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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 24, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THB LFfHBRIDGE HERAID Tgeidoy, October 24, 1972 Minority government is possibility My Maurice Western, OlUiwa M' Public-aMons vummcnliitor Goin. Important decision have a chance in Lcthbridge. But not into Hie final week of tlia election campaign, there is no doubt this time. Whether Social Credit has fulii IQ that the Liberals will win more seals than the Conservatives and that therefore the Liberal government will stay in office. The only serious doubt is whether 1he Liberals will have a majority. One question the southern Alberta voter should ask himself, therefore, is whether he wants a minority gov- ernment or a majority government. The second question is whether ha wants his Member of Parliament to sit on the government side of the House of Commons, or the opposition side. The Lelhbridge constituency voter will realize further that either the Liberal or the Conservative candidate will win. In some Canadian consti- tuencies the NDP will win, and in some more they will have a chance. And at some future election they may any future federally is extremely doubtful. Many voters in this riding will be In a dilemma. There will be a strong pull to vole for one of the minor parties, either because of support for that party's principles or as a protest against both major parties. On the other hand the important decision is whether Hurl- burt or Russell will represent this constituency, and even NDP and Social Credit supporters may want to participate in that decision. If they feel it doesn't matter, that one is as bad as the other, then in good con- science they can vote for their own candidate. But if they feel it does matter, they will have to put off to a more opportune time the satis- faction of voting for a third-party or fourth-party candidate. Ottawa: Several hundred candidates are now exerting themselves to elaborate the choice formally open to the. voters on October 30. These are supposed to be Liberal govern- in e n t, Conservative govern- ment, New Democratic govern- ment or Social Credit govern- ment. Nothing is being said about another choice which may be the effective one now that the experts who advise ministers have been doubly confounded by the rise in seasonally ad- justed unemployment and an accelerating rate of inflation. Arc we to have government with a capacity to govern or are we to have captive govern- ment? In the latter case, whatever the label attached lo it, we are unlikely to have government which is recognizably Liberal, Conservative or anything else. Two general arguments for minority government, one ne- gative and the other positive, have particular appeal (or the small parties other than the obvious one; that in sueh cir- cumslancos, the levers of influ- ence would be in their hands.- The first Is that we avoided govern themselves. South Africa and Rhodesia, those hold-out nations determined to cling to the fact of white supremacy, have been given the talking point they had been hoping for. Both regimes ara likely to point to Uganda as a prize example of intolerance, racism, cruel- ty, and governmental irresponsibility. Neither Mr. Ian Smith or Mr. Vorster will be slow to take advantage of the opportunity. In the meantime the burly genera! can boast of his minor military vic- tory, of his success in implementing his own form of racism. But even he cannot boast of his genuine con- cern for suppressed black people in other parts of Africa. Their cause has been set back, perhaps for years, by his intemperate, inconsistent, and brutal behavior. A teenager leaves Canada By Eva Breivslrr COUTTS In September, at the ripfl old of 10, my first child left home. Now, there is nothing unusual in a fledg- ling leaving its nest and we were quite prepared for her to take off for Leth- bridge, Calgary, or even Edmonton. What look us by surprise was her determination not to stop flying till she reached Ross- shire in the north of Scotland, home of her father and his forefathers. For a girl who had suffered from home- sickness even if she'd been away for only a week or two, who had cried herself to .sleep during the shortest of holidays away from her own habitat, this long flight was a remarkahle feat of courage and despera- tion. Why did she leave Canada? 1 am just beginning to find out from her experience and. the comparisons she is, quite inad- vertantly, making in her letters. Having worked all summer, she had saved up enough to finance her venture. She is, in spite of her love for family and home, an independent soul who detests anything she considers "hand-outs'1 or and was determined not lo ac- cept loans or get into debt. That altitude in itself makes life very difficult for so young a person on a continent whoso witola economy is geared to a system of loans and credit. In keeping with her viev.s on money matters, she decided to earn enough first to see her through further university train- ing. To that end. put, fcr-r namo into every Manpower centre, applied for every job advertised, and f. ram perl the streets, together with many oUvjr youngsters, find work. In vain. Never a squeak from Manpower. She her name r. ,t have been swallowed tip by their in- j computers or filing cahmfcts gc-t- ling indigestion from the sheer weight of numbers applied for, Something wrong at Echo Mountain? seems to be at hazard. When tliere is no majority, an election is always around Iho corner. Small groups, allhough plainly rejected by volers gen- erally, can place (he liighest price on their continuing sup- port. What Is subtracted from the best judgment ot the mini- sters may be a great deal. Cap- tive government is government heavily discounted. It was in the 19C9s lhat gov- ernment expenditures began to march with giant strides and that inflation burst through re- straints and caused aroused housewives to boycott the sup- ermarkets. What was then building up became generally apparent only in the last years. Prob- lems of economic management did not appear particularly for- midable; one