Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 8, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBR1DGE HERALD _ Ihunday, March 8, 1973 Domestic sanity in China needs time Larger doesn't mean better In 1867 Hie original Canadian House of Commons consisted of 181 members. That number was increas- ed from time to time, as new prov- inces emerged and for various ether reasons, until today there are 265 members. The basis of representation is pop- ulation, so after each census, i.e. every ten years, a review is made, and usually it is found some redis- tribution is in order. This year, for example, Ontario and B.C. each gain three seats, Quebec loses two while Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Mani- toba and Saskatchewan lose s one each. This sort of redistribution, espec- ially the fact of some districts losing seats, always evokes a number editorials and articles proposing that the size of the House be increased. It is argued that as long as there is a ceiling on membership, propor- tionate representation for fast grow- ing districts can only he achieved at the expense of those that are static or growing less rapidly. The proposition is a dubious one. It is true that when someone gains seats, someone must lose them, but that is how it is supposed to work, if population is to be the basis of representation. It is the proportions that are important, not the absolute numbers. Under the latest distribution ar- rangement Alberta will have 19 seats while .neighboring Saskatche- wan and Manitoba are to have 12 each. If the House were to be in- creased by 10 per cent, SO per cent, or even doubled, nothing would be changed except the numbers (and, the if Alberta were to be given 38 seats and the other two 24 each, their relative strengths would remain unchanged. Similarly, Prair- ie representation in Ottawa would not be improved if instead of having 43 seats out of 265, there were 86 Prairie seats in a parliament of 530. If Canadians really believe in rep- resentation by population, then the present proportions should not be al- tered. And if the proportions are to remain the same, what is to be gain- ed by having more members, unless the thickness of Hansard is the cri- terion for good government? The French election Elections in France are com- plicated affairs, requiring two rounds of. voting, which take place a week apart. In the first round, there may be anywhere from two to a dozen or more candidates. If one of them ob- tains a majority (50 per cent or more) of the votes cast, he is de- clared elected and it is all over for that constituency. Otherwise, any of the original candidates who polls a number of votes equal to 10 per cent of the electorate (not just of those who voted) may enter the second and final round. Whoever receives the highest number of votes in the second round is elected, majority or not. Not all eligible candidates enter the second round, by any means. Very often, perhaps as much as 80 per cent of the time, the final run-off is between two candidates. This comes about as a result of the fran- tic wheeling and dealing that occu- pies political leaders throughout the week between A simple illustration of the kind of deal that is made would be a case in which a Gaullist, a Socialist, a Communist and a Reform Movement candidate placed one, two, three, four in the initial voting, all with the re- quired 10 per cent. The Reform can- didate might withdraw to enhance the prospects of the Gaullist in the final run-off, while the Communist might withdraw also, to help the So- cialist to defeat the Gaullist. This would result in the customary two- man contest. Open area and cons By Terence Morris, Fie Some parents and teachers have asked If there is any special advantage in build- ing open area schools. What are some of the pros and cons of this innovation? I believe an open area school can offer a superior education to its students. One advantage is that it provides an excellent opportunity for easy movement of stu- dents. Johnny could find himself in sev- ent academic groups and also enjoy the opportunity of moving to different option- al activities during his free time. Easy access to library facilities and subject areas offers students learning opportune in the old box type school. However, the disadvantage of this scheme is that it de- mands a great deal of time to organize and the problem is compounded when we realize that we should be planning for fresh regroupings of students at very fre- quent intervals. This kind of flexible time- tabling demands an amount of organizing time that is not available under present school staffing policy. Another advantage is the opportunity for children to work together as one large so- cial unit. As children of different ages spend a great deal of their school day in