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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 15, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THE LETHMIDCE HERALD Novimber IS, New election bill needed As Prime Minister Trudeau con- siders the kind of legislation to set before the next sitting of the House, the matter of election expense will surely be high on the list. With an- other election in the offing and all parties aware that the public is con- scious of the need to do something to curb campaign spending, the gov- ernment cannot afford to ignore what should be a bipartisan issue. The bill which the government proposed prior to dissolution was quite inadequate; it only amounted to a mere tinkering with the machin- ery when an overhaul is required. Democracy is not truly served when prohibitive campaign costs become a determining factor in decisions not to run for office. In some urban rid- ings only the rich can now afford to seek a nomination. Some mitigation of the cost of cam- paigning of course is found in the funds provided by other wealthy in- dividuals and by corporations. But this is a cause of even greater con- cern than the possible limitation on candidates, because of the danger of undue influence being exerted on legislators by contributors. A bill is required that would im- pose a limit on the amount a can- didate could spend in seeking elec- tion. Similarly a limit is needed on what an individual or firm could give in any election. Public accounting both receipts and expenditures would also be needed. The reluctance that has been ex- pressed until recently in moving in this direction has been made to look ridiculous by the step taken by Pre- mier William Davis in Ontario. In an attempt to clear his ministers of any suspicion of working for their own interests, he has required them to make full disclosure of all land holdings; to sell or place in trust all shares in public corporations; to cease regular activity in any busi- ness or profession. (Premier Peter Lougheed in Alberta is considering a similar sort of move.) Obviously this is a far bigger step than merely re- quiring that all campaign gifts be acknowledged publicly. The federal government would be well advised to follow Ontario's lead and make its election requirements such that little room would be left for suspicion and cynicism on the part of voters. Pictorial drivers' licences Politicians come up with some weird ideas at times, but for sheer zaniness it will be hard to beat this latest notion of requiring that driv- ers' licences bear the picture of the motorist. It's the sort of thing that's hard to take seriously, except for firms that manufacture plasti- cized picture-bearing wallet cards, or perhaps a frustrated bureaucrat who needs, now and then, to change something so he can say "I did A few years ago, someone in the Motor Vehicles Branch applied a lit- tle intelligence to the business of is- suing drivers' licences, and came up with a sensible, economical system. Once qualified for, licences were is- sued for a five-year period, and there- after renewed according to the li- censee's date of birth. The arrange- ment worked It was convenient for the motorist, and it saved the taxpayer money, by reducing to one- filth the number of times a license had to be issued, and by spreading the work of renewal over the entire year. Maybe it was just too simple, be- cause lately it has been abandoned, and we're back to annual renewals again. But if that is a retrograde step, it is still positively brilliant compared to the senselessness of requiring that before being licenced to drive a car, regardless of any other qualification, one must have his or her picture taken. (Whether this is to be done for every renewal hasn't been an- nounced, but one fears the worst.) In what seems intended as some sort of justification for this non- sense, it has been pointed out that the new, picture-bearing cards will fit into the wallet (Imagine will be plastic-coated (like a hundred oth- er cards one carries will be well-nigh indestructible (but bip-de- gradable, and the final, triumphant clincher, one supposes almost impossible to counterfeit. So, while the minister of highways and his licencing experts happily contemplate the thwarted hordes of drivers' licence counterfeiters pack- ing their illicit operations off to some less vigilant province, the rest of us are to hustle down and get mug- shots done, so we can drive our cars as well or as badly as we have for years. Oh yes, there's one mort bit ot justification offered, the assertion that the picture-bearing cards won't be very expensive. One hopes not; anything that is useless, and merely a damned nuisance, shouldn't cost a great deal. ART BUCHWALD The president's coatlails WASHINGTON Everybody Is asking why President Nixon, with his tremend- ous