Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 2, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
Anthony Westell Tueiday, May 3, 197J THE IETHBRIDGE HERALD 5 Candidates are running on their own rkTTAWA Publisher Mel Hurtig Is a federal candi- date in Edmonton and his liter- ature emphasizes, among other issues, "an end to the sellout of reform of political fund raising and, of course, jobs for all. Academic and former MP Pauline Jewett is .seeking tho nomination in 0 11 a w a and names the same three issues as major planks in the plat- form. Flora MacDonald, running in Kingston, can be expected to beat the same set of drums be- cause she has been a leading worker for the Committee for an Independent Canada, a pro- fessional political organ- izer with strong views on elec- tion financing and, naturally, a critic of high unemployment. Nothing very remarkable about three candidates having similar platforms except that Hurtig is a Liberal, Jewett a New Democrat and MacDon- ald a Conservative. They are, In fact, three people with simi- lar political ideas who could quite easily be in the same party or even the same cabinet. They are not perhaps typi- cal candidates. Each is some- thing of an individualist with considerable political experi- ence and public personality. But they probably do represent a trend toward more indepen- dently minded candidates in 1972 a situation in which party labels will mean very lit- tle in terms of policy in many ridings across the country. If the voters want to k n o w what a candidate stands for, they will have to listen to what he or she says, instead of to what the party and the nation- al leader claim to represent. There are several reasons for this loosening of party disci- pline, which seems to move us closer to the U.S. style of poli- tics. One is the growth of tho party nominating convent i o n which in some ridings has be- come almost like a U.S. pri- mary. The days when the party bosses bestowed the party mantle on the grateful candi- date and claimed loyalty In re- turn have gone. Now the can- didate goes out and organizes rank and file party members to attend the convention by the hundreds, or thousands, and vole him the nomination. H e winds up owning the party machine, rather than the other way around. Another reason for the inde- pendence of the 1972 candidate) is that he is clinging lo no- body's coattails. Pierre Tru- deau pulled the Liberal slate !o victory in 1968, but his leader- ship has lost much of its ma- gic this year. Tory Leader Rob- ert Stanfield never had charis- ma for a winning image, and the NDP's David Lewis seems The mounting costs By Maurice Western of medicare JOHN MUNRO, both in Partia- liament and newspaper inter- views has been expressing grave concern over the mounting costs of medicare and hospilalization. According to recent estimates, current spending on these two joint programs, is now about 53.61 billions. The annual rate of increase is 11 or 12 per cent for medicare; 14 to 16 per cent for hospitalizalion. According lo a report by Arthur Blakcly in The Gazette of Montreal, Mr. Munro described projections for the '70s as "staggering." He also said; "I don't think we ever an- ticipated this type of escala- tion." With costs rising in this fashion, he now fears that the very existence of the programs may be threatened. This concern is not new. It be- came apparent some time ago that costs were out of control and the minister has been en- deavoring, rightly but not as yet successfully, to reach agree- ment with the provinces on a formula for checking the rate of increase. From Mr. Munro's language, however, it would ap- pear that the situation is even more serious than had been as- sumed. We have some further information on medicare in a table of per capita costs for the fiscal year 1969-70. This shows a very great variation with a fig- ure of for Newfoundland as compared to for On- tario and 576.71 (for less than a full year) for Quebec. The record certainly supports Mr. Munro in his assertion that an escalation of this magnitude was never anticipated by the government. What was remark- able about tile controversy of tile 1960s was the adamant re- fusal of ministers to consider warnings. As late as October 1968 when the government was already worried about the dis- concerting costs of open-ended programs, Mr. Benson rebuked Mr. Robarts, then premier of Ontario, for daring to suggest that the country could not af- ford the scheme that Ottawa was insistently pressing. Expe- rience since that time has dcm- onslraled, unhappily, that Mr. Robarts was much more realis- tic than federal ministers in his assessment of probable costs. It is wise in such matters to lock the stable door before the horse is out. This was not done and, in consequence, Mr. Munro finds himself in deep trouble. At best he can hope only, through with the provinces, to find some means of checking the rate at which costs will in- crease. The bill for over-optim- ism in government will, as usual, come home to the tax- payers. How salutary this expe- rience will prove remains to be seen. There is little to suggest that government has lost much of its zest for developing new and expensive programs. The least taxpayers are entitled to expect is that ministers (and those in opposition who hope to be minsters) will be more real- istic in future in estimating both their immediate and prospec- tive costs. (Herald Ottawa Bureau) Police take to bikes By Don Oakley, NEA Service nPHE idea of a policeman o n ficers wheeled silently into an a bicycle pedaling fur- Isla Vista parking lot and sur- a bicycle pedaling iously in pursuit of a fleeing burglar or mugger conjures up a sort of Keystone Kop image. Either that or the picture of a round-helmeted constable lei- surely patrolling a quiet En- glish country lane. But in at least one city, Isla Vista, Calif., the police are tak- ing to bikes nimble, 10-spesd models and are not only finding them "highly effective" crime prevention-wise but con- d u c i v e to making friends among the local citizenry, which includes thousands of es- tablishment-wary students at- tending the nearby Santa Bar- bara campus of the University of California. In a recent incident, two of- prised a burglar in the act of jimmying an apartment win- dow. "Had we been in a vehicle, he would have seen or heard us coming and been long says one officer. "Another advantage became apparent when he bolted be- tween two buildings. He was such a fast runner we could never have caught him on foot, and couldn't have squeezed through in a car. On bikes, we apprehended him before he'd gone a block." Now this is a form of law enforcement "wheeling and dealing" that's encouraging to hear about. Other communities might well look into it Here's a wonderful combination offer from your Muntz Centre everything you need to enjoy your favourite entertainment in stereo, in your own car. The Muntz Grand Opening Special includes a new, 1972-model CAR STEREO, speakers, and grilles, tape carrying case, and your choice of 2 tape cartridges, all at big savings, plus complete installation 'by MUNTZ service experts. There's nothing else to buy installation can be arranged for after Grand Opening. GET ALL THESE AT ONE LOW MONEY-SAVING PRICE: CAR STEREO Model 860 It's a beauty! 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IlurtJR and many other Lib- erals across the country will run more on their own names and personalities than as Tru- deau supporters or Liberal party men, and if enough of them can get themselves elect- ed, Trudeau will be permitted to continue as Prime Minister. Flora MacDonald and other Tories will have to organize their own campaigns with a broader appeal than Stanfield has yet been able to show, if they hope to win. And there are some New Democrats who think they do better in collecting the protest vote when there seems no dan- ger that the national leader and his campaign might actually carry the party to major gains and threaten the country with "socialism." In short, riding candidates will owe little to their leaders in the coming campaign. A third factor tending to ele- vate the individual candidate is that it's harder and harder to tell the parties apart. Liberals, Tories and NDPers have all gone through elaborate policy- making processes since 1968 but the result seems to have been to blur rather than sharpen their images. They are reluc- tant f to make sweeping prom- ises 'which the voters won't be- lieve, or which they know will cost higher taxes, and they hud- dle together in the centre of the political spectrum. An analysis of their platforms would no doubt turn up some differences, but the electorate is confused. A recent Gallup Poll reported that 43 per cent of Canadians (59 per cent of French Canadians) were unde- cided when asked under which federal party they and their families would be better off. In these uncertain cir c u in- stances, when the national brand name is of dubious value, the riding candidate must try to establish his ONTO distinctive image and appeal. He takes only what he wants from the party platform, adds any planks he needs to create his own local issues, and probably plays down his leader and la- bel. All this means that the com- ing election will be fought, to a significant extent, riding by riding rather than on the na- tional level, and the results in many ridings will depend more on tile quality of the local can- didates than the appeal of the party leaders. In this sort of campaign, the Liberals have the advantage of sitting MPs who are at least recognizable in their areas. The oppos i t i o n parties, however, have more opportunity to intro- duce new faces and exciting personalities. National opinion polls are of very limited value in predicting the overall result. Whichever party wins, how- ever, there Is likely to be a considerable impact on the workings of Parliament. The candidate who organizes his own nomination, def i n e s his own issues and campaigns on his own ability to represent the interests of his riding, will even- tually arrive on Parliament Hill with a considerable sense of in- dependence and individual re- sponsibility. He will not bow easily to the discipline of a party to which lie owes little, or accept for long the conventional restraints of tlie parliamentary sys t e m which require him. if he is on the government side, to sup- port, the government even when he disagrees with its decisions. He is likely to demand more freedom than MPs have cus- tomarily enjoyed. And this will require