Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 4, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE UTHBRIDGF HERALD _ Wodnoidny, October 4, 1972 Maurice Western Discriminating among corporate burns Nordic bloc cracks Following Norway's decision to opl out ot Ihc European Common Market, tlie pessimists were saying that it was a bitter blow to the Western Alliance from wliicli it would never recover. With Den- mark's resounding "yes'' vote, the optimists have taken over. Dunes are cheering in Hie streets al the (lazzliiu; prospect of privileged ac- cess to German and British food Markets, for their agricultural prod- ucts, and, ill spite of some socialist opposition, throwing in their lot with the prosperous West. In Norway, the ideologists won over the pragmatists. Norwegians have always been intensely national- istic, more than usually resentful of foreign influence. There is a strong fundamentalist religious streak in some parts of Norway, particularly the rural and coastal areas, an old- fashioned Protestantism which de- tests any association with Catholics. Some Norwegian anti marketeers actually campaigned against joining the EEC because they said it would bring the country into intolerable association with the Vatican. The effect on the Norwegian econ- omy is bound to be drastic. An en- tirely new market will have to be found for GO per cent of the country's fish and agricultural products which used to be exported to EEC coun- tries and are no longer acceptable to those countries. Oilier export staples like aluminum and non-fer- rous metals will face formidable tariffs. The political situation is bleak too. The Norwegian government an- nounced its intention of resigning if the answer to the referendum were "no." There can be no election for a year, according to the constitu- tion. In the interim, Norwegians will be governed by a weak care- taker cabinet, and will have no ac- cess to the Common Market, not even the special agreements enjoy- ed by Sweden and Finland. There has been talk of a Nordic neutralist bloc, isolationist in char- acter, neutral by choice, the kind of development the Russians have long hoped for. Denmark has reject- ed this neutralism. The future of the others is uncertain, but the tend- ency may be to look East to the U.S.S.R. The campaign ol David Lewis sccins So have veered in a ratlier curious fash- ion from ils original course. What began as a fierce allack on the "corporate welfare somewhat reminiscent of the original CCF assault on the "fifty big has be- come a running and sometimes quite amiable dialogue with as- sorted "bums." This pleasant change became possible when Mr. Lewis ex- plained tliat ho has nothing against bums as such. There may at the outset have been a measure of misunderstanding since the NDP leader appeared to be dislinguisliing between corporations, which are virtu- ous, and others which presum- ably are not. Happily it now turns out that Mr. Lewis is not levelling charges of wrong-do- ing; ius quarrel is with the. law of which corporate taxpay- ers, like others, take advan- tage. In this more genial atmos- phere, the bums have plunged zesftully into a discussion con- cerned partly with tax facts and partly with general eco- nomics. Mr. Lewis, mellowing as he goes along, has given an assurance that Canadian corpo- rations will get grants from a New Democratic government. He is now talking about tougher guidelines, a fair enough propo- sition, combined with a quid pro quo for government funds in I he form of a state share in the business. There is a possible objection to the latter suggestion to which Mr. Lewis has perhaps given inadequate consideration. It may have more appeal to certain companies aspiring to the "honor roll" than to or- dinary taxpayers. Mixed Corpo- rations are not new; they may be required in some situations, as in the case of Pan-Arctic; an interesting example because there is no evidence that the participating companies resent the presence of state represen- tatives. But Mr. Lewis has in mind a general practice, espe- cially suitable, it would seem, in those disadvanlaged and therefore high-risk areas into which government is attempt- ing lo coax industry. The probability is that a good many bums would be delighted to have the treasury (that is to say, Ihc taxpayers generally) share the continuing risks of such ventures. Initial bounties are often attractive; admirable in fact it all goes well. Bui what if the firm finds itself .sliding towards bankruptcy? The value ot a continuing state commitment would be the in- surance provided. It would not easy (but politically very difficult) for the government to withdraw. The temptation The thirsty Oldman The conference at the end of next week on the water needs and res- ources of the Oldman basin will be watched with a good deal of interest by water authorities