Sunday, March 16, 2008

"It was common knowledge among Tory MPs at the time that Mr. Cadman was concerned about his life insurance policy."

One of the chief defences for the Conservatives, the idea that Chuck Cadman, a dying man, was offered a life insurance policy, is simply illogical. Apologists point to the fact that no company would offer a terminally ill man life insurance, that fact alone renders the charges ridiculous. An interesting article today on the Cadman affair, which extracts a few interesting quotes from former MP's, who aren't under the gag order, so common with these new Conservatives. Here is what a couple of Cadman's former colleagues think of the story:
Some of Mr. Hanger’s old colleagues from the Reform days — former MPs who knew Mr. Cadman well — believe that someone offered Mr. Cadman something, and that the powers that be in the Conservative party will try to prevent anyone from finding out what.

Randy White and Val Meredith are so confident in the integrity of the Cadmans that they speak about the million-dollar offer as if it were fact.

"It doesn’t surprise me that an attempt was made," Ms. Meredith said in a telephone interview.

"It’s the logical sort of thing to have done."

Mr. White, who persuaded Mr. Cadman to run for the Reform party in the first place, has no doubt an offer was made.

"If Chuck Cadman says someone made him an offer like that, an offer like that was made," he said.

"Chuck Cadman was not in any way, shape or form the kind of person who would mislead anybody."

Ms. Meredith doesn't think the charges ridiculous, she calls an offer "logical".

The most telling sentence in the article, which might explain why these former MP's accept the insurance bribe as fact:
It was common knowledge among Tory MPs at the time that Mr. Cadman was concerned about his life insurance policy. In the event of an election, if he didn’t run, the policy’s payout to his wife would be cut in half. Some Tories may have wanted to let Mr. Cadman know he shouldn’t worry about that, Mr. Wood (John Reynolds aide) says.

It was "common knowledge" that Cadman had concerns about his life insurance. Within that environment, the ridiculousness of a "financial consideration" becomes far more believable, and this probably explains why former colleagues so easily take the allegation as truth.

It's really common sense. You are trying to secure Cadman's vote, and as such, you are looking for ways to leverage his support. Everyone knows that Cadman's chief concern is the risk in losing half of his insurance policy, as the result of an election. If one wanted to allay those fears, then is it so outlandish to think that his concern might be addressed? We don't need to debate the practicalities of such a policy, all we need to understand, where conditions such, that people might make a financial offer to sway Cadman, alleviate his concerns? Isn't it just WAY too coincidental that everyone knew Cadman was concerned about his life insurance, and then it just so happens that Cadman tells his family that an insurance offer was made?

I find it quite telling, that those who haven't been muzzled by the PMO, people who served with Cadman at the time, partisans, have no problem whatsoever believing an offer was made.


Anonymous said...

Move on...
No legs despite Liberal efforts to make it so
Keep drinking the Liberal bilge...
It will help keep you awake at night looking for the big, bad, evil Conservative bogeyman

Anonymous said...

A lot of people seem very convinced that Dona Cadman would not lie and I don't see a single person questioning her reliability in this matter. Consequently, I tend to believe both her statement that Chuck Cadman said he was offered a million dollar life insurance and that she believed Harper when he said he didn't know. It doesn't mean I believe Harper -- he lied about the offer to Riddell and there certainly is motivation for him to lie in this case as well.

Certainly, if some Conservative(s) tried to bribe Cadman, the party leader had to have some awareness, even if it is simply an understanding to do what is necessary. The tape of Harper suggests it was more detailed than that though.

Loraine Lamontagne said...

Seems to me that no one is afraid of being sued - and losing. The accusations published in the Herald are very serious, and not from persons who prefer to remain anonymous. Contrary to Anonymous at 12:07, there is a lot more legs to this than there were to Dingwall and his $1.29 pack of gum. Remember how much press the Conservatives got with those false accusations.

Steve V said...

"no legs"

Keep telling yourself that, NOBODY is buying, apart from braindead partisans like yourself.

Platty said...

apart from braindead partisans like yourself.

Great comeback there Steve, of course, that would be about the level of intellect we have come to expect from Liberals on this subject.

It's a lot like Dions "You did so"!! argument. Just full of facts and... Oh wait, he doesn't actually have any facts.

All Dion had were his ABC's, that is, until PM Harper showed him the true meaning of SMACKDOWN!!



Blues Clair said...

Interesting that this article was written by STEPHEN MAHER who is usually a faithful Tory partisan.

ottlib said...


When former caucus colleagues of Stephen Harper speak freely and add credence to some of the allegations against the Conservatives in this affair, you should not be so sanguine about how leggy is this story.

Then there is the angle of why these folks decided to even make these statements. You would think that would just say no comment and move on.

However, they seem to have given detailed answers to these questions.

