Mr. Speaker, the member for Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys happens to be a female member of our party who leaned forward to tell me that she sees this as kind of humiliating to say she needs some kind of help that I do not need. She said that she was elected fair and square, and would go toe to toe with any person who wanted take her on in the next election. I would fully agree with that.
I would like to see the amount of money that is spent on nominations to be open and transparent. I am not sure that the $200 limit is really necessary. If people want to give $200, it is not a huge amount. I think somewhere between $200 and $1,000 would be fair for reporting purposes and for the paperwork involved. It could be some number in between that. I think $200 is too low.
The real way to bring democracy into the nomination process would be to ensure the political party does not leave the power to the Prime Minister or to the party leader to nominate people without due process.
If I were a member of the Liberal Party, I would squawk about the fact that people are chosen to run in chosen ridings not based on their ability to raise funds or anything else. They are nominated based on the whim of the leader of the party. That is not democratic.
How can the leader say, “I'll pick a winnable riding and plunk somebody in there as my candidate”. There is no nomination process. Candidates do not have to sell a single membership, do not have to go to a single meeting, and do not have to explain a single issue. Those types of candidates do not have to come in out of the rain and if they are in a strong Liberal riding they have a good chance of winning.
That to me is more offensive to the democratic process than any of the nomination processes that involve money. Money is not the problem here. The problem is an autocratic party system in the Liberal Party that allows the leader to appoint who he wants without any due process.