major reforms in our system of government. There is already a good deal cf discussion on this issue among politicians particular- ly among disappointed Liber- als elected in the Trudeau euph- oria and idealism of and it will be high on the agenda im- mediately after the election. The popular view at the mo- ment seems to be Hint th? par- liamentary system should be moved a lillle closer to the U.S. style. Governments would lie given a fixed, four year term and MPs thereby freed to vote against government measures without fear of forcing an elec- t i o n. Committees would be strengthened and given more effective power to change gov- ernment legislation. Another approach to reform which should be considered, however, would be to restore (lie ancient power of Parlia- ment to remove a government and appoint another without holding a general ck-olion every time. Backbench MPs with a spirit of independent judgment mifihl very well withdraw sup- port from one prime minister and grant it to another whose policies they preferred, within the lift! of a Parliament. Then we could hope to see people like IlurtiR, Jewell and Madtot.nld voting for the same govcrnnicnl to implement tho policies on which Ihey all apree, instead of opposing each other. (Torunlo Star Syndicate) r Tenure for teachers The Wall Street Journal T JNTTL recently it was considered inappro- priate lo question the wisdom of tenure for teachers. Within the profess'in, tenure guaranteeing that teachers cannot be fired except for cause, and only after lengthy hearing procedures was widely regarded as a bulwark of academic free- dom. And even non-eduwjtors agreed that teachers at the university level who held unfashionable views, but otherwise were qualified and capable, needed protection from arbitrary dismissal. But both attitudes have been slowly chang- ing. And although 42 states still have tenure laws for teachers in their public col- leges, high schools and elementary schools, several legislatures have been discussing whether to abolish or modify those laws. Last year, for example, bills were intro- duced into the Florida and Iowa legisla- tures to eliminate tenure outright, and a committee of the Arizona legislature ap- proved a bill to eliminate tenure for teach- ers who walk out on strike. Now Maryland is re-thinking its 50-year- old tenure law. And the issues there, after making allowances for local differences, are familiar to anyone who has watched the controversy develop. It is a controversy that few boards of education or school dis- tricts are likely to avoid for much longer. The pro-tenure position continues to lean heavily on the academic freedom argument. By and large, proponents insist that ten- ure is necessary to prevent ideological purges and bloodletting on campuses, that it is a cherished and essential protection for the teaching profession. That argument has prevailed for most of this century, affirmed by local education associations no less than by the American Association of University Professors. And, on the university level at least, the argu- ment for free inquiry is respectable and compelling. That argument is far less compelling for teachers of primary and secondary schools, where research and intellectual innovation are scarcely central to the educational pro- cess. A candid member of Maryland's board of education put the argument In practical terms when he said that the ten- ure law's practical effect has been to pre- vent school boards from weeding out incom- petent teachers during the past 25 yearj, when there had been a teacher shortage, but now that there is a surplus the state has the opportunity to clean house. At every level from the university down- ward, for tiiat matter, it has been possible for teachers after a brief probationary per- iod to settle into lifetime careers in an in- tellectual vacuum, at the expense of their students and the taxpayers. At the university level, tenure's appeal has lessened in direct proportion to the rela- tive affluence of faculty members, the once- pressing need for economic protection is no longer so great. Beyond that, the threat that tenure has historically countered, the inflamed legisla- ture or intolerant trustee, is no longer the chief menace to freedom of inquiry on cam- puses today. The threat comes instead from the university community itself, in the form of obloquy visited on professors who take such unpopular positions as supporting tho Vietnam war, Richard Nixon or society in general, and of the hooliganism to which the resulting atmosphere has so often contributed. Perhaps on occasion tenure is some pro- tection against this threat, but in fact it sel- dom seems to work that way. It did nol prevent MIT from refusing to allow Walt W. Rostow to return to its faculty because he had sinned by advising the Johnson ad- ministration for too long a period. Nor was tenure much help to the number of profes- sors who have been hounded from their campuses by verbal and even physical abuse from student radicals. If the faltering steps universities taken to end such abuses are the true mea- sure of their regard for academic freedom, it's hard to see how they can rely on aca- demic freedom arguments to protect their privileges. In any case, tenure teems in- creasingly