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June 01, 1979 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1979-06-01

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Page 4-Friday, June 1, 1979-The Michigan Daily
FMichi gan Daily
Eighty-nine Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI. 48109.
Vol. LXXXIX, No. 22-S News Phone: 764-0552
-Edited and managed by students
aft the University of Michigan


Letters to the Daily

someone must make a clear


Voters deserve
primary system
STATE REP. Alfred Sheridan (D-Taylor),
who heads the House Elections Committee,
wants to cancel Michigan's presidential primary
due to its excessive expense and voter apathy. But
scrapping the $3 million primary in order for par-
ty leaders to pick the candidate is an un-
democratic idea supported by weak reasoning.
Primary opponents point to the 47 per cent of
the electorate who voted in the 1972 primary and
the 37 per cent who turned out in 1976 as a signal of
disinterest. But those percentage points represent
thousands of voters that care who sits in the Whit
House. Actually over 1% million people voted in
Michigan's last presidential primary-hardly a
show of apathy.
In the era of nonparticipation should lack of
votes justify canceling other elections? Roughly
18,631 persons voted in the April city election, but
there was no discussion of junking it.,
It seems much more sensible to combine state
and presidential primaries, along with city elec-
tions to save money and induce greater turnout.
Voters might even read the tons of literature and
think about the issues if elections occurred less
Mostly Democratic Michigan would probably
swing that way in local elections if that party's
candidate could benefit from the November tur-
nout. Expectedly, this idea is not popular with
area Republicans, who stand to lose on that
Those who will gain more control over the
primary system are also the ones who favor a
caucus method of selecting primary candidates as
well. State party leaders would have an undeser-
ved grip on presidential recommendation if the
primaryis canned."
Precinct delegates are currently voted into
their non-paid positions by their neighbors. The
number of seats per party to a precinct is
calculated according to the vote breakdown in the
previous major election. This mechanism is truly
a grassroots way of picking candidates, and much
preferred to the faint representativeness of
caucus selection.
National Democratic rules regard Michigan's
primary results as unrepresentative of
Democratic support for a candidate due to the
state's open primary system. : Therefore,
Republicans could cross party lines and a false
preview of general election would result. But
national parties are not the only bodies who learn
from primary votes. Michigan presents a more
realistic barometer of support for candidates
because individuals can make a choice on the
basis of preference instead of party.
We do not need to throw out the state's presiden-
tial primary. Instead, wiser and thriftier methods
of conducting it are in order.

