Cross-partisan support for publicly funded federal parties

Elizabeth May

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Terrebonne.

I am absolutely in favour of this bill. The process for a bill such as this affords me my only opportunity in the House to speak at second reading stage.

It is clear that public funding is the best way to finance political parties. It is also clear that this bill will put in place a system where everyone knows that their vote counts.

I urge my Liberal colleagues to pass the bill, so we can get it to committee. This is the system that was put in place by the right hon. Jean Chrétien. It was removed by Stephen Harper. We were told that it was removed because taxpayer funds should not be going to political parties. There are three ways that taxpayers’ funds used to go to political parties. Stephen Harper removed the one that was fair, directed by taxpayers, and required the least amount of public funding.

Does my friend, the member for Terrebonne, have any indication that we will have support within the House, across the aisle, to restore the system put in place by the right hon. Jean Chrétien, even with some amendments that I would want at committee?

Michel Boudrias – Member for Terrebone

Madam Speaker, I hope so. Virtue, good deeds, and good political decisions are not the exclusive domain of a single party. I think that good ideas can come from across the spectrum and that we must draw from what is good and what was good in the past. With regard to the legislation that was passed by the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien, I think that it transcended party lines and was a good measure and a good way to break free from the unfortunate situation with the sponsorship scandal. Today, I cannot speak to the government’s intentions, but I know that my colleagues have a great deal of interest in and attachment to democratic values. Regardless where they come from, good ideas and good bills transcend party lines.