June 10, 2003 (37th Parliament, 2nd Session)

LIB

Mac Harb

Liberal

Mr. Mac Harb

Mr. Speaker, some candidates have spent $35 million. I am not sure how we would be serving democracy if we were to open a bank account with unlimited funds in order to get elected. I am not sure what interests would be served other than special interests when it came to spending that kind of money on an election.
After the bill goes to the Senate and is approved, it will be the pride of Canada. Canada is one of the finest democracies in the world and we will be setting an example for the rest to follow. I commend the provinces that have already gone ahead with something like this, in particular the province of Quebec as well as the province of Manitoba.
There will be problems with this legislation. There will be a need to amend the legislation. There will be a need to revisit it. As with other legislation that has gone through the House and the Senate, it has to be reviewed from time to time to make it perfect, to make it even more responsive to the needs of Canadians. Just because we may not like the location of a comma or a period in the legislation, or a paragraph is not in the chapter where we want it, those are not good enough excuses to oppose legislation that at the end of the day will serve the interests of Canada and the interests of Canadians.
There are things I would like to have seen in this legislation, such as making it mandatory for Canadians to vote in an election; in other words, every Canadian must, not can, but must vote with the provision of introducing fines for those who do not vote. I think there will come a time when that suggestion will become law. I hope that it will take place in my lifetime. I hope that we not only ban contributions to political parties but also make voting mandatory so we can better serve democracy and respond to the needs of Canadians even more efficiently.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada Elections Act
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