Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Cadman Story: The Evil Men Do

Imagine being told you have cancer and you are going to die. Instead of wallowing in self pity you continue to work as a representative of the people. While receiving chemotherapy you continue to provide for your family. You don't think of your impending death, but only of the thought that you are leaving your loved ones alone, without their husband and without their father. As you get weaker and your time becomes shorter, you worry about how your wife and daughter will get by. The only hope you do have, is that when you do die, you die as a sitting MP so your family gets some insurance money. I for one can't imagine that. I can't imagine having my only hope being to die before losing office just so my family will be able to get by without me.

I can't. Perhaps it's because I am too selfish or perhaps it's because I'm not in that situation, all I know is that when I first heard of Chuck Cadman, an Independent MP for Surrey North who was diagnosed with Cancer, putting his loved ones first, I thought that was one of the most noble things a person could do.

In 2004 Mr. Cadman was diagnosed with cancer, and continued to serve his constituents as one of the most memorable MPs Canada has ever had, known particular for his ponytail and blue jeans. In 2005 when the Liberal government under Paul Martin was facing defeat, Chuck Cadman changed the course of history. Shortly after a round of intensive chemotherapy, Cadman flew to Ottawa to vote in support of the government. The result was a vote of 152-152, which in that rare situation of a tie, allowed the Liberal Speaker of the House to vote in the governments favour, and thus allowed the government to survive. Chuck Cadman remained an MP until he died two months later.

Today a story relating to that crucial 2005 vote has broke. A book that is soon to be released, Like A Rock: The Chuck Cadman Story written by Tom Zytaruk has put forth that two Conservative officials met with Cadman days before the vote and offered him a million dollar life insurance plan in return for him to vote down the Liberal government. Dona Cadman, Chuck Cadman's widow has collaberated the story, recalling the night of the meeting and Chuck's outrage at them for thinking they could bribe him.

Now Chuck Cadman was not rich, and he worried constantly about how his family would live on without him. Mike Duffy on CTV today emphasized such a fact, recalling a private conversation he had with Cadman where he shared his worries about if there was an election and he lost, his family wouldn't receive the full Member of Parliament's insurance plan. The Conservative Party knew this, though they deny an offer of insurance was made, they fully admit they made offers knowing that Cadman had concerns over his finances.

If the attempt to bribe this dying man with money for his family is true, and I believe the evidence does suggest it is, the actions of those two Conservatives and whoever else was involved, then not only was it an illegal act of bribery committed, but those men committed a gross immoral act, upon the likes that border the worst men are possible of.

If it is true, the thought that two Conservative officials, that two human beings could attempt to use a dying man's worries of his family's finances to their own self interest to pursue some political goal, is disgusting. The attempt of bribery was wrong and illegal, the attempt to corrupt a dying man's morals by using his family's financial situation as leverage is evil.

h/t to Far And Wide for bringing today's Mike Duffy to my attention.

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