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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 28, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THE IITHBRIDOI HERALD Monday, Moy 28, 1973 Scandinavian social democracy sliding By Roland Huntfcfd, London Observer commentator A pointless amendment The seemingly interminable debate on the bill to extend the partial baa on the death penalty must end some- time, and the piesent prospect seems to be that the bill will pass. Some MPs aie said to be toying with the idea of an amendment, to the effect that instead of limiting the death penalty to killers of policemen or pris- on guards that there be substituted a mandatory 25-year prison sentence for all murder. If such an amendment Is Intro- duced, it is to be hoped that it gets very short shrift. While it might seem a fair compromise between con- science and political expediency, it is neither sensible nor moral. Presumably the apparent sever- ity of a sentence is intended to placate a ruthless penalty for murder, and those who re- late of sentence to deter- rence. On both counts, an extra long prison teim would be ineffec- trve. First ViLtie it can't be pro1, cd, it is certain that after a given penod of time the aspect of punish- ment or the feeling of being punished is no longer closely related to the length of the term. A man is not punished more severely nor does he feel that he is, by extending his prison term from 14 to 15 years, or from 20 to 25. As for the longer sentence being a more effective deterrent, that's straight hogwash. The whole notion of prescribed punishment being a de- terrent is suspect anyway, but the idea that anyone undeterred by the threat of a life sentence be stopped by fear of a 25-year term is simple nonsense. But tiieie's a more serious flaw in the proposition that a long, fixed-term sentence be substituted tor hanging. The mandatory 25-year term is just as irrational as the mandatory death sentence, in that it fails to recognize the glaringly apparent fact that all murders are not the same, and that all murderers don't deserve exactly the same punishment. Murder may be murder, definition- ally, but there can be a world of dif- ference between murderers. Consid- er first the case of a mentally dull (not quite defective, legally) teen- aged roustabout in a logging camp who, after being thrown out of a cafe for brawling, and while still blind drunk (on liquor sold to him by his government) sought out his oppo- nent and mauled him so badly he died- Then there is the case of a middle-aged pervert who foully mo- lested a number of children and mur- dered two of them in a thoroughly sickening manner. Could anyone seriously think it rea- sonable or just that these two men, both convicted of murder, should be punished in exactly the same way? If a dull-v.itted k'd deserves to be hung or to seive 25 years for killing someone un a drunken brawl, what is an appropriate sentence for the twist- ed man who killed the children? This whole problem is a complex one, and it is quite understandable that MPs should search all the pos- sibilities before deciding on a course of action, even a stop-gap measure for the nert few years while a per- manent policy is being sought. But substituting one irrational penalty for another isn't the way to do it. Spruce up for guests A rear-yard view is never recom- mended for visitors especially 000 of them or even a side-yard view for that matter. Instead every effort should be expended to make the best impression possible by usher- ing guests through the front garden. This bit of domestic advice is ap- plicable at Fort Macleod where a rear of gangling business pre- mises directly facing the historic Fort museum leaves a lingering bad help eliminate this eye-sore but fail- ing that, a backyard face-lifting m the of an exterior paint job ould help a lot, giving the buildings a uniform appearance covering the ugly blotches and creating a cool, clean look rather than the uneven architecture open to public view. Featuring uniformed guides, mar- ching bands and the famous RCMP musical ride in mid-July will bring color and pageantry to the Fort sure ea from the mamcuied launs cen- tering the Fort's grounds- With the across-the-street parking lot facing faded rear premises, visitors come face-to-face these unattractive exteriors and their rambling high flights of rear stairs. A border of high evergreens would -0-.7 at the Fort's front door. A beautifying program would only cost the paint required Perhaps a community bee could be organized to do the job some weekend after- noon. There's still a week or two be- fore the expected summer guests ar- rive. ART BUCHWALD Last flat in Paris WASHINGTON It Is incumbent on every columnist to see "Last Tango jn Pans" and comment on it. Some critics have called it the greatest movie of cur time. Others have written that it is one of the great np-offs