Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 6, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE 1FTHBRIDOI HERALD Friday, Oilobir 6, 1972 Roland Hunlford For B.C.-or all Canada? Premier David Barrett wants every B.C. resident over Ute age of 65 to have a guaranteed income of a month. The big question is whether lie intends to give tliat amount of money to every Canadian who reaches Dial age or whellisr there will be strings attached. At present there are about pensioners in British Columbia, about half, of whom receive only Ihe basic federally financed pension of The other halt arc eligible for the fed- eral guaranteed income supplement which brings their stipend lo ?150 a month. There are about B.C. resi- dents in the last category who now qualify [or an exlra per month, in a scheme by which Ottawa pays half, the costs through the Canada As- sistance Plan, and the province pays the rest. In order to assure that every pensioner who qualities for the federal guaranteed income supple- ment gels S200 a month Mr. Barrett coidd raise the federal provincial shared supplement to Prime Minister Tmdeau lias said that Ot- tawa would go along with its share of the increase. Hero is where the nib comes in. The poorer provinces cannot afford to distribute similar largesse to their needy pensioners, because these prov- inces cannot 'finance their share of the svtpplement. They will hardly look with equanimity on a scheme whereby Ottawa pays for increased pensions in B.C., one of. the three richest provinces in Canada. Further, NDP David Lewis has said Uial old age pensions should be paid to every Canadian over Ii5, regard- less of financial slalus. Higher in- come taxes would take care of the rich, over 05s who don't really need Ihe money. Mr. Barrett is going to be under heavy pressure from the federal NDP party to follow the leader's principle, and since B.C.'s premier has set his sighl.s on a a month pension fig- ure, he's going lo have to do some high financing to reach his goal. He will have to pay out the difference between the basic pension of S82.88 and the universal ?200 a month he wants. That means that resi- dents of B.C. would receive 5117.12 a month more than they are getting now, and it would have to be paid entirely by Ihe province. Even Mr. Lewis hasn't placed a S200 a month figure ou his goal of the old age pension for all, no means test. He lias been asking for Perhaps Mr. Lewis and Premier Barrett will come to some mutual agreement as to what they believe the old age pension for all Canadians over 65 ought to be. Mr. Barrett might have to back down a bit, or mayba Mr, Lewis will reconsider his tenta- tive figure and decided that the fed- eal government can afford to give all pensioners S200 a month. In Mr. Lewis' case it doesn't matter too much, because the NDP is unlikely lo fonn the next government. As for Premier Barrett he's found such a huge surplus in his treasury he doesn't have to worry, except about how many over are going to flock.to rich British Col- umbia to share in Uie bonanza, Something to kick around Creating an issue is the name of the game in this election campaign. Take, for instance, Uie news that the West Germans have been showing in- terest in Ihe development of Baffin Island iron ore deposits. The Ger- mans have said they could build the ice-breaking freighters in their own shipyards to get the ore to market. No concrete proposal has been made to the government, but the ecol- ogists, the anti-foreign investment people, eastern Canadian shipbuilders and the Seafarers Union are al- ready trying to make political hay out of a non-issue before the grass has sprouted. Howls of fury have been heard from Uie Seafarers International Union who say that the freighters should be built in Canada. They may be right, but they ignore the fact that this project would require heavy government subsidies for an already highly subsidized industry, and the Canadian taxpayer would have to pay the shot. Anti foreign investment protagon- ists are rising in righteous wrath, though they have no satisfactory an- swer to Uie plain fact that if Cana- dian industry is to develop, it has to have foreign invesment capital to do it. Granted this, and granted also that Canada has become too depen- dent on U.S. capital, what's wrong with giving the West Germans a chance? Finally, and most important of. all, should the rich ore deposits be sold abroad, or retained for the futura use of Canadian industry? These are all questions for the fu- ture, requiring lengthy study by technologists', industrialists, ecolo- gists and the government. Baffin Island ore development is not yet beyond the research stage. The West Germans, quite unwittingly have made it into a political football. After all the