Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 25, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
Tuesday, April 25, 1972 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 3 Anlliotty Disagreeing with Forsey on monarchy QTTAWA There are few who know as much about Confederation as Senator Eugene Forsey and none, I'm sure, who can make a speech about il half as good. His re- cent address to the Senate on Die report of flic Parliamentary Committee on the Constitution was so long it spread over three days, but lo read it is bolh an education and a delight. The Forsey speech a min- ority report, he called it-has become so popular in fact that if you call at the office in the Parlia m e n t buildings from where they distribute printed papers and begin to ask for the Senate debates, they automati- cally hand you (he three Han- sards March 23, 28 and 29. Ahnost 68, a perky, gray lit- tle man who came originally from Newfoundland, Sen. For- sey is a renowned authority on the British North America Act and a character with steely principles. After years with the old CCF socialists, lie refused to continue with the New Dem- ocratic Party when the found- ing convention in 1001 decided, at the insistence of Quebec del- egates, to chsnge the word na- tional to federal throughout (he parly constitution. He was appointed to the Sen- ate by Prime Minister Pierre Tnideau in 1970 surely one of the best appointments for years and sits as a Liberal, but that does not prevent him siding with John Diefenbaker on nuclear weapons or standing firm with his old friends in the NDP on other issues. Sen. Forsey is seldom seen on the Ottawa social circuit be- causo ho refuses to accept or serve alcohol, but his conversa- tion is as bubbly as (he Iwst champagne, and he is one of ttie few men now in Parliament who can speak with the wit anil stvle of the old masters of de- bate. lie laces his constitutional op- inions with anecdotes, throws in classical allusions, quotes light verse and the Bible and gets his tongue lovingly around some splendid insults. The dignified Ottawa corres- pondent of the New York Times who once crossed paper swords with Sen. Forsey on a constitutional matter is dismiss- ed as "a jackass." The learn- ed lords of the judicial commit- tee of the Privy Council in Bri- tain who interpreted the act in ways not approved by the senator are "those old scoun- drels, those old rascals." More generally, the country is pla- gued by tub-thumpers, blather- skites, demagogues and cock- sure jackasses of various de- scriptions waiting to get their hands on our constitution. Defending the right and duty of the opposition in Parliament to obstruct, or filibuster, on matters of importance, he says: "It is like marriage in the Ang- lican prayer Not by any to be taken in hand lightly, un- advisedly or wantonly, but rev- erently, soberly, discreetly and in the fear of the Lord." Mocking what he calls the "pure" Canadians who would deny the British and French heritage, lie dips into his memory of an anonymous and sardonic verse. He can put himself down, too. Kising to open Ills speech in an almost empty. Senate, lie quipped: "1 am addressing, by the old CCF standard, a mon- ster mass meeting, several times the seven who used to constitute a mass meeting In the early days of my inglorious political career." Several days later, he said: "And now, what honorable sen- ators have been waiting for with anxiety and diminishing hope, 1 come to my last point." In between, hu had provided a brilliant critique of the report of the parliamentary commit- tee, of which hn was a mem- ber, and a spirited defence of the continuing value of the Brit- ish and French herit ages in Canada. Sen. Korsey emphasized that he generally approves of the re- Suicide prevention By David Hemlin. NEA Senice AKR. X. is a white male i n his 50s, who is separated, widowed or divorced. He lives alone and is probably out of a job. He drinks and owns a gun. He is the composite of a sui- cide victim. "A very high risk indivi- says University of Mich- igan psychologist Floyd M. Wy- lie. As director of the Highland Park (Michigan) Mental Health Center, Wylie has initiated a crisis intervention program to train service and medical per- sonnel in his city to detect the potential suicide victim ijcfore lie acts. The warning signs, (he psy- chologist says, are so obvious that they are sometimes not taken seriously. Among them are: inability to sleep for long periods of time. A handwrirging kind of an- guish and deep depression. Key phrases such as "It'll be over and "You'll be sorry when I'm are spoken frequently. "There is a misconception that people who talk about sui- cide woti't try says Wylie. "On (he contrary, they are most likely; they're trying to (ell people, 'Listen. I'm really in trouble.' They should be taken Wylie explains that tradition- ally religious and moral taboos have prevented even recogni- tion, let alone inlervention and treatment, of suicide and poten- tial suicide. It lias only been since the mid-GOs lhai suicide has become regarded as a ma- jor health problem. The responsibility for suicide prevention today lies with all community agencies police departments, hospitals, social agencies, youlh service bu- reaus, schools and all of the in- dividuals who serve them. New Character Can Change His Shape! -you may win a prize! He'll make his first- appearance on Man- Hay, May 1. Readers are invited to participate in a contest to make up an appropriate name for him. Although this wacky character has no name, he has an unending variety of shapes. He can be anything he wants lo be. One minute he's bigger lhan Lotto Elephant and Ihe next he's smaller than Crawley Worm, He can become round, square or triangular, fuzzy, sticky or smooth, checked or polka- dotfed. For the 100 most imaginative names sub- mitted, SESAME STREET educational toys, puppets and books will be awarded. There will be 20 SESAME STREET toys valued at from to SI 3; 30 puppets worth from )o and 50 books valued ot from to Ten SESAME STREET posters will be addi- lional prizes for entrants from this area. Here Is an opportunity for redden of SESAME STREET lo ftiefr Imagination! and iklll-and perhaps win a prize. This conteil ii open lo oil readers of the SESAME STfiEET comic slrip in the U.S. ond Canada, except where prohibited by Federal, Slolo or local laws or The finol fudging of winner! will be by SESAME orlist Clilf Robert! ond edilon of King Feature! Syndicate. Entries mvs) be poifmorked no later Ihon midnight, May 20. In Ihe even! of tiei, Ihe erxlry bearing Ihe earliest poilmark will bn adjudged tfio winner. A complete (In of winners will be available at King Features Syndicate, 235 Easl 4ilh Slreet, New York, N.Y. 10017. Juil Ihink up an appropriate name for Ihe new SESAME charos- fill In coupon, and mall it before midnight, May 20, to: THE IETHBR1DGE HERALD P.O. Box 670, Icthbridgo, Alberta What's His Name? SESAME STREET CONTEST Sugg vita) Hi ___ My Lethbtidge Herald port. Characteristically, he put it this way. "I think on the whole it is a sensible report. If that seems faint praise a te- pid adjective let me assuro honorable senators that from me it is not. The number of people who are highly intelli- gent and highly educated, but who have, it seems to me, no common sense, is staggering." But he objected lissimo, as he said to some of the 'committee's ideas. And, as he seemed to invite further debate, I am with enormous respect going to object to ona of his objections. The committee majority was less than enthusiastic about the monarchy, and Sen. Forsey is furious about that. He sees it as part of an attack by mem- bers of the English speaking intelligentsia, rather than French Canadians on the Bri- tish heritage in Canada, which he greatly values. Why fiddle with a system that is working well when there are many tilings that demand at'en- tion in Canada, he asks? Thn onus is on tiiose who want to abolish the monarchy to show that it is doing real harm. There are two ways of looking at a monarchy: As a constitu- tional device and as a symbol. It is a device which makes it possible to change the head of state without political strife. The succession passes from king to queen to prince to prin- cess, as if by divine decree. There is no competition for the office, no dividing of the nation along partisan lines. The mon- arch is above sectional differ- ences and commands the loyalty of all subjects. But of course we have no such working monarchy in Canada. The effective head of state is the Governor General, and al- though he is nominally the mon- arch's representative, he is in fact chosen by the prime minis- ter of the day. In short, we liava dispensed with succession and moved to a system of political appointment. So we no longer need the mon- archy as a constitutional device. The Governor General can be appointed directly by the prime minister, or be voted into office by Parliament, or we can in- vent an entirely new system. certainly don't need a mon- arch resident in Britain to help Us run our government. How about the monarchy as a symbol, a reminder of our heri- tage? In 1867 by coincidence year of Confederation in Canada Bagehot pub- lished in Britain a book called The English Constitution, study of the parliamentary sys- tem of government which be- came such a classic that it is Etill in print today. The monarchy, he suggested, was necessary to impress and reassure the dull mass of people the narrow minded, unintelli- gent and incurious, who were incapable of understanding tho subtleties of democratic govern- ment. He added that in a coun- try where there was little pov- erty, mass education and broad political intelligence, the peo- ple could manage their own democracy and such a state of affairs did exist, said Bags- in the North American col- onies. lie was too optimistic. TTia Fathers of Confederation insist- ed on a monarchy and Sen. For- sey and others are still defend- ing it today. But if Bagehot could see 100 years ago that we tiad matured beyond the need for magical symbols, surely it is lime for us to grow up. But, does the monarchy do us any harm? The answer, I tliink, is yes. To hold on to the in- stitutions of the past when they are no longer necessary or use- ful is to refuse to adventure into Uie future. To cut our ties with (he British mo narchy would be a decisive gesture, a demonstration (o French Cana- dians, (o our young people, to