Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 12, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
"4 THE IETHBRIOGE HERAID Monday, Match 12, 1973 Switching votes The politics of the developed world is not moving right or these days, writes a distinguished com- mentator. The trend, he says, is to- ward cushioning the effects of ram- pant economic growth. Affluence has brought a new life style in which familiar values seem to be threat- ened so that some people anxiously seek a way of drawing back and find it in switching votes. As a consequence of the shifting vote, governments tend to hold pow- er small majorities or by means of coalition. This makes for caution in setting policy and effectively ap- plies the brakes to headlong growth. It is true that governments in the developed world have not fared well recently in elections. Even the ap- parently resounding endorse m e n t given Republican President Richard Nixon by U.S. voters was tempered by putting Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress. Yet, inter- esting as the thesis is, some skepti- cism about it is hard to suppress. That the thesis is based on evi- dence such as a scientific sampling of voters in various countries would yield seems unlikely. There is the almost insuperable difficulty of mak- ing such a survey in the fact that voters enjoy secrecy in casting their ballots so that switchers could not be identified for interview. In any case, the reasoning set out in the thesis is so subtle that it is impos- sible to imagine that any substan- ial number voters would employ it in reaching their decision. Very few people, either in their words or by their actions, indicate that they want economic growth slowed down. The main concern seems to be that not enough mater- ial gain comes their way and often the government is blamed for this. Thus it might be argued that votes are switched in the hope that an- other party could get the economy moving faster, not slow it down. Ne doubt there is a lot of uncer- tainty and anxiety to be found in people everywhere and it is prob- ably reflected in the way ballots are cast. But there are likely to be many factors involved in the outcome of elections besides a vague anticipa- tion that a hampered government might slow growth and save values. Maybe people don't see much differ- ence in political parties and simply toss a coin when making their choices. Education in Ulster A while back, an article proposed that part of Northern Ireland's present trouble might be due to shortcomings in its educational sys- tem. Critical attention was called to the rather small by our standards that complete what we think of as a normal level of school- ing. There can be no denying that note- worthy improvements have taken place. According to "Education in Northern an official publi- cation of the Northern Ireland Infor- mation Office, in the past 25 years money spent on education in Ulster has increased 11 times, from rough- ly 20 to 225 pounds per pupil. Dur- ing the same period there has been an increase of more than 150 per cent in the number of teachers, while class sizes have been reduced from an average in the high 30s to a very creditable 23. This article also sets our figures which show dramatic increases in the proportion of Northern Ireland's young people who attend high school. Undoubtedly there has been salu- tary progress. But however high the quality of this education may be, disturbingly few are getting it. To have only one out of every nine 18-year olds still in school just isn't enough, even if it is nearly three times the number that attend- ed ten years ago. The people must ask A few weeks ago.Lethbridge city council decided against a special plebiscite on fluoridation, because it would cost more if it were held sep- arately from a general civic elec- tion, and because there appeared to be little public demand for it. The latter observation should give some concern. No single public project would save more dollars for the money spent, none would relieve more pain and distress, none would be safer. Scores of millions of people are drinking water fluoridated naturally or arti- ficially, with better teeth to show for it. There is no reason why Leth- bridge people, especially child r e n, should not be getting the benefits of this So why isn't there such a demand for it that city council would be forced to order an immediate pleb- iscite? Why the delay? Organized to death My young son has bis father's looks, I'm told especially since I bought him the liockey goalie's mask. It's something about the smile. Sort of a Mona Esposito. When I was buying the mask for the boy, amid all the sports department gear for junior atliletes, I