Mr. Speaker, I am in the process of providing an explanation and apologizing. I was polite to the hon. member and I hope his colleagues will show the same courtesy.
As I just indicated, the hon. member for Guelph—Wellington wanted to ask a question on the university in her riding, one of the most important institutions in the country, particularly in the agricultural sector. She was not able to put her question because—and I also recognize that—of the disturbance in the House today.
I undertake to raise with my colleagues the fact that we must do our part to ensure that the allotted number of questions can be asked, or better yet supplementaries. I think that questions and answers in the House are a fundamental principle of democracies—they make the government accountable to the public. I will raise this issue.
Naturally, I urge the others to do the same, obviously so that we can work together toward a co-operative atmosphere, notwithstanding our disagreements as to substance, because there will be such disagreements, we admit. That is only fair and it is good for democracy. I undertake to do my part as well.
Once again, I wish to point out that, notwithstanding the enthusiasm of some people sometimes, a number of parliamentarians on this side also felt hard done by today. Considering that there are in fact more so-called eligible members on our side of the House than in any party on the other side, we too have parliamentarians who are disappointed at not being able to ask their questions.
I admit that the questions are different in nature. I admit that, by the very nature of things, they are perhaps less pointy, less partisan. But this does not mean that members on this side with questions to ask feel that their concerns are not important. They are important regionally, in terms of their riding, or when it comes to whether or not to support the government. Questions are just as important on this side of the House.
I too have spent many years on the other side. I know about the frustration of getting ready to make the government accountable and being unable to speak at the appointed time after having done all the groundwork for this exercise which is so fundamental to democracy.
That is why I have raised this point today and it is one in which I believe deeply. I think that the Bloc Quebecois House leader will agree that I am being sincere because I too believe in this fundamental principle of democracy.
I will close by repeating the undertaking being given by our side of the House—I am sure the whip will agree with me—to do our best. We must all work on this, both sides of the House, all five sides—if the House can be said to have five sides—all five parties, with all the challenges that involves.