politicians have to have jomething lo kick around. Yoga inverted cure? COME o( our schools are considering L the introduction of yoga exercises as part of Die PE program. I am in favor of yoga exercises. If stand- Ing on their heads will help our kids to adjust to life, I soy: "Let's invert them." Canada's weak performance in the Olym- pic Games suggests that our children hove spent too much time sitting on the wrong end. India didn't do too well in tire Games either, but we can't blame the poor showing on yoga. It Is necessary to combine stand- ing on one's head with 3 proper diet. (This doesn't mean we should eat nutritious foods while upside down. The food may fail to ascent to the .stomach, resulting in a esophagus.) I am able to make these authoritative re- marks because I have been practising yoga for years. Indeed the main reason why I now work at home, rather than in the news- paper editorial room, is that, it seemed to disturb the managing editor when he came into my office ami found rne sitting on the floor in the lotus position. Also, for yoga exercises to be fully effec- tive, a person should remove all his clothc-.s, (When was the last time jou ?.w a lotus Tearing with the Univert.c is not facilitated whon all the change falls out of your pocket. School authorities may feel disinclined lo RO aloni; with the idea of students prac- tising yoga slarkers, especially in coedu- cational institutions. If so, almost equal benefit is derived from the exercises if the student wears a loincloth. The objection that yoga has religious tm. Plebiscites require informed voters STOCKHOLM On the face of it. a referendum is a most domocriUit' operation. It gives the individual citizen a direct say in the running of his country. But last week's Nor- wegian vote ou (he European Common Market, in which was rejected, pro- vider ammunition for Hie view Hint the referendum is not nec- essarily an admirable hislitu- tioiv The Norwegian reierciKlnni concerned a subject which re- quires dispassionate debate. The Common Market, at least for most praclical purposes, is an economic question. Even professional economists dis- agree over the issue. The mat- ter is Dot one that can bear Ihe plications should not deter its adoption by the schools. All my years of yoga exer- cises have not affected my enjoyment of a good steak, fn fad. I devote a good deal of my time, when standing on my head, to thinking about how I can afford a T-bone. The main Iwnefit I derive from yoga exer- cises is that of draining the blood from my leet, which don'l really need it, to my brain, which needs all it can get. As we au knowr, the human animal was not originally designed to stand most of (lie time on one end, like a tree. The blood rises like sop only in persons who are ex- ceptionally thick skinned and prone to spruce budworms. The rest of us must live wilh the gravity- feed of blood to the lower extremities, with all that this means in the way of varicose veins, bloodshot toes and an anemic area between the ears. I am happy to be able to credit yoga exercises with my havijig varicose veins in my nose as well as my shanks. Whal you have U> do is lie on the floor, after lunch preferably, and raise us much of your body higher than your head as you can by climbing the wall. If you don't rwr a wall von may climb amAher "yogi. Remain in (his elevated posiiioo rill your mind Ls topped up with enough juice for you to figure out a way of getting down without hurting yourself. Tliis Ls how I have achieved Inner Tranijuility, and if it's damn well good enough for me it is plenty good enough for the spoiled rotten brats in our flipping schools. Vancouver Province Features) charged emotion of R popular campaign. And that is what happened in Norway. The vote was not real- ly a rejeclion of the Common Market as such; it was (he re- lease of a whole spectrum of emotional prejudice. It started with the simple xenophobia of an isolalccl populalion of farm- ers and lishermen. H contain- ed much religious bigotry from a bygone century of religious passion. N7orway is a Protes- tant country wilh many Nor- wegians disliking Europe be- cause Catholics are known to live there, and because the Va- tican lies within Common Mark- et territory. On that account, ihc EEC wns portrayed during the cam- paign as an Anti-Christ or one of the homed beasts from the Book of Revelation, the ima- gery wilh wliich Rome is still in all seriousness associated by certain fundamentalists. Re- sponsible churchmen deplored this scriptural scaremongering, but there is little doubt that it sent thousands of crucial voles into the "No" camp. Few parliamentarians, even among the "Noes" were parti- cularly happy at the outcome of the Norwegian referendum. Perhaps too late, it was borne