February 28, 1928 (16th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Agnes Campbell Macphail



Yes. The Liberal party benefited very much from having brought down for the consideration of the house legislation which met the approval of the countiy. That is what accounts for the Liberal majority in the house to-day. I do not need to tell them; I do not think they can deny this.
Before I proceed further let me say something about our idea. We are here not to

The Budget-Miss Macphail
work as a party. In that awful session of 1926 we were accused every day of being Grits or Tories although as a matter of fact we were neither. We are not interested either in Liberals or Conservatives, except, personally; as a party we are interested in neither. We want such amendments in the rules and usages of the house as will enable new groups to function; that is, we want to come closer to having representative government than we have had it before. WTe believe that questions should be debated on their merits, that private members should be free to vote on legislation on its merits; and more than that, that private members should be able to introduce legislation and that this house should be free^ to vote on the merits of such legislation. As it is now, legislation is all cornered by the government, and only the legislation which the government approves of stands any chance of getting through this house.
A very considerable number of people in the country believe what we believe. They believe that our present system [DOT] of government is outworn, that it possibly served its day, but that day is over, and they want such amendments in the rules and usages of parliament as will cause it more closely to resemble a representative institution. For instance, take the budget which the Minister of Finance has brought down. Whose budget is it? Is it the budget of the House of Commons?

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