victory, was unable to bring in any of the other Republican candidates on Ms coattails. I can now clear up the mystery: The president did not haVe any coattails for anyone to hitch on to. What happened was that a few months before the election Pat Nixon decided the president needed a new suit for election night. She called his tailor and made an appointment for the president. Tie tailor came to the White House and measured Mr. Nixon for his suit. Two weeks later the tailor came back to give Mr. Nixon Ms first fitting. The president, aware that candidates all over the country were depending on him, asked Ihe tailor, "What about the "The coattails come last" the tailor re- plied. "First I have to get the collar and the lapels right." "Wouldn't a double vent give me a long- er coattail for the other candidates to hitch on "You want a double vent in the the tailor said, "I'll give you a double vent." ''I guess the politically popular thing would be for me to have a single vent. But sometimes a president must do the unpopular thing even if he loses voles." "A double vent is just as good as a single tho tailor said. "I have to think not only of my party, but of all America. My choice of a vent should not he decided because of one spe- cial interest group or another. It's Irue somo people in this country, honest people with the best of intentions, believe in the single-vent jacket. They have a right to their opinion and I respect thorn for it, but I hope they also respect my right o have a double vent in my jncket if I believe it's Ixist for the country." you. ston moviflij hands, Air. A President, or I'll never get the shoulders straight." "I believe the great thing about this country is that we can honestly disagree about vents in our jackets and, after elec- tion day, get behind the president whether he has one or two vents in his suit." "You make me proud to be an American the suitmaker said. The tailor went away and worked on the suit. He tried to get an appointment for another fitting, but every time he got someone on the White House phone they told him the president was too busy to see him. The tailor was desperate and said he had to give the president another fitting as he hadn't measured Mr. Nixon for his coattails. Apparently the person he talked to didn't realize the significance of the fitting and gave the tailor the bnishoff. On election rooming at San Clemente, the president asked where his new suit was. The White House staff panicked and an aide called the tailor in Washington, "Bring the president's suit right away." protested the coat has no back to it." "Never mind the Bob ?Ialdeman said. "We're sending the president's plane for it anil you'd better have it at Andrews Air Force Base when we get there." The tailor met the preisident's plane with the unfinished suit and It was deliv- ered just before Mr. Nixon was scheduled to vote. He put the suit on and asked his friends, Secret Servlc" men and family, "How do you like As In the case of the emperor who hsd no clothes on, no one dared tell the presi- dent his suit had no back. And that Is why every Republican can- didate who tried to grab the Presidonl'j ciKitlitils on election day found himself with n handful of muslin instead. r. One Los ABjtfci Tint) Status quo wins By Anthony Lewis, New York Times commentator Another landslide Voters endorse slow change By Carl T. Kowan, U.S. syndicated commentator WASHINGTON The Amer- ican people spoke and for once there was not much doubt about what they said. They said no to rapid pro- gress toward the higher stan- dard preached by George Mc- Govern on behalf of the cultur- al avant-garde. They said yes to the interest politics of slow, change practiced by President Nixon and the great majority of the Democratic party. The essentially negative char- acter of the vote, the rejection of Sen. McGovem and the cultural revolution in America, was chiefly expressed in the big industrial states of the Northeast quadrant. These states have never been partial to Mr. Nixon, and Sen. Me- Govern made them the center of his campaign effort. But In all of them the nor- mally Democratic blue-collar working-class voters were put off by the senator's diffident style and his relatively easy stance on amnesty, abortion, drugs and busing. At the top of the ticket, these traditional Democrats deserted on a dizzy- ing scale. As a result, New York, which Mr. Nixon lost in 1960 and in 1968, gave him about 60 per cent of its vote this year. Mich- igan, which Mr. Nixon also lost in 1960 and 1968, gave him about 55 per cent of its votes this year. Pennsylvania, which Mr. Nixon also lost in 1960 and 1963, gave him about 60 per cent of its vote this year. Illinois, which Mr. Nixon lost in 1960 and won only narrowly in 1968, cast 60 per cent of its votes for him this year. A second indication of the negative character