reflected on how things have changed since the days when I played shinny. I was 12 years old before I learned that fee hockey was not played with an old tennis ball. When we played hockey we did not wear a helniet, pads, or a uniform. We didn't even have skates. What vre did was freeze our sneakers. We put them in the icebox till they were solid, then off we clomped to the frog pond. If the pond was frozen too, so much tho belter. It improved our slap shot. The only piece of equipment we had was the hockey stick, a sturdy piece of pet- rified forest that we protected with our lives. The reason why nobody needed a .helmet was lhat none of us would risk splintering his precious stick on an oppon- ent's head. When I see today's young hockey players in (ho NFIL slashing their sticks at one another, I ask, and ponder the wages of affluence. When I was a kid we had all-purpose sports equipment. This comprised mostly the basic sneakers. Those who couldn't af- ford sneakers painted lacea on their feet. My tennis racquet was loosely strung enough to serve also for lacrosse and, in season, sow-shoeing. Our tennis balls like our golf balls we never bought. Wo hung around tho posh dubs when tho (at ladies were playing. When they lost a ball they couldn't be bothered looking for it. We could. Usually before it had stopped bouncing. Because grown-ups rarely lost both skis at once, youngsters didn't ski. Unless, that is, tjey weve blessed with a natural de- formity of the lower limbs. Not only were my feet too small, my mother refused to give me the wax to rub on them. As for playing basketball or football pure Cloudland. The only time an adult took an interest in my game of anything was when the ball went through his win- dow. Then I got instruction, much of the value of it was lost, unfortunately, because I was concentrating on getting the hell out of there. Not that I begrudge today's children the coaching and the costly trappings of par- ticipation in sports. On the contrary, some- times I feel sorry for the little beggars. "Can you come over and I hear one of them ask his chums. Who replies dourly: "Naw, I gotta go to my soccer prac- tice." 1 get the impression that a good many kids feel the same way about their tennis lessons as we felt about our piano lessons. Viz, This is why I bought my son one of the less expensive hockey goalie masks, a make unendorsed by Jacques Planle or even Yves St. Laurent. I don't want him to feel obliged to wear the mask lo watch Hockey Night in Can- ada. I'll he satisfied io long as he wears it any time he plays hockey, or baseball, or football, or volleyball, or Hair won't do it By Carl T. Rowan, U.S. syndicated commentator "When they asked me if 1 wanted to be where the action was, this wasn't what I had in mind." What happened to Jack? By Shaun Herron, Herald special commentator Jack Lynch, the former Irish' prime minister, looked like the most comfortable politician in Europe, as well as being the canniest. He must have thought so himself; or maybe he didn't. Maybe he knew something wasn't quite right, for he called a snap election giving the op- position three weeks to get ready, while he still had a year of his term to go. People resented tha snap. Voting in Ireland is very much a like-father-like-son matter. And the parties have histories in a peculiar sense. For ex- ample, what was formerly the- main opposition party, Fine Gael, might be called the Mi- chael CoEins party. Fianna Fail might well be called the De Val- era party, which being said means that Fine Gael was the government party in the civil war and Fianna Fail was the IRA party that declared war on the Irish government over the treaty that created the Irish state. Things like that stay in the blood and in the polling bcoth. Jack Lynch was sure lhat because his parfy reigned for IS years, father and sen would do it all over again. They didn't. Why? There were many reasons, some them very creditable to the Irish in general. First, the cost of living. It keeps rising. A pound of decent meat costs S2 in Ireland and wages ore a third of ours. Everybody is much more prosperous these days, but one of the fruits of prosperity is ingratitude. prosperity is more expensive, let's have somebody who can give us cheaper prosperity. But behind this general theme there were some very Irish things. Nobody really believes that the Lynch government is an innocent government. Talk of corruption was widespread and even Fianna Fail support- ers talked about it freely. I have no idea whether what I heard is true, People over there believed it and lhat w a s enough. There were some grounds for it that linked it with the gun- running case that led Jack Lynch to put on trial three