close association they should learn how td get along together. From personal obser- vation I would say that children do learn to be more considerate of others as they work together in open area schools. How- ever, we should also accept that children work better on their own and pro. vision should be made for the student prefers the quiet of the closed-ln class- room. Noise Is perhaps the most serious prob- lem in open area schools. It has been said that students are not disturbed by noise and it would be interesting to see the evidence to support this observation. I think noise has a very bad effect on the teachers who are supposed to be offering some inspired teaching to their students for something like hours at a By Dennis London commentator SINGAPORE The whirl- wind romance between China and America, whose joint com- munique has revealed that they have agreed to set up official liaison mission in each other's capitals, has left most onlook- ers a little short of breath. But apart from a growing mutual desire to establish a new bal- ance of power in Asia, less- advertised factors have in their case swayed what pass for sentiments in International af- fairs. Dr. Henry Kissinger, There are much more complicated deals, too. One such would result in the withdrawal of all Socialist can- didates, say, from a particular dis- trict, in consideration of Communist or other parly withdrawals else- where. As a result of deals like those, and of course the many individual deci- sions that will he made as a result studying first round returns, it is likely that nearly all of the three or four hundred contests still to be de- cided will become straight two-man fights, between a Gaullist adherent on the one hand, and a member of the Communist Socialist alliance on the other. Opinion polls, political experts and the results of last Sunday's voting all indicate the government has never been so close to defeat since the establishment of. the Fifth Re- public. Nor has the Left ever been so close to power in France. Sunday's final round will be watch- ed very closely, in France and abroad. France is the keystone of the European Economic Community, the so-called Common market. And in all continental Europe, only France has her own atomic weapons. A France ruled by a Communist Socialist alliance, with the Commun- ists anything but junior partners, is something that could cause some very serious thinking in more than one European capital, and perhaps farther afield. President Nixon's adviser, has been courting from a position of strength, for China is weak on its feet after more than 20 years of the ideological infight- ing, the purges and the shock- ing betrayals that have inevit- ably accompanied "socialist re- construction." Under the mantle of Chair- man Mao but the management of Premier Chou En-Iai, the Chinese "moderates" .are strug- gling to restore political and economic sanity to a nation still twitching from the traumatic effects of the violent "Great Cultural the dis- grace of the "revisionist" Pres- ident Liu Shao-ch'i, and the downfall of the inquilous Lin Piao, Mao's chosen successor. After rebuilding the adminis- tration and the Communist party, which had been reduced almost to rubble, Peking is pa- tiently putting together trade unions, the mass organi- zations for women, the peasant association and other victims elwood Elementary School stretch. It is foolish to expect anyone, be they students, teachers, doctors, lawyers, or school trustees, to carry on meaningful work against a background of noise. All schools must strive to provide good working conditions for students and teach- ing personnel but it is of paramount im- portance to have a harmonious atmos- phere in an open area school. When the waiis disappear everyone finds himself exposed to public view. You can't shut the classroom door and shut off the outside world. Teachers and students find them- selves working in an intimate relationship that is quite unlike anything you wil! find in a conventional school. There is no place for the person with negative attitudes, or the petrified individualist who is not pre- pared to share his ideas, problems, and fellowship with his colleagues. There is no place for the non-teaching administrative dictator who treats student teachers, and parents, like bonded servants. I support open area schools but I think there should be constant evaluation of this innovation before, during, and after its implementation in a school system. Refer- ring to the introduction of open area schools in a large city system, the dean of education at the University of Alberta said, "without thinking through the is- sues, it's no wonder 33 per cent of the people wanted out after eight to ten years." There is no excuse for trustees, and parents not making the time Jo think through