There has been a lot of talk about politics lately (you are probably saying “tell me something I don’t know Captain Obvious!”). And, there has been a lot of silence on the subject as well.
I have to admit I am thankful I am Canadian and didn’t have to make a choice. Yes, the outcome of the election does affect us and yes, I did follow much of the campaign; however, it was merely as a spectator curious to see what unfolded.
Danny over at “Dream Big Dream Often” posted as his question of the day on Wednesday, “The big question of the day…are you glad the election is finally over?” His reply to me brought up the fact there were independent candidates who didn’t really stand a chance no matter how good they are.
This reminded me of a time in our country when being an independent gave one man a huge amount of power in one important decision.
Chuck Cadman was not a politician. He was a British Columbia civil servant for ten years. In 1992 life changed for Cadman and his family. His 16-year-old son, Jesse was killed by a group of teenagers who wanted his leather jacket. He was afraid to give it up because he thought his parents would be mad so he was stabbed several times.
The Cadman’s worked hard to counsel at-risk youth and get laws changed for convicting young offenders. In 1997 Chuck was elected to parliament where he introduced a bill regarding charges for parents of violent children. I actually volunteered for that first campaign as Chuck was in our riding at the time.
What a kind and humble man he was. I was mostly just stuffing envelopes and answering phones but he treated each one of us with equal respect and gratitude for being there.
Chuck Cadman ran in and won the next two elections; however, in 2004 his party decided to go with another candidate. Cadman, in the meantime, was diagnosed with cancer. But that didn’t stop him. He decided to run as an independent in the same riding that he was removed from. And wouldn’t you know it, he won!
Within a short period of time, there was a non-confidence vote over the federal budget and HIS vote was crucial to decide the fate of the sitting party. Chuck actually called many of his constituents and asked what he should do. He voted and kept the Liberals in government because that is what the people wanted. They didn’t want another election so soon.
Unfortunately, within a year after he died of cancer.
Chuck Cadman was never the typical politician. In the early years, his business attire was a ponytail and jeans – apparently even in Parliament. But the impact of his time there will be felt for a long time.
Photo credit: Tom Hanson, Vancouver Sun