of the vote was the turnout. Only 56 per cent of the eligible electorate cast their ballots the small- est percentage since the 1948 election. So much for the theory, dear to those trying to cozy up to the president, that Mr. Nixon has suddenly become a popular figure. As to the success of interest politics slowly accommodating to change, regional and local results tell the story. Below the level of presidential voting, ec- onomic, social and political trends of long standing contin- ue to run as though Richard Nixon and George McGovern didn't exist. In the older parts of the coun- try, the east and the midwest, the big trend is from city to suburb. Suburban politics found expression in striking victories scored by cleancut young men who ran as political lem-solvers against well-known figures saddled with unpopular policies. By my standards anyway, the over-all results confirm the es- sential wisdom of the elector- ate. Sweeping change, apt to plunge the country into turmoil and conflict, Iras been averted. We mil all be better off If the would-be promoters of such change have learned the lesson that the country will not be pushed around by a minority however righteous and vo- cal. At the same time the country has not been left to the uncheck- ed instincts of Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew. There is a Democratic congress. More important still, perhaps, the progressive Republicans who provide the true safeguard of civil liberties and civil rights have come back in great force. There is nothing so heartening as the big victories scored by Sen. Charles Percy in Illinois, Sen. Edward Brooke In Mas- sachusetts, Sen. Clifford Case in New Jersey, Sen. Mark Hat- field in Oregon and Sen. How- ard Baker in Tennessee. Finally, a word of warning needs to be said. Tough guy politics has prevailed. Idealism and moral fervor have been vanquished. If the victors, in their pride, now seize the spoils, the country will have sinned against the light. Nixon's stability endorsed By Joseph Kraft, U.S. Byndiutcd commenUtor WASHINGTON It would be comforting to believe that the Nixon landslide was simply the triumph ot an incumbent president who has shown strong and effective leadership over a challenger whose character and views seemed vacillatingly weak. That it was a personal tri- umph lor Mr. Nixon is beyond question. The presidential vote leaves absolutely no doubt that the trips to China and Russia, the Vietnam peace negotiations, the wage-price about-face left millions of Americans approv- ing of Mr. Nixon as a leader of innovation and stability. That it was a personal de- bacle for McGovem is obvious. He couldn't even carry his home state. The man whose lieutenants were so abrasively cocksure in leagues" of the reform-plagued primar- ies were pitifully lost in the league." Americans who used to dis- trust, even detest, Mr. Nixon wound up voting for him. People who started out trust- Ing George McGovern wound up fearing him and cam- paigning and voting against him. The man Americans wcrt afraid to buy a used car from 12 years ap somehow became more credible, more desirable than the minister's son who nt the outset wns advertised as Mr. Clean, spokesman for the hungry, the sick, tho rncinlly oppressed the outsiders of American life. It is hard to assess how many Americans voted FOR Nixon and how many voted AGAINST McGovcrn. It is manifestly clear that Mr. Niion road the na- tional mood, which he helped to create, much more accurate- ly than did McGovern. Nixon was anti-m a r i j u a n a anti- amnesty for draft-evaders, anti- busing, anti quotes, anti-wel- fare hand-outs, anti-black revo- lution, anti-protest demonstra- tions, anti-permissiveness. With a lot of help from Mc- Govem, Nixon was able to con- vince millions of Americans that the South Dakota senator was in favor of all these things. So you can choose your own language as to whether the el- ection was an overwhelming endorsement of Nixon the man or a crushing put-down of Mc- Govern the man. The over-all result makes one thing clear: party lables don't mean much to Americans any- more. Black voters are mentioned in the press as the group that "remained loyal to the Demo- cratic party." Nonsense. Most blacks were not voting for cith- er the Democratic party or Me- Govern, who left blacks about So They Say A lot of suicide deaths occur while a person Is under the In- fluence of hallucinogenic drugs. A person who uses hallucino- gcnlcs may be signing his own death certificate. Wayno Richard, clinical psychologl.it at tho University of Florldn, reporting that sui- cide is the second highest CIIIISP. of death nmong young pooplo, as cold as he did whites. Blacks were voting against Nixon, whom they perceive to be anti- black. But for the conviction that the Nixon administration is anti-black, Nixon might have won 40 per cent