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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 21, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIOGE September Voter registration Only a small fraction of the world's people have the right to choose their own governments. And of those who do have the right, far too many don't appreciate it. It is worth suggesting again that only those who can prove they voted at the last election be permitted to complain about government. In next month's civic election, any resident may vote. But first his name must be on the voter's list. Those who own property are automatically on the list, because their names and addresses are on the assessment files at city hall. Perhaps that is too easy for them. Perhaps they should have to make some special effort. As for those who don't own property, low are their names to be put on the list? There are two ways. One is for the elec- tion officials to canvass the whole city and thus enumerate all who are qual- ified. The other is for the people to come to city hall and register there. This is the method adopted. We see nothing wrong with that. The right to vote is surely worth that much effort. With all the publicity being given the regulations, no alert citizen can say he didn't know he had to register. But he must attend at city hall during "normal business hours." What if he's working then, as most of the potential voters are? If the citizen must go to city hall, which is not unreasonable, the least that city officials should do is keep the registration machinery open in the evenings and perhaps over the weekend. Curbing crime U.S. Attorney General William Saxbe said recently that crime may inundate his country if things go on as at present. The trend, he warned, could result in the establishment of some kind of super police force exerting totalitarian control. Although the crime picture in Canada does not seem so grim as that painted by Mr. Saxbe, the fact that many U.S. trends eventually seem to cross the border could give cause to some people to be alarmed by the totalitarian prospect. New calls for being tougher on offenders will be heard. Studies of the effect of the punitive approach on curbing crime, however, do not provide much support for it. In- dications are that it tends to confirm criminal tendencies and perhaps make them worse. The time has come to consider.the influences in society that are an induce- ment to criminal behavior and set about reducing their impact. This doesn't promise to be easy but that ought not be taken as sufficient excuse for backing away from the challenge. A "major emphasis in North American society is that of aggressiveness. Great store is laid on succeeding by pushing oneself to the fore, on being tough and persistent in achieving goals. Here is a disposition that is easily perverted into meanness and craftiness. It needs some tempering by the graces of humility, deference, contentment and the like. Then there is the strong emphasis plac- ed on acquisitiveness. To be constantly appealing to this rather primitive trait through seductive portrayals of the things that make for the "good life" can- not fail to stimulate unrealizable desires in the normal course. Resorting to un- lawful means of participating in the en- joyment of the materialistic heaven is to be expected, considering the high degree of stimulation. Too frequently people acquire wealth through manipulation and scheming which is legally questionable and are never brought to account. Crime of this kind pays big dividends and encourages the less clever to resort to more overt forms of diverting material gain to their own ends. Putting an end to respectable evasion of the intent of law would provide a healthier, less hypocritical, climate for appealing for conformity to legal behavior. Perhaps the most obvious form of society's complicity in the production of crime is the widespread approval of un- inhibited use of alcohol. A very high proportion of the crimes that are prosecuted are directly related to alcohol. No serious attack on crime is possible without attention being given to changing the approach to alcohol con- sumption. The suggestion that crime must be controlled by attacking some of the prevailing attitudes in society may seem naive and impractical. But it is the attempt to curb crime without curing the causes that is really naive and imprac- tical. The traditional approach is failing; the alternative is to begin to deal with values. The eccentric British For those who are concerned about England's economic and social structure in the face of severe inflation, powerful unions, upcoming national elections and revelations of the existence of paramilitary organizations for preserv- ing economic order, the London Sunday Times has some reassuring news. Ordinary Britons are sharing with each other their ideas for beating inflation. One idea is the forming of four family urban communes so that four cars and four televisions sets will not be needed. Sell two of each and share the rest, suggests a resident of Brighton. Plow up two back yards for gardens and sell two mowers. Other respondents to the Times WEEKEND MEDITATION suggest making home brew and even growing tobacco, A Londoner suggests buying a little printing outfit which will produce suitable letterheads enabling an individual to buy certain things like tires, paint or building materials, at wholesale prices. Still another Briton reports that he has done quite well by spending two afternoons a week knocking on doors and offering to buy anything made of gold. He has done particularly well, he reports, by soliciting undertakers. The austerity confronting England is estimated to be less severe than that of the immediate post war years. But it's enough to bring out the eccentricity for which Britons are noted, if only for a chuckle or two. A prerequisite to success J. B. Priestley explained the reason for his success as not consisting of talent other promising writers had talent and failed but of desire, in wanting to succeed more than the rest of the pack. They wanted to succeed in an easy going sort of way, but he wanted desperately, with all his heart. That is probably true about anything in life. Gautama Buddha was asked by a man how he could find God. Buddha took him down to the river and ducked his head under water, holding him underneath despite his struggles. When he let him up gasping and choking. Buddha asked him. "What did you want most of ail when I held you "Air." replied the poor man. "When you want God the same way you will find Him." Buddha told him Greed is an ugly sin. yet as Henry George says in Progress and Poverty, there is something noble in the insatiable desire of man He is the only animal whose desires increase as they are fed. the only animal Uial is never satisfied. The ox of today aspires to no more than did the ox when man first yoked him. The sea gulls in the English Channel want no better food or lodging than the gulls who circled round the keels of Caesar's galleys when Uiey first grated on a British beach. The wants of all animals are definite and fixed But this is not so for man