Mr. Speaker, throughout the debate today and yesterday, I could not help but notice that the flow and the subject of the debate involved issues way beyond the scope of the bill that is before the House for discussion.
I am a little disappointed in the debate because there are some important issues that lie behind the court decisions that the House is now acceding to in considering the bill. I am not referring to the speaker who just spoke, but most of the previous speakers have wanted to address issues like the voters list or other issues related to democracy and the effectiveness of the electoral machinery that we use in Canada.
In an attempt to bring our record closer to the issues that are in front of us, I would ask the member a couple of questions. Hopefully he has had a look at the bill and knows the issues that are in there. There are of course the technical issues and a few amendments that are referred to as technical amendments. However, there is also the issue of allowing individuals, who are part of political parties that do not meet the 50 candidate threshold, to show themselves as members of parties.
I am trying to elicit an acknowledgement from the member that the proposals in the legislation to allow an individual and at least 11 other candidates to show themselves as a party on a ballot is fair, and that the 12 person threshold is fair.
This has not come up very often, but sometimes the House and the government are called upon by the court to reconsider an issue based on the court's opinion. In this case, the proposed amendments are as a direct result of court of appeal decisions and opinion. The government has introduced a bill to do that.
I am asking the member to comment on the appropriateness of the House responding directly to an exhortation or an opinion from a court to revise our laws so that they are more charter compliant.