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February 17, 1935 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1935-02-17

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T

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 1935

were they all put into one ward, would not be much
more than a good majority of that ward. Scattered
over two or more wards, it could not be a "menace'
n any of them. True, there is a disproportionate''
number of the professors holding municipal of-
fices in Ann Arbor, but the reason for that is that
most of Ann Arbor's business men have not chosen
to run.
The proposed measure entailed a division of the
city into wards each having nearly the same num-
ber of registered voters. This was occasioned by
the fact that the second and seventh wards each
has several thousand more voters than any other.
The aldermanic veto on this proposal shows that
they are attempting to block, for whatever injusti-
fiable reasons, application of a basic fundamental
of all American governments - equal representa-
tion.
Statistics show that in 1932 the number of
registered voters in the seventh ward was 3,903,
and in the second ward, 2,717, while the fifth had
a meager 428. The seventh outnumbers the fifth
by more than 9 to 1; and the second has over six
times as many eligible voters as the fifth.
The huge seventh ward takes in much of the
student and faculty territory. It contains most
of the district between Washtenaw and Main and
south of Hill Street. Thus it contains over a quar-
ter of all the voters in the city and has only a
seventh of the representation on the City Council.
A comparison of the tax reports of the various
wards shows that the seventh has an assessed valu-
ation of over $10,000,000, 13 times the assessed
valuation of the fifth ward, which is allowed the
same representation on the City Council,
Any unbiased person can see that the present
arrangement is absolutely unfair. Proposals to
eliminate this gross unfairness have been brought
up time and again before the City Council, only
to fail.
Since the Council refuses to put the redistrict-
ing proposal before the people, all that remains is
for the people to seek to correct this fault by com-
bining their strength and voicing their opinion
through petition for a referendum. Such a peti-
tion has been started and must have the requisite
number of signatures by Tuesday. If enough
citizens see the light of fairness, they can easily
override the position of the City Council on what
should have been a perfunctory matter rather than
an issue, and bring the question to popular vote.
The SOAP BOX
Letters published in this column should not be
construed as expressing the editorial opinion of The
Daily. Anonymous contributions will be disregarded.
The names of communicants will, however, be regarded
as confidential upon request. Contributors are asked to
be brief. the editor reserving the right to condense
all letters of over 300 words.
Proportional Representation
To the Editor:
In his letter pointing out the "glaring fallacy"
and "contradiction" in the N.S.L. plan for stu-
dent government, Russ Anderson reveals a mis-
understanding of both the plan and the philo-
sophical implications behind proportional repre-
sentation.
He says: ". . . asked to name 25 organizations
that have a strong enough constituency to seat
25 members, they (N.S.L. leaders) admitted that
that many did not exist. However- they said that
one organization can seat as many as they wish
if they have the constituency to do it with."
The word "admitted" is rather misleading. If
Russ Anderson will glance through our first state-
ments on student government he will find that we
continually stressed proportional representation
of the German type. Our repeated intention was
to incorporate into a constitution a plan whereby
a number of parties could form on the basis of
a program, each party caucus nominating a slate
of 25 members. (Where Anderson got the idea
that 25 organizations were necessary to the opera-
tion of the plan is beyond us.)
Thus there might be a Liberal party, a Demo-
cratic party, a Republican party, etc. (fused prob-
ably from a number of separate groups which
could probably not gain any support by nominat-
ing an independent ticket. The elector would
simply cast his vote for one of the parties. If
one-fifth of the campus favored the Liberal pro-
gram then the Liberal party would gain five seats
on the council. Likewise if the Republicans got

three-fifths of the vote they would get 15 seats
on the council, and so on.
The council would therefore be completely repre-
sentative of the differing student viewpoints, the
representation of each viewpoint being determined
by the measure of support received from the voters.
It is hard to see how this is fallacious. Propor-
tional representation has worked successfully in
Germany, France and numerous other countries.
On the basis of the quoted assumption Ander-
son arrives at the great "contradiction" of the
N.S.L. plan. He says, in effect, that the N.S.L.
opposes the other plans because they are unrepre-
sentative, yet it supports a plan "whereby it could
seat more members than there were ex-officios on
the council."
The purpose of any method of proportional rep-
resentation is to provide a means through which
the minority may have representation relative to
its strength beside the majority. It has as its
basis the belief that no avowed system of democ-
racy can function in accordance with its ideals
unless the minority is permitted to adequately
voice its opinions.
There is no contradiction here. We are glad to
admit that the N.S.L. plan, because it is demo-
cratic, does permit representation from minority
But is Russ Anderson opposed to this? Does he*
believe that the S.C.A. plan with its preponderance
of ex-officio or any other plan adequately pro-
vides for this? It is precisely to insure represen-
tation for minority opinion relative to its voting
strength, that the National Student League sup-
ports the principle of proportionalism. If this
representation cver-balances the ex-oflicio, then
it is all the greater triumph for student democracy.
When this principle is adapted then only will

