Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 17, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Monday, February 17, 1975 Lougheed's hoax As Premier Lougheed has the provin- cial election schemed, he is trying to pull off a gigantic hoax. He should not be per- mitted to get away with it. He said, after calling the election Friday, that he would consider a victory in 50 of the 75 seats as a strong mandate to push ahead in his policy of confronta- tion with Ottawa over energy policies. Let's review the circumstances of the last election, on August 30, 1971. Social Credit had been in power for 36 years, and had suffered from the lack of a good opposition over most of those years. Although it had given good government and in many ways was fully abreast of the times, it also appeared tired. Harry Strom, as premier for near- ly three years, had not acquired the degree of public confidence enjoyed by Ernest Manning. There was a widespread feeling that the Social Credit government should be rebuked. Defeating it was on very few minds, but reminding it of its fallibility was on many. The Conservative victory was therefore a surprise, perhaps most of all to the Conservative candidates themselves and to their leader. They won 46.4 per cent of the total vote and 65 per cent (49 out of 75) of the seats. Everywhere else they ran a strong second. Yet south of Calgary they didn't win a seat, mostly because this part of the province didn't realize the strength of the discontent with Social Credit prevalent in the north. It is normal in such circumstances for a party that Has won office by a fluke to be given a strong mandate next time around, unless it has badly bungled the responsibilities of office. Doing only an average job, the Conservative govern- ment should normally get more votes in its first bid for re-election. The voters, having discovered that they could sur- vive without a Social Credit government, would normally give the new govern- ment the benefits of any doubts and give it at least a second term. And Southern Alberta voters would welcome a chance to get on the band wagon. In short, the Conservative government should normally greatly strengthen its vote in its first return to the polls. But the situation as of the early spring of 1975 is better than normal for the Conservative government. Oil policies aside and many weaknesses notwithstan- ding, it has done many commendable and popular things. It has the advantage of oil and gas revenues far beyond anything enjoyed even by the Social Credit government. The opposition parties are in disarray. Therefore, oil policies aside, the Lougheed government ought to win at least 65 of the 75 seats and it would be no great surprise if it won 73 of the 75. So if Mr. Lougheed says he would con- sider 50 seats as a mandate to force a showdown with Ottawa, what would he call 65 or 70? Under the current circumstances, if he wins only 50 seats (only one more than he had in the last it would be a serious moral defeat. "It's negative, vague and indecisive has the making of an excellent policy The difficult color issue By Richard Gwyn, Toronto Star commentator Ethiopian time bomb While U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger busies himself trying to ease the tensions in the Middle East, another time bomb is ticking away in the vicinity. Ethiopia is slipping into out- right civil war with potentially frighten- ing consequences for the rest of the world. The notion that a war in Ethiopia might be dangerous for any but the residents of that unfortunate country might seem far-fetched. There is little in Ethiopia that could seemingly attract outside interests, and nobody would be likely to conceive of it being a powerful state even though .its. deposed emperor, Haile Selassie, for a time exercised con-: siderable influence in the affairs of black Africa. Already the two world super powers, the U.S.' and the U.S.S.R., have been im- plicated in the civil war that is brewing. The Eritrean rebels have been fighting with Soviet weapons supplied by the sympathetic Arab states nearby while the Ethiopian army uses American weapons. It is foresee a situation in which a build-up of Soviet weaponry in the hands of the Eritrean guerrillas will impell the Ethiopian government to appeal to Washington for more arms. If the U.S. should accede to such an appeal, that could lead the U.S.S.R. to get more directly involved in a countering supply of weapons. And even if Moscow were to remain discreetly aloof, the displeasure of the Eritrean's Arab sympathizers could make for'a worsening of the whole Middle East situation. Messrs. Kissinger and Gromyko, already burdened with problems requir- ing their mutual concern, cannot afford to ignore the Ethiopian deterioration un- til their countries are too deeply enmeshed. ERIC NICOL The great debate The Great Debate on Canada's new im- migration policy has been declared open. Everyone seems to be leaning over backwards to avoid being racist, in the matter of who shall be allowed to join God's frozen people. Having no political need to walk on eggs, this observer plunges reckless- ly into the racist proposition that some people will make better immigrants to Canada than other peoples. At the top of the list I put the English. What makes the English our No. 1 growth stock is that they are, by and large, insular. The Englishman likes lots of space around him, so that he doesn't need to talk to another Englishman. This English aversion to close company is essential if Canada is to avoid further over-concentration of population in the cities. The Englishman has proven his racial talent for putting distance between himself and the nearest neighbor. His behavior in these circumstances is sometimes odd, but it rarely affects his voting for sound