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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 14, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 44. -THE IHMBRIDGE HERAVD Wednesday, Morcti 11, 1973- Blair Williams DOESN'T WANT A REPEAT OF OCTOBER VOTE IK PAUL JACKSON Herald Ottawa Bureau OTTAWA Blair Williams' newly-appointed national direc- tor of She Liberal Party of Can- ada, is an energetic and healthy 34-year-old Western Canadian who tops six feet four inclies in height, knows exactly why tlie past federal election was so dis- astrous for his party, and isn't about to let it happen again. That might seem strange coming from the man who ran the campaign in Alberta for the federal saw (he party lose the four seats it had and the Progressive Con- servatives pick up all nineteen of the province's Wil- liams is under no illusions when It comes to politics and he in tends to make sure Ms party isn't either. Explains Williams: "What we have ahead of us is a long, hard slog. There's got to be a grad building of the morale o party workers and governmen supporters across the country We've got to let the peopl ksow that the prims minisle does appreciate their efforts thai he docs listen to them. Al this is under way now." Every Monday William meets with Prime Ministe Pierre Elliott Trudeau at planning meeting, and he saj he is less concerned abou Trudeau's willingness to liste tn the country than he is abou his own ability to accurate' oliect and get the information p the prime minister. He's very accessible. He's ery says the man got tiis master's degree ith a thesis on charismatic jadership, is now putting the nishing touches to his PhD. >.esis, and who admits he won't j old his present position longer lan two years. think that after two years ou have given all the creative to a job that you can. kfter that, you just adminis- ratc. When you reach that oint, as I did after two years as executive assistant to former agriculture minister Bud Olson, t's time to move on and hand it >vcr to somebody who is new and has fresh he slresses. Williams' philosophy of keen- _ng on the move has brought lim a long way since his boy- nood days on his parents farm near Taber. Alta., a small com- munity midway between Leth-1 bridge and Medicine Hat. He's studied at the University of To- routo and the University of Al- berta. Taught political science in Nova Scotia for a couple of years. Travelled extensively in Europe and the United States. "I'm the type of person who works lo a point of exhaustion for two years and then takes off and rejuvenates himself for a few months. I find this stops you losing touch with the basic issues to." Goes farming Sometimes, despite Ins in- tellectual achievements, liams will head back to his parents farm at is also close to where his wife Elizabeth Jensen. Williams was pitch in with the farm He finds it in- vigorating. Williams first got actively in- volved in politics soon after Bud Olson, then a Social Credit MP, decided to switch his political philosophy and run in the election as a Liberal. Williams worked day and night for him, and saw the future agriculture minister elected in basically Conservative territory by just 108 voles. Olson was defeated by Conservative cattleman Bert Hargrave last Oct. 30th. After that came a few months running his parents farm, the executive assistant's Job. a Irip to Kurope, and then the ap- pointment as campaign chair- man for the Liberals in Alberta. Williams admits to being a 'little surprised" by HK total wipe-out in the Rocky Mountain province, but he says from the start he knew he had an "up-' hill" battle and as more and more surveys were conducted he became "mightily troubled" and knew the Liberals were fighting the campaign "from the trenches." He puts the Western losses down to the fact that people' were looking for reasons to vote against the Liberals and found ttiem partially in their inter- pretation of Ottawa's bilingual-1 ism policy and incidenls such as tile RCJIP sign change fiasco. "That just killed he says. After that, and after moving home seven limes in two years, Williams was just about to head off to Australia and a Iwo-ycar university leaching position when he was asked to take on i the national directorship of the party. After a ]ot of thought and i discussion he accepted the job. Good government Now, he says, after just about, wishes of the people on a day lo a complete change of staff at day basis. Everyone is more ]iationa 1 Iieadq uaiters, hic's sensitized. working to improve commu- nication between parly workers Tlie falrlCT of (wn government suppoVers and let them know that tlicir work and interest is appreciated by Trudeau ami get them hack again deeply involved in the party just like they were in those spirited days of Trudeau- mania hack in 1063. lack of a feeling of in- volvement, fs inherent by sup- porters of all political parties. It's a difficult job to keep it permanently we are trying. We're really working to ensure a healthy parly organization across the country." Williams feels that minority government helps to keep people involved. Government Michelle ten and Carmn nine, he fully believes that with good government coming rmt of Ot- tawa Trudeau can win hack a majority. However, he isn't i looking for a swift election. Wit-1 Hams feels it may he a fairly' "ong haul lo get voters to re- spond to that good government. Much has bcc-n made by Ihe; Conservatives of the charge' that Trudeau and his lop advi- sors were completely out of touch with voters prior U> the past election. Williams 5s very! much in touch with Canadians across the country. He intends to develop that liaison even more. As such the former farm- boy from Alberta is likely to cause both the Conservatives and the New Democrats a lot of tends lo react more lo the concern in future months. Lang woirl back changes TORONTO (CP) Justice Minister Otto Lang says he will not support any change in Ihe federal Bail Reform Act "that would return to the day when the poor were kept incarcerated and the rich were allowed to re- main at large." Scarborough, which last month petitioned the government to re- view the act on the ground there were widespread abuses. Mr. Lang wrote that the net, which liberalizes bail proce- dures, not meant lo tie the Baby week 20% off everything you need for baby is right here Nylon mesh playpen Reg. 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