Mr. Speaker, on the same question of privilege, I am quite surprised by the position the government is taking. Apparently, the Liberal caucus reached a decision that the law did not apply to it and because it made the decision, the law does not apply. I would be very interested if the hon. member could provide the legal rationale.
As a member of this place who was part of the discussion and debate on the Reform Act to change the rules under the Parliament of Canada Act, I have consistently bemoaned, and I know it may or may not be a matter for the Speaker to look at this, the larger question of how much power leaders of organized parties that are recognized have over the conduct of their individual members. However, the principle of Westminster democracy in this place is that all members are equal and the Prime Minister is merely first among equals.
I assumed, when we passed the Parliament of Canada Act and the amendments found in section 49, that the recognized parties would comply with the requirements of section 49 in the Parliament of Canada Act and that surely they applied to every party once the law was passed and in place. It is quite distressing to hear now from this member that the caucus decided for itself to ignore the requirements of the law and feels that it has met all the requirements by sending a letter to the Speaker that details the caucus's decision to ignore the law.