Irrelevant, and in long run the issue is not whether it will be changed but how. Ceylon no more The Winnipeg Free Press r'ELYON is no more. Two-and-half rnil- lennia of history have been sunk by the stroke of a pen, and the spicy breezes no longer "blow soft o'er Ceylon's isle, where every prospect pleases and only man is vile." Bishop Hebcr. who wrote the poem at the turn of the 19lh century, may have been a bit sanctimonious, but the change of Cey- lon's time-honored name derived from Sin- haladwipa, or (he island of the Sinhalese, to the new Sri Lanka will hardly solve the human-political problems that continue to plague the beautiful island. Prime Minister Sirimao Bandaranaike's government is in a mess as Mrs. Ban- daranaike's leftwing administration is floundering in corruption, battling a Mao- ist rebellion and facing national bank- ruptcy. Some rebels have been in- terned, and much cruelty has been evinced both by the young guerrillas, who kill without compunction, and by tiie army thai kills without discrimination. This indeed is nothing new in Ceylon's bloody past. Civil strife and invaders covet- ing Ihe island's riches have put their stamp on the island's history and may have in- deed inspired Bishop Heber's thoughts. Tho neighbors came first, to be followed by the Europeans. The Portuguese arrived in 1505, the Dutch in 1644, the British in 1795, and it was only after the British had set- tled down, in 1848. that Ceylon enjoyed a century of peace. When the British left, it 1949, Ceylon was the most prosperous, peaceful and democratic of all countries in Southeasl Asia. But this heritage of a hun- dred years has been squandered in less than two decades. Sri Lanka is to be a new beginning, but despite all the state planning, bold essays into all kinds of socialism, the prospects, other than those of a bountiful nature, no longer appear to please. Junk mail ANYONE with a mail box knows, every week brings its pile of unsolicit- ed mail, stuff you'd like to throw out right away, but that you have to glance through to be sure something useful isn't mixed in. In such a pile of junk mail last week, and nol looking al all oul of place there, f ran across a missive from no less a dignitary than the deputy postmaster general him- self; a gaudy little package containing some stickers, a single "special" post- card, one of the most fatuously worded letters I've ever read, and a 25-page book- let, all for the purpose of persuading me that from now on I should add to my normal address a six-digil, appendage. This will be a "personal" postal code, wiiicii I will share with several thousand other people in this corner of the province (or is it and which 1 am urged to com- municate to anyone who might take the notion to write to me, an exercise which should net the post office a fair bit of change, if everyone complies. Having spent much of my life in reason- ably close proximity to government people of one sort or another, both provincial and federal, I'm inured to institutionalized idi- ocy. I feel no special urge to upbraid tho good Bl'M for this particular piece of ex- travagance, though I hope someone gently points out to him that when you're planning to print a few million copies of anything, someone other than a junior clerk, prefer- ably someone a working knowledge of English, should glance at the original. No, I have a somewhat different con- cern. It's about this odd notion, that secinr, to be popping up with increasing frequen- cy in government circles, that buying a bunch of machines will solve all problems, that if you spend enough of Ihe taxpayers' money OD gadgets, something o( conse- quence is accomplished. It's an interesting idea, but it has a distinct drawback; it doesn't always work, and where the gov- ernment is concerned, you can pretty well substitute "ever" for "always." Examples? Well, there are hundreds, but I can cite only a couple in the available space. About twenty years ago, the army de- cided it just had to have a computer, so it got. one, paying something like annual rental for the installation. It was to do everything faster and better, and save oodles of dollars in salaries, as shoals of clerks became redundant. Of course, for tlie first "little it would be neces- sary to hire a few extra a few specially trained clerks and typists. Yes indeed. Two hundred extras, as it turned out, and five years later they were all still there, along with all the originals. And now the rental was Then, at a university I used lo work for, a positively dazzling computer set-up was acquired. This fantastic array of gadgetry was lo forever emancipate the institution from dependance on fallible humans, do even-thing do-able with perfect accuracy and blinding speed, and cut staff costs to a mere fraction of previous levels. Again, it was necessary to hire n few specialists, "just al of course. And are they still there? Don'l bo funny Of course they aic, and now they all have assislanli. .So. my friends, forgive me a spot of skep- ticism about tlie plans of our worthy drv uty postmaster general, or the efficacy cf adding six or sixty-six digils to our addresses. Put Ihe funny numbers on your envelopes if you but if you plan on getting any benefit out of it. I suggesl you buy a little ITT stock.