Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Dona Cadman Story

A few days ago a story broke, Tom Zytaruk, a Vancouver Journalist, related in a soon to be released book that according to Dona Cadman, her dying husband Chuck Cadman, an independent MP for Surrey North was offered a 1 million dollar life insurance policy by Conservatives in exchange for him to bring down the Liberal government. Some Conservatives are denying the offer was ever made. I chose the modifier "some" because not all Conservatives are refuting the story, Dona Cadman just happens to be one of those Conservatives.

Besides that Jodi Cadman, Chuck Cadman's daughter, and her husband are also stating Mr. Cadman talked to each of them seperatly about the alleged offer, the fact that Dona Cadman is the Conservative candidate for Surrey North in British Columbia and is suggesting the Conservative Party attempted to bribe her husband has motivated a question that many would like an answer to: Why would Dona Cadman run as a Conservative candidate if they had tried to bribe her dying husband? Reporters have yet to either ask that question or publish any answer to it, however even if an answer was given by Ms. Cadman I suggest it too would be questioned.

I personally had thought that since Chuck Cadman was fairly Conservative, and indeed almost ran as one, and his wife shared many of his beliefs, that she made the difficult decision of choosing to run based on what she believed was for the greater good. And indeed this perhaps was the case as quoted on her Conservative election website:

"Chuck and I had been talking and there was still some things that had to be done, so I'm carrying on his legacy," she said Tuesday....

It was a hard decision to make, she said. "There was a few sleepless nights," Dona told the Now. "Running for a party, especially the Conservatives, you know it was a thorn in Chuck's side, so it was sort of a hard thing to decide but you need the party to back you if you want to do something, and running as an independent I wouldn't get that backing.

"I need the party behind me to make any changes and they're going to be a majority government this time around, as far as I can see. Running as an independent is not going to give me the leverage that I need to make changes."

Dona Cadman wants to "toughen" up the Youth Criminal Justice Act, and advocates stiffer sentencing and doing away with conditional sentencing for violent crimes. She also wants Chuck's street racing bill and VIN bill - which would make tampering with vehicle ID numbers a criminal offence punishable by up to five years in jail - passed in their pristine form."

I believe as this was written in 2006, does attempt to answer the question of why Dona Cadman would run as a Conservative. She chose to be a Conservative candidate even after the alleged bribe to her dying husband because she is conservative, and so was her husband. To carry out his legacy, she did what she thought was best.

If possible doubt still remains about Dona's best intentions, possible support could be seen in this old electionprediction.org forum post (half way down, numbered 24 11 05):
During Chuck Cadman's funeral, Paul Martin vowed that he will pass two of Chuck Cadman's private member bills on auto crime and street racing. The introduction of bill C-64 and C-65 was supposed to do just that, but after reviewing the wording of C-64 and C-65, Dona Cadman told a certain MP that "it would create Mickey Mouse legislation that would protect the criminals".

I believe Dona Cadman chose to run as a Conservative to fulfill Chuck's legacy. Both of these people are conservative, and as Dona noted, she believed she had to join a Party to make it happen. Though Dona doesn't go into details about having to make the hard decision, I see it as quite logical that she felt she did what she had to do to honour the greater vision of Chuck Cadman.

To go off on a slight tangent, besides the lesser known fact on Dona's site, that Chuck Cadman died on her birthday, what is interesting is that if one scrolls to the bottom of the page I referenced from her site, one sees that the whole release was written by Tom Zytaruk. The very same Tom Zytaruk that wrote Chuck's biography and broke the story of bribe allegations. This isn't that big of a surprise considering since 1992 Tom Zytaruk had been a friend of the Cadman's (source), yet I can't say it is something I had expected. Zytaruk had also written another story on Dona shortly after.

Lastly of peculiar interest, the meaning behind Tom Zytaruk's title for the biography, "Like A Rock: The Chuck Cadman Story," is alluded to in this old CTV story I found:

"He was once mistaken for a janitor in his own Parliament Hill office. He would crank up the office stereo, plunk his feet on the desk and listen to the Eagles or Bob Seger.

His favourite song, Seger's Like a Rock, is a fitting narrative for a story of survival through triumph and tragedy."

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