Thursday, July 17, 2008

Penny Priddy's departure puts Surrey-North in play

With the announcement yesterday by NDP MP Penny Priddy that she won’t seek re-election, the race in her riding of Surrey North becomes even more interesting. And it was already one worth watching.

That’s because Surrey North, of course, is Chuck Cadman’s old riding. And it’s also the riding where Chuck’s widow, Dona Cadman, is the Conservative candidate. Dona has been much in the news as the story as unfolded around Stephen Harper’s taped comment on “financial considerations” and the Conservative attempts to secure Chuck’s vote to bring down the Paul Martin government a few years back.

Dona has been caught in the middle, trying to reconcile her statements on the record and those of her daughter and in the Tom Zytaruk book with her desire to remain a Conservative candidate and be loyal to the cause, leading to some interestingly creative statements and affidavits like the recent depends on your definition of a portico filing.

In the last election Priddy, a long-time Surrey politician who held several senior cabinet portfolios in the provincial NDP governments of the 1990s, won rather handily over her Conservative opponent:

We’re losing one interesting dynamic with Priddy leaving the race; she and Dona Cadman were longtime friends, and Cadman actually endorsed Priddy in the last election. That’s a favour I doubt Priddy will be returning, by the way.

It will be interesting to watch this race unfold now though with Priddy’s departure. I suspect a lot of her large margin of victory in 2006 had to do with her personal popularity (helped perhaps the Cadman endorsement), and I doubt a new NDP candidate will be able to hold all that vote.

At first blush this would seem to be a big boost for the Cadman campaign. What I wonder though, and I’m not on the ground in the riding so I can only speculate, but I wonder what impact this whole Cadman affair is having on Dona’s chances in the riding. Chuck was extremely popular and I’d have said before that she was a virtual shoe-in, or at least a coin-toss with Priddy. But as the controversy around the vote wooing has unfolded, and with Dona caught in the middle seemingly contradicting herself while trying to prop-up the Conservative libel case, could this be hurting her credibility, and her support? I don’t know, but its worth watching.

The Liberals finished a distant third in this riding in the last campaign. I’m not sure if they’ve nominated a candidate yet or not. But with Priddy’s departure, and the controversy around Dona, there may be a chance for the Liberals to sneak-up the middle here with the right candidate. It’s a challenge, but as I said things are getting more interesting in Surrey-North.

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leftdog said...

No Liberal will be elected west of the Manitoba / Saskatchewan border.

A BCer in Toronto said...

You so funny.

Joseph said...

and dreaming. BC will see gains for the Liberals next go around.

Maybe not this seat, but there will be others.

ch said...

I'm not convinced Dona Cadman will be running for the CPC in the next election. Seems like too uncomfortable a fit with the Cadman affair. She seems to be biding her time until things play out.

Since she endorsed Priddy, is it possible she would go to the NDP?

Barcs said...

Will be an interesting race.

And now we have a chance to finally find out what happened based on evidence.

Find out if the tape is real.

Anyone know why the author needs to be forced to produce the tape?

A BCer in Toronto said...

In BC the Liberals have gone up in each of the last few elections in seat count, the only province during the Martin era where we can make that statement.


I'm surprised she has stayed on this long, but I'm not convinced she'll leave at this point. If she was likely to go, I'd have gone when they asked me to release these dumb statements and affidavits. Maybe she'll give some unrelated excuse and drop out later.

Well barcs, I know that, were the Cons accusing me of making stuff up and being a liar, I wouldn't willingly hand my original tape over to them. Particularly when:

a) They keep hiring experts until they get the results they want, and ignore the results that that don't fit their narrative, and

b) They've presented no compelling theory as to just what was supposedly edited from the tape or how it would change the meaning of what we hear Harper saying.

If they'd presented a compelling case, I'd cooperate to clear my name. When they're just throwing spitballs, and none of them are landing, I wouldn't be inclined to play along with the Conservative farce.

Steve V said...


Have you seen Zytaruk in any interviews? The guy comes across as completely genuine, sincere, not a hint of deception. I suspect this will translate well in court, average guy being savaged by petty Cons. Looking forward to it actually.

BTW, is the tape real?? Another question, has one Conservative EVERY said publicly that those weren't Harper's words?? Thought so. See you in September!