Madam Speaker, I thought when I referred to all of them together I could get away with that but I see I cannot.
Let me continue with the 66th report. This should also tell people something. A lot of reports come out of this Parliament and every parliament. The 66th report, which means a few have come and gone before it, is a unanimous all party report on private members' bills, but what happened? The government front bench would not allow it to go forward because it would level the playing field.
It was interesting to hear what the member for LaSalle—Émard had to say about that report during his democratic deficit speech which he started to muse about . He said “We cannot have a system where members are basically told how to vote by the government. That is preposterous, especially for private members' business, especially when it comes to the business of money”. What did he do? On the 27 private members' bills that dealt with the Department of Finance, he voted against 24 of them when he was the minister of finance.
In other words, the front bench, including the former front bench, is not really interested in balancing the power between the executive and the rest of us, and yet that is what the debate should really be about tonight. The rest of us were sent here not to bleat like sheep or vote like machines. We were sent here to balance the power and ride herd on the executive so Canadians have the best possible government.
The motion before us today is a step in the right direction but it is only one of many things that should be done.
We put out two documents called Building Trust and Building Trust II. I get a bit of a lark from the member over there who says that all these good ideas came from the Liberal side of the House. I invite him to read Building Trust II. Building Trust is a document put out by the Canadian Alliance that describes many points that would improve the House of Commons. When they were brought forward, the member will be happy to know or perhaps he forgets it, the House leader stood up and said “Preposterous, ridiculous ideas that could not possibly be implemented in the House of Commons”. These are the good ideas that the hon. member is now endorsing.
There are about 10 suggestions in the document and 3 of them have now come to pass, three preposterous, ridiculous ideas that the Alliance put forward. A fourth one was approved today, which is the secret ballot election of committee chairs. It was a ridiculous, preposterous idea but it has now come to pass. Why? Maybe there was dissension in the ranks on that side. It is a poor reason but we are happy to see it because we are seeing some parliamentary reform for the first time. For the first time we are seeing that there is not enough fear of the front bench to keep the back bench in line. Now we have secret ballot elections of committee chairs which was something we have asked for it for years.
If we pass the motion today it would be number five. It would be right in line with what the member for LaSalle—Émard wants to have by the way, which is a committee review of government appointments before they are confirmed and finalized. I say to the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard, right on. He is barking up the right tree because that is right in the document, Building Trust, brought in by the Canadian Alliance.
Canadians will only get the full Building Trust complement of ideas when they elect a Canadian Alliance government committed, not in the midst of a leadership campaign, but in its policy books since the creation of the party to bring forward true parliamentary reform for all Canadians, to rebalance the federation and rebalance Parliament between the power of the front bench and the rest of parliamentarians who deserve to have a proper role in the House of Commons.