Were they just looking out for Mr. Cadman's reputation or are they displeased that the current Conservative government has strayed so far away from its Reform roots?

Regardless of the answer to that question no Conservative should be happy about former members of the Conservative caucus speaking in ways that give some of these allegations credibility. That is how little scandals become government killers.

Anonymous said...

Harper is a dead man walking. His head has been cut off and he's pretending it is stuck firmly to his neck. But wait until an election. Everybody will be asking about the Zytaruk tape and he won't have an answer. (If he had, he would have given it by now.) He'll have to carry his head under his arm.

I am so looking forward to this.

Anonymous said...

Internals are showing the Liberals down twenty points in Quadra, and losing the Sask seat badly.

Right now Quadra is "too close to call" but my sources are saying we've lost it.

Hang on to your hats, its going to be a rough 36 hours.

Anonymous said...

Anon, I hope you are right. I am sure Harper will do everything in his power to isolate himself from this, although it is difficult to see how, given the tape. I see some Conservatives elsewhere are suggesting that Harper didn't know he was taped, which is likely the case, but legally, one can tape your own conversation with someone.

I keep wondering if Harper has some angle with the libel case where he could neutralize the tape. Not sure how. But it does play a large role in the libel document (you would think the Liberals made the tape!) and even some Conservatives are talking about settling out of court, in which case you will never know who paid whom and what was agreed to.

Anonymous said...


Interesting post.

Nobody is doubting that Cadman was offered "stuff". That part has never been in question. Keep chewing it around if you want.

The partisan differences is only about the "what". If the "what" is lots of stuff, than the answer is illegal. If the "what" is a hearty handshake and a welcome back into the Conservative inner sanctum, the answer is not illegal.

You can keep peddling this if you want, but it is unresolvable. It is also equal to or less than a certain Liberal PM offering a certain CPC backbencher a cabinet appointment for the same vote.


Steve V said...

"but my sources are saying we've lost it."

We've? You mean CPC headquarters. LOL.


"You can keep peddling this if you want, but it is unresolvable"

Oh, I certainly will, because there are still many questions Harper hasn't answered, and ultimately he will be forced too, one way or another.

Again, funny that you are reduced to comparing Harper's actions with Martin, you guys have fallen so far. I take great pleasure in the fall from the self-apointed moral pedestal. No matter what happens, a great development.


Thanks for proving my point with your post, there's about as much electrical activity in your mellon as a no name AA.

Anonymous said...


I think you and me would both be surprised if Harper ends up offering some irrutable evidence, or some deposition (in the law suit), that clears him. However, if we see any real information, that is all we will see because the offer wasn't accepted (whatever it was) so there is no tangible result kicking around.

If you or I had been leading a political party at the time, we would likely have gone to talk with Chuck about the weather, ...and his intentions.

If you or I had been part of a party he use to belong to, we may even have asked about his interest in rejoining the team. None of that is illegal. None of that is even immoral. But that is precisely where this is.

Despite your best intentions, I just don't see this having legs. It is what it is.


Anonymous said...

Since Harper put the tape prominently in his libel case against the LPC, that means it is before the courts. So, does that mean he is not allowed to talk about it? That would be pretty strange during an election:

Q. Explain the tape.
H. I can't discuss that. It's before the courts.
Q. And it is before the courts because you, as Prime Minister, put it there by suing the Liberal Party?
H. Yes, that is my right as a citizen.

I can see why this is better for Harper than actually being allowed to talk about the tape, but we don't have a very good democracy if Harper can get away this. Prime Ministers should not be allowed to sue their opposition. If this is the case, I'd like to write to someone arguing that as a citizen I feel I have a right to ask my Prime Minister to explain his taped words and I don't think he should be able to file a suit to remove that right. Who would I write to?

Platty said...


Atta show off those writing skills there steve.

Here, let me give ya one for your next post.

You're a great big poopy head


Karen said...

Tomm, I disagree. There are too many links here to other questionable activities to shut this down. A pattern is being established.

O'Brien/Kilrea - Reynolds and Finely both involved/mentioned.

Riddel - Reynolds involved/mentioned.

Cadman - Reynolds and Finley both involved/mentioned.

To suggest that it doesn't have legs is a bit odd, considering that Stephen Maher has obviously been doing some digging.

This isn't Steve V, keeping it alive, it's media or at least thinking media.

JimmE said...

What I've never understood about this story is why the present Prime Minister didn't work out a "good" story that would have seemed reasonable to most. Instead the best he can come up with is to sue and not answer direct questions; odd. Both these and other actions have reporters smelling a rat, they keep finding more droppings & they will do so 'til they find out what makes the smell.
BTW, what's with all the Ad Homonym stuff? This Blog is generally refreshingly free of that kinda stuff.

Anonymous said...


