Mr. Speaker, I believe very strongly that this is one of the most important motions that has come before the House since I have been here. I believe this one measure, more than any other element of parliamentary reform, would empower individual MPs and hence their constituents.
Why do I say that? Because the whip, the Prime Minister's Office or the leader's office cannot control the private members' legislation or motions that members bring before this place. It is precisely those motions which can reflect issues that the political class and the centre of authority in the PMO on that side refuses to have brought forward for debate.
Many sensible bills come before this place, but many deal with issues which are not on the political agenda of the government or for whatever reason, on the political agenda of party strategists on the opposition side. No single step would do more to empower us than to give every MP at least one votable private member's bill. There is no good reason this ought not to happen because if each of the 300 MPs had a votable motion or bill that could easily be contained within the period of time for debate.
Here we are leaving the House two weeks before the parliamentary schedule indicates. There is plenty of time. We could extend hours, sit earlier, sit later or sit longer to debate issues which are of importance to Canadians and to this parliament, which are not brought forward on government orders.
I just want it on the record in questions and comments, and my colleague may want to reply, that on behalf of my constituents I firmly support this motion and I would hope that members opposite, as private members not as partisans, would accept this as a sensible incremental reform.
In closing, I understand that the so-called modernization committee had given near unanimous approval for this, except for one House leader for a minor party. That is unfortunate. I understand that even the government was commendably prepared to give support to a step of this nature to empower members through more votable private members' bills. Therefore, we are almost there. I would appeal to the House leader of that minor party to reconsider why it is that he is being a roadblock to major parliamentary reform in this measure.