or more of the black vote, making the Mc- Govem debacle even worse. The critical question, of course, is how does the presi- dent view his victory? For what, in his eyes, did he win a mandate? Some will say that the people have spoken out for even stronger presidential policies against busing to achieve inte- gration, job quotas for minor- ities, costly programs to sub- sidize the poor and for more wiretapping, more latitude for police, sterner oppression of protestors, on campuses or else- where, more restrictions on the press. They expect the president to cite this mandate as justifica- tion for even more conservative policies during the next four years. Others cling to a hope that the president's appeal to fear, racial hatred, economic greed was just pragmatic politicking to ensure reelection. Now that he has his landslide, the hope goes, he will spend the next four years being a statesman and will bo much less conser- vative. When you consider the real- ity of Ihe ugly piibllc mood that underlies the Nixon land- slide or the fact that tho George Wallace vole shifted en masse to Mr. Nixon to give him his whopping mandate, it strikes Ihis nlittTvor as fnlrylnnd wish- ful Ihinking to expect a Nixon Rlu'ft In liberal program, One day during the campaign Michigan's Democratic candi- date for senator, Frank Kel- ley, saw a line of people wait- ing for unemployment compen- sation. He went up and asked a man what was on his mind in this election. The man an- swered: "Busing." The story illustrates the fail- ure of perception on the part of many Liberals in 1972. We thought such issues as busing, amnesty and pot were mere distractions from the real do- mestic problems facing Amer- ica economic injustice and social disorder. But in the terms that decide elections that was simply wrong: the voters cared more about the supposed distractions. Senator McGovern was seen by many people as someone challenging basic American val- ues, such as thrift and Puritan morality. To those who know him it must seem absurdly un- fair to regard such an old fash- ioned, decent man as a figure of the counter-culture. Some might also find a good deal ot hypocrisy and Illusion in Am- ericans view of their own cul- ture. But illusions matter, and George McGovem could never escape from his idenification with threatening ideologies. That must explain, in some measure, the extraordinary im- mobility of the public opinion polls in this campaign. There was justified criticism of Me- Govern's defensiveness and failure to frame issues, but in fact nothing seemed to matter. President Nixon's judgment Is accurate enough: "This election was decided the day he was nominated." But there were factors apart from the image of the challeng- ing candidate. Undoubtedly the most important was race. No one likes to say so; the whole of election night went by with hardly a word on television. But the fact Is that many white Americans feel themselves threatened by black people, and they think Richard Nixon is the man to keep down the threat. One of the most interesting pieces of analysis in the cam- paign was a look at voter at- titudes by Jack Rosenthal of the New York Times. People's vnews on welfare, education, crime and other such issues, he found, really added up to race. He concluded that the white view of bL.cks, however u n- spoken, was central to current politics. Such realities should be rec- ognized not only as a matter of hindsight, to explain the el- ection result, but in order to understand the present prospect in American politics. For one can detect familiar misconcep- tions creeping into liberal con- versation already. Surely Nixon will want to be statesman, It is said, now that he has had this great vic- tory: He will want to make a record on the great domestic problems of a kind that history will praise as it will his for- eign policy initiatives toward China and the Soviet Union. The trouble with that view of a likely Nixon approach in the next four years is that it makes a very large assumption about what constitutes historical wis- dom or statesmanship in dom- estic affaire. It assumes that a president free of partisan con- siderations would want to take bold steps to cure this country's social Ills for example to moderate the worst extremes of wealth and poverty. But Nixon does not accept the premise. He made that admir- ably clear in his candid and fascinating talk with Garnett Homer of the Washington Star- News just before the election. In talking about what he saw as the problems facing this country, he did not emphasize the crisis of the cities or racial tension or the fact that millions live in corrupting need anti squalor. He spoke of ending of resisting new taxation and government spending, of continuing legal and judicial conservatism. In short, it would be altogeth- er surprising to see large new federal