tne problems that might occur with any educational innovation. When we innovate, we are playing with the lives of our children and we have a duty to ensure that they do not become the unwilling victims of some scheme that is little more than an educational gimmick. Given the right facilities, the open area school can be an outstanding success, but like all success stories there are hound to be growing pains which be acknow- ledged and examined in a frank and lion- eat was. Controls can be complicated By Maurice Western, Herald Ottawa commentator OTTAWA Experience has shown that it is very difficult to explain our Canadian thought and ways to visitors from less Interesting and less complicated lands. Consider, for example, the matter of controls; a subject earnest and continuing study by the Canadian government. This study, which is intense and likely to extend into the next century, has demonstrated that controls are bad. The gov- ernment has developed contin- gency plans but would imple- ment them only if the situation was one which met the tests ex- plained to Parliament by the Prime Minister and the Minis- ter of Finance. At the same time, it is clear from the announcement of the Minister of Energy, Mines and Kesources on Thursday that some controls are less bad than others. Export controls on crude oil and equivalent hydro- carbons, effective on March I, fall into this category. There is even a certain glow of virtue about them, particularly appar- ent to citizens in that province of Ontario. It is interesting to consider the problems which might arise if it became necessary, for the edification of a curious visitor, to relate Mr. Macdonald's con- trols to the general tests prudently insisted upon by Mr. Trudcau and Mr. Turner. of these, it may be re- called, is the existence of a na- tional consensus, as discerned by the Government. There is an immediate diffi- culty here because it is obvious from his reported comments that the Premier of Alberta is not at one with Mr. Macdonald. The explanation may be that the Government has detected bits and pieces of consensus here and there in the foothills and isolated coulees. While little is heard nowadays of Informa- tion Canada, it continues to em- an impressive number of people who presumably pick up miscellaneous items from time to time for use. somewhere in the apparatus of government. Of great importance also is the price test. Abhorrent as controls may be, it is under- stood that ministers will move quickly to invoke them if it ap- pears that our goods are pricing themselves out of foreign mar- kets. In the case of crude oil the price test yields singular re- sults. Not only is the price right but the Americans, unreason- able as always, are attempting to buy too much. The third test, as set by the prime minister, is more diffi- cult to apply. Mr. Trudeau Intellect can't evolve Despite my pains to clarify the issues, I see that the evolu- tion 'debate' has degenerated into the old scientist versus fundamentalist vaudeville which ought to be as dead as the dodo. The latest example of crude interpretation and gross mis- reading is Pamela Goddard's piece of March 1st. It seems that close reading is a thing of the past except for a few who concentrate. My comment about capitalism and commun- ism, torn out of context in Pam- how the devil can it throw any light on the soul? This is the business of philosophy and the- ology, not of physical science. The mindless approach to evolution to which I object con- sists in presenting as fact what is only hypothesis (as numer- ous distinguished scientists agree) and in going beyond the facts Into a mumbo jumbo world of evolutionism where people stop thinking, and talk about our evolving into new stages of growth; as though men are slaves to change ela Goddard's article, simply whether good or bad, and have Minted nut thar to adapt to whatever is foisted upon them by fashion and prof- iteering. That notion is slavery. We shape our lives in freedom, or exploiters shape them for us. It is difficult for some dyed- in-the-wool progressivi sts to re- alize that skepticism about physical evolution is a mark of intelligence and scientific ob- jectivity. It is almot impos- sible for them to see that the crucial point is not whether ev- olution has occurred, but rath- er to see the distinction be- tween physical science and phil- osophy. Their myopia in this regard is the central disease of the modem mind which wor- ships what it thinks is science but simply cannot think. Mean- while, greedy capitalists grow fat on ignorance and on the slavery of adjustment to an in- creasingly insane world in the name of progress. pointed out that (that is, the notion that every- thing evolved, including human beings) has to assume that ev- erything that exists is a prod- uct of