Thursday, February 28, 2008

Are Canadians Getting it Yet?

With each passing day, a little more of who and what the Con's really represent seeps out. Some days it has to do with what I consider to be bad or dangerous policy, on other's it has more to do with the character of the Party and it's members.

Today, it's the latter. By now I'm sure all of you have read or heard the Chuck Cadman story. Allegedly, Tom Flanagan and Doug Findlay, offered Mr. Cadman a $1,000,000.00 life insurance policy to change his famous vote on May 19, 2005. Dona Cadman has corroborated the story (her interview here below the article).

"The Tories actually walked in with a list of offers written down on a piece of paper. Included in their proposal was a $1-million life insurance policy - no small carrot for a man with advanced cancer," the book states.
Dona Cadman, who is now running for the Conservatives in the Vancouver-area riding of Surrey North, was not in the office at the time. But she says her husband was furious when he returned to their apartment. "Chuck was really insulted," she said in a telephone interview with The Globe yesterday. "He was quite mad about it, thinking they could bribe him with that."

You know, I thought it was pretty low when Harper and gang referred to some members of Parliament being Taliban sympathisers, lower still when he tried to tie Navdeep Bains to the Air India affair, but the thought of bribing a dying man with $1M worth of life insurance is about as disgusting as it gets.

Should we be surprised? Under normal circumstances yes, but there is nothing normal about the Con's, these Con's. Beginning with the Grewal Affair, it's pretty clear that there are some ugly elements in that party. There of course have been other allegations of this sort. Allegedly Jim Hart was offered something to step aside for Stockwell Day, Ezra Levant, same thing, to step aside for Stephen Harper and Allan Riddell apparently had a deal with the con's for $50,000. to step aside for Alan Cutler. I don't think anything has been proven in the first two cases, though an Ontario Superior Court Judge did rule that there was a deal made in the Riddell case. To be clear, Riddell didn't receive the money because the Con's reneged on the deal.

Anyway, all of that to say there is an unusual, disturbing pattern here. Not surprisingly, Harper is denying all of this and stating that Cadman himself admitted himself that no offer was made. He's depending on a tape of Cadman when he speaks to Mike Duffy. Harper claims that Cadman clearly says that this allegation never took place. Let's look at what Mr. Cadman actually said shall we?

Duffy opens by noting that Craig Oliver reported that Cadman had been visited by Conservative operatives ...and they were prepared to offer you an unopposed nomination if you would vote with them and also help out with campaign financing and so on.

Cadman: Well, there was some talk about that as far as the unopposed nomination, you know, there was, the discussion did come up, yea, yea.

Duffy: So they were making an offer to you and in the end you refused.

Cadman: Yea, well you know that was the only offer on anything that I had from anybody so you know there was no offers on the table up to that point from any Party.

Where does Cadman say that nothing else was discussed? In fact he says the unopposed conversation came up, which implies that much more was discussed, does it not? He does say that was the only offer on the table, but, he never once told Duff all that the offer entailed. Listen for yourself here, first clip on the Duffy show.

I guess the most puzzling piece in all of this is that by Harper claiming that Cadman himself cleared everything up, he's suggesting that Dona Cadman is lying. She's running for Harper for heavens sake. To be honest, I find it odd that she is running for the Con's given how upset she said her husband was with the Party. Obviously, like all of us, she thinks for herself, but it's still odd. Believing that the Party you want to represent tried to bribe your husband, in what I would term an exploitative manner, perplexes me.

So, I'm back to where I started this post. How long exactly will it be before Canadians catch on to what this Party really is all about? Watching excerpts of CTV tells me it's going to be a while. Robert Fife started the dismissive, defend Harper parade first thing this morning on Canada AM. Later newscasters like Dan Matheson picked up the baton and finally it was passed to Mike Duffy who carried on the defense as you've seen in the above clip.

As long as this un-objective reporting goes on, Canadians are not being respected enough to make their own judgement. By that I mean, if you choose to watch FOX News, you know what you are getting. CTV is presented to the nation as non-bias and while some of it is and even some of their reporters are, it's clear much of it is not.