He is as Blake pictured him standing at the foot of a ladder reaching up to heaven crying. "1 want' 1 want1" Near the tup of Ml Washington there is a marker showing the spot where a woman climber lay down and died She was only 100 steps from the top where there was a bui and shelter In the storm however, shf could nol vee trnt What a pity to die so close to safetv1 But many a person quits just when a little more effort, a last lunge of a tired heart, would mean victory. Robert Sherwood in Kooscvelt and Hopkins, tells how the r resident s indomitable energy gave vitality 1o the entire stafi All that wartime ad- ministration, even the people who disagreed with Rwsewit politically, felt the energy and dynamism of the man. One wag suggested putting in all the offices a large sign." Ex- haustion is not A saint is only a person whose commitment is greater than 'that of others. Most people are only a little committed. "Throw your heart over and the horse will was the ad- vice to a young jumper. The hymn. "0 Happy Day that fixed my choice." has a line that runs, "Now rest my long divided heart, fixed on thy blissful centre rest." It is a rest that few know. Most are tired failures because they are pulled in a hundred directions. Jesus told his disciples. "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." Rare is the man who does not try to serve both God and Mammon. This is true even among the clergy and few characters are more painful than the clergyman who tries also to be a businessman. John Passos warns that no dursWe piece of work has ever been accomplished by a double-minded man Without the concentra- tion of aii forces of heart and mind nothing can be done of any value Not only so. but all peace and joy are lost Freedom consists nol in breaking loose, but in commitment, thus we say tha! God's "service is perfect freedom Merton. in Seeds of Contemplation, says, "Tntil we love God perfectly His world is full of contradictions The things He has created attract us to Him and yet keep us away from Him. They draw us on and they stop us dead We (md Him in them to some extent and then we don't find Him in them al all So the greatest Hebrew commandment demanded tlidt you love God with ail your heart all your all your mind, all your strength PRAYER: God, when Thou gives! !o Thy servants to endeavour any great matter. grant ns also to know that it is nol thr beginn- ing hut the continuing M thr jrnJil V and I can say to you in all sincerity, keep a stiff upper lip chaps, things can't get any worse after all what else can Britain under stress By William V. Shannon, New York Times commentator WASHINGTON Suffering from the inflation and recession problem in an advanced form, Britain heads into its second general election this year with the prospect for stronger national leadership distinctly discouraging. Before Britain can cope with its economic troubles, it needs a resolute, clearheaded government. Unfortunately, the leadership of Prime Minister Harold Wilson of the Labor party and former prime minister Edward Heath of the Conservative party has been as feckless and unproductive in the past decade as was that of their respective predecessors, Ramsay MacDonald and Stanley Baldwin, in the 1930s. Wilson was once called "the Richard Nixon of British politics." Leaving aside any imputation of Watergate style corruption, one can see the force of the An agile tactician, Wilson is more interested in holding power for the personal pleasure it gives him than for anything in particular he wants to do with it. Like Nixon who finally climbed to power in 1968 as a front man for the Goldwater right wingers. Wilson fronts for the hard line. Socialist left wingers in his own party who cannot elect one of their own true believers and have settled for a suttle mani- pulator. Heath, an intelligent, conscientious man. a bit starchy, believed sincerely in his party's stern theories about competition, free markets, no subsidies, and little or no government intervention in business. Once in office, he quickly discovered that these ideas would not work. Having nothing to put in place of them, he drifted and tacked as best he could. Neither Heath nor Wilson inspires much public confidence. Heath and the Tories won in 1970 because the people were sick of Wilson and his doubletalk. Last February, voters threw out Heath because they had grown weary of his improvisations, especially when he tried to pretend that his spur of the moment decisions were actually brave stands for principle. Now that Wilson has been in power again for seven months, peo- ple have been reminded of how unconvincing he is, something they had half- forgotten. When I was closely following the general election of 1970, I came away from every speech by Wilson or Heath asking myself the ques- tion isn't there some way they could both lose? The British electorate is now asking itself the same question. The result is a dramatic rise in the fortunes of the small, once moribund Liberal party. If Britain had the American presidential system. Jeremy Thorpe, the Liberal leader, might have scored an upset last February. The opinion polls showed him to be personally the most popular of the three party leaders. Unfortunately for the Liberals and for Britain they were able to elect onlv 14 of the 630 members of the House of Commons, although they polled one fifth of the total vote. What a majority of the British people clearly want is a Liberal Labor coalition that would produce a left of centre but non Socialist government, roughly comparable to Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal or John Kennedy's New Frontier. Such a Lib Lab coalition existed 70 years ago. But in the years between the two world wars, Labor grew to be one of the two major parties largely by winning over the Liberal's working class support. Labor's left wing cannot bear to acknowledge a renascent Liberal party now and enter into renewed alliance with it because that would be tantamount to admitting that the Labor party is no longer the wave of the future. Moreover, in the Labor party, the very word "coalition" awakens traumatic memories of 1931 when MacDonald sold out Labor to head a national government that, in all but name, was a Tory regime. As a result of these Labor hang ups. the only bidders now for Liberal partnership in a coalition government are the Tories with whom most Liberals are loath to align themselves. There is a slim chance that the Liberals may break through in this election. But old loyalties die hard. If past voting habits persist, either Wilson or Heath will win. Britain will then muddle along as best it can until the crisis grows worse. Turner's clues are confusing By Dian Cohen, syndicated commentator MONTREAL Finance Minister John Turner broke his months' long silence recently, first by attacking the innocent bearer of bad tidings Statistics Canada and then by telling us that if we really want to beat inflation, we should restrain ourselves. This kind of talk, coupled with almost total government inaction on the inflation front. makes il increasingly cJcar that the federal government has no cohesive economic policy, contingency or