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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 25, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta Men breaking down sex barriers in jobs usually lie Id by women MOVE OVER A driver meeting or being overtaken by a vehicle on which a siren is being sounded must drive his vehicle os close as is practicable to the right side of tha roodwoy ond slop until the vehicle sounding tha siren has passed. On a highway with more lhan two traf- fic lanes, vehicles must stop at either the left or right side, whichever is closer. This picture is the mnth pub- lished as port of the city police safe driving campaign. Prairie voters somewhat of a mystery A lull in winds of change By GARY FAIRBAIRN Canadian Press Staff Wriier There's a lull in the winds of change on the Prairies and po- litical observers are having dif- ficulty assessing what's on the voters' minds for the Oct. 30 federal election, Party spokesmen say Prairie voters appear to be sitting back and concentrating on plat- beyond style and personality. Few spokes- men say the national party leaders have made any great impact. Since the 1968 election, voters in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta have changed their pro- vincial governments. But in- dicators which signalled these turnovers have not been present in the federal ca paigD. Several other key political factors also have changed: rookie Liberal members of Par- liament have become cabinet powers; Ihe Prairie economy has plummetted and bounced partially back; bitter feelings among Conservatives over the ouster of John Diefenbaker have subsided; and each party leader has accumulated a par- liamentary record to be judged. There is no evidence of Trudeaumanla as In 1968, mak- ing it more of a contest at the candidate level, SPOKESMEN CAUTIOUS With co many variables In a complex political equation, party spokesmen speak cau- tiously, with mnny quali- fications. Standings by provinces when Parliament was dissolved: I. PC Manitoba 5 5 3 Saskatchewan 157 Alberts 4 15 0 Totals 10 25 ]0 Agriculture Minister ii. A. Ol- son, who wcm his Medicine Hat constituency in by 2W5 votes and is facing a stiff chal- lenge this time, said voter-s are "coming loose from (heir tradi- tional political moorings." One group of floating voters consists of Social Credit sup- porters cast adrift by the de- feat of the Alberta Social Credit government, while a group is made up of people who used to vote Conservative cause of Mr. Diefenbaker. "The other group is people who didn't have any strong ties with any political party a fair number who voted not- Lib cral last time but voted Trudcau, and now arc looking nt him from a different point o] said Mr. Olson. time it was new exciting mid all of (hal, without looking really (lie mi ability. "Now they know him onr Rome of those people, they're not fjuiUj sure." "When you arid nil o( this to- gether, I think (hat there's a larger number of people who are not quite sure what they're going to do than Ixsforc." Although he noticed more concern about urban and issues, Mr. Olson s.ik "you still can't take awny that agriculture is dominant, but the degree of ils dominance may he slightly less." Inflntioii ,-intl relations with the IT.S. were nlso major Prniric concerns. OPPORTUNITY FOIt I'CS For Alvin Hamilton, once ag- riculture minister in the Die- fenbaker government niul now a Conservative candidate in Qii'AppcHo-Mnoso Mountain, growing optimism on tlie 'rairies means a great oppor- unity for his party if it can convince voters that only Con- servatives can make the glow- ng economic possibilities come :rue. "When tliis altitude of optim- ism gets hold in the West, this will have tremendous impact on the politics of people. They do so much want to see their Prairies grow strong and a bet- ter quality of life here "They want to believe there's a future, desperately want to believe, and I don't think it's going to be hard to get that feel- ling of optimism rolling through the whole Prairies." He dismissed the "corporate with strong candidates every- 'here. But he adds that it Is impos- ible to estimate the relative veight in voters' minds of pol- :ies, national leaders and indi- idual candidates. "I don't think that you can leneralize I wouldn't say hat there's a general change since welfare bums' NDP, saying campaign of the Prairie voters heard similar charges decades ago about "50 corporate big shots" who were supposedly running the country. "You can't get these people excited over something that got them excited 40 years ago. This type of stuff is old stufi for the old NDPer here and they're looking for people with reasonably constructive pol- icies." The four leaders "are not cutting through and causing any excitement, so this electior is being won at the con- stituency he said. CHARACTER AN ASSET But Mr. Hamilton feels the character of leader Robcr Stanfield Is an asset to at leasl some degree: "Stanfield Is a careful cautious man who will never be exciting but the people, I think are wondering if it wouldn't be too bad an idea to go back to a person with a proven track record of economic accom plishment." The controversy over grain prices and the recent increasec initial payments, rccommendec by Mr. Stanfield the cam paign opened, would help Mr Hamilton's party. "The Conscrvalives can win on that because we're the ones who have been talking this higher price all along.' In Winnipeg North Centre veteran New Democrat Slanle; Knowlcs sees little chance of a radical shift in the balance o power, saying the low-key cra! campaign is designed tc encourage apathy and maintain the present political pattern, Mr. Lang's emphasis on wha the Liberal government has done for the West is echoed b his colleague James Richard son, minister of supply services, who nevertheless say Prairie voters will not vote pre- dominantly on regional issues: "There will ixs many western Canadians who will vote for thi government because of its na lional achievements. Others will do so because of Its re- gion a 1 achievement. The strength of the government based on both." Mr. Iticbardson says the gov ernmcnt's efforts to decentra lize its activities and to in creaso purchases In the Wcs are lessening western alien alion, but there is still more to do. DOWNGRADES NDP GAIN'S lie downgrades the inr'luenci of new NDP governments or the federal election. "1 would think that some o their difficulties would bo jus as harmful to NDP candidate, federally as some of their sue- ccsscs might beneficial." Mr. Richardson says man' voters will turn to the Liberal! bccauso tliey are tho only part; The dean of all Prairie politl cal leaders, John Diefenbaker declined in an Interview to go into detail about Prairie politi cal trends. But he said hi; sees great disenchantment every where with the Trudcau gov emment. Whatever the politicians say the decisive word rests with the people who vote. WetfneKfoy, October 25, 1972 THE IETHBBIDCE HEBAIO