social programs in the next few years, as it would to have the administration pro- pose tax reforms with the aim of even modest income redis- tribution. The president does not believe in such approaches. And to put it mildly, he has no mandate for them. That is why. those who oppos- ed Nixon should not fool them- selves about the mood of the voters who elected him. That landslide majority did not vote for new openings to the black minority; it voted at most for benign neglect. It did not vole for new government expendi- tures; it voted for tax restraint. It did not vote for experimenta- tion in society; it voted for the status quo. Liberals may continue to be skeptical of the argument that America needs a time of rela- tive repose, that time will solve more problems than radical change. They may be even more concerned that years o( neglect will make this country explode in renewed tension. But liberals have to realize that they lost this election and understand that others have fundamentally different perceptions. They might re- member the words of Gertrude Stein on her death bed. She murmured, "What Is the an- There was silence, and she said: "In that case what is the Letter In view of the gov- ernment's pending action to rescind the 1930 Communal Property Act, regulating Hul- terite colonies' rights to pur- chase land, a few comments might not be out of order. Most Canadians feel that a land that isn't worth fighting for is not worth living in. The Hutterites have always believed that God exempted them from this objecfjrjnal, messy, and hazardous chore; and that the Canadian boys were the only ones who should do all the fighting, be wounded and muti- lated, and die, for this land of Canada but, very definitely, net the Hutterite boys. Then, while the Canadian boys were away fighting Hit- ler's armies in Europe, the Hutterites were realizing high, war-time prices tor their farm products. Their communal met- hods of fanning large tracts of land, without the cost of hired help, and with wholesale pri- vileges for much of what they had to buy, enabled them to accumulate ample capital for the purchase of land. When the war veterans home and wanted to buy land, the government refused to lend them enough money to pay the going price of land. But the Hutterites had the funds avail- able to buy the land and the equipment and had the help to farm it. The Hutterites bought the land; and the men who fought, suffered and were crip- pled while serving their coun- try, went without, or bought in- ferior land at high interest rates, in many cases, when government aid was inadequate, or refused There is another angle: Hut- terite doctrine does not include "population control." They mul- tiply, possibly, two or three times as fast as other Canadian people, with the exception of some other religious groups. In the case of the Hutterites, if they are not regulated to some extent in some ways, such as their rights to purchase un- limited tracts of land, they will own all the good.farm land in Alberta a hundred years from now, and it will then be too late to do anything about it. Let's use a little Churdrilli- an foresight! The Hutterile's communal method of fanning puts them on the same efficiency and eco- nomic level as the large farm- ing corporations. It is, obvious- ly, quite impossible for the or- dinary family farm to compete with "corporation-type" farm- Ing. It is my contention that the family-sized farm should be preserved, for it is a good life. Good for the country and good for the independent spirit of. man, and especially, for his family. It seems quite possible that the Hutterites will far out-num- ber other Albertans in a hun- dred years or so. They could then take over the government the province, if they should choose to do so. Owing to the lYict that they do not want their children to get too much edu- cation, especially science, it will be hatd (a get the younger generation to understand the need for co-operating in the solving of the pollution prob- lems, or the population explos- ion's hazards to man's future welfare. The members of the Alberta legislature should study this problem very carefully before revoking this legislation if they are interested In Ihe fu- ture of Ihe coming generations of young Canadians. AN ALBERTAN The Lethbridge Herald SM 7th St. S., LcUibridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD TO. LTD., Proprietors and Publlsbcn Published 1905 1934, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Cllis Mall Registration No. 0012 Member of Canadian Preii and Canadian Dully Newinam Publlihtn' Anoclallon and the Audit Bureau of Circulation! CLEO W. MOWERS, Edllor ind Publlshtr THOMAS H. ADAMS, Cintrd Managir DON PILLINO WILLIAM HAY Managing Edllor Avcoclllp Editor HOY F MILEJ DOUGI AS K. WAI KER Advertising Manager editorial Pane Editor HERALD SERVES THE ;