Mr. Jay Hill
Mr. Speaker, every member of the Reform Party could go on and on at great length about the lack of real representation that has come from the opposite side of the House over the life that we have been here which is only one Parliament for most of us with the exception of our deputy leader.
This Liberal government is not representing the wishes of its constituents by and large. Something interesting was pointed out in the 35th Parliament which I am sure we are going to see repeated in the 36th Parliament. Time and time again when a member who sits on the government side truly tries to represent the best interests and the wishes of his or her constituents, if those interests run contrary to the position of the government or that of the cabinet and the prime minister, what happens?
What happens with the old parties? We saw it under the Mulroney Tories before the Liberals. Members of Parliament were disciplined, at times even thrown out of their parties for trying to represent the interests of their constituents. That is also what happens with the Liberal Party. We saw that in the last Parliament with the hon. member for York South—Weston when he tried to represent his constituents.
He ran his campaign on the issue of abolishing the GST, as did a lot of members in this House who sit opposite on the government benches. He had the integrity to vote against a budget measure because he said it did not fulfil that campaign promise. He was bitterly disappointed in the government for not taking decisive action, for not living up to its campaign promise. Therefore he voted against it and what happened? He was thrown out of his party and sits now in this House as an independent. It is a credit to him and to the Canadian electorate in his riding that it re-elected him as an independent. It is a tough job to get elected as an independent.
The question dealt specifically with the representation provided by Reformers versus the representation of Liberals and Tories and the other parties in this place. I suggest that we really need some reform of this place. We need to see many more free votes in this place, real free votes, where individuals regardless of partisan political stripe can really represent the interests of their constituents.
Backbench Liberal MPs I believe if they were not so muzzled by the party discipline in the Liberal Party would be crying out along with us for those types of reforms so that they can really represent the interests of their constituents and not worry that the big broad axe is going to fall on their necks and they are going to be publicly disciplined and chastised by their leadership and perhaps even ultimately thrown out of their party.
I spoke earlier in my remarks before question period about the fact that Reform is in this House despite the fact that in the last Parliament they said we would not be back. But we are back and we are going to continue to come back until this place is reformed and we have real democracy in this House of Commons.
Subtopic: Speech From The Throne