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September 17, 1983 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-09-17

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Saturday, September 17, 1983

The Michigan Daily'

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Vol. XCIV - No. 9

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Pay ,raise: Poor judgem--ent

T HE UNIVERSITY'S regents dis-.
played extreme insensitivity and
poor judgement in giving President
Harold Shapiro a $10,000 raise yester-
day.
The amount of Shapiro's pay hike is
excessive, and further, the way the
regents passed it is highly
questionable.
The regents passed the 11 percent
raise for Shapiro at their monthly
meeting yesterday. The action rein-
states him as th University's highest
paid executive officer, with a salary of
$96,000 annually.
The regents gave two reasons for
raising Shapiro's salary: First, he has
declined large raises in the past
because of the University's financial
problems. And second because he has
been an outstanding leader during
such troublesome times.
Over the last several years, Shapiro
has received smaller pay raises than
his fellow executive officers. Since
1980, his yearly raises have been at
about the same level as the average
professor. And for the good of the
University, that is just where they
should have stayed.
Instead, Shapiro's salary is up 11
percent this year, while the average
professor's pay is only up 5 percent.
Shapiro is the head of a University
which is, constantly cutting budgets
and at the same time trying to uphold
morale. Seeing the president receive a
$10,000 raise can do little for the
morale of those in the education
school, who just one day earlier saw
their school's budget cut nearly in half.
It can do little to encourage natural
resources and art faculty whose
schools are trying to adapt to 25 per-

cent and 18 percent cuts.
Shapiro may be doing an outstanding
job. And yes, he may deserve a large
pay raise, but so do many others. Some
of the top professors in the world teach
at this University. Many of them are
paid a fraction of what they could be
making somewhere else. Yet every
year administrators ask them to stay,
even though their raises are well below
the inflation rate.
Beyond the effects on morale, the
decision also will cost the University a
good deal of money - a lot more even
than the $10,000 Shapiro gets. Like the
stakes in a poker game, salaries of all
players rise quickly when the ante is
upped.
Who will want raises in 1984? Who
will see themselves as next in line?
Undoubtably the stakes rise.
To make matters worse, the regents
precluded any public debate or
discussion by the way they proposed
and voted on the raise.
The proposal never appeared in the
public meeting agenda, and seemed to
come as a surprise to everyone in the
room, except the regents themselves,
when Regent Thomas Roach (D-
Saline) proposed the raise just before
the meeting ended. It was passed
unanimously.
Unlike the practice for almost any
item they vote on, the regents
deliberately avoided giving the public
any opportunity to discuss or comment
on the proposal.
The pay raise may have been fast
and easy for the regents, and en-
couraging for Shapiro, but for the rest
of the University it can only be disap-
pointing.

MANAGUA, Nicaragua - The
call for "free and democratic
elections" in Nicaragua has
become a central feature of the
U.S. political offensive against
the Sandinista regime.
The White House clearly
believes that Sandinistas are un-
willing to risk an election and
that revolutionary governments
are incompatible with electoral
politics.
YET THE evidence here
strongly suggests that both
assumptions are mistaken:
The intention to hold elections
in 1985 was announced by the
Sandinista national leadership
(FSLN) more than three years
ago. They have been preparing
for the event ever since -
preparing so well that the FSLN
will almost certainly win.
" Far from basing their ap-
proach on an untested mixture of
revolution and ballots, the San-
dinistas have carefully followed
the political lead of another Latin
American nation. That model is
not Cuba, but Mexico, whose
ruling Institutional
Revolutionary Party (PRI) has
demonstrated that regular elec-
tions can enhance, rather than
weaken, claims to legitimacy.
With the PRI's precedent
clearly in mind, a concerted ef-
fort is underway to refashion the
FSLN as an election-oriented
party. At present, there are only
500 card-carrying party mem-
bers and another 2,000 activists at
the neighborhood level and in
workplaces. But thousands of
other Nicaraguans, though not
under actual party supervision,
appear to follow its guidelines.
THE MOST crucial role in this
party-building procedss is played
by various "mass organizations"
which were set up in 1979. They
include a labor federation which

now encompasses 80 percent of
all organized workers; a univer-
sity-centered youth movement;
women's and peasant
organizations, and "defense
committees" found in the neigh-
borhoods of every town and city,
which often coincide with the
religious "base communities" of
activist Catholics. Each of these
groups answers directly to the
FSLN.
Thus, Sandinista institutions
criss-cross Nicaraguan society,
offering the means to draw into
the process large segments of the
population who have never before
participated in politics.
From top to bottom, this struc-
ture parallels the political system
of PRI-dominated Mexico. There,
too, the ruling party exercises
direct control over a wide variety
of mass organizations identified
with key voting groups. These
organizations often act as
political "transmitters" - for
bringing party views before
voters, or in the reverse direc-
tion, for obtaining favors from
the party.
In Nicaragua, this structure is
referred to as "the Sandinista