There is no question that people will keep digging. But getting everybody and their dog to speculate on what happened or to discuss their involvement in third party conversations isn't "going somewhere".

If this is going to go somewhere, there needs to be a smoking gun. For example, Flannagan having an e-mail or notes relevant to the meeting(s?), that are pointed.

The problem, of course, is if Flannagan has e-mails that aren't pointed, and they surface, you and Steve will just throw them aside in your continuing and unending search for the pointed ones.

In the meantime, life goes on and the issue moves to page 8.

There just doesn't appear to be any new material here, and hasn't been since Cadman's family told the media what he said to them.

Harper's lawsuit, quite frankly, just put this issue back on page one for a couple more days.


Steve V said...

"This isn't Steve V, keeping it alive, it's media or at least thinking media."

That's because the media that looks at it can smell a rat. I would add, everyone has gone silent on this, but you can't expect that to last forever. There may be a lull, but these things tend to hang around until people's questions are answered. You can't stonewall forever, and if Cons think that, then they are poor students of history.

Karen said...

jimme, you raise a good point about Harper, but my theory is that if you consider how they have evaded other questionable deals by turning them back on the Libs, or even how they have duped people re' their environment package and other policies, I think they just thought they could do it again.

I think their arrogance has been exposed.

Karen said...

Tomm, if there is media out there that still possess intellectual curiousity, the story will continue.

A smoking gun of course would shift things. At this moment in time I think Wallace is the closest thing to a smoking gun.

Records of who Cadman met with prior to the vote for instance. Where are they? If Chuck threw Finley and Flanagan out,(figuratively of course) how much of that did he witness? What was Chuck's mood after that meeting or perhaps an earlier one?

Nothing is coming out because people are afraid to talk. Perhaps conscience will prevail, perhaps not.

But there is too much unanswered and too much of a pattern to think that this won't hang around for a while.

To be honest though, I think the downside for all of us is Canadians just throwing up their hands and increasing their cynicism for all politicians.

Anonymous said...

As to JimmE's point about not having a story made up. Flanagan's book talks about this time as a crazy time when everything hinged on a couple votes and doing things that latter had you "scratching your head". I always thought the desciption of "scratching your head" was a real euphemism and what was really meant, was, dear god, I hope none of this ever comes out.

Sometimes, you just can't think of story, you have to do what you can to keep everything quiet. The combination of Cadman family statements and the tape are pretty damning and how could Harper explain that tape? I can't think of anything he could say that would make sense and be legal. If he could, we would have heard it.

Steve V said...

"Flanagan's book talks about this time as a crazy time when everything hinged on a couple votes and doing things that latter had you "scratching your head"."

And that is another reason, why you can't sit back in 2008 and say an insurance offer wasn't logistically possible. It was high drama, high stakes, and there was a sense of desperation. Within that environment, coupled with the knowledge of Cadman's primary concern, you can almost see how someone might have gone too far.

Mark-Alan Whittle said...

Seems the she said, he said scandal surrounding Chuck Cadman has become the red herring of the century.

If the thought of some insurance underwriter giving a life insurance policy to a man with terminal cancer sounds ridiculous it probably is.

And all the statements attributed in the draft of the book, which I have read, are third party hearsay statements that would never stand up in court, or anywhere else for that matter.

Even the author in an interview couldn’t even corroborate the allegations other than to say that is what Mrs. Cadman told him and she wasn’t in the room either. No doubt the conservatives would offer to help Cadman with an election since his riding association was broke and unable to finance a campaign.

All other political party’s including the Liberals bolster riding associations this way. And according to the author, nobody except his legislative assistant Dan Wallace was in the room with Cadman and the representatives from the conservatives so any information flowing from that is mere speculation, or a fabrication since Wallace refuses to say what was said and now denies being in the room at all.

According to the author he deferred to Dona as to what was said. If anyone knows a first-hand account, instead of the heresy of others, it would be Dan Wallace and no other since Mr. Cadman is deceased.

As to Mrs. Cadman running for the conservatives, good luck with that.

Seems this whole scandal is designed to pump up book sales for the author and increase the dividend paid to the Cadman family for their unsubstantiated statements in the book.

What I find most amusing is how the media ran with the story before getting all the facts.

Steve V said...


Ah, the Blogging Tory defence. How weak, reduced to saying the Cadman's are interested in book sales.

Anonymous said...


The story raises many points, however, I will confine to the painfully obvious, How do morons like Meredith ever get elected.

And, Just because Val says it's so, doesn't mean it is. Remember her bi-polar days of seeing Russian spies under every rock.

I suspect this time she might be right, but I remember all too well her goofy allegations of days gone by.

Stay on the Cadman story, I think they made some form of substantial offer, just wish you didn't try to polish-up the turd Meredith as proof of same.