of the film industry. But having seen the movie, I would like to advance the opinion that mosi cutics have missed the point of the picture. "Last Tango in Paris" is not as has been described, the story of an aging Am- erican (Marlon Brando) and a girl (Maria Schneider) in a desperate sexual battle for survival. It is really a simple heartwarming film about two people trying to rent the same apartment in Pans. Only those who have ever searched for an apartment in Paris can appreciate what Brando and Miss Schneider go through for this lovely flat near the Seine. In the film, Brando plays a washed-out American, whose wife has just committed suicide. He wants the apartment in the worst way. So does the young French girl. They meet by accident in the empty flat and you see Brando's mind working. He figures if he rapes the girl, she'll go away and he'll get the apartment. But Miss Schneider, a child of the French bourgeoisie, is made of sterner stuff, and she puts up little resistance to Brando's assault. As a matter of fact, while she's being bounced around by Marlon she is really measuring the floor to sec how much carpeting it v.ill take. The next day they are back at the apart- ment again. Brando has bought a table, chairs and a bed to assert his claim to it. But Miss Scl neider is not impressed and wains about the place as if it were hers. This infuriates Brando and he throws her down on the bed and keeps muttering, "It's mine It's mine" Miss Schneider just laughs at him All the time they arc mak- ing love she is looking at tho window fry- ing to figure what size curtains she'll need for the room. Brando, exhausted and fearful that he'll lose the flat, visits his mother-in-law and his dead wife. We see the tiny hotel he lives in and realize why Brando is so in- tent on getting the apartment. Miss Schnei- der goes off with her fiance and we dis- cern why she wants a new place to live. Back to the apartment. Brando Is now despeiale. shows Miss Schneider a dead rat. It shakes her up, but not enough to up tre p'ace. So Brando decides to humilate hoi with several un- natural acts One takes place against the wall and Miss Schneider realizes if she go's the flat shes going to have to buy a lot of wallpaper. Rather tnan being frightened by brutality, Miss Schneider becomes more determined than ever to wrest the key away from him. The next time they meet, she's in her wedding dress and Brando is so mad he throws her in the tub. Miracle of all mir- acles, the plumbing works and Brando gives Miss Schneidei a bath while she fig- ures out what color scheme would go best with the whiie medicine cabinet. By this time. Brando is worn out and figures the apartment isn't really worth it. He leaves without telling Miss Schneider his nama. A little battered from the sexual encoun- ters, Miss Schreider returns triumphantly with her to show lira the flat But after all M'ss Schneider's been trrough, the fiance takes one look at the place and declaics, too big" This is when I started to cry. I don't know if "Last Tango in Pans" Is a great movie or not, but I believe that director Bcrtolucci has made an import- ant social statement about one of the real ouliage-> of 01.r time which happens to be I he houbing shortage in France. STOCKHOLM Scandinavi- an social democracy is in penl after enjoying 40 years of pow- er Public opinion polls in Den- mark, Norway and Sweden, re- 'corded within a few days of each other, show that support for the Socialist party in each country has dwindled to unpre- cedented depths. The Danish socialists have only 26 9 per cent of the elec- torate behind them, a drop of almost 13 per cent since the last general election in 1971 when they won 37.3 per cent of the votes. In Norway, the Labor Party (as the Social Democrats are called there) had 39.3 per cent, according to the opinion poll, against 465 per cent of the votes at the 1969 election. This is the lowest since Labor first came to power in 1934. In Sweden, the Social Demo- crats now have 41, per cent of the electorate, against 45.5 per cent at the 1970 general elec- tion. This, too, is one of the lowest figures on record. In Sweden and Denmark, the Social Democrats are in power, although both are minority gov- ernments whose existence de- pends on the tacit support of the Left Communists in Sweden, and the extreme left-wing Peo- ple's Socialists in Denmark. In Norway the Labor Party is in opposition, having lost both the 1965 and 1969 elections. For about a year, until September last year, it was, however, m office in an attempt to bring Norway into the Common Mar- ket. This failed when a popular referendum said "No" and the government resigned. Although the three Scandin- avian countries differ in many ways there are certain resem- blances which give the politi- cal picture a distinctive unity. They are small, basically pac- ific and, having been relative- ly poor by European standards