matter; for "intellect and will cannot evolve." Thus, when people say that human beings evolved, they are really saying (hat the essence of man evolv- ed. .Of course no one should mind anybody accepting the idea that the physical universe evolved, including man's body; but one should mind people glossing over the question of what Is meant by a human be- ing. That is the point. The prob- lem is glossed over. Thus, a philosophical assumption is taught 33 science. Pamela Goddard misses the philosophical point, and she il- lustrates perfectly the centra] objection to tile comic-sfrip mode of teaching evolution in schools. Whatever the physical evidence for physical evolution, PETER HUNT spoke of prices advancing at "a rate at which we would be unable to satisfy the legitimate demands of those sections of the population that are not pro- tected against rising costs." While there may be a cost threat here, against which citi- zens of Toronto are unpro- tected, there is the complicating fact alluded to on many occa- sions by James Richardson that citizens of the western prov- inces have gone unprotected for roughly a century against the tariff-enhanced costs of Toronto goods. In these circumstances, an in- quiry of the sort suggested would rjerhaps not be helpful in clarifying matters for a foreign friend. The better course might well be to explain that what is generally true in this country is rarely true in particular cases. The Canadian governm e n t, growing wiser daily from the contemplation of the complexity of things, stands firmly opposed in these later days to the prac- tice of ad hockery, except when it Is necessary for national pur- poses as revealed to the minis- ters. This truth having been ex- plained to the visitor, Mr. Mac- donald's statement will become more enlightening. The amend- ments to regulations under the National Energy Board Act, in the minister's words, will en- sure that oil exports do not ex- ceed quantities surplus to rea- sonably foreseeable require- ments for use in Canada." It is to be hoped that this will so exhaust the visitor's curios- ity as to rule out the next and regrettably obvious question. Why is the government taking no similar action to assist Ron- ald Easford, the minister of housing, in his work? Mr. Bosford is a very enthu- siastic Minister who is anxious to put more people into homes fit for working Canadians. There is a shortage, in some areas very acute, of houses which people can afford. it is obvious that many causes have combined to push prices into the stratosphere, one is starkly apparent to any citizen who happens to visit a lumber yard. unhappy fact, dis- tressing to consumers, in any case, is that there has been a meteoric rise in the price o! the extent that prac- tically any twisted scrap Is now hoarded for sale by the careful retailer. As in tha case of oil, the phe- nomenon is largely attributable to the market demands of our American neighbors who have, perhaps, been too responsive to the efforts of the department of trade and commerce, now beaded by Alastair Gillespie. One might think, in these cir- cumstances, that the govern- ment would rush in with similar action to assist Mr. Basford. There are no signs at the mo- ment that it harbors any such Noughts. of the rampaging Red Guards and "revolutionary rebels01 who set out with Mao's blessing to turn Chinese Communist soci- ety upside down during the tur- bulent sixties Including most notably the Communist Youth League. The League, which has just held its first congress since the Cultural Revolution in Shang- hai, is once again to be the party's instrument for control- ling, disciplining and indoctrin- ating China's "heirs and suc- cessors" from 15 to 25 years old and converting thorn into good, domesticated Commun- ists. And since it Is laid down that to work in the paddy fields and pigsties of China and learn the facts of life from the poor peasants is good for the socialist eoul, millions of boys and girls are still being sent away from the dtles to agri- cultural communes or to units of the Production and Construc- tion Corps of the army labor- ing in the countryside. In China as elsewhere, how- ever, youth is age's chronic headache. According to official Communist sources, many people down on the farms showed themselves to be un- ruly, undisciplined, materialis- tic, clannish, snobbish and promiscuous last year. They de- manded more pay, yearned af- ter bourgeois status symbols like bicycles, thought of little else but eating and drinking, ignored injunctions not to mar- ry early, held lavish wedding feasts, and then (if not before) were disastrously nonchalant about birth control. They read no newspapers and took no in- terest in politics. They had for- golten what they had learned at school, couM not even use an abacus, and devoted