I spoke with an ethical reporter today, (whose identity I will respect), who suggested that it might be time for those in the business who do not want to be painted with the bias brush, to speak out about reporting that is not balanced. Let us hope that individual is successful in that plight.

Harper Tape - here
Article re' Cadman's daughter - here


ottlib said...

A quote from my blog of yesterday:

"Your government will be slowly eaten away by events beyond your control (Hello Linda Keen!)."

Now Chuck and Dona Cadman.

Ladies and gentlemen I give you exhibit A.

I had no idea that my assertion would be demonstrated so quickly.

Karen said...

Indeed ottlib. Good on you!

I too thought a day is long time in politics and the focus will shift. I confess I had no idea it would happen so quickly.

Steve at Far and Wide raises an interesting point. In a personal conversation with Cadman, Mike Duffy refers to him being worried about finances for his family and by being an MP, he is guaranteed some sort of life insurance. I want to know what that policy was and whether or not the Con's sought to top it up so to speak.

This heinous stuff is it not?

ottlib said...

Let's not over think this.

The words "Conservative", "bribe" and "dying man" were used in the same sentence today. That is exceedingly bad news for Mr. Harper.

Governments rarely get into trouble over the big issues. Instead they are usually pecked to death by ducks.

This story, the Keen story other small stories that have been arising over the last few months and will occur in the future will inevitably begin to weigh on the Conservatives. Indeed, the fact the Conservatives have been below the Liberals in the polls a couple of times since mid-December would seem to indicate the ducks have made significant progress.

Not to flog a dead horse but today just further hardens my resolve that the Liberals should not topple the government just yet.

Let the ducks do their work!!

Gayle said...

KNB - tonight Fife said that Cadman denied he was offered a bribe in his interview with Duffy. This is, of course, a complete mischaracterization of that interview. Cadman was never asked if he was offered any bribe, so how could he deny it.

The saving grace was that then Craig Oliver was interviewed and he obviously has a different take on this than Fife. Oliver suggested this story has legs. He did have the benefit of listening to the taped interview of Harper by the authour of the book in question, which raises more questions about this entire thing.

By the way, apparently there was no con MP available to speak on Don Newman today on this topic. Only one MP has been permitted to speak about this, and he was on Duffy of course.

wilson said...

'which implies that much more was discussed, does it not?'

I'm sure there were other things discussed. Cadman was with the party since the Reform days.
And believe it or not, Conservatives are human beings too, with emotions and everything.

OK knb, make me a believer that the evil CPC offered Cadman $1million to vote no, once.

-Cadman already had an MP life insurance policy. If he crossed the floor, he would still have an MP life insurance policy.
Is offering him something he already has a bribe?

-Duffy said Cadman would not risk his life insurance policy, by taking a chance at losing his riding in an election,
so he was going to vote with the Libs.

So if Cadman lost his riding
a) how would the CPC magically get life insurance for a terminally ill man?
b) if by some miracle they could, how would the CPC get $1m past the auditors and elections canada?
c) how many co-conspirators would it take to perform this dastardly deed, don't forget Dona would have to be in on the scam?

ottlib said...


Paul Martin was exonerated in Adscam.

Did that save him? Did it prevent Conservatives from saying he was up to his ears in the scam?

Of course not.

As I stated before. Three words were used in the same sentence today that will spell some trouble for the Conservatives.

It is an unfortunate fact of politics that when a scandal breaks the facts rarely get in the way of it.

However, it is funny to listen to Conservatives try to diffuse a Conservative scandal by trying to use fact based arguments. That is exactly how Liberals tried to diffuse Adscam.

Payback is a bitch isn't Wilson?

The Mound of Sound said...

Wilson doesn't get it. It's not the political parties who furnish the insurance coverage but the government itself. Hence there was nothing by way of a parliamentary policy (how much is that for anyway?) for the Cons to "offer." Whatever was tossed out, Dona claims she and Chuck considered it a bribe. Now Chuck Cadman was no dummy. If the insurance policy was offered to him as security in case an election was called and he wound up dying before the vote and therefore lost his parliamentary insurance coverage it's still a bribe. Harper's earlier comments show he was clearly aware of the inducements.

