Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 6, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
Thundav, April 6, 1973 THE LETHBB1DCI HIBA10 3 Maurice Constitutiona report disappointing WrPOWll n.TTAWA: According to Um 30 learned parliamentar- ians who rvpurlud recently, Kfniul in "urgrriL ;i new constitution. aiX'onlinc Concise Oxford, means "press- "calling for immediate] action or attention." The 7ling reality is thai the iii-i-d, thus discerned, is much less ur- gent than it was -if) years ago before Ilowcll-Sirois and its cvenUul On any ob- jective assessment, govern- ments now arc far freer to do what (hey think we want them Lo do than they wcrn four de- cades ago. But it is doubtless true, as the committee that, most Canadians want a now cons.li- lution until lliey sen it. The project unvcilctl by the parliamentarians is not without interest. Il refills ono of Iho more profound observations of this century; that a camel is a horse designed by a commil- tee. No one, apparently, is willing to profess unreserved admira- tion for the tvhoJe camel, Sonic think it should have more humps and some fewer. The number of minority reports suggests Dial others pre- fer to haul (he poor boast back to the drawing hoard. On (lie olhcr hand, it would be very difficult to disagree everything in the report. With so much camel there arc bound to be some parts which from some angles suggest a horse. Tor (he chapter on llie head of state, there is nothing good io be said. It is an essay in the politics of expediency. The message to supporters of llie monarchy is: Don't worn-. The message to republicans Be of good deep in our hearts, we are on your side. There is one furl her word, "We therefore support the evo- lutionary process by which the Governor-General has been granted more functions as the heact of state fnr Canada." If thL is a reference lo certain recent lour, Ihe committee is for evolution by stealth because Parliament, was never consult- ed about the changes which Hie East block had in an attitude for a committee of constitutionalists. On lite senate, llie comniillee lias some sensible things to say; possibly because it in- cluded some very sensible se- nators. It rejects abolition but proposes a suspensive veto, ns achieved many decades ago in backward Britain. It does net favor a special power in the Senate lo confirm appointments of Supreme Court judges, am- bassadors and heads of cultur- al agencies. This is an Ameri- can practice and a goad argu- ment against it is American ex- perience. On the other hand the committee accepts Lhe view, al- ready accepted by the govern- ment, that the provinces should have a voice (in fact a half share j in senatorial appoint- ments. The major change proposer! for the House of Commons is a fixed (our yenr term, unless the government, is defeated on a Book Review confidence vote or the House it- self by formal resolutions culls lor dissolution. This i.s to achieve a "heller balance'' be- tween the executive and llw leg- islature. Evidently, then the committee accepls the argu- ment that we have moved loo far towards cabinet (or prime ministerialj dictatorship. the thought is obscure. If the powers of the prime min- is'er should lie reduced, why ignore those which he lias ac- quired in recent decades while taking away from him a power which prime ministers have al- ways possessed under our sys- tem? These may be sound rea- sons for a dissolution other than those foreseen by the com- Jiiillcc. Ami uh.-jt i.s the signifi- cance for balance of (he second recommendation? If n prime minister with a majority wants dissolution, presumably the House Mill him (lie neces- sary resolution. If it will not, how can he be .said to have (he confidence of the majority? And if it acls against his will, he will have lo go lo MIR country Humanness portrayed "Napoleon" by V 1 n c p n t C r o n i n; Andre Dculsch, Sll.55, -IKO T don't knosv hut T al- ways thought Napoleon was a ratlier ill-bred man with little home-life and a bourgeois background. This biography o[ one of the most noted military men of all time, presents an altogether different picture of Napoleon from what I've enter- tained all these years. The squatty, plump soldier image with his hand inside his coat, (o scratch is dispelled and a new piclure emerges. Napoleon, it turns out, was a semi-aristocrat, born to H family who loved and pro- tected him and saw in him great potential. His height. or lack of it stems from his mother's side, and his strong will comes Irom a long line of successful and noble Corsicuns. The book rloesn'L deal so much with Napoleon's mililary genius. Tlalher it sets out to portray his personality, his ed- ucation at a military college in P'rance, and his slow but even- tual ri.se to the heights he achieved. One of HIE interesting quali- ties that emerges is Napoleon's inherent humility; his republi- can outlook, and the fact that lie became Emperor because of popular demand, ralhcr than through any self-seeking on his own part, The writer of this biography has done a real service in por- traying the humanness of one of the world's great, yet lar- gely misunderstood figures. It would be a fine hook to place on (he shelves of our schools and universities. MARGARET LUCKHURST as a defeated prime minister. Jl is always interesting to ob- serve Hie action of '.be pad la- ment ary when its oun fu- ture is under consideration. The West has too few senators 21 as compared witli :'.Ci for the At- lantic provinces. What i> the bolution? Ileduce the seaLs? Perish the thought. The proposal is tba' the lo- lal" of senator; from the. prov- inces be increased hy 2-1, an additional four from Ilia Yukon and Northwest Teri- tories. Facing a smaller but still ticklish problem in the House, the committee rebels in Ihe same way. Add six com- moners, thus keeping everyone, happy with llie possible (and usual) exception of taxpayers. On the gcncml of POV.OTS, the MaKTity report rc- jscls special ilatiLs and also legislative rtulcpntion i except, perhaps dubiously, in the case of criminal There probably be wide support, in theory, for the proposition that (lie federal tfcvcrnnienl should have a larger jurisdiction in economic affecting Hie country at large and that the provinces shouU] have more scope in areas touching culture find social policy. In pracljce, if negotiators ever catch up lo (lie commit- tcemen, we may doubtless look forward lo a last dilcb fight over properly and civil rigMs. The report offers a number of specific proposals, largely in- spired hy the government's leading concerns; 01 the mo- rnenl. Thus it i.s anxious lo as- sure Ihe paramountcy of the federal government In tht; fields of compel if ion, air and water pollution, foreign owner- ship, securities r.ud financial institutions. It would empower Parliament (o define cases of national emergency, in which the feueral government could secure by delegation all powers necessary to control prices, rent, dividends and pro- fits and to implement its prime responsibility for full employ- ment and balanced economic growth. The plain and admirable in- Get together with the cool bright taste d: Old Vienna Canada's best tasting lager beer BREWED RIGHT HERE IN ALBERTA. lent i.s lo rescue "prace, order aiul fjoo-cl from undue fetters clamped it by the judicial ccimmillce of Ihe Privy Council. ''In prac- soys the tommitleenu'ti, ''w Irishman I rlorj'i know pot to be ono li I haven't much intorcs! in gencalogiral dchlng. As far back as I can Irarc there arc only Canadians in Ihe family tree, but 1 m Iislwl as an Irishman II must be (hat uhn isn't dofinitolv fomnlhing is nn Irislimfln. Once 1 was helping a jomig R> Doug liow 1 A form that required him (o list his na- tionality. He at a loss to know what In put down inasmuch as he was n dis- placed person from a murh shuffled re- gion fil Europe agreed that he had become an Irishman. Tlml's why I prepared for Joe Ma, a rerenl immigrant from Hong Kong, in Him up on ,Si. JVilnfk'.s in an cm- fill m mcralrl green shirt as O'Ma.