Mr. Speaker, I must say that the argument raised by the government is absolutely pointless at this time. The resolution introduced by the NDP is absolutely in order under our standing orders.
I will therefore merely make two points in support of my position. It will not take long but should be conclusive.
First, to quote Marleau and Montpetit, page 724:
Members in opposition to the government may propose motions for debate on any matter falling within the jurisdiction of the Parliament of Canada, as well as on committee reports concerning estimates. The standing orders give members a very wide scope in proposing opposition motions on supply days and, unless the motion is clearly and undoubtedly irregular (e.g., where the procedural aspect is not open to reasonable argument), the Chair does not intervene
That strikes me as very clear.
Second, they cannot claim that this motion is unconstitutional. It says that “during the week of January 2, 2006, the Prime Minister should ask her Excellency the Governor General of Canada to dissolve the 38th Parliament .” There have been many similar motions in this House. In fact, according to the Canadian Constitution, it is up to the Prime Minister to designate his cabinet and there is nothing to stop any member of this Parliament from introducing a motion calling on the Prime Minister to require a minister to resign. So, it is not unconstitutional.
Everyone knows that Canada's foreign policy depends on the government and the Prime Minister. Yet there is absolutely nothing unconstitutional about introducing a motion in this House calling upon the Government of Canada to change its position on international policy. That is absolutely not unconstitutional.
All of the powers of the government set out in the Canadian Constitution can be challenged by a resolution of this Parliament. Parliament is free—and this is the very purpose of opposition days—to speak out and suggest actions to the Prime Minister and the government, even within areas that are essentially their responsibility under the Constitution.
The NDP motion fully meets these criteria. It absolutely cannot be judged procedurally out of order. As for its content, it is similar to any proposal that might be made, for instance calling upon the Prime MInister to dismiss members of his Cabinet. That is his responsibility, but it could be done and the government should accept the motion, whether in good faith or not.
I therefore feel we should put an end to this discussion, accept the NDP motion and proceed with the debate.