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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 5, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta Wccfntidnv. Acrt 5, W2 THE LETHBR1DGE HERALD 33 French president Pompidou assured of Republic since 1018. It (lie uni- ted Left had recommended ab- stention on April, tlie Presi- dent would have run the seri- ous risk of obtaining tlie sup- 'i'n his POI t of les than half of the Fly FIOIUS KIDE1. London Observer Service PARIS Thanks to tlie divi- sions of France's Lcll, Presi- dent Georges Pompidou appears referendum issue wider; dramatically the cleavage on French Left just as the two main opposition parties arc referendum on I he enlargement electorate. _ Endorsed by a mi- of the European Economic Community April 23. 'Hie president who is using the referendum primarily to bolster his own prestige and lo strcnu- nority of the French nation, his prestige and Gaullist electoral prospects would have suffered a grievous blow. All depended on Hie attitude then the Gaullist party in ad-joT the French Communists. Af- vancc of next year's general ter several days of hesitation elections, was faced by tlw nn- they finaly rejected a united front with the Socialists anil de- cided lu vote "No" in Hie ref- comfortable prospect of a mass boycott His referendum intcii- lions could easily have been thwarted if the left-wing par- erendum. The Gaullists are to- day openly jubilant about the ties had united in urging Communist decision. Now they stenlion. have an actual opponent against Tliis was the course rccom- j whom they can mobilize the mended by the Socialist parly. electorate, now fighting lor a new lease of From (he very start public life under Francois Mitterand. reaction had been sceptical elected as party lender last about Pompidou's decision to lo 0" Joint wogram for the general clec- lions. No single reason ex- plains satisfactorily the Com- munists' decision. Above all, Georges Marcliais. Hie acting party leader, ap- pears to have been afraid that abstention orders would liavc L'cntuatcd what the Commu- nists call the "demobilization" of the working class and en- courage growing electoral apa- Uie referendum ch'arly shov.s that the Communists no longer view a aliiancc :hc Socialists as one of llieir dims priority targets today. cr.mmiUcc. "is the Europe of Finally, it was also their tra- business often directed by Americans. It gives reactionary ditional idea of hostility to the entire united western Eur- ope which caused them to re- ject abslenlion. Soviet patty .euder Leonid m a v now be willing lo accept the reality of the Common .Market hut France's Communists re- main adamantly opposed lo In-1 f Ansart said, vnuld i move. Political oh.scrver.s r.rc' Icgralion in Kuropc. rlraw France into growmr; convinced that if lie scores a "Pouiuiilou's Mai1- lusion with American imiierial-- triumphant success, lie will be lolt! his parly's central ists. Britain, lip added, would (cmpted to reap the maximum the Europe of: act as Ihc Trojan hnrse" of b c n c f i t by dissolving Par- Arn'-i Jean busines monopolies liament and holding elec- insidi: tlie Common Market.: (ions in June. If the result turns These Communist arguments out to be fess satisfactory, lie is forces greater hold over tho masses, it means the limita- tion of France's sovereignty and of her ability lo chose her own economic and social policies." Britain's entry into the Corn- arc likely to make an impact likely to content himself with a beyond the ranks of faithful' Government reshuffle without immediate elections. By replacing Premier .lac- fjue.s Cbaban Dclmas, whose j mon Market, politbmo member' success will determine his next i image has become badly tar-' party members. Pompidou cnn he certain of his victory. The scale of his nishctl by his hick of candour abwil bis affairs, the presi- dent try to give new vigour to liis government in prepara- tion f-ir <'krtions next year. Rut mil only domestic prcocupa- tions are at slake. Pompidou is trying to advance France's claim to leadership in the Com- mon Market by demonstrating that ills nation backs his Euro- pean policy. year. Having announced their commitment to Europe and support for Britain's entry to the Common Market in their party program only a few weeks earlier, the Socialists found themselves in an intensely em- barrasing situation when Pom- pidou sprang the surprise of the referendum in his last Press conference. They could not urge their sup- porters to vote "no" without betraying the very principles of their new party platform. By an overwhelming majority, a special party convention decid- ed on abstention. This was the only conceivable way out for the Socialists but at (he same time abstention constituted an an effective to torpedo Pompidou's play for strengthen ing his regime. An average of about 23 per cent of France's voters have abstained in the four earlier referenda held under the Fifth make Britain's entry into the Common Market an issue for a national referendum. With tho majority of the country known (o favour the admission of Bri- ain and the other three candi- date countries (Denmark, Ire- land and Norway) the whole concept of this referendum seemed artificial and far too ob- viously designed to produce domestic political advantages for Pompidou and the Gaullisls. They faced the real danger of public apathy on voting day. The Communists saved Pompi- dou in very much the same style as in 1969 when their ab- stention in the second round of the Presidential election se- cured his final victory' over his centre opponent Alain Poher. By exploiting anti Communist sentiments, the government can now count on a respectable turnout April 23. They split between the Com- munists and the Socialists on Ihv. By waging an anti-Pompi- do'ti compaign, he hopes to give new impetus to flagging party action and possibly win the sup- port of left wingers who dis- agree with the abstention deci- sion of the Socialists and most other left-wing organizations. However it would seem some- of a miracle if the Com- munists managed to obtain this time the 21.5 per cent polled by their candidate Jacques Uuclos in the first round of the 19G9 Presidential election. The Communists' dec i s i o n also reflects their basic antag- onism towards the Socialists. Determined to present them- selves as the country's main op- position force, they did not want to appear to be following the Socialists lead in agreeing to abstention. What matters to Hi? Communists is recognition that they are the ser.-ior parUers in a left-wing alliance. They suspect Miterrand as a potential rival who would assert Socialist leadership it the Left ever reaches power in France. They spuak with nostalgia of the'days when the Socialists' were led by Alain Savary, a far j less dynamic politi c i a n who proved more pliable to Com- munist demands. The clash over SIMPSONS-SEARS Greatest sewing machine value in Canada to-day! What a package. Lightweight Kemnorc stretch stitch automatic iuslalled iii our best Salem Maple Colouial cabinet ONLY 149.99 COMPLETE Portable Only................................ 140.99 Reg. i. Our Big Sprfng .73 Only this Kcnmore hns all these features a! a price thai clciics comparison Genuine Stretch Stitch Tor crimpoltnr Gives with material iisinj Clinin TJ.isling Slitch for fill ing. 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