KNB - how do you tie Flanagan into this? Remember who the BC Czar of the Tories was at that time, the same guy who whored out Emerson.

Karen said...

gayle, can you lead me to the Oliver interview? What show or when on the CTV newscast was that on?

As to commentary from the Con's, yes, only James Moore was allowed and only on CTV. He, like Prentice was supposed to be one the 'very well liked and respected' MP's, by all sides. He too now seems to have been thrown to the wolves. Sad really. They are eating their own.

Gayle said...

KNB - it was on CTV newsnet at 7:00 pm Edmonton time. I assume it will also be on the national news but I could be mistaken.

They played the tape of the interview between the authour and Harper and Oliver commented that it was clear from the interview there had been a discussion about insurance with Cadman, and that this was about more than campaign finance.

Gayle said...

If you go here you can probably play it (it will not play on my computer). They link to it under the lead story.

wilson said...

ms 'If the insurance policy was offered to him as security in case an election was called and he wound up dying before the vote'

Cadman had MP life insurance already.
Are you saying that MPs lose their benefits during an election campaign?

Ottlib : Payback is a bitch isn't Wilson?

I say go for it. Notice that the Dippers and Bloc let Libs go off all on their own today in QP?

Yah, Libs were able to throw mud at the Cons, but not without bringing down the folk hero reputation of Cadman.
It's now common knowledge that Cadman voted Lib to save his life insurance policy, not because his constituents didn't want an election, but because he didn't.
(wonder why he didn't accept the alleged offer then??)

Will the mud stick?
If you can make Canadians believe that and insurance company will write a new life insurance policy on a terminally ill man, yes.

Karen said...

Thanks and well done gayle.

Here's the link. Go to the right and look for the Craig Oliver interview clip.

Karen said...

wilson, with respect, you are making me dizzy here and I'm not sure how you are able to sit on your chair at the rate it is spinning.

I'm not sure you mean what you are saying. I hope you don't.

No one and I mean no one, has suggested that he, Cadman, voted anything else but his conscience. He had an insurance policy. The implication now is that the Con's would top it up by a million dollars. Pretty crass stuff.

Don't talk to me how they would be able to hide it. You guys have been filibustering the in and out scheme in committee for months. To badly quote an old TV show, "we have our way's".

To be frank, I almost feel sorry for all you die hards. You've defended Harper through all of his inpropriaties and it must be wearing on you.

Ad-Scam was not good for this country, but Chantal Hebert, at this point a Harper defender it must be said, once said, "A mouse of an affair got the better of a political elephant"

The mouse has fled and now the elephant is in the Con room my friend and it's wearing Tory bleu.

ottlib said...

I saw the Craig Oliver's report on the 11 O'clock news.

There is a clear audio conversation with Stephen Harper's voice saying some "financial considerations" were part of the effort to secure Mr. Cadman's vote.

Ouch. Stephen Harper cannot even claim deniability on this issue because of that recording.

This little scandal will be damaging to the Conservatives although the jury is still out as to how damaging. However, what Conservatives should really be worried about is any potential damage to Stephen Harper himself.

It is a well known secret that Conservative strategy is to put Mr. Harper front and centre during the next election. If he is damaged by the perception that he might have had some knowledge about offering financial inducements to a fellow MP for his vote, that could put a serious dent in that strategy.

This was shaping up to be just another scandal and not a very big one at that. However, when I heard those words spoken by Mr. Harper it added a whole now dimension to this scandal.

The next few days could be very interesting.

Karen said...

MoS, did I seem uncertain on that? Apologies if I did. No, I think Flanagan is up to his neck in this stuff and he had the audacity to write about some of it.

His arrogance was his belief that this country had turned a corner and with Harper at the helm, we were all going to see how the right was right, given time.

He omitted what time would reveal about who he supported and more importantly, he omitted just how disingenuous he and the entire Con aim was.

Perhaps omitted in the last bit is the wrong word. He wrote a narrative that leaves out the important, relevant, behind the real scenes bits. He expected his book to be a tell all. In a sense it is, but not in the way he imagined.