government. His potential as a hermit civiliz- ing a plot of tundra up north is greater than that of, say, the Japanese, who appear to tolerate one another's presence and are therefore inadmissible. Next on myimmigration list I put natives of Tibet. Tibetan monks, if possible but I'm not picky. The thing is, Tibetans are familiar with living on the tops of mountains, without grumbling. Since the available space remain- ing in Canada is mostly mountain top, it is desirable to select immigrants with previous experience in getting a toehold on a sheer rock face. Also, for their prayer wheels Tibetans don't need to build a car-port. Canada has too many wheels that don't have a prayer. For the same reason I favor the Finn as an immigrant to Canada. Finns are great walkers. A Finn will walk a million miles for one of your smiles. This reduces our need to import oil. In like Finns are the Tahitans and other South Sea islanders who swing from the hip. These people have preserved the kind of tribal society that Canada must adjust to, with the breakdown of the nuclear family. The NDP tell us that the group home is the answer to juvenile delinquency, but they have no notion of how to make communal respon- sibility for children a hell of a lot of fun. This is where the Polynesian comes in, his visa stamped From these assessments it is plain that we must create a recipe for Canadian immigra- tion with the eye of a master chef: the right ingredients to help give us the yeasty nation we want to be. Till now Canada has been less a melting pot than a badly-tossed salad raw veg with a dollop of French dressing. Result: a.'people universally recognized as being as exciting as a TV dinner. On the other hand it will be easy to err by adding the excessively spicy. Too many im- migrants from Sicily, for example, could give Canada more personality than she can com- fortably handle. It may be argued that Canada has the moral obligation to open her doors to those people fleeing countries in which they have seen the victims of evil government, people seeking the opportunity to start life anew. But we already have enough Americans, in my opinion. English, Tibetans, Finns, Polynesians them's my racial bias. All other applicants for admission to the New Jerusalem to be viewed through a glass, darkly. It's been a long time since any subject caused me more difficulty than the Green Paper on Immigration. I've written about it once, but without any conviction I had said what I wanted to say. I've thought hard about it since and still find myself staring, Hamlet-like, at its pages. A maudlin confession this, ex- cept that I suspect many other people are as undecided and as unhappy about their re- actions. Part of the issue is easy to discuss. This is the question of how large Canada's popula- tion should be, and therefore how many immigrants we should bring in. I favour the slow growth option. We can- not forever over-crowd our cities, chew up our best farmland and consume our resources. Also, we do poor countries no favours by drain- ing off their brains. The' difficult issue is the color question. It is complex, emotional and it exposes nerves we'd hoped were hidden. The problem is stark, but it must be faced. To dis- criminate is immoral and indefensible, yet if too many non-white immigrants come in too quickly the certain result will be serious social unrest. We are caught in an ethical and political Catch 22. The Green Paper has been attacked as an elaborate plot to legitimize a new policy of colour discrimination. Such suspicions not merely are wrong but they are damaging because they make sensible debate almost impossible. Until about 20 years ago, there was little or nothing to be proud of in our racial record. We finally got away from Polish jokes and French Canadian jokes by inventing Newfie jokes. Anti-Semitism once was rampant. We treated our Indians and Metis like third-class citizens. The immigration rules between 1931 and 1946 prohibited entry to all but white Americans and Commonwealth citizens; all others, Frenchmen included, had to come in as farmers which is how citizens as distinguished as George Ig- natieff, former United Nations Ambassador and now Chairman of the National Museums' Corporation slipped into this country. Today, and it is something to be proud of, our immigra- tion policy is almost certainly the least-discriminatory in the world. The Green Paper pledges that future policy will not discriminate on the basis of "colour, creed or Immigration Minister Robert Andras, whom I've talked to at some length, had not a trace of prejudice. Yet the problem remains. Non-white immigration has increased sharply. Like any society, Canada can cope with only so much social and cul- tural change. At the same time our native peoples are demanding to be full citizens. Our first debt due, and it must be paid, is to our own Indians and Inuit. But to disciminate would make us a small and mean people. The cost of dis- crimination is not economic nor political (the notion we can reduce world over- population is straight fantasy) but moral. Only to avoid discrimination is a timid virtue. We are, offi- cially and in fact, a multi-cul- tural nation. Immigrants, white, black, brown and yellow, have brought diversity and colour to a nation that was until two decades or so ago a stultifying WASP backwater that surrounded a Quebec ghetto. If we have anything to offer other countries, except some foreign aid for the sake of conscience and some spare grain and pulpwood and minerals, it is a working ex- ample, full of flaws but still working, of racial tolerance. None of this draws the two sides of the argument to the point of a decision. A partial solution lies hidden in the Green Paper. Buried beneath circumlocution and qualifications, it makes a case for a