The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on October 23, 1991 · Page 6
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October 23, 1991

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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 6

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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Wednesday, October 23, 1991
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A-6Comment THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER Wednesday, October 23, 1991 THE ClNQNNATl ENQUIRER WILLIAM J. KEATING Chairman and Publisher GEORGE R. BLAKE Editor, Vtct President THOMAS E. DUNNING Managing Editor THOMAS S. GEPHARDT Associate Editor DARRYLW. EVERETT Vice President, Advertising WILLIAM R. JOHNSTON Vice President, Circulation MARK S. MIKOIAICZYK Vice President, Production JAMES A. SCHWARTZ Vice President, Finance GERALD T. SILVERS Vice President, Marketing Services A Gannett Newspaper .,; v -y-irr It '-vv UC A threatened deficit requires a reduction in spending plans One obvious solution was increasing tuition by some 15. That would have erased the deficit and allowed faculty members to continue the lifestyles to which they are accustomed. But every tuition increase has the CAVE RRMING PR as the fairest way to vote The University of Cincinnati faculty members who seem determined to seek a vote of no confidence in President Joseph A. Steger and UC's trustees run the risk of imperiling UC's stature and creating divisions that will be long in healing without solving any of the financial problems with which President Steger and other members of the administration are beset. The plain fact is that the State of Ohio has seen fit to reduce the state's subsidy to UC by $13 million during the first year of the 1992-93 biennium and by $18 million President during the second year. The state has made comparable reductions in most other state expenditures as a means of assuring that the state operates within its means. A subsidiary factor may have been a resolve to increase faculty productivity throughout the state university system. The decision confronts UC with the prospect of a $21.7 million deficit for the next two years. The prospect demanded tough analysis and realistic planning. m feature using a simple example three candidates running for a single seat, where a majority (not just a plurality) is required to win. If two liberals and a conservative are running, the conservative might run first with 45, the liberals second and third because they split the other 55. Because no one gets over 50, a second election is held between the top two vote-getters. Those who voted for the third place liberal are likely to vote for the second place liberal and tip the election to that candidate. A PR system of ranking would provide for transfer of votes from the third place liberal to the second place liberal (or to the conservative if the voter preferred) without the time and expense of a second election. The voter says "I really prefer the third place liberal, but if he can't win, I'd rather have my vote count for the second place liberal than be wasted or help the first place conservative to win." This same theory is the basis for transferring votes as directed by the voter in a nine seat council race. Your vote counts for your first choice unless that person has already been elected, in which case your second choice gets your vote. Votes not wasted PR takes longer to count, but these transfers prevent your vote from being wasted on a candidate who will not be helped by it. It is this feature which makes the elected body an accurate reflection of the voting interests of the entire electorate. It takes much less time than a run-off election, which is the only other way to get accurate information about voters' order of preference among several candidates. It is the only way to be sure that voting for your ninth choice will never hurt your first choice's chance of winning. Vote for fair representation for everyone. Electoral reform is Issue 6. Take the power from the political party bosses and give it back to the voters. Vote for Proportional Representation, Vote Yes on Issue 6. It's only fair. Texas massacre Guns used in the slaughter in Killeen were legal purchases t It makes sense for all council members to have the citywide perspective. J J particular areas. Most of the issues decided by council have citywide implications, so it makes sense for all council members to have the citywide perspective which comes from an at-large election. District lines would pit one part of the city against another, and adjustments in those lines would always be subject to political manipulation. PR automatically provides representation for any substantial minority racial, gender, issue beliefs as defined and adjusted at each election by voter support. In a sense PR lets voters create districts not artificial physical boundaries, but districts of common interests electing candidates in proportion to their voting strength. I want my representative to be elected because we agree on issues, not because we sleep in the same part of town. A system of geographical districts still has the problem of wasted votes within a district, those voting for the loser will still feel unrepresented. Now to demystify PR. Opponents want you to believe it is complicated, because if you understand it you are likely to vote for it. Voters rank their choices from one through nine. It's as easy as one, two, three. How many votes are needed to win a council seat under PR? A mathematical formula is used. It is the same formula we use to determine a majority in a single seat district. A majority is 50 of the votes plus one. That is because two candidates could get 50 each, but only one could get 50 plus one. It is the smallest number of votes that one person can get but two cannot get. Since there are nine seats on our council, you need the smallest number of votes that nine candidates can achieve but 10 cannot. Ten candidates could each get 10 of the vote, but only nine could get 10 plus one. PR provides each voter a single "transferrable" vote. The transfer is done according to the each voter's instructions. It is easier to understand this effect of putting college training beyond the reach of those for whom such institutions as UC exist. The only reasonable solution is the one upon which President Steger has embarked including a freeze on most hiring and eliminating routine paid academic leaves. Steger It is always easy for those with no legal responsibility to damn the deficits and order full speed ahead. It's not so easy for those who hold the legal mandate to make certain that expenditures do not outrun income. UC is not alone among Ohio's state-supported educational institutions in facing the economic realities of the 1990s. The challenge is not impossible. It can be met with wisdom, patience and practicality. Showmanship clearly is no help. weapons. Nor would the House crime bill. Some assault weapons and clips with more than seven rounds would have been banned under a proposed amendment defeated the day after the Killeen killings. The ban laudably remains in the Senate-passed bill. Significantly, the Killeen massacre moved Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Texas, in whose district it occurred, to abandon his anti-gun control stance. "It takes away from being an issue of statistics, numbers, charts and legal issues," Representative Edwards said. "For me, the old arguments ring hollow. It's a human story now, a human tragedy, and I just simply have to vote to put some limit on assault weapons that could be used by drug kingpins and crazed killers to murder innocent victims." True to his word, he voted for the proposed ban. What might any gun-control foe have thought if a member of his own family had been in the Killeen killer's line of fire? Hennard's victims will have died in vain if Congress as a whole doesn't get the message Representative Edwards received. perts in January on strategy the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan should adopt in the controversy pitting it not only against the mainland but also against Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. Writing in The Free China Journal, he says, "The ROC took the position that if such Taipei-Peking (Beijing) cooