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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 27, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 20-THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD Saturday, April it, Undecided voters key to French presidential election By FLOKA LEWIS New York Times Service PARIS The result of the coming presidential election is expected to turn, as usual, on two to three million uncommitted voters about 10 per cent of the electorate These are the votes for which the three major candidates are really fighting, and the polls show them still undecided They are. on the whole, part of the centre in French politics, which explains the apparent simplicity and similarity of the candidates' approaches to issues Everyone is promising social reform, price stability, more equality The socialist leader, Francois Mitterrand, is carefully muting the radical undertones in the united left's common program, while the Conservative Valery Giscard D'Estaing, and the Gaullist, Jacques Chaban-Delmas, are stressing how progressive they intend to be. The underlying patterns of evolving French politics are much more complex, but with the tone of the central campaign themes almost bland, the uncommitted voters are paying more attention to the personalities ot the candidates and their sense of identification than to programs Television is crucial to these perceptions. One important reason for Chaban- Delmas's steady slippage and discard D'Estaing's steady gain in the polls is that the latter comes across much better on the screen more serene, more dignified, more confidently in control His Gaullish adversary suffers from a shrill voice. Chaban-Delmas is in trouble with what seems to be a large number of women voters because he has been married three times (his current wife is a divorcee) He is also hurt because of an aura of financial scandal, there was never a charge ot illegal behavior, but doubt clings in many minds Mitterrand, in turn, projects an image of competence but frightens a large part of trhe electorate because of his alliance with the Communists. Because of a sharp upheaval in the familiar Gaullist political landscape, there is a certain contradiction between the way the campaign looks and the behind-the-scenes calculations of the candidates. The base of Gaullism, as Le Nouvel Observateur's editor, Jean Daniel, put it, was De Gaulle's ability to draw the traditional supporters of the moderate left and the centre into his rightist-leaning fold This paralyzed the non- communist opposition and ottered French voters no effective choice except that between Gaullism and Communism The sharp polarity has come unstuck The process began when Mitterrand took over and revived the ailing socialist party and then formed an alliance with the Communists two years ago. For the first time in years this made the left a credible claimant on power instead of simply a place to register a protest It also put Mitterrand in a box. To have a chance he must get all the votes the communists normally collect, so he must keep the goodwill of the Communist leaders They do not trust him, insiders report, probably for good reason, since he has more or less suppressed a number of fundamental disagreements for tactical purposes As for the heterogeneous Gaullsrt coalition, it has fallen apart Gisrard D'Esiaing and Chaban-Delmas must show their ability to win back the centrists who have become fatigued and disillusioned with Gaullisrr but they must do it without provoking apathy or even antagonism among the Gaullist regulars. At this point the focus of the race is between them for the right to face Mitterrand in the runoff, providing the socialist does not win a majority on May 5 He is unlikely to do so, but his growing strength in the polls make )t a possibility that cannot be excluded I ouml dead LOS ANGELES (AP) Pa- mela Morrison, 27-year-old widow of rock star Jim Morri- son, has been found dead of an apparent drug overdose, police said Friday. Morrison, the flamboyant star of the rock group The Doors, died in Paris in 1971 of an apparent heart attack. Police said a hypodermic kit was found in Mrs. Morrison's apartment Keep you've mode to Q little extra help from Q Rccounh Ih rhe rate ever, retroactive to flpril for all our When your daydream suddenly becomes a promise to be kept, a Bonus Savings Account at the Royal Bank can be more helpful than ever before. Because it now pays higher interest than ever It's calculated on your minimum monthly balance, including April, for al! our present customers And that's a little extra'bonus you get at the Royal Bank Open your own Bonus Savings account at any branch of the Royal Bank. And to help get yourself organized for saving, pick up an application for our new Royal Certified complete package of all the daily banking services for just a month. Royal Certified Service and a Bonus Savings account: If they help you keep those promises you've made to yourself, we'll be keeping our promise as the helpful bank. on minimum monthly balance, paid half-yearly. ROYAL BAN helpy bank ;