all the world, that we are com- mitted to a new state in Can- ac'n. The parliamentary committee like Prime Minister Tnideau, is willing to let time erode the monarchy, and no doubt that, would happen. The fact (bat there was liltle shock or even surprise when the committee of senators and MPs suggested that we'd be better off without the crown, shows how rapidly public altitudes are changing. Son. For.'ey, a man of con- viction, is not happy to walch I he monarchy wither and din of disinterest; he wants to rc- affairm 11.1 don't want lo watch it wither cither; it should be cleanly ended as a matter of national policy. There arc other matters on which I should like to debate with the senator, but as T rlo not have his privilege of spreading myself over three, days, they u in h.Tvr lo (Toronto Star fiyndjraln Suffering in Bangladesh Bv Jane JIuckvata KON'G Wailing to dfxiye the trucks and cars across a narrow Hong Kong street 1 saw a familiar diminutive figure ret! hnir showing beneath her uni- form cap none other than Canada's own Dr. LoUa HHscbnianova, director of the Unitarian Service Committee. greeted one another waimly, she stopped atul I could sec the tears behind her eyelids. "L have come from she said un- steadily. "Never have I been -so haunted, so terribly distraught by what I have seen." And everyone who knows Dr, Hitschm a no- va's work is aware that she has seen more of suffering humanity in her lifetime than any of us. Over a brief lunch next day she told ma a little of the nightmare for instance, of the terrible circumstances of many young girls who had been raped during the occupation by West Pakistan a hor- ror that, drove many to suicide. Illegiti- macy for any reason is a disgrace those who continue lo live wiJl be scarred moral- ly and physically for the remainder of their time on earth, There is an urgent, a desperate reed for shelter before the Monsoon rains come late in May, The "home" is a simple slab of fonerele with asbe.stos or iron roof and bamboo matting otherwise the mil- lions now living in the open, will wallow in mud, disease will spread, Thousands ara bound to die food is almost exhausted. The only bright moment, she says, of the terrible of Bangladesh was the day when .she watched the distribu- tion of milk from the 1971 campaign going in to the eager mouths of the sufferers in a village, just outside of Dacca. Lolta says with pride that the Ca- nadian government already has sent million in direct aid in money and in kind no strings attached. Jt is an im- mense ccm'ribuiion, amounting to about one dollar per head for every Canadian. But there are many Canadians who can add to governmental generosity through the USC. There are few among us who cannot afford a small contribution which will be received with eternal gratitude by the USC in Bangladesh whose lives de- pond on the generosity and compassion of others. Maoism vs Christianity As SIANS, with the notable exception of the Japanese and perhaps to a lesser degree the Filipinos, are not as a whole ready for the Western system of democrat- ic government. In religious belief the Philippines, the only Christian nation in the region excepted Christianity as a whole is viewed with as much suspicion as Mao- ism is viewed in the West, For Christian- ity went to Asia only after the guns had opened the doors. For the Christian, sym- bolic of the white man, conquered Asia. For the Christian, identified with the col- onialist, exploited the Asian. Strictly speaking, the Chinese do not have a religion. Even in Hong Kong, a British colony for well over a century, only one- tenth of the Chinese residents are Chris- tians. Comparatively speaking, there is more religious freedom in Hong Kong than in Canada, where social and historic pres- sures tend to discourage, although never forbid, persons who are atheists or be- lievers in non-Christian religions, Christian- ity to the Chinese peasant reminds him of the shameful chapter in Chinese history since the Opium War. And what it preach- es is basically alien to the Chinese mind. It is more than the difference in the value systems. Religion is in direct con- frontation with communism, even for the Caucasian Communists. Karl Marx spoke of religion as the "opium" of the people, "The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the he wrote, "is re- quired for their real happiness." It is there- fore hardly surprising to see the report of an American correspondent, who went to China wLh the Nixon party, that Chris- tianity is dying fast among the few Chi- nese Christians. Even missionaries to pre- Maoist China observed that many Chi- nese wont to the church primarily seeking material assistance. It should be pointed out thai the Pe- king government is against all kinds of religion even including ancestral wor- ship although toward Christianity (here is added hostility, To overcome the crisis of authority in a revolutionary before 1011 the absolute authority was the emperor and the ideological bat'e Con- fucianism the Chinese; have found lit C h airman Mao and Maoism the perfect substitutes. Already by elevated al- most to a par with the national anthem, one of tlie most popular songs In China proclaims: "The cast is red: The