in the nineteenth century, have had affluence thrust upon them. They have also become welfare states under the tutelage of so- cial democracy. Yet now there is a mood of deep dissatisfaction in all three countries. The most obvious, and most often heard cause, is heavy taxation. A Swedish So- cial Democratic newspaper re- porter, for example, found con- siderable resentment among higher-paid workers on the sub- ject, and was led to believe that they would desert the party at general election in September. thought we had that on everything now high and higher." Then, the Socialist movement seems to have lost ita ideol- ogical content. In the threa countries, the Social Democrats have been losing support on the Left to a variety of splinter groups in the Maoist quarter, who offer nothing if not pas- sionate ideological satisfaction. But the great threat to socialists comes from the Right. For decades it has (with qualifications) teen the receiv- ed wisdom that Social Democ- racy has been the sole guaran- tor of social security. This Is no longer so. The welfare state has been taken for granted for better or worse, and the non- socialist parties have been ac- cepted as equally reliable la that field. The Swedish Social Demo- crats also suffer from a threat- ening disability. Like their counterparts in Denmark and Norway, they have been asso- ciated with full employment: but unlike them, they have to cope with astronomical unem- ployment by Scandinavian standards (over four per cent at the last count.) This could be enough to unseat them at the next election. Beyond this lies a deeper malaise. It sesms connected with the welfare state itself. People seem dissatisfied and faintly bored. Mr. Olof Palme, the Swedish prime minister, has tried to fight it by espous- ing the cause of Vietnam and by coarse anti-Americanism, with, however, diminishing re- turns. Mr. Anker Jorgensen, the Danish prime minister, has not followed suit, doubtless in the belief that such tactics boomerang at the polls. There is no doubt that there is a swing to the Right in Scan- dinavia. This may be clearly seen in Sweden, where students who a few short years ago were rabidly Left, are now turning into diehards. In Nor- way and Denmark poujadiste movements have got wind in their sails. It may well be that the era of long-lived stable So- cial Democratic regimes in Scandinavia is coming to an end. The Norwegian and Swed- ish general elections in Septem- ber will give one indication; the Danish one, in 1975, will give another pointer. Sex has become great spectator sport in America By Carl Rowan, syndicated commentator WASHINGTON We v.ere leaving "Last Tango in Paris" the other evening when a sweet young thing observed, "Well, at least it took our minds off Watergate." That is about the best that I can say about what surely is one of the most overrated mov- ies of all time. I am told that some woman reviewer started the absurd string of raves that "Last Tango" is some kind of profound statement about sex, or the hu- man condition, or something. I was convinced of nothing more than that it says some- thing profound about the sexual attitudes and frustrations of a society that will shell out mil- lions to see a decadent old man simulate sex without ever tak- ing his pants down. You see "Tango" and remem- ber all the money this movie is raking in and you know that we don't deserve to have our minds taken off Watergate. Be- cause the people who brought us Watergate are the people who pulled off one of the great political con games of all time. And "Last is part of a great celluloid con game which includes "Deep On the Hill Bert Hargrave, MP for Medicine Hat In this edition I am going to briefly outline the various de- grees of legislation that Parla- msnt deliberated on up to the Easter recess. There has been two main groups of legislation introduc- ed. First, those measures an- nounced in the Ttoone Speech witn obvious NDP slanting, including old age and veterans' pension increases, the foreign investment review biiJ, and the fooa prices investigation com- raiilee. The second group were housekeeping and remedial leg- islation items such as capital punishment, the first unem- ployment insurance act bill (to pay off the UIC debts and re- move the million ceiling) and three income tax bills. A total of 13 bills been passed and four bills have been introduced but not passed. Two bills are in committee and these are the foreign investment review bill and the National Housing Act. A total of six bills have been promised d e. with first reading) but are not jet In addition, three government resolutions have been introduc- ed The first dealt with the food cost stJdy and its recom- mended puces icvicw boaul. The second concerned Cana- dian participation in the Viet- nam peace team A Conservative amendment asked for a House debate before any extensions were made to the first 60 day