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November 28, 1978 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-11-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

BLAMES LACK OF GOVERNMENT RESPONSE

Rep. Bullard calls voter

apathy a c

By JOE VARGO
Political apathy in the United States
has reached a crisis stage and one way
to reverse it is to implement a
unicameral or parliamentary type
legislative system, according to State
Representative Perry Bullard (D-Ann
Arobr). Bullard expounded these views,
vefore a small audience yesterday
afternoon in the Law School's Hutchin's
Hall.
"Election participation is down to its
lowest level since World War II," he
said. "There are many explanations
why participation is declining, but one
thing is sure-there is a very serious
crisis facing our society."
ACCORDING TO Bullard, voter
apathy can be traced to a lack of
government response to the will of the
electorate.
"Citizens need to see the relationship
between their choices in voting and the
public policy that resluts from those
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choices," he said. "A unicameral or
parliamentary type legislative sustem
would create a more accountable
Democratic process."
Bullard said he believes that such
accountability does not exist presently.
"People cannot see the difference their
vote will make so they don't bother to
vote at all," he said.
THE PRESENT LACK of
government accountability is a result of
the decline in party affiliation among
voters, Bullard said. "Party affiliation
served to provide cohesion to the basic
party principles," the Ann Arbor
Democrat said. "But now, people vote
for the person instead of the party. As a
result, the voters don't know which
party is responsible for bad programs."
Until voters find out who is responsible
for such programs, they cannot hold
anyone accountable; he added.
In addition to lending some
accountability to government, the

unicameral or parliamentary system
would shorten the time it takes for
initiatives to get acted on, Bullard said.
A shorter time period means it is less
likely that progressive legislation
would be weakened by special interest
groups, he claimed.
"Currently, the president or governor
introduces legislation. But bills must go
through the legislature where vested
interest groups, groups who represent
the status quo and oppose any change,
can lobby particular politicians. Even
mild 'bills are weakened by the
fragmentation of party power and the
strength of special interest groups. This
makes a strong case for a
parliamentary system," Bullard said.
.ACCORDING TO BULLARD, the
parliamentary system would work like
this: Representatives would be elected
prpportionally to a single legislative
body. Then the major party, or a
coalition of major parties would form

the new government, choosing a
governor-or president, at the federal
level- and other party leaders. In
Michigan, Bullard believes the number
of legislators could be reduced from the
present 148 to about 100.
Because of this, Bullard said his idea
is not popular among politicians. "It is
not an idea that's taken seriously. It
isn't something that has to be dealt with
immediately. Many politicians would
rather talk about how they are going to
enforce the new drinking law."
"The need for such reform is
obvious," he said. "Right now, the
democratic process in this country is in
disuse. Only a third of eligible voters
actually vote. When only a third of the
electorate votes, the decisions made
lose their legitimacy, because these
decisions reflect the ideas of an elite
few. There is a very serious crisis
facing our society."

The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, November 28, 1978 --Page
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San Francisco
mayor urdered

B
We
Ladies
H
DA
ST
LIBERTY Off Sl
S.U.-E.U.

WEDNESDAY

(Continued from Page 1'
crowd of reporters and city employees,
who gasped and screamed, "Oh God!"
drowning out her statement.
"The suspect is Supervisor Dan
White," she said.
POLICE HAD immediately issued an
all p'oints bulletin for White, who, they
- . said, raced away from City Hall in his
blue Opel. But White, himself a former
city policeman, surrendered at 11:45
a.m.
"He just walked in the door, put his
hands up and turned himself in," said a
police officer at the staion. "He looked
pretty calm-well, not calm, actually.
Kind of in shock."
White said two weeks ago that he was
resigning because he could no longer
support his wife and 4-month-old son on
a supervisor's $9,600 annual salary. He
said a fried potato concession he and his
wife recently opened on Fisherman's
AP Photo Wharf was not yet doing well enough to
to custody help.
e Moscone WHITE, WHO was a paratrooper in
the Vietnam War, quit his job as a city
firefighter to comply with city rules af-
ter his election in November 1977.
Two days after resigning from the
b he asked for the supervisor's job
e d, bck, saying his family of 16 brothers
and sisters had offered him up to $10,000
in loans to tide him over.
* He continued to press for reappoin-
tment last week, contending that his
iitialresignation was invalid. But
White was considered one of the most
nd for the conservative city supervisors, and
nd for the Moscone was a liberal, so .the mayor
r in a sub- ignored White's arguments.
Mascone was born in San Francisco.
irlhament- He was elected mayor in 1975 and was
ould hap- expected to seek re-election in 1979. He
bher.

was known for his youthful good looks
and broad smile.
In 1974, he announced his intention to
run for governor of California, but later
withdrew.
Milk was elected to the 11-member
board, which is similar to a city council,
in 1977. He was popular in the
homosexual community, said to make
up about one-sixth of the city's 700,000
population, and was influential in win-
ning approval by supervisors of a
homosexual rights ordinance. White
was the only supervisor to vote against
it.

FORMER SAN FRANCISCO City Supervisor Dan White, left, is taken in
by police following the shooting deaths of San Francisco Mayor George
and Supervisor Harvey Milk yesterday at City Hall.
F ukda stu nn
in ' reeec tionl

YOG6;
Classes now in session
for info: 769-4321 & 769-7535
Yoga Canter
of. Fnn Arbor
207 E. Ann

s TOKYO (UPI)-Prime Minister
Takeo Fukuda yesterday lost the first
round election for the presidency of the
ruling Liberal Democratic Party and
withdrew from a runoff in a move that
ended his two-year reign as leader of
"Japan.
r His decision not to be a candidate in
effect made Party Secretary. General
Masayoshi Ohira, who won the initial
balloting in a surprise upset, the next
prime minister.
"I AM NOT going to run in the runoff
election," Fukuda told a news con-
ference only hours after his unexpected
loss to party Ohira in the first round of
an election for the Liberal Democratic
presidency.
But Fukuda did not indicate what his.
;immediate plans were and it was not
clear whether he would, in fact, im-
mediately resign his post as prime
minister.
Nevertheless, his Withdrawal means
-the 68-year-old Ohira will run unop-
* I

posed in Friday's second rou
party presidency and auto
will be named prime ministe
sequent election in the full pa
Political sources said that w
eLn somet ime in earl7 Deanm,

Pel 2VLM11t1I dly U U le.
FUKUDA STEPPED down from the
premiership at the end of a single two-
year term. He was clearly upset by his
upset defeat.
In hectic campaigning over the
weekend, Fukuda said he would resign f
he did not place first in the initial
balloting-the first time the rank and
file had voted for a party leader.
His 'defeat was attributed in large
part to the support thrown to Fukuda's
chief opponent by disgraced former
Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka.
The results stunned election officials
and political observers, who had
predicted the 73-year-old Fukuda, who
assumed office in December 1976,
would capture first place and Ohira
second. .

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