slow-down in the, im- migration flow. A reduction, non-discriminatory and general, in the numbers of newcomers of all types would ease the social pressures that they, uninten- tionally, create. As a second step we could eliminate the "nominated" class of immigrants, that is near-relatives from nieces to uncles to grandchildren of those who have already arrived. Because a dispropor- tionate number of nominated immigrants come from Asia, Africa and the Caribbean this move can be criticized as dis- crimination by the backdown. The issue to be faced instead is whether this category, however well- intentioned, should ever have been created. Most who qualify come not to join their family but for economic reasons and so have no cause to go to the bead of the queue. The damnable part about the whole debate is that it is cast in negative terms. Though this country was built by immigrants and has been changed and enriched out of recognition by them, we have never had what Prof. Freda Hawkins calls "an immigra- tion One day we will be able to look at a person and not notice if he is white, black, brown or yellow. Or her. Letters Free advertising? Although I do not think it is my duty to tell the editors of a free press what they should or should not publish as letters to the editor, I find it impossible to restrain myself from speculating on the topic after having read Rabbi Baruch Korff's letter (The Herald, Feb. 12) in which a solicita- tion is made of Canadians to contribute to a Richard Nixon Justice Fund. I will not deny categorically the legitimacy of Rabbi Korff or anyone else making an appeal for victims of natural disasters, famine, oppression, or perhaps even supposed political injustices. And, notwithstanding the fact that Rabbi Korff is addressing himself to Americans in the main, or the fact that he neglects to suggest Canada's responsibility in Mr. Nixon's we might, through some generous stretch of the mind, admit that the Nixon 'administrations made such an impact on Canada and the en- tire world that it would seem unfair of us to show no interest in Mr. Nixon's pre- sent "plight." Under other circumstances, we might do more than claim that this letter belonged in the letters column; we might applaud The Herald for letting us see the character and nature of Richard Nixon's die- hard supporters. The letter, after all, shows their remoteness from reality and their impudence in asking us to aid a man who draws an enormous pension from the U.S. government and who holds more wealth than most of us will ever see. The letter reveals another interesting characteristic of the Nixon men: their un- disguised shamelessness and their utter disdain for Mr. Nixon's potential benefactors (one almost expects Rabbi Korff to submit his advertise- ment unabashedly to news- papers in North Vietnam and Having said this, one might ask why I seem eager to ob- ject to a letter that is little more than rude and offensive. My objection is this: Rabbi Korff is a well publicized Nixon supporter and propagandist who has sworn to defend Richard Nixon by soliciting funds for the former president through a massive form letter campaign in the newspapers. In short, I was astonished to find that Rabbi Korff had used The Herald's letters column to obtain free advertising. During the 1960s similar letters of solicitation placed by anti-war groups cost those groups thousands of dollars in advertising charges. Was The Herald aware of Korff's cam- paign? Does The Herald make it a uniform policy to print solicitations of this type under the innocent, misleading guise of a letter to the editor? Would The Herald' have printed, as .letters to the editor, form letters soliciting funds for FLQ activists, for the Palestine Liberation Front, for the Provisional IRA, for American draft resister campaigns, or for the Black Panther Party? If The .Herald can say yes to the latter two questions it is unlike any North American paper I have seen in recent years. If the answer is no, then where does The Herald draw the line? JAMES TAGG Lethbridge Editor's Note: The Korff letter was published only because we found it interesting and thought our readers might do the same. Hazardous traffic light I wish to comment on the hazardous traffic light on 3rd Avenue S. and Mayor Magrath Drive. There is ho left turn lane for east-bound and west- bound traffic, yet there is a flashing arrow for a left turn only. There is no delay between the flashing arrow light and green light, thus someone turning left could be hit by oncoming traffic. Frequently traffic wishing to turn left on the flashing left turn arrow are unable to do so because traffic who wish to proceed straight through the intersection are in front of them. During rush hours this causes an unnecessary build- up of traffic. I think a partial solution to this problem would be to provide a lane for left hand turning traffic only. KAREN PISKO Lethbridge Letters are welcome and will be published providing: identification is included (name and address are required even when the letter is to appear over a they are sensible and not Hbelous; they are of manageable length or' can be shortened (normally letters should not ex- ceed 300 they are decipherable (it great- ly helps if letters are typed, double spaced with writers do not submit letters too frequently. Finlandization of Europe a constant fear By C. L. Sulzberger, New York times commentator Grooving with the government By Doug Walker I was already driving a Volkswagen when the government appealed to the citizenry to conserve gas. So in order to get with it I have taken to riding the bus to and from work. This isn't my first patriotic gesture. Back when the government asked for agricultural land to be taken out of production I left half our garden in summerfallow and subsequent- ly