oE his cabinet colleagues. They were acquitted. But no one be- lieves in the innocence of the whole cabinet, was tok! by a rnnn very close to the cabinet that tlie allocation of one hun- dred thousand pounds of ster- ling to buy guns for the IHA in Ulster was in fact a cabinet decision. "They were all in it and the three ministers took the rap when Jack found out the people were against any inter- ference in tha North." That came from a high political source. So there was a widespread feeling that a seedy political manoeuvre had taken place to get the government out of a hole, and it all looked worse when Jack lowered the boom on the IHA. He had shifted his feet too far and too unconvin- dngly, to get in line with (he feelings oi the people. In other words that marvellous word "credibility" got into the Irish mind. They were against the Letters Good neighbors The individual who used the signature Granum resident on his letter of March 3, taints a whole community by not hav- ing the intestinal fortitude to sign his own name and is not worthy of having his opinion considered. I am. sure the majority of the citizens of the Granum district appreciate the neighborlincss and willing help of the Hutter- ian Brethren m times of dis- aster such as A person does not cease to be a good neighbor just because his beliefs and way of life are different, FRANCES CESArt Better world I read in a letter written by Mr. Hancock of Raymond a couple of weeks ago that ice have to make a sr-crificc, the teachers in the forefront, to curb inflation. But I think his letter is a cry in the wilderness, because the teachers are not satisfied with the wages. The teachers' assoc i a lion wants more and more, but that Is not the way to fight infla- tion. The old saying is "When you want to make the world bsller, you have to start with yourself." J. VAN DYK CoaWale, gun-running. They were against the antics of their government. People said to me from all parties that the government actually promoted the troubles in the North thinking the peo- pla would approve; and they didn't. More: Where did the one hun- dred thousand pounds go? It actually didn't buy guns or if it did they didn't arrive. Who got the money? Any taxi driver will tell you. It went into the pock- ets of A and B and C. From the Border to the sea, they be- lieved this: corruption again. Then during the election Fine Gael promised to cut all rates on property by 50 per cent. Jack attacked them fiercely. Where would the money come from to compensate local auth- orities? The scheme was crazy a massive bribe. The follow- ing week what did Jack do? He announced that if his govern- ment was returned they would abolish rates altogether! That did it. Credibility, again. In tlie end, of the two parties in the opposition coali- tion, Labor lost quite heavily at the polls but Fine Gael in- creased its popular vote more heavily. That is what tells the tale: The switch in family vot- ing was quite heavy, lor Le- land. Those who say Mr. Lynch was defeated because he low- ered1 the boom on the IRA are quite mistaken. Both the part- ies of the coalition will be far tougher with the IRA than Jack Lynch could ever bring him- self to be; indeed, the IRA said so when Hie results were out. Indeed, a tougher line with the IHA is what the people want. In spite of the shift in pop- ular vote, the new government hss no great margin to work with. The Irish electoral sys- tem makes that almost inevit- able. The final figures in seats do not reflect the shift in votes because of the multiple trans- fer system of the votes of the losers, The important thing about the result was that the Irish people reused to be bought by offers they thought might be delivered but then again, might not. It's a change in Irish politics and one for the better. There are many signs that the people of the Re- public arc very anxious indeed to enter into the 20th century. The result o[ this election was one of them. WASHINGTON White read- era of this newspaper can move on to the crossword nuzzle. or the bridge column, or the sports pages, I want to rap a hit with my black readers today. And if what I say angers a few brothers and sisters, so be it. But it's time blacks es- pecially young blacks stop- ped deluding themselves into believing that the sheepish fol- lowing of stupid fads is "black solidarity." It is time to stop swallowing this malarkey that .styling your hair in 30 nappy plaits, with enough head skin showing to cane-bottom granny's rocker, is the epitome of "pride hi racial heritage." The current Ebony magazine has a feature called "Is tha Afro on the Way It sug- gests that the college group d'dn't find enough "black pride" in the old Afro, so young blacks