Liberal minlsler was confident enough to assert that the business cycle had now teen mastered, while Conserva- tives, to judge by their criti- cisms, were persuaded that any remaining problems could be solved by a change of mana- agcrs. Such facile optimism Is scarcely possible n o w. It has become obvious that the coin- cidence of high unemployment and continuing inflation was no temporary aberration. We have lived with it for some years and we now have it in extreme form. Evidently this modem problem is deep-seated, inherently difficult and of a character to make unusual de- mands on government. Mean- trade, although still heal- thy, is threatened both by rising protectionism in the United States am! by Ihe difficulties likely to ho encountered in 8 period of transition as the West European economy is reorgan- ized within an enlarged Com- mon Market. How a dislracled govern- ment, living from day to day, can be expected to deal effec- tively with problems which hsve recently resisted the best efforts of majority govern- ments, both here and abroad, is difficult to understand. But Mr. Pearson, in differ- ent circumstances, was rebuff- ed when to make tha majority government case. This apparently is enough to rule it out as a formal issue now except perhaps for bal- ance of power small parties persuaded that distracted gov- ernment is the best govern- ment, short of miracles in which they carmot seriously be- lieve. National forum on northern development needed By Peter Uesbarats, Toronto Star commentator OTTAWA "Prime Minister Trudeau forecast at the begin- ning of tliis year that the main emphasis during "Ihe next elec- tion and the next decade, I'm sure, will be more on problems of industrial growth and man- agement of our resources.1' This prediction has turned out to be fairly accurate, de- spite the Immediacy of unem- ployment and the cost of living as election issues. Throughout the campaign, the related long- term issues of resource devel- opment in Ihe Arctic, employ- ment of national capital on re- or "not fulfilling requirements demanding a mature, married woman." Often, sho would write a long resume of her school- ing, education, job experiences, forward copies of school nnd college gradnation papers, academic acliievement awards, testimonials and recommendations with her job application, never receiving as much as an acknowledgement. It was that general attitude of disregard, If not contempt, for a young person's ef- forts that persuaded her to Iry her luck elsewhere. She made one final attempt applying for an advertised post with a bank for which she felt her training in statistics, languages and public relations qualified her. Promised, in an interview, a definite reply within a week, she waited three. En- quiring for a decision, she was by a Public Relations Manager: "Had you been successful you would have been informed. We can't write to every applicant." Why not? 1 would like to know. Banks can write to every customer inviting him to take a loan, save, invest, What better investment than in the trust and hopes of a new gen- eration1.' She now wrote to the Roy a! Hank of Scot- land: "I am coming to Ross-shire. What are the chances of finding Ey re- turn mail she had a reply from a bank manager v.fco had never rnct her: "De- lighted you arc coming (o Ihis country. With the arrival of the oil industry here, there has certainly been a demand for fe- male labor, f will do aU (o assist." While the wording: "female labor" indicates Scotland has not yet encountered Women's Liberation, the speedy reply brought t h o first encouragement and displayed a re- freshing positive- approach to a youngster'.? sincere Mtempt to make a life for herself. Her experiences might be of interest to parents who, 5iks u.s, often find it difficult to fathom Urn teenage rninil or their desire To Travel to distant lands to live in fompar- poUTly rather than adhere to I h e comfort (hey have taken for granted. Letters Employment opportunities A recent editorial did a good service when it urged candi- dates to discuss new methods of dealing with unemployment rather than try lo justify or condemn existing policies. Rut the alternatives mentioned (ge- netic engineering and welfar- ism) leave a lot to be desired. Those who say unemployment is a permanent feature and we must move further into welfar- ism are being most unfair to the people are paying the bills for welfarism. This is why I oppose free guaranteed an- nual income except for the in- capaciialed and those whose working years are finished. It is strange how so many well- meaning people cannot sec the unfairness of having people live off (ho work of other people. Also the people who say un- employment is unavoidable arc not looking at the immense amount of work lhat needs to be done right away. The need for new homes in Ca n add is staggering, yet few people heres can grasp the desperate living conditions in most of Ihe world. Then there nre the millions lhat were hungry yesterday, today, ami will be as long as they live. I low can church people accept these conditions and do so lil'h to make changes? Shouldn't some group try our computerized technology to really help of her nations get started in helping Ihemsleves. We would have to get nway from the profit motive. As one missionary this year, "for rvfry two doll firs give in aid fo umlcrrfcvclopcd countries, we arrange to get three dollars back." That is why rich na- tions get richer and poor na- tions are improving so slowly. If we started out with (lie purpose of helping the most needy first and working up the scale, we could put millions of people to work. Surely the op- eration could bo organized so that those people with the most enterprise and initiative would get the most returns for their .part in the- enterprise. There could be adequate compensa- tion for the workers too. Who fcnows but this could bring in- dustrial peace and end the strife of nation against ration and group against group. After all, most of the strife in the world today is over material goods that are in such short supply in .so many places. JIM BUKNESS Lcthbridge. ttdl.