sowed it to grass. Then when lumber was stoutly needed for the export market I resisted all pressures to put up a fence. Unfortunately I don't seem to be able to reverse myself after grooving with the government. Half the garden is still in grass and the fence is still non existent because I have grown accustomed to the place in this state. I may not be able to give up the bus either when it comes time to guzzle gas again. PARIS Perhaps the most striking difference in divided Europe's psychology is that the West is terrified of being "Finlandized" and the East is terrified of not being "Finlan- dized.': Finlandized, in contemporary jargon, means being dominated economical- ly and strategically by Moscow but kept on a' com- paratively free political leash. West Europe, tied to the United.States through NATO or other pacts, realizes that its ultimate freedom including freedom from Finlandization depends on continuing validity of that American tie. In the end, right-wing and left-wing Western governments acknowledge this as cardinal policy. Finlandization, west of the Warsaw pact, is seen as a fatal step toward Sovietization. Even China agrees and, because of its own mistrust of the U.S.S.R., urges West Europe to stay strong and allied to the United States. But East Europe, which has seen the ineluctable strengthening of nationalism at the expense of Soviet concepts is once again mak- ing plain its terror that, given the uneasy situation, another crisis faces it. There have already been several damned near run things (as Wellington put it) which almost produced major conflict as a result of satellite discontent with the Soviet Union. These have included the Titoist break the East Berlin riots the Polish riots the Hungarian up- risirig the Czechoslovakia "spring" and its destruction and the 1970 bloody confrontations in north Poland between workers and security forces. In each of these instances the possibility existed that tension might break into either brutal Soviet repres- sion (as sometimes occurred) or into the Third World War. But now, with a clearly new situation arising everywhere, the problem is again coming and no one is certain whether it can be handled by past for- mulas. There has been a massive shift in economic balances with the rich suddenly becom- ing a lot poorer and some of the poor becoming billionaires. There has been a less dramatic shift'in military balances, with the U.S.S.R. gaining impressively at American expense. But where Moscow's forces are powerful they are also, in a sense, weak since Russian divisions are in East Europe not only to protect that area from any Western invasion but also to keep it subservient to Moscow. NATO may be DWMricaJly weaker but its can concentrate on defence, not police work. 'It is puzzling to contemplate imponderables involved at this moment when detente key word of the last few years is changing, if not tottering. The formerly fashionable idea of a "pentagonal" world with five political poles America, the Soviet Union, China, Japan and the Euro- pean community no longer approaches reality. China seems to be withdrawing into internal problems related to its political succession. Japan has been badly weakened by the energy crisis. The Euro- pean community is short oh oil and even shorter on unity. Now, with one new regime already installed in Washington and another awkwardly en route in Moscow, recent international assumptions and policies may prove invalid. The Middle East is again heating up fast. Pollution ex- pands, energy and food are in- sufficiently available. Southeast Asia again is com- ing apart, even if Americans don't want to look. And what about detente itself, and all the pleasant mummery in its name? Henry Kissinger wrote in 1957 that "peaceful coex- istence" meant for Moscow only "the most effective offensive that Leninism sought to keep "provocation below the level which might produce a final showdown." Eight years later he opposed "personal diplomacy" with the Russians and said they always chose territorial or political gain over western goodwill. Once he had gained respon- sible power, Kissinger chang- ed his mind because he had more facts and fewer alter- natives at his disposal. He worked hard for detente with Moscow above all, even using a "tilt" toward Pakistan in 1971, and an opening to Peking to achieve his purpose. But now we must wonder: is the whole apparatus of detente becoming anemic? The Middle East might yet lead abruptly to a major war; but the fuel shortage and possible U.S. threats to seize petroleum wells could prove equally explosive poten- tialities. West Europe, which still oc- casionally mutters about secret deals over its head between Moscow and Washington, will do anything it can to avoid being drawn into any non-European in- volvements. Yet it will also do all in its power to avoid Finlandization which, ul- timately, means keeping in- tact the transatlantic umblical cord. For East Europe, the problem is otherwise. It knows it can't escape commit- ment in a major embroilment, if the Kremlin so desires. But it reckons that if time can be gained and Finlandization can inch forward among the little countries between the Baltic and the Black Sea, they may yet survive.the unknown tests ahead and some dap head to calmer, freer seas. The lethbridge Herald 504 7th St. S. Lethbridge. Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD. Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mall Registration No. 0012 CLEO MOWERS. Editor and Publisher DON. H. PILLING Managing Editor DONALD R. DORAM General Manager ROY F. MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K WALKER Editorial Page Editor ROBERT M. FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E. BARNETT Business Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"