Letters to the Editor

Readers debate MP controversy

A maelstrom of public controversy and debate has been created with the allegation that the Conservatives attempted to buy the vote of former Surrey MP Chuck Cadman. - FILE PHOTO / THE LEADER
A maelstrom of public controversy and debate has been created with the allegation that the Conservatives attempted to buy the vote of former Surrey MP Chuck Cadman.
— image credit: FILE PHOTO / THE LEADER

Colour me more than just a bit cynical over the recent furor regarding Chuck Cadman.

Contrary to media reports, and the assertions of Cadman’s family, I don’t think it was a matter of the Conservatives trying to “buy” his vote.

As a Reform/Alliance Party MP, Chuck Cadman’s political ideology was the polar opposite of the federal Liberals. He worked his entire career trying to defeat the LPC and undo their damaging policies on criminal justice.

Here’s a quote from Mr. Cadman regarding his feelings toward the LPC.

“This was a wake-up call for the Liberals. Their arrogance has given way to complacency and a sense that they can do what they want with little or no consequence. Well, today that arrogance caught up with them,” says Surrey North MP Chuck Cadman. “All of their self-righteous protestations about dirty tricks and theatrics don?t hold water. There was absolutely nothing underhanded about what occurred today. The opposition expressed its displeasure with the actions of the government. That is one of the roles of the opposition. The Liberals were embarrassed as well they should be.”

Do these sound like the words of a man who, given a choice, would want to prop up a corrupt, failing Liberal government?

But what if voting his conscience, and for the desires of his constituents, was going to cause hardship to his family? Mr. Cadman knew he had a very short time to live.

What if, in his last act as an MP, he were to have voted in a manner that was entirely consistent with everything done in his political career, but as a result the payout of his insurance policy as an MP would have been greatly diminished?

If Parliament was dissolved as a result of the non-confidence vote, and Mr. Cadman died while out of office, Mr. Cadman’s death benefits would have been dramatically reduced.

According to Liberal Ralph Goodale, “Under the existing parliamentary life insurance plan, if members cease to be MPs they can keep their insurance but the premiums go up and the benefits go down.”

What if the Conservatives, aware of his dilemma, went to Mr. Cadman and offered to ensure that were he to vote his conscience and in a manner that would be consistent with his entire political career, they would make sure that he and his family did not suffer a penalty for doing so.

Sounds very honourable to me.

As for (biography author) Mr. Zytaruk, how much profit will he stand to make from this controversy? If indeed he believed that a criminal offence took place three years ago, why didn’t he report it to the police at the time?

Ward Benedict

Surrey

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