in on them that in a parliamen- tary democracy a direct appeal to the populace is too often a blow at the prestige and credi- bility of the legislator. For one thing, it cuts at the very roots of the concept of a sovereign Parliament. Put in cruder terms, the hold- ing of a referendum suggests incompetence on lha part of the legislators, because they are unwilling or unable to make up their own minds. And making decisions is what they are elect- ed and paid to dO' It is fell more widely than might be supposed that the job of a ruler is to rule. Once he has been put in office he ought to get on with the Job and leave the voters alone. In a word, he ought not to be a representative but a delegate. Exploited, a referendum is a useful tool for whipping up hys- teria and obfuscating issues. Certainly the "No" advocates have done so in Norway. "All right Justin, knock il In the past, anything but dem- ocratic and reputable politicians have used the device [or their own purposes. Indeed, between Hie First World War and Second World War recourse to the populace was considered i Fascist move. A referendum, or plebiscite, to use the term then favored, was a dirty word In the Ihirtios. li> Die Rhineland and the Saar, Hitler used the plebiscite to extract popular ac- quiescence in the Nazi annexa- tion of (hose regions against international treaties. Although Hie conditions were not pre- cisely those of a democratic ballot, nevertheless the voters were overwhelmingly in favor; Hitler knew whal be was do- ing: he wanted and he got a re- sounding "yes" with much pomp and not too much coer- cion. Having said all this, one must remind oneself, however, of a notable exception: that of Switzerland, where the referen- dum has a well-established place in constitutional practice. But the Swiss have a back- ground and an attitude which in tlieir particular case makes the referendum a legitimate instru- ment of government. Switzer- land is unique in that, constitu- tionally, the country is built from Hie ground upwards; that is, powers are successively delegated from the individual system through the communes and the cantons to the federal government. In almost every other country the opposite holds: powers are delegated by (or extracted from) Die central government, As a result, the Swiss elec- torate is in a real constitutional sense part of the legislative as- sembly, and the average Swiss regards himself as much a legislator as his elected repre- sentatives. He is born to the consultative process of a kind of direct democracy, and in consequence comparatively lit- tle extraneous emotion intrudes into the frequent referenda of Switzerland. But this must be the excep- lion that proves the mle. Does the average Western electorate really know what is good for it? Can it decide on compli- cated issues, as against simple alternatives of parties and personalities? One understands KinpJake when he sard of Louts Napoleon that "he knew how to strangle the nation in a night-time with a thing he call- ed a plebiscite." OFNS-COPYI1IGHT Carl Rowan PoWs belong first and foremost to families WASHINGTON Those three American prisoners of war are back in the United Stales, back in the hands of their military superiors, and presumably we shall be spared any more asinine commenls by their fellow Americans. It was downright shameful to have Defence Secretary Melvin Laird uttering threats and hints that these three men might be court-martialed as AWOL (or keeping their vow to return home on civilian aircraft. What a silly commentary that Ambassador William J. Porter, the chief U.S. negotiator, had nothing more constructive to say at the Paris peace talks than that North Vietnam had made "a very cynical exploita- tion" of the release of the three mcu. It was as though Lairfi and Porter were saying, "If you can't release prisoners to us, on our terms, we'd rather see them rot in North Vietnamese prisons." It ivas as though iomeone in the administration had decided that three Benedict Arnolds were coming home, instead of three young men who served their country faithfully and bravely in a futile, unpopular war and wound up in the cap- ture of the enemy. Some of the callous stupidity of our government in this In- stance can be attributed to the fact that this is a politico] year; politics has always pro- duced brutal inanities. But the American public has every right to ask that the gov- ernment unaddte its brain and get itself together before it again has to deal with a pris- oner release. Because there is a strong posihiuty that the next time Hanoi moves it will again play ball wilh U.S. leftwingers instead of the U.S.government. Hanoi will go on playing footsie people like Cera Weiss, whose political extremism is obvious in her scream that "we have just witnessed a recap- ture scene" when the three POWs put on their uniforms "H la we couH g'nt our cart cut dmtii on the warranty, and rrtokt our bvnilt en and rejoined the navy and air force. That kind of nonsense we ex- pect from Cora Weiss and her crowd, but we ought to expect more from men who run the defence department and the na- tion. Those lliree POWs made no vow to assail or demean their own government as a price for release. Considering the oppo- sition, the contempt, that vast milLons of Americans feel for what the United States is doing in Indochina, the commenls of the POWs were remarkably re- strained- Sure, Lt. Morris Charles pleaded for an end lo the war, expressing assurance that t h e oilier GI prisoners would be re- leased. Surely these 400-plus POWs, some of whom have suf- fered more Ihnn n seven-year hnvc earned the right of free speech if any of us is entitled to free speech. The three men recently re- leased cared about the of their fellow American pris- oners more than Ihey cared about political posturing. So they kept their vo'.v lo return home in civilian aircraft, de- spite their government's efforts lo force military aircraft on them in Moscow. This apparently offenrlcd Laird, who seemed more con- cerned at scoring propaganda points against Hanoi than about Ihe early release of the other GIs. It is a prelly pathetic (liing to sec a safe, comfortable Pen- tagon bureaucrat ultering gra. tuitous semi-threats at young men who have gone through an ordeal for their nation es- pecially when the IhrcaU are grounded in nothing but politi- cal petulance. Mrs. Minie Loe 'iartle.y ucpl billerly when Ihe navy refused to ]ct her take her 24-year-old son, Mark, away immediately for a vacation with his family. Sentimentality cannot wipe away the fact of the POWs1 responsibility to their services or the military's responsibility to them. They must undergo physical examinations and rc- ceivi whatever care is requir- ed. They may be able to pro- vide information vital to the future well-being of the other POWs. But the defence department ought, in respect of simple hu- manity, remember that a man who has been locked up in North Vietnam belongs first and foremost to his family. The de- briefing and the other military rcd-lape and folderol ought to be cut to an absolute minimum. Letter To The Editor The bitter Iruth, whicb none of us can escape as we see pic- tures of bombed-out churches, of napalmed children, as we remember My Lai and Die La- velle case, "is that shame aplenty has come out of this tragic war. T.et us not com- pound the shame by heaping new miseries on our own young men who have already mada grim sacrifices. (Field Enterprises, Inc.) Oppose terrorism The tragic events In Munich have at last brought home lo us what terrorism means. As a result of the Olympic mass- acre both the American House of Hepresenlatives and the Sen- ate have recommended that sanctions be imposed on those countries which harbor or sup- port terrorist movements. In New York, Secretary General Waldhein has proposed that the United Nations consider meas- ures Lo prevent terrorism and other forms of violence which endanger innocent lives and fundamental freedoms. However, can we blame the Palestinian "literalion" move- movement for their actions when they see well meaning people in North America send- ing money to the IRA [crrnrisls and the World Council of Churches sending funds to Af- rican liberation movements which is for the murder of African villagers, farmers and their families? Unfortunately, it is not possihle to differentiate between one liberation move- ment and another since they both use the same means to achieve their objectives, us hope that the civilized nations of Ihe world will now start to realize that for civil- ization to survive terrorism will have to be defined and uniform standards will have to be es- tablished. So let us hope that all Christians will bring pres- sure lo bear on members of the World Council of Churches to examine their consciences as to whether further support of terrorist activities in Africa will make fashionable terrorism in oilier parts of our globe. J VAN' DB WALL, Friends of Rhodesia Association. Toronto. The Lethbridge Herald 5M 7lh St. S-, Lelhbndgc, Alberta LETHBRFDGE HERALD ro. LTD., Proprietors and Publisher? Published 1905 -1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Class Mail Reghrralltn No DQ12 Member of The Canadian Presi and ine Canadian Daily Newapapw Publishers' anrf fht AudCf Burp.su or Circuiallwu CLEO W. MOWERS, Edito' and Publisher THOMAS H, ADAMS, General Manager DON PI LUNG WILLIAM HAY Managing Editor Aisoclile Erfilor ROY F. MILES DOUGLAS K WALKER Mender Parje EdiFw "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"