Wednesday, February 27, 2008

CBC: Cadman offered bribe

Chuck Cadman was a principled person. When he lost his son in a vicious murder, he fought back the only way he knew how; by running for Parliament. When the Reform Party expelled him, he ran as an independent and still won.

Cadman insisted his decision to keep Paul Martin on life support was based on his consulting his constitutents. It might not be that simple after all.

In the spring of 2005, as we all remember, Belinda Stronach made a dramatic switch from the Conservatives to the Liberals, after Stronach understood what most progressives already did; that Stephen Harper was no moderate nor did he have any intention of taking the party to the centre. But her vote wasn't enough to uphold that year's budget. Paul Martin needed one more vote to survive; Harper needed one vote to go to the polls. That vote was Cadman's.

It's amazing the things that can happen when a single person holds the balance of power.

CBC reports tonight (no link yet as they claim it's an "exclusive" story) that as claimed in a biography of Cadman's life, a couple of Conservative party officials offered to welcome the ailing Cadman back to the party if he voted against the budget and forced an election. In exchange, said the report, Cadman was offered a $1 million life insurance policy.

Cadman's widow, reports Keith Boag, says Chuck was so offended that his mind was made up right there. It was not worth dignifying. He would vote with Martin.

The family could have used the money, because as we know Chuck died some time later. But it takes a lot to refuse something like that. Most of us probably would not.

Problem: If the allegations in the biography are true, then Cadman was offered an inducement which is against the law. There's no way of knowing for sure whether such an offer was ordered by Harper, but this would definitely go against any sense of the "clean" government or opposition that Harper was and is trying to cultivate.

We're still waiting on Elections Canada to find out if the Conservatives may have violated elections law. The notion they may have tried to force an election by paying someone off, an officer of Parliament no less, is shuddering.

Something Karl Rove would be very proud of.

UPDATE (11:27 pm EST, 0427 GMT Thursday): The G&M have posted the story on their website -- probably this will be a Page One story in the print edition tomorrow. What I find disturbing is Harper's admission that the two thugs were representing the party "legitimately." I'd like to see Harper explain how making an offer like this is legitimate.

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1 comment:

Justin Socie said...

Wow. Cadman really was a principled guy. One of the few who give politicians a good name.