Chuck Cadman

Last week, I was surprised to hear myself let out a gasp when I saw the morning Province. Chuck Cadman had died the other night, two months after he had made Canadian political history. The newscasts made it all seem like yesterday when single-handedly stopped the non-confidence vote from bringing down the government and forcing a June election. It’s a great piece of newsfilm. Cadman stood, eyes wide with determination, chewing a piece of gum in front of an applauding house of commons. It’s one of those iconic images that remind us that this is still a world where victory means something. That an individual can stand at the Zenith of things for doing no more than his job.
The press said that cadman had made his decison a half hour before the vote, the minute he recieved the results of a 600 member voter poll that said his constituents were not ready for a summer election. Earlier in the day, he had recieved Chemotherapy for the cancer that would eventually claim his life. The story couldn’t have been better if he had been waylaid by a Canadian Alliance-hired Team of Ninjas.
I believe that Death is never in vain. Blood was spilled on a government being nibbled to death by ducks. We originally elected the members of this new conservative party because those of us in the West felt we needed a voice in Ottawa. That voice is now involved in a salacious power grab with the government that wouldn’t listen to us then as well as now. Chuck Cadman made his vote in the spirit with which the Canadian Alliance was voted to power in 2000. Stephen Harper may have a harder time getting his Conservative government now that this one rests on a dead man’s vote, but he should sit up and take note on how he was denied the goal he so furvently seeks.