have now resort- ed to "ancient African hair- styles" such as the "free corn- row" modeled by a lassie who looks as though she got her head caught in a corn- slmcker. Another sister sports "cornrows tipped with and looks as though she got trapped in a stampede of hun- gry locusts. Anybody who didn't find enough "black pride" with a "bush" is supposed to finally discover his or her black ident- ity in a "comrow." This is, to put it as decently as I can, pure Americans-can let their hair grow to the ground, they can shave till their heads outshine, cue balls, they can straighten or tease or crocinole or curl or process, they can buy wigs till they run out of money (as a lot of Africans do in Nairobi and other African cities I have but there isn't going to be any "meaningful" black making solid achievements in competition with the white ma- jority. Nothing galls me more than a black dude who is cutting classes, or who never reads a newspaper or magazine or book, or won't bold onto a job, or won't give a dime to help ionic needy black, sitting around the barber shop or the pool hall or tlie student union talking about how Ms "rags" or his symbolizes black pride. No Greek, no Jew, no Roman, no Aztec ever designed enough rags or grew enough hair to cloak failure to the extent that it could pass for "pride." Black people in this coun- try face a grueling challenge of survival. Many of the most powerful forces in the land are arrayed against us these days, some openly and some secret- ly. So we need to put down all the nonsense and bull, and get about the business of manning the ramparts. I don't give a damn how you style your bair; what bothers me is that you spend more time on your hair than on your physics or Eng- lish class. That folderol over "ancient African hairstyles" gave n> special pain in the scalp be- cause I read it just after read- ing a very troubling article by a black senior at Harvard. This young man, Sylvester Monroe, wrote in the Saturday Review of Education, about what happened as black stu- dents have let .their search for "blackness" and "pride" car- ry them to a separatism that shuts them off from the intel- lectual strength of Harvard. Monroe quotes a black Har- vard professor, Martin A. Kil- son, as saying: "The problem with black students at Harvard is that they are too caught up in ideology. Most people who deal in ideologies believe only 10 per cent of it, at most. But blacks at Harvard want to be- lieve 90 per cent of their own ideological So true. A M of young peo- ple think they are snowing Whitey. They are going through his university, taking his degree, without submitting to' the rigors of his academic procedures. They get away with it because Whitey doesn't know how to cope with "black solidarity." But these young blacks snowing themselves. Sometimes destroying themselves. Not many are as honest as Monroe, who admits that he is nervous as hell about leaving Harvard to compete in a "complex, de- manding white world." Monroe fears that he has screwed him- seif by spending three years at Harvard in "an isolated black vacuum." Let's face reality: we don't have enough firepower to take this country; we don't have enough manpower to dominate it; we don't have enough dol- lar-power to buy it. And we'll he short of all these "powers" until we develop a lot more brainpower. In truth, that's the one power we can develop rap. idly, with zeal, without scaring the dominant group to the point Ui at it loads on new oppres- sions. So, In the name of the souLi of black folk, let's say to hell wilh this nonsense about hair. Let's face up to some tests of manhood and womanhood that are truly relevant to black up- lift. C I'" lr "Vou've got fo ooVnif, this oirtine has done ihe job crs ffff os playing down ffte sexy, image of their tellers are welcome and will be published providingi identification is included (name and address are re- quired even when the letter is to appear over a pseu- they are sensible and not libelous; they are of manageable length or can be shortened (normally, letters should not exceed 300 they are deci- pherable (it greatly helps if letters ore typed, double spaced and with writers do not submit letters too frequently. The Lethbtidge Herald 504 7th St. S., Lelhbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD 00. Proprietors and Published 1905 ISM, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Class Man Registration No. 0013 J1" "nil the Canadian Oally Newspaoec Publishers' AsMctetion ths Audit Bureau a W. MOWERS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manage" DON PILLING WILLIAW HAY Mlniglng Ednor AssocHle Editor tOUGLAi K. Editorial Edllor ROY f. WILFS Manager THE HERAID SERVES THE SOUTH'