Steve V said...

I wonder if Fife ran that CTV video over to the PMO's office today. That guy was an absolute disgrace today.

Karen said...

Ottlib, I read some transcript this morning that put Harper there. I uppose that is why I came out swinging today.

Yes, this will go on. The Ethics Committee and the RCMP have now been discharged to do their duty.

This has legs ottlib and personally, I do not think they are hollow.

Steve V said...

CP story:

And there's a tape circulating that suggests then-opposition leader Stephen Harper was not only aware of a financial offer to Chuck Cadman but gave it his blessing.

Cameron Diaz doesn't have legs like this ;)

Karen said...

Steve, Fife was awful as was Matheson, whom I've come to loathe Duffy I just expect it from.

Diaz's legs? Lol, well said.

Karen said...

Oh, wilson, I think you mentioned that only the Lib's were going after your pure and innocent one's today. I think you should check the record.

The NDP, Martin did and I'm not sure but I bet the Bloq even had a question in there somewhere.

btw, the RCMP have started their investigation.

Anonymous said...

"No, I think Flanagan is up to his neck in this stuff and he had the audacity to write about some of it."


Seriously I know you dislike Flanagan but do you think an academic from Calgary would have the audacity to go to Surrey and get someone a life insurance policy? He may be an ideologue but Flanagan can't cheat his way out of a paper bag. I've dealt with him in the past, same profession. The real slimeballs are more local and have knowledge of BC politics.

I support Mound of Sound's thesis. There were two meetings, one on the day of the vote with Finley and Flanagan. Things were offered which did not include the million dollar life insurance policy, but the incentives were good enough. The one two days before the vote in Surrey needs to be considered. We have hints on who the two were. One was responsible for getting a certain Grit former cabinet minister to cross the floor. You may suggest that Finley and Flanagan may be the main perpetrator, but something like this requires a hatchet man. A hatchet man who thrives in rough and tumble gutter politics.

RuralSandi said...

Now, would anyone in their right minds think that Finlay and Flanigan would admit to a bribe and/or damage their big leader Harper?

Also, Van Loan said that their stories about the situation were "exactly" the same. "Exactly"? Sounds rehearsed to me.

H/T to The Scott Ross - confirmation from Cadman's daugther:

He just said, 'I have something to tell you,' and he told me that he was offered a life insurance policy, that my mom and myself would be taken care of," Jodi Cadman said.

"When he told me, actually I have to admit, I burst into tears because the position he was put in," she said.

"To turn down the thought that my mom and me would maybe be taken care of financially at a time when there was no gain for himself broke my heart that he was put in that position."
CBC goes on to state that as Chuck Cadman related this offer to his family, Jodi suggests that her father felt he couldn't go public with the possible bribe:
Cadman's daughter, Jodi Cadman, told CBC News that her father, a B.C. member of Parliament who was battling cancer at the time, discussed the offer with her and her mother because he couldn't talk about it publicly.


Karen said...

Mushroom, I presume you are referring to Reynolds?

You may be right, but I wouldn't exclude Flanagan in the planning.

Today we learned that MP's are entitled to transfer their insurance policy's to a private one through Industrial Alliance Insurance. It's very expensive however and the premiums go up while benefits are reduced. Is it possible that the Con's arranged to take of that for Cadman and that was the deal?

If so, that's pretty dry administrative stuff that certainly Flanagan could be responsible for. I suppose we're going to have to wait to see what more comes out.

Karen said...

It's really a sad story Sandi. Thanks for the update. I'll add links.

Anonymous said...

"Is it possible that the Con's arranged to take of that for Cadman and that was the deal?"

That could be a possibility. Many were floating around including Cadman returning to the Conservative fold and having the Cons not fielding a candidate in the next election in Surrey North.

It would be a difficult choice for the Cadmans. He had long time friends from the Reform days and many felt Chuck was cheated out of the nomination from Gurmant Grewal's people. In the end, Chuck stuck to the guns and listened to his constituents. The irony is that most CPC MPs act like automatons these days, led by a robotic fat boy who has the heart of a Tin Man.