Yes, the member was elected but he is in favour of this motion. I do not understand why those members want to use a referendum when they have been elected to make a choice and provide their views.
I will tell the House why that party wants to abolish the Senate. It wants to abolish the Senate because tit is a fringe party. It never listens to Canadians. It will never form a government and, because of that, it will never have an opportunity to put anybody in the Senate. Henceforth, it comes up with this far-fetched idea to abolish the Senate. If those members would talk to their constituents they would tell them.
Our government recognized that there was a democratic deficit in this country so the minister introduced the democratic representative bill. The House of Commons bill is based on representation by the people. We find that certain provinces are under-represented in the House and that is not fair. As a result, the minister brought in a new bill to balance the number of representatives in the House of Commons who speak for the people of Canada based on population. That is the right thing to do.
This government introduced that bill. We did not hear anything from those members, nor did we hear anything from the Liberals. Both parties want this unbalanced representation to continue. The Bloc, which is just a fringe party from Quebec, has put forward an amendment indicating that it wants its 25%, or whatever percentage it has. It does not recognize the fact that this is representation based on population, not based on a quota like that party wants. It is natural for this House to reflect on all of Canada, not what the Bloc wants. The Bloc, unfortunately, is in the same position as the NDP. It will never form government and, therefore, will never put anybody in the Senate.
I want to be realistic about this. We have done two things that are critically important to reforming the Senate. We must go step by step to reform the Senate. We all know that opening up the Constitution will never work. A referendum to abolish the Senate will never work for the simple reason that it is a constitutional issue and the provinces will not agree.
The members seem to have forgotten one thing. A change in the Constitution requires the approval of the provinces. The members sitting there have no power over these things. The provinces will not agree to whatever they are talking about for abolishing the Senate. Therefore, what is the whole purpose of going through an exercise that we know will be a total failure? It will fail because the provinces will not agree to what has been discussed.
We all know what happens once we open the Constitution, so we first need to look for practical solutions. The first practical solution requires elections to be held in the provinces compelling the premiers to listen to the voices of their citizens on who should represent them in the Senate, not who is to be appointed by the Prime Minister. It was our Prime Minister who came up with the idea of an election.
I will give an example. I was in Alberta when the first senators who were elected were from Alberta. I was part and parcel of the election campaign that took place. Senator Waters was the first one elected. The Conservative prime minister at the time, Brian Mulroney, accepted the will of the people of Alberta and put him into the Senate. The triple-E Senate was promoted by Senator Brown.
When Premier Ralph Klein held the Senate elections, there were three or four candidates for two seats. It was one of the best campaigns we have seen with people right across the province giving their views on what the Senate should be. The people of Alberta made a choice as to who would represent them in the Senate and they gave two names. Who was the prime minister at the time? It was Prime Minister Chrétien, who, of course, totally ignored the wishes of the people. This is why this bill is very important so that we have elections for senators that are based in the provinces, not according to the Constitution.
We can ask any Albertan who went through that Senate election and we will hear how exciting it was for them to have people who want to be senators actually stand and tell them what they will do. We are very proud that Senator Brown was chosen by the people of Alberta. When our Prime Minister became the Prime Minister he listened to Albertans and put Senator Bert Brown into the Senate. We are very proud to have his contribution in the Senate.
I want to talk about a term limit of eight years. We have all heard stories of people who are not elected and, if they are not elected it is quite natural that they have a term limit.
Our bill on term limits would give the people of Canada a chance after eight years to choose who will represent them in the Senate. Do the members not think that is the right approach and the right way to do it?