their evenings to poker and "bad books." Those still at school chewed peanuts in class, flaunted un- proletarian watches (or paint- ed them on their wrists if they did not possess the real and often skipped periods on the brazen excuse that they were going to end up raking muck with the peasants any- way. Those already on the farms were Indignal that this should be the reward for their years o! study, and those in factories who were politic ally- minded clung to outmoded left- wing views, obstinately insist- ed that it was more important to be "red" than neg- lected technical training, and despised dirty work. Against this equivocal back- ground, the Chinese worker or cadre only becomes more per- plexed when the government seeks to rationalize the situa- tion. From 1068 to 1971 (the Communist press has subse- quently disclosed) administrat- ive cadres in many parts of China tried to take the masses a step nearer to the ideal Mao- ist society by collectivizing the communes completely, banning the sidelines of the peasants, confiscating their pigs and pri- vate plots of .land and even the fruit trees around their houses, prohibiting cottage industry, ab- olishing the work-point system whereby all were rewarded ac- cording to how much they did and substituting an egalitarian formula whereby everyone re- ceived the same. Material in- BEITS WORLD centives were condemned ae part of the dire plot of Liu Shac-ch'i and his "black gang of freaks and monsters" to re- store capitalism In China and. give the land back to peas- ants. Then last year the Peking People's Daily denounced crash collectivization in Its turn as "ultra-leftist" and cnce more the accursed work of those who followed "political swindlers like Uu Shao-ch'i." According to the "correct" line, the peas- Rat could keep his plot and Us own pigs and poultry, he could grow his own fruit and vege- tables, and he could develop other sidelines like weaving baskets and mats or collecting medicinal herbs, snakes, tor- toises, wild animate and bam- boo, and sell them all (or per- sonal profit But if Liu Shao-ch'i was an advocate of "material incent- ives" and capitalism, how could he have schemed to deprive the peasants of their private bits business, men asked each other in their ignorance, and some even hesitated to take back their modest plots of land for fear that all would be seized again tomorrow and further ac- cusations heaped on their heads. Cadres who were earlier re- viled for the crime of "putting techniques and so being more "expert" than are now warned that Improved technology is vifal to China's development. Students who were once praised for sneering at theory and devoting them- selves to practical work are now admonished for displaying this "pragmatism" which comes straight out of Liu Shao- ch'i's bag of revisonist booby- traps, they are told, and em- phasis is again laid on the gen- eral study of scientific books. All this makes perfect sense but adds to the dizjying ser- ies of order and counter-ord- ers that has been the projec- tion in the provinces of the un- ending battle of ideas among Cluna's leaders in Peking, in- ducing political vertigo and nausea. The results are apathy and "anarchy" among the mil- lions, a reluctance U> impose discipline en the part of the cadres (for fear of being charg- ed with "leftism" or "right- ism" when the political wheel makes another and a tendency for exasperated re- gional bosses to. interpret any rules from the capital to suit their own convenience. Chou En-lai's herculean task of putting an end to ambiguity as the first major move to- wards making China politically stable and strong is bedevilled by genuine left-wing opponents capable of reversing his pol- icies yet again should they ever get the upper hand and baffling ths proletariat even more. Meanwhile, China Is still back- ward, vulnerable, a pygmy as a nuclear power, a vast coun- try whose inadequate food out- put has increased more slowly since 1955 than that of any de- veloping country in the Near and Far East or Latin Ameri- ca. These quite apart from Sino-Soviet acrimony are the factors behind China's soft re- sponses to Washington's woo- ing. Which means that, as so often happens, the reponses may be very different after 10 years of marriage. iwffctad met vkttt we found thai our ran ilwierx were not as valuable ai Herald 7th St. 5., Letnbridge, Alberta LETHBRUXJE HERALD 10. LTD., Proprietors and Publisher! Published 3905 1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Sxend CIBM Man Registration No. mil Tlw Cmidlan Prest tnt uun' Allocation tin Audit Bureau of circulations CLEO W. MOWERS, Editor >IK) PuhthMr THOMAS H. ADAMS. Oeniral Manager DON PILUNO WIU.1AV HAT Managing Editor Aiioclate Editor ROV DousuTi K. WALKM MvtftUIng Mttwgir tutorial idBcr HERALD SnVES THE SOUTH"