sun rises: On the horizon of China: Appears Mao Tse- tung: He seeks happiness for the people: He is the great saviour of the people" We are alt prejudiced. Most Canadians are Christians and remain Christians. Most Indians are Buddhists and will re- main Buddhists. In religious belief, if the Canadians choose Christianity over Bud- dhism, the Indians are equally entitled to choose Buddhism over Christianity. Not only in religion, hut in the correct shaping of all our thinking, the West should appre- ciate the fact that what the Asians con- sider good for themselves, not what the West judges to be good for Asia, is good for them. We don't want the Asians to tell us what to believe in, do we? Human nature By Richard J. N'eedham, In The Toronto Globe and Mail 'TWERE are two absolutely distinct and opposed views of human nature. One, which might be termed North American or indeed Anglo-Saxon, is that human na- ture can be improved; that man is ul- timately perfectible. The oilier view, which might be termed European, is that human nature does not and cannot change; that at all times and in all circumstances, it re- mains a constant. I refuse to accept the first of these views that men can be made or become better. Refusing to accent this view, I must however admit that it's I h e prevalent, the predominant, one among En- glish speaking people. The only view I can take is the second that praclically all human beings have in them (and al- ways did and always will) a broad streak of evil hostility, aggression, destructive- ness, violence, cruelty. We all bear the mark of Cain. This is a minority viewpoint, certainly in o'lr part of the world. But some learn- ed men have taken if. The great British hisloiian, Herbert Butterfield. says, "It is essential not to have faitti in human na- ture. Such faith is a recent heresy, and a very disastrous one." William Jame.s said it for America, "Man, biologically considered, is the most formidable of ail Uie beasts of p..'ey, and, indeed, the only one that preys systematically on its own species." That's how and why governments orig- inally came into being to keep the peace among people, to prevent them from bashing and robbing and murdering one another. They succeeded to the point where you can walk around the streets of Toronto day and night with a reasonable fecit of safety. But Toronto, as many American visitors will attest, is the ex- ception. The streets of Detroit, New York, Qiicago, even Washington itself arc unsafe by day, let alone by night. What's gnnn wrong? Why arc crime rati'.s soaring in Canada, the t'nilcct .Stales. Hril- ain? is Ihrre so much violence and disorder? Why are Negroes and unionisls and university students turning so openly to forcible means of redressing their griev- ances? It's not, I think, that they are evil people; Uicy're as good and as bad as the rest of us. Neither is it that in this day and age, human nature pcncrally has deteri- orated: that nroplc1 now. and in uur part nf the vorld, have for some strange reason got "worse" t.han IJiey were before. Hunan nature is as it always has been and always will be truculent, resentful, explosive. To keep human beings in line, to maintain basic order among (hem, calls for rulers who are wise and patient and, above all, strong. The trouble today in Canada, in America, in Britain is that our leaders arc for the most part weak; they're timid men who no doubt mean well, but cannot make and enforce the decisions necessary to keep the peace. This is ob- viously the case in many universities, nota- bly the University of Toronto, where a small group of riotous "students" seem to have gained control. Sly feeling in this matter Cand it ap- plies to public and higli schools no less than lo universities} is that any "student" who resorts to any form of violence or dis- order should immediately be expelled. There's no right lo an education; there's only the right to the opportunity of an edu- cation, and if that opportunity's thrown away, lough. Who's next? But an extraor- dinary softness and weakness pervades Ihc whole school and university structure. Tha administrators put up with, even condone, behavior which would cause you or me to be rightly so. Tile same .softness pervades our society generally, as illustrated by the gradual col- lapse of our public services the airlines, the mails, the radio and television net- works. Wiio's in charge around here? Who's employing those magical words "or Who's laying it down, firmly and clearly, that the planes are going to fly, the mail is going to be delivered? Nobody lhal I can see. in virtually all fields of Canadian life, (lie men to whom given power seem terrified to use it, so the whole thing's sliding apart. Some people say what we need is n dictatorship. No, no, no! Our elected and appointed leaders have enough poucr al- ready, enough laws already, to keep the peace as (he peace needs to be kept What they lack is the- to u. e that nr.d so Ihe criminals and LuikiUirns if.- olutionaricr, jurt triugli at them. Out >'v.i think of any one man in Canada or ill Lhe States or in Britain who engenders fear among those who break the peace, respect among those who honor il? I've h.irl a hard time thinking of one.