Mexico is
Nicaragua s
political model
By Nelson Valdes

popular bloc." In Mexico, PRI of-
ficials call it their "revolutionary
family."
THERE IS little doubt about
its effectiveness. The PRI was
formed in 1929, after 19 years of
revolution, and proceeded to
sponsor and win an election. It
has gone on to hold elections
every six years since - and to
win every time. Simply put, it is
the very electoral structure
created by the party which has
allowed it to remain in power.
The lesson has not been lost on
Managua, nor the conclusion that
Mexico offers a much more
useful model than Cuba. Fidel
Castro has never faced adver-
saries in the electoral arena and
can scarcely be expected to ad-
vise the Sandinistas on strategies
for winning votes.
If the FSLN were to lose the
election, "one will have to accept
the results," according to Rafael
Soilis, secretary general of the
Nicaraguan Council of State, its
provisional legislature. But
thanks to other borrowings from
Mexico's example, that result is
most unlikely.
FINALLY, the Sandinistas

themselves are designing the
election procedures, introducing...
legislation on political parties
and preparing a census this year
to determine how many voters
there are. By the time votes are
cast, the FSLN will have essen-
tially defined the rules by which
the electoral game is to be played
- just as the PRI has in Mexico.
Today there are nine separate,
political parties functioning here.
Each of them, with the exception
of the Communist Party whose
activities have been restricted, is
to be found in the Council of State.
Between them, opposition and in-
dependent members hold 36 per-
cent of that body's vote.
What would their prospects be
if elections were held now?
All of the opposition legislators
hold their posts thanks to appoin-
tment in the first week after the
revolution, and it is by no means
certain that an actual election
would return them to power. In
the view of Xavier Gorostiaga, a
Jesuit priest who heads one of the
country's key social research in-
stitutions, there is reason to
believe that the current anti-San-
dinista representation on the
council does not accurately
reflect popular sentiments.
Moreover, many of the San-
dinistas' fiercest critics have
gone into exile, leaving poorly
organized followers behind.
Thus, an election might well
bring a Sandinista landslide,.
sweeping away the present:-
diversity of the Council of State -.
and achieving an aim precisely: :
the opposite of that intended by,
Washington's Nicaraguan cam-
paign strategy.

Valdes teaches sociology at
the University of New Mexico.
He wrote this article for the
Pacific News Service.

4

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Congress unnerved

DESPITE THE efforts to find a
reasonable response to the
downing of the Korean Airlines 747, it
was only a matter of time before the
incident would be used to promote a
dangerous program. Sure enough, in
the wake of the tragedy the House of
Representatives Wednesday bowed to
pressure and reversed a vote against
the production of new nerve gas
weapons.
Sponsors of the nerve gas plan said
ending the 15 year.U.S. moratorium on
production of chemical weapons would
send a signal to the Soviet leadership in
response to the murder of the 269
people aboard the airliner - and send
a signal it will.
The measure, which as part of the
overall military authorization bill now
awaits President Reagan's certain ap-
proval, will tell the Soviets the U.S.

leadership is going to expand an
already intense arms race. It will only
encourage the Soviets to continue their
use of chemical weapons such as
yellow rain, not persuade them to stop.
And it promises to increase tensions at
the nuclear weapons talks in Geneva.
More importantly, though, the vote
in the House showed a disturbing lack
of clear thinking by the represen-
tatives who changed their minds. Rep.
Ed Bethune (R-Ark.) put it best before
he voted against the measure when he
said he hoped "Congress will rise
above the emotions of the moment"
and reconsider the proposal.
If the members of Congress would
step back from the airline tragedy they
would see that the nerve gas plan is a
counter-productive weapons boon-
doggle. Murder in the sky doesn't
change that.

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Unruly viewers ruin movie for fan

MAYBE NOW HE'LL BE ABLE TO HEAR US
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To the Daily:
We have a rare opportunity in
this community to see a large
number and variety of often ex-
cellent films through the co-ops.

Many of us would like to
thoroughly enjoy it; but it is in-
creasingly often spoiled by the
rude behavior of some of the
audience.

Daily attitudes sour mash

To the Daily:
I'd like to commend the Daily
staff for the excellent "New
Student Edition" of September 8,
1983. In particular, I appreciated
the article on Counseling Ser-
vices ("Anxiety traps 'U' studen-
ts"), of which I am a staff mem-
ber. Since our staff has been
dealing with increased incidence
of alcohol abuse-related
problems in the past few years, I
thought your "drink responsibly"
ad commendable.
But, alas, a sour note. As a

alcoholic beverages. My concern
is that the assumptions implied in
the Daily articles that "everyone
does it" and that "it's the only
thing to do" will foster behavior
which can and does result in
serious problems for students.
- Penny Tropman
Senior Counselor
September 15
BLOOM COUNTY

I attended a showing of the
Greek film "Iphigenia" on Wed-
nesday night, and was distracted
throughout the length of it by a
vociferous running commentary
(mostly a stream of feeble wit
and American ethnocentric
remarks) by a group of students
near me, who I understand were
compelled to be at the film for a
class assignment. They con-
tinued despite several hisses of
"shut up" from neighbors, plus a
slightly more subdued request on
my part. From the sound of it,
there were more such groups
scattered through the audience.
It really should go without
saying (especially by the age of

18 or over) that it is only cour-
teous to save remarks and comi
ments (unless quietly whispered)
until the showing is over, and
refrain from disturbing those
who wish to watch the film in
peace. Whether or not you like
the film is immaterial. If you
really cannot stand it, then leave,
or, if you have to be there for a
class, contain yourselves until
it's over. It is very regrettable to
have to leave feeling that such
class assignments ought not to be4
made unless babysitting service
or mouth gags can be provided.
- Barbara Nagler
September 15
by Berke Breathed

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