Hon. Ed Broadbent (Ottawa Centre, NDP)
Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to rise and speak in defence of Bill C-251. It is a bill designed to strengthen the rights of the citizens of Canada, the men and women who vote in all our various constituencies. The bill is not designed to strengthen the political authority of political parties as the parliamentary secretary said.
In fact, I was quite amused to hear the parliamentary secretary propose certain reform measures that would strengthen the role of MPs in committees. He said that the government had already done great things in this regard.
I can say to the hon. member that it is really bizarre to hear a member of the Liberal government talk about democratic reform. First of all, the reforms the member is talking about I first heard when I was here in 1968. Thirty-seven years ago the Liberals were talking about doing this, and the government is still talking about doing it.
As I recall, It is the same Liberal Party that when a candidate of Chinese Canadian background in Vancouver was all set to become a candidate through a democratic process in the recent election, the Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Martin, named the president of the Liberal Party in British Columbia over--
Topic: Private Members' Business
Subtopic: Parliament of Canada Act