period, and the NDP moved to withdraw from TCCS The government has no! piocccdcd with this debate beyond one day token debate early in the session. The third resolution deals with bihngual- ism in the public service. This is a most important issue in- volving the nine point program put forward by Mr. Drury (treasury board) last Decem- ber with a recent amendment. It will be debated very soon now. In a more general comment, the various supply debates have taken a great deal of our time in the House. There have been seven opposition days of which four went to the Conservative opposition and these included two non-confidence days. It should be pointed out that these opposition days and non-confi- dence votes are essential and required by parliamentary pro- cesses. During every supply penod there are a fixed num- ber of opposition and non-con- fidence days parcelled out by the government to opposition parties who must accept them. Our Conservative opposition days debated income tax forms and transport in Canada and our non-confidence votes were on the corporate tax issue and the Polymer takeover by the Canada Development Corpora- tion. Ine only apparent issue tbnt could cause a government de- feat appears to be the corpor- ate tax issue. There has been no change in the apparent three way confrontation be- tween Mr. Turner, the PCs and Mr. Lewis On May 16th Mr. Turner stated he would bring the issue before the House at some time before the summer recess. "Super Fly" and several other exploitation" and "black exploitation" films. They all seem to prosper on the assumption that we are an over-affluent, overindulged peo- ple for whom our own gal or guy on a blanket in some shady glen is not excitement enough. The assumption is that we need something external, something vastly "different" to "turn us on" For some it is enough to see "Tango's" Maria Schneider standing around in her birth- day suit, her stomach bulging almost as much as her bosom. For others it is Marlon Bran- do's vulgarisms that titillate. Still others need drugs and vio- lence, or at least a vicarious visit into that damnable world, to feel satiated in any exciting way. "It didn't matter to me if 'Super Fly 'glorified drugs unsophisticated one young man said to me. "I thought it was important to have a movie where the black hero outwits Whitcy." Yes, a gullible public uses a thousand rationalizations for emptying its pockets before the money-grubbeis. You note the popularity of "Last Tango" (tolerable enter- tainment if it were not for the asinine buildup) and "Deep Tluoat" (as boring a display of sexual variations as ever was foisted en a stag party) and you know why baseball is in trouble. Sex has become the great Ameucan spectator sport. "Last Tango in Paris" is an exercise in voyeurism. So is "Deep except that a large measure of masochism is required for anyone to sit through this little hard-core porno money tree. One wag wondered aloud how many marriages would be wrecked by people seeing "Deep Throat" and starting to feel cheated that so many things had never happened to them. It may be more than a joke, although I suppose the movicmakeis can produce a few psj chiali ists who will testi- fy that observing the sexual ex- ploits of Linda Lovelace en- hances mental health. We had better hope the so- called sexual revolution is good for someone's sanity, because it is expanding in .the craziest wajs Whereas naked breasts used to be something sensation- al in a mass circulation maga- zine, Penthouse now serves up pubic hair in the raunchiest sort of way. What I don't understand is how the voyeurism explosion and the women's liberation movement coexist so peace- fully. One woman described "Last Tango" as "the worst piece of male chauvinism I've ever seen." She is right. In de- liberate, as well as perhaps un- intentional, ways it is degrad- ing of women. Yet, those long lines outside the movie houses are full of women eager to see Brando do his thing. They are in for a dose of snake oil, albeit packaged more prettily than rJie old carnival variety. But some will come out raving because they want to be- lieve all those juicy reviews just as some Americans will in- sist on believing that the Wat- ergate burglars are not crimin- als at heart, but just overzeal- ous patriots acting in a noblo cause. WJ by NEA, IK. "Oh, yefc? everyffimtf cat has to bs CHEMICALLY arovnl" The LetHbridge Herald 504 7th St. S, Lethbrldge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD 00. LTD., Proprietors and Published 1905 -1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Clan Mall Registration No 0012 Mtinbtr of The Canadian Press and the Canadian Dally PuMMwrt' AMoelation and the Audit Bureau of CLEO W Editor and THOMAS H. ADAMS, Central Manager DON PILLING WILLIAM HAY Managing Editor Associate Editor ROY F MILES OOUGLAi K WALKtR Advertising Manager tdltonai Page Edlto- THE HERALD SEIVES THE ;