching what is happening on the political scene-and in the past 30 years, we have never succeeded in having Quebec's minimum demands recognized. The only way out for us is to hold a referendum on sovereignty and we will win this referendum.