Canadian Rejection of Unity
The following are excerpts from a letter I received from my brother in Saskatchewan, Canada, on the subject of Quebec and Canadian unity [On Oct. 26, Canadians voted `no' on the national unity referendum]. We are both Canadians, and I periodically send him Monitor articles to let him know what the American press has to say about Canada. David Hoeppner, Wilmington, N.C.
Quebec reminds me of a teenager who will not live by the house rules. It wants to move out of the house or stay and live by its own rules with special status. The parents, however, have to pay all the costs.
The proposals do not embrace the principle of representation by population. To get Quebec's agreement, the proposal guaranteed it 25 percent of the members of the Commons; its population, however, is shrinking and is already just over 24 percent. This is my major objection to the proposals. The proposals give more weight to collective rights than to individual rights. Many interpret Quebec's strategy as a means to maintain French supremacy by law if it cannot do it by population.
The proposals do give more political force and autonomy to the Indians. This is an important part of the deal and long overdue. V. Hoeppner, Saskatchewan Neofascist bands
The Arts page article "Neofascist Bands Link Music to Anger," Oct. 27, would have done better to have explored some of the deeper reasons why young people are attracted to neo-Nazi movements than a mere recounting of what happened at a rock concert.
Even in the 1920s, National Socialism was very much a youth party. The average age of members was considerably lower than that of Communists. It drew from the same kind of person: unhappy and frustrated with the status quo, and who blamed the economic woes of the nation on foreigners and big business.
Unlike communism or socialism, Nazism had no easily definable doctrines for solving economic problems, but it borrowed heavily from socialism in implementing its social policies. It saw national problems in terms of race and not class, which is one of the defining differences between the right and left.
Seeing how the skinhead phenomenon compares to this abbreviated profile of Nazis in the Weimar period would have been more useful. This is especially true as the indelicate question of poor race relations and alienation is alive and well in the United States. Given the state of society, they cannot be dismissed as a lunatic fringe whose voice has no listeners of consequence. Eugene Pomeroy, Lake Oswego, Ore. Democratizing Thailand
I read with interest the Opinion page article "America's Role in Aiding Thai Democracy," Oct. 27. Readers might be interested in another aspect of America's cooperation with Thailand in support of democratic goals. Thailand's newly elected pro-democracy government includes an extensive list of those who have learned about the United States by participating in programs such as the International Visitor Program, sponsored by the United States Information Agency (USIA). The program provides an orientation t o the US with visits to homes, businesses, schools, and government.
More than 100,000 persons have participated in the International Visitor Program since its inception 52 years ago. This includes some 133 individuals who went on to become heads of state and 1,428 from around the world who rose to ministerial and parliamentary posts. Henry E. Catto, Washington, Director, USIA