Sullivan principles statement that it is not enough: dens at t
Some of my colleagues on switch.
To the Daily: SAACFA have argued that my Governor
A number of people have been vote fails to adequately represent equally g
upset by my decision to abstain my constituency. My constituen- first deg
on the final Senate Assembly Ad- cy has never supported the that Sp
visory Committee on Financial Sullivan Principles. My con- premedit
Affairs (SAACFA) report so I sitituency has repeatedly called forethoug
believe an explanation is in or- for full, divestment and for cor its reven
der. First, Iam not opposed to the porate withdrawal from South was five
contents of the current report. In Africa. My constituency also un- Spenke
fact, I assisted in drafting the derstands the importance of cor- era in wi
recommendations which have porate sales to the South African to live in
passed. They are good, to the ex- government. society-
tend that the Sullivan Principles Finally, some of my colleagues uneducat
are good. on SAACFA have asserted that and othei
However, the report is not my abstention will jeopardize at exhor
enough. Rather, it makes a virtue future student representation on asphxiate
out of necessity. The original six faculty committees. Such an incinerat
Sullivan Principles have now argument makes a mockery of Captial
become South African policy. The student representation on faculty dangerou
provision for no corporate expan- committees. is inflict
sion is covered by the fact that In truth, however, I am more economi
few U.S. companies intend to ex- concerned with the views of the The fact
pand their South African intended beneficiaries of our white pro
operations for economic reasons. policies. I am afraid that the glance a
Rather than making a clear people who are struggling for also poor
statement against corporate freedom in South Africa will look race is a
compliance with apartheid, the at the SAACFA report and find it among th
SAACFA report merely echoes sadly wanting. I am afraid that the natior
the changes that have already they will look at SAACFA's We ha
been made, failure to act on the most impor- Atlerian
SAACFA had the option of tant contribution US. cor- tunate vi
passing a recommendation which porations make to their op- stinctsM
would ask the corporations to pression and question our com- Governor
cease sale of goods and services mitment to ending apartheid. porters,v
to the South African police, -Anne Fullerton the secur
military, and several gover. SAACFA Student fies dun
nmental departments connected Representative have be
with defense and law enfor- Spenkel
cement. smell th
This option was rejected on the Capital punishment hear the
grounds that a) we didn't have victim a
enough information to monitor To the Daily: through h
sales, and h it wouldkmean full Upon earning of John Spenke- The ws
divestiture. It takes little link's execution in Florida and of was mur
sophistication to understand the the barbarity with which the sen- heinous t
contradiction in these argumen- tence was carried out, I conclude vindicate
ts: either we know what our cor- that we Americans have no right in our sta
porations are doing or we to criticize the Pakistanis for than the c
don't-SAACFA can't have it hanging Bhutto or Khomeini for centratioi
both ways. his present reign of terror in Iran. propriate
Regarding the question of in- We who sanction-legal murder in of us who
sufficient information, it should our own country can no longer ifeanxtred
be noted that when Sullivan put denounce the bloodbaths that are
forward his six principles, we taking place abroad. . impeachi
knew next to nothing about cor- John Spenkelink was guilty of Graham,
porate labor practices in South murder. So are - Governor who hav
Africa. This has not deterred Graham, the members of the mare into
Sullivan from pursuing his course Supreme Court, the Attorney
of action; nor has it deterred the
University from following in his
footsteps, despite the fact that the
information gap still exists. As OKAs-A VTSOME COMsON,NOW-PROWEeNT
for the second point, the opponen- 140SFOR(SOUR TARER PEOPE -WILING TO LBUCLY
ts of the sales recommendation .FR OpPOstLi5T"e-fOhJ W POSITIONS!
offered no concrete evidence on "ENEMESL IST'!
the actual number of cor-
porations involved.
Still others argued that we
should not throw a company outw
because of sales to the gover-
nment when they are in full com-
pliance with the Sullivan Prin-
ciples. Consider for one moment
the irony of a corporation which
donates a computerized learning
system to a high school whose
children will later be denied the ",l °
right to vote because a computer
manufactured by the same com-
pany has classified them as
Coloured. Enough said?
Some of my colleagues on
SAACFA have argued that my
absention is a failure to take
responsibility. I see it as an
honest resolution of an ethical
dilemma. I am not opposed to the 'i'
SAACFA report but I do think

of Florida, and the war-
he prison who pulled the
Those who support
Graham's decision are
guilty of murder in the
ree. Nobody can deny
enkelink's death was
ated, with malice and
ht. The public has had
ge, and such revenge
years in the making.
link's death hails a new
hich those deemed unfit
our naive and bourgeois
-the poor, the
ed, the racial minorities,
rs unable to buy justice
bitant prices-will be
d in gas chambers or
ed in electric chairs.
punishment is a
s institution because it
ed especially upon the
cally disadvantaged
that Spenkelink was
vides only a superficial
t the problem. He was
, and poverty as well as
common denominator
ose who occupy cells on
n's death rows.
ve just entered into a
era during which unfor-
ctims of. our bestial in-
will be burned alive.
Graham and his sup-
who remained locked in
ity of their cozy little of-
ng the execution, should
en forced to watch
nk's flesh turn black,
[e sickening odor, and
horrible scream of the
s the first volt ripped
is body.
dy in which Spenkelink
dered was far, far more
han the crime which was
d. The death chambers
te prisons are no better
rematories in Nazi con-
n camps. The only ap-
measure left for those
despise Hitlerism and
ne disrespect for human
lignity is to demand the
nent of Governor
and the court officials
e transformed a night-
--Karin Lindgren

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