Mr. Speaker, I really disagree with the hon. member when he talks about the fact that he considers majority government to be what he says, a fake majority. That is disrespectful of the system. It is unnecessary and it is not the reality.
No one can tell me that the governments that were led by any leader--whether of my party or the Conservative Party, as those are the only two parties that we have had in the history of this country save and except right at the beginning where the names were a little more ambiguous--constitute anything less than legitimate majority governments.
Canada operates in a system where the government is in power so long as the government enjoys the support of the House of Commons, manifested by a majority of votes in the House. In other words, it is the confidence convention.
A party that has the majority of seats could even have opposition MPs supporting the government. That constitutes a majority. If the hon. member decided with his party to form a coalition with the government, or any other one in the future, perhaps one of another party, that government would be just as legitimate constitutionally.
The point I am making is that there is no such thing as a fake majority in the House. That majority is established. The hon. member will know it as well as I do. He is one of the few people who has been around here longer than I have; actually as a staffer, I think I was here before he was, but not by much, just a little before he was.
In any case, the member knows that at the beginning of the session there is a throne speech. On that throne speech after the second day of debate we have the vote. When the government has been blessed by the confidence vote of that particular exercise, only then are government bills introduced in the House.
The confidence of the majority is established that way. It does not matter whether MPs individually were elected by a small number of votes, or a very large number, which I have been blessed with from time to time I must say.
I do not consider myself more or less legitimate in the House than an MP who was elected in a recount. Once members are sent here we are all the same. All members have the same legitimacy. We all have the right to represent our constituents, whether I was elected with 82% of the votes, which happened to me in 1993, or perhaps one colleague on the other side of the House who was elected in a recount. The legitimacy is the same. Once we take our oath of office and participate in that exercise we are the same in that regard.
Everyone considers us the same and that is only rightfully so. I will draw the analogy of hockey, as we sometimes do around here, and Mr. Speaker, I know you are familiar with that. Whether the playoffs are won with consecutive games or whether they are won with a tiebreaker on the last game, the winner still gets the Stanley Cup. The Stanley Cup here is our representing our constituents in the House. For members individually and collectively it is the same with the confidence that is established. Therefore, I cannot agree with the member's proposition.
Finally, to have a referendum at any time before we have even explored these options, which he is advocating and I do not even agree with, is premature, even to say that we will not have a referendum let alone the date.