A . '

t:

COLLEGIATE
t OBSERVER
By BUD BERNARD
COLUMNIST'S TROUBLES
If we print jokes, students say we are silly.
If we don't print jokes, they say we are too
serious.
If we publish things from ether papers, we
are said to be lazy.
If we publish original matter, we're said to
lack variety and originality.
If we work too hard, they say we are ne-
glecting our school work.
If we work on our school work, they main-
tain we are neglecting the column.
If we don't print contributions, we don't
show proper appreciation.
If we do print contributions, the column is
filled with junk.
Students at the University of Minnesota are
all upset about the fact that the measles epidemic
on that campus has skipped all the professors and
that the only sufferers are the students. You'd
think that they would get used to the idea that
college is like that, measles or anything else con-
sidered.
* * * *
Here's a good crack we like which appeared
in the Daily llini:
"Shux," cried the Gold Dust Twins, "Lux
against us."
Something we liked: "A man should never be
ashamed to say he has been in the wrong, which is
but saying . . . in other words that he is wiser
today than he was yesterday." - Pope.
From a modern Sam Pepys who contributes a
column to the Queen's University Journal we learn
that the boys at that school "cut up something-
terrible" last week. We quote:
"71th. Am informed this day of some few
strange events of the week-end; and in es-
pecial that Messrs. "Squirt" and "Wib" went
abroad rriday to celebrate, and they awake
some hours later on a train to London and so
see the game. Also, that the players of Eng-
lish Hockey hold revel, whereat K is
bathed by his fellows, and T. S. deprived of his
breeches, and F now sports an eye of
marvelous motley hue, and they finish by play-
ing hockey in the streets with empty firkins;
so that in all I deem it to have been a won-
drous decorous party. Presently one comes to
me in the Union and tells me of two clerks
who play at golphe in streets, the one being
garbed in tails and a bowler, so that I am
moved to think this cannot have been such a
dull week-end here either."
We see where authorities at Harvard Univer-
sity are instituting tests to determine the origin
of the famous Harvard accent. Freshmen will
now be required to make phonograph records
when they enroll and again when they graduate,
to determine a change, if any. To which column-
ist on the Indiana Daily Student says:
"Personally, we don't care a lot where the
Harvard accent comes from. And it can go'back,
and we still wouldn't care."

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vashing ton
Off The Record
By SIGRID ARNE

For The Michigan Daily
ARE NOW BEING TAKEN
FOR THE SECOND SEMESTER

WASHINGTON, FEB. 16
R EP. ISABELLA GREENWAY of Arizona set out
to find a house for this season in a character-
istic manner. She just drove around the city in
her auto, and went into places that looked attrac-
tive.
She spotted one nice, old-fashioned place back
from the road and high on a hill. She went in
and told the door attendant she would like to
know if the place was for rent.
"But madame," he gasped, "this is the National
Observatory."
Sen. William J. Bulovi of South Dakota
likes his joke, but he met his equal in Will
Hays, the movie "czar."
When they were introduced, Senator Bulow
pretended he didn't hear the full name. He
bowed solicitously and asked, "Was the name
'Rutherford B. Hayes'?"
Mr. Hays of Indiana and Hollywood, bowed
just as solemnly, then grinned and replied,
"Senator, I may be dead, but I'm not buried."
AlRS. ROYAL S. COPELAND, wife of the sena-
tor from New York, was finishing an extremely
busy week by receiving at a tea in a swank club.
Beside her stood a young
woman who was responsible
for getting the names of peo-
ple in the reception line and
introducing them. "May I in-
troduce you to Mrs. Cope-
land?" she asked of a hand-
some, white-haired man in the
line.
"A good idea." he said, "I
knew her once, but I think she
has forgotten me."
"Is that so?"
"Yes, you see she's been
running a convention this
week. I'm Senator Copeland."
Seme unknown Washington hostess failed
to have Eugene Sykes. new chairman of the

SPECIAL REDUCTION
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Phone 2-11
oal at
orCl Student Publicati~ons Bu-ilding.
420 Maynard Street
RhMEMBEIR!
A Few Copies of the J-Hop Extra containing the Grand
March Picture still are available at leading drug stores
and newsstands, or call The Michigan Daily, Dial 2-1214

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