all across Can- ada. It is the first such approach to a serious problem made on the prairies, and perhaps the second in Canada. Water uses and needs are usually studied according to political bound- aries, not natural watersheds. The present Alberta government has shown reluctance even to study water transfers from one basin to another, so it becomes imperative to look carefully at each basin itself. The Oldman" basin, perhaps eventually water-deficient, seems a good place to start. That was done in the Okanagan valley in British Columbia a couple of years ago and a seemingly success- ful basin administration has been es- tablished. All of the water flowing into the lake and out ot the at Osoyoos is treated as one entity, for purposes of allocation, pollution control, etc. The Lethbridge conference, spon- sored by the Chamber of Com- merce, will take a preliminary look at the area drained by the Oldman River and its tributaries. The amount of water, availability, fluctuation of flow, and the major needs (including that of the City of Lethbridge) will be studied. What tangible results will come from the conference cannot be fore- cast. But the beginning of wisdom, in such matters, is concern and study. A basin authority, with tight controls on the use (and misuse) of the stream flow, might possibly be indicated. In any case a prairie pre- cedent wall be established. The antinoise TVEW YORK The city council of New York has just passed New York's first comprehensive law to control noise. The antinoise program Is expected to go into effect in the next two years. How do New Yorkers feel about it? I went out into the streets to find out. The first man I spoke to was walking down the Avenue ot the Americas. "Sir, how do you feel about the new antinoise law that was just "WHAT DID YOU "I SAID HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT MAYOR LINDSAY'S PLAN TO OUTLAW THE DIN IN NEW YORK "IS HE GOING TO OUTLAW GIN? I'M A VODKA MAN MYSELF, SO IT WON'T AFFECT ME." "NOT HE WANTS TO LOWER THE DECIBEL COUNT IN NEW YORK CITY." "I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT DECIMALS, BUT IF I KNOW LINDSAY, HE'LL LOWER THE DECIMALS AND UP THE TAXES." "Thank you very much, sir." "MY WIFE DRINKS GIN. I'M NOT SURE SHE'S GOING TO LIKE ho said, walking off. I went over to Fifth Avenue and spoke to a lady vath a shopping bag. "The En- vironmental Protection Administration of New York has declared war on noise pollu- said. "How does that grab Her lips started to move, but I couldn't hear her. "WHAT DID YOU I shouted. "I SAID I'M GOING TO VOTE FOR NIXOX AND AGNEW." "NO, I'M NOT POLLING YOU ON THE CAMPAIGN. I'M TRY- ING TO FIND OUT WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT NOISE." "WHAT'S HE RUNNING "HE'S NOT RUNNING FOR ANYTHING. NOISE IS AN ISSUE NOT A I yelled. "I WOULDN'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THAT. I LIVE IN BROOKLYN." Just then a policeman came up to me Ull "Why are you shouting at this and asked, "I WASN'T SHOUTING AT HER. I WAS ASKING HER A SIMPLE QUESTON." "Why are you shouting at tho policeman demanded angrily. "I WASN'T SHOUTING. I'm sorry, I was shouting, but that was because she couldn't hear ir.e with all that construction going on over there." "Suppose everyone in New York shouted. What kind of city do you think we'd "That's just the I said. "I'm ask- ing people what they think about the new antinoise law." "What new antinoise "The city council passed a new law, and as soon as the mayor signs it, you can give out summonses to people who make too much noise." "YOU MEAN WITH EVERYTH1G ELSE WE HAVE TO DO, WE POLICE ARE GO- ING TO HAVE TO GIVE OUT SUMMON- SES FOR "EITHER THAT OR TAKE A I said. "GET OFF FIFTH AVENUE BEFORE I TAKE YOU he screamed. "YOU DON'T HAVE TO I said as I headed for Eighth Avenue. On Eighth Avenue I walked up to a man and said, "I want to talk to you about the earsplitting noise in New York." He threw his himds high in the air. "Take my wallet. It's in my'left breast pocket." "THIS IS NOT A STICKUP. I'M DOING A POLL." "HERPES MY WATCH. JUST DON'T SHOOT ME." "MISTER, PUT YOUR HANDS DOWN. I WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT NOISE." "I GOT TWO he cried. "TAKE YOUR MONEY AND RUN." A crowd started to galher, and 1 decided to get out of there. As I walked away, one of the young men in the crowd shouted after me, "WHAT'S THE MATTER NO (Toronto iSun News Service) Welcome bach By Dong Walker T WAS welcomed bnck fo work, after rny sojourn in Xcw York, by inter- ested inquiries from other staff members. Was the sfirninar profitable? How was the Dirt you see any shows go through any museums visit any churc'hts lako in any games? Joseph Kraft California spinning its wheels CAN FRANCISCO Any- body trying to read tha riddle of the sphinx that is Am- erican public opinion this year should east an eye over the bal- lot here in California. Apart from the names of the candi- dates, it includes a series of highly revealing proposals, or initiatives, thrown up for pub- lie decision by petition ol the citizenry. Those initiatives show that the country, or at least Califor- nia, is spining its wheels po- litically as rarely before. Dis- satisfaction with present lead- ers has caused well-meaning people to strike out in ways that are almost certainly self- defeating. The initiatives arc a particu- larly good guide to the Ameri- can sphinx because they are not easy to get ou the ballot. More than five per cent of the number of votes cast for gov- ernor in the last election, that is, over signatures, aro required. In the early postwar years, highly publicized and well-fi- nanced drives used to put quite a few initiatives up to piblic vote. There were ten initiatives on the ballot back in 1948. But sophistication about pub- 'Crazy Capers' Our expert on boxing, Garry Allison, was most anxious to know if I had gone to Madison Square Garden to watch Muham- mad Ali fight Floyd Patterson. When I confessed that t hadn't, he was outraged. "The next time you to New hope you get You've reached the li.-ilf- iu ysjur treatment. licized drives has been develop- ing. The number of initiatives able to get the required num- ber of signatures has been de- clining apace. There were four in 1964, two in 1966, one in 1868 and none in 1970. This year, in sharp contrast, there are nine initiatives on the ballot. All nine, in further contrast with the past, were brought to public attention by small gin- ger groups working without benefit of highly financed pub- lic relations operations. A tiny activist group of young people calling themselves California Marijuana Initiative, for exam- ple, was able to get on the bal- lot a proposal removing crim- inal penalties against adults using or growing pot. Another striking feature ol the initiatives this year is the wide range, not to say crazy mix, of grievances. One initia- tive would severely limit prop- erty taxes. Another would rein- stitule the death penalty. A third, which seems to have aroused curiously little atten- tion, would ban all busing for racial purposes. A fourth would impose tight- er controls on obscenity. A fiftli would make illegal some of the tactics practiced by Cesar Cha- vez to organize agricultural workers. A sixth would assert tight ecological control over the California coastline, includ- ing all port facilities. Leaders able to reconcile such divergent drives are prob- ably yet unborn, and one is tempted (o f e e I sympathy for officials subjected to such con- trary pressures. But in most cases, the spur to initiative has been inactivity hy federal, state and local officials. Everybody here agrees that something has to be done about property taxes. So an interested group bos pushed lite issue as an initiative and found a very strong response. The samo t'oes for the initiative pro'eeting coastal waters, A particularly nice example Is the case of marijuana. The best estimates are that one- third of the California popula- tion smokes pot. But under California smoking pot can be treated as a felony sub- ject to penalties of up to five years in prison. There is widespread belief that this anomaly should be corrected by statute. But since President Nixon and Governor Ronald Reagan have been run- ning against drug users, inero state legislators are under- standably reluctant to get into something that could hurt them politically. Hence the outmoded and absurd law has been kept on the books leaving the field open for the tiny group that put forward the petition for reform. One big question remains. Apart from shooting off steam, what good do these ini- tiatives accomplish? Nolxxly can be sure, and once again Letter to the editor the marijuana Initiative Is a good case in point. It will al- most certainly be defeated, and a recent poll hy Mervin Field shows it going down nearly 2 to 1. But backers of the initiative argue that debate will have an educative effect, sure to achieve reform in a couple ot years. To many persons, including me, the opposite seems more likely. My feeling is that de- feat of the initiative will only fortify opposition in the legisla- ture. False expectations will have been raised, and there will have been sharpened the kind of ideological issue that impairs the solution of prob- lems. Indeed, it is in just these circumstances, when confusion and disappointment are rife, that the sphinx goes for the likes of Gov. Reagan and Pres- ident Nixon. (Field Enterprises, Inc.) Passing tlie buck T was pleased Lo read the arti- cle by Maureen Jamicson re- garding the recent cancellation of the local Sesame Street pro- gram. One point, however, has not been made clear to the general public. Although tho CRTC made the ruling to require 60 per cent Canadian content, it w.is left to the decision of (he local TV station as to which pro- grams should be cut. The Lcth- hridge broadcasting station does not feel that it can afford to broadcast Sesame Street in place of a revenue producing program, It appears to me that our local .station is passing the bnck when it suggests jicople write to the CEITC requesting neutral content for Sesame Si reel. Several other cities ia Canada have found it possible to continue providing this pro- Perhaps our local sta- tion is not interested enough to make an effort. MflS. L. GLOVER Lethbririgc, would be strong to rush hi with additional aids; protection per- haps, or more subsidies at tho expense of consumcvs and tax- payers. It is by no means unlikely that some bums are warming to Mr. Lewis as he refines his thought. Was he misjudged at the outset? There is some evidence to suggest that the NDP leader was more discriminating than his original allack appeared! to imply. Certainly Mr. Lewis seemed intent on showing, by income tax comparisons, that there is gross favoritism; tho corporations enjoy privileges in computing tax denied to Die or- dinary citizen. By thus limiting himself to Income tax, Mr. Lewis lias, however, m anagc d to ignore the special privilege enjoyed by the great automobile coin- pa forei gn- under the Canadian-American pact of 1964. They have the right, worth many hundreds oE millions, lo import free of duty; the rest of us do not, Indeed, in certain cases where they would not have qualified on a strict interpretation of the rules (the duty involved being calculated at something like millions by the Auditor a sympathetic administration came to their assistance with a saving Order-in-Ccuncil. If Mr. Lewis is the enemy of the impresion which he has been attempting to could scarcely have overlooked this most con- spicuous of cases. The attitude of the NDP to the pact seems to have varied over time. In the past two ses- sions, it has presumably been stated most authoritatively by Mr. Broadhent who represented an automobile constituency Mr. Broadhent has been criti- cal of automobile prices. Ho seems to feel that the govern- ment should talk them down. How this would be done in tha absence of controls is not clear; it has been difficult enough to hold the line in the United States whore they have con- trols. Mr. Broadbent has made the further KURgestion, how- ever, that the government should help by removing "en- tirely or at least substantially" the federal tax on automobiles. While tlu's might smack of addi- tions 1 f a voritis m it woul d doubtless be considered positive thinking by any corporate bum. Most of Mr. Broadbent's in- te rvention s have be en con- cerned with threats to the pact. As part ot tlic frec-trade-for manufacturers deal (the virtues of which have always been clear to manufacturers, if less obvious to certain production safeguards were in- serted in the agreement. Whether they are still signifi- cant, now that the companies have such large Investment stakes in Oshawa, Windsor and other centres is a disputed question. But Mr. Broadbent so regards them and he has ac- cordingly exhorted the govern- ment to stand firm against the Americans "who want to go after the automotive pact." Never in this crucial period has he adopted the attitude ways deplored by manufac- turers) that the government should move from favoritism to full free trade in automobiles, although this would lie the most obvious a nswcr to the price problem. What this suggests is that be- n e a t h the normal dis- agreements there exists a basic solidarity among corporate and union hums. Some ripoffs are bad; others, such as this pact, are hiphly regarded, especially by union spokesmen who hold Mr. Lewis in particular esteem. Such awkward situations are not unusual in politics. Unmea- sured attack is perilous; what might appeal to consumers (some of whom have com- plained, in the important caso mentioned, of a bum deal) would turn off supporters, espc-- eially in union ridings such as Oshawa. As a politician of long experience Mr. Lewis has shown his awareness of Mris danger. The farther he goes on the campaign trail, the more measured he gets. If the elec- tion lasts long enough, half Ihe corporate bums in the country mriy he persuaded that his heart, after all, is in the right place. flloralrl Ottawa Bureau) Tlie Letlitoidge Herald 50-1 7th St. S., Lethbriclgc, Alberta TirBniDGE HERALD TO. LTD., Proprietors and Publishers Published hy Hon. V7. A. BUCHANAN Second Mall Regtsfraricn No. 0013 Member ol The Canadian Press and Ihe Canadian Dally Pubflihers" Aivxl alien and I he Audit Bureau cf Circul CLEO W, MOWERS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager DON PILLING WILLIAM HAY Managing Editor ROY F MILES DOUGLAS K VJftLKER Admtfsing Editorial Editor THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"