Chair, I have been listening to the discussion. In the past Parliament, Chair, I thought you were always in a very awkward position, being chair of the steering committee while being the government representative as well.
Here in the committee you're expected to be neutral. You're expected to listen to all sides of the debate. You're expected to make neutral rulings. The scenario was very different when it came to the steering committee. You were expected to represent the government side. You were expected to vote in favour of the government side and chair the meeting at the same time. I always found that to be a conflict.
My proposal at the time was not that the parliamentary secretary be on the steering committee, but that a government member be on the steering committee. My point was that we were clearly outvoted on the steering committee.
In the past, if a government member had been present on the steering committee, that would have freed you up to act in a neutral capacity, to be the chair of both the steering committee and of the main committee. There would have been no conflict at all. Clearly we would have been outvoted 3:1 on the steering committee. It was rejected every single time.
We have an opportunity now, Chair, to make you independent, so that as chair you can preside over both our agriculture meetings and the steering committee. We should take this opportunity to do so. That better represents the makeup of the House today, and that is the aim of committee. That's why the committee member numbers are the way they are today. The numbers reflect the makeup of the House. The steering committee should do the same thing.
Also, if there is a tie, the chair must break the tie. That is the way it works here, and it's the way it should work in steering committee as well. I don't think it's good policy to have four people sitting in a committee on which the chair is expected to also act on the government side, to vote on the government side. Then what would we have? We would have a tie that nobody could break. That doesn't make any sense to me.
I understand what my colleagues are saying, but that's my line of reasoning. It is a reasonable approach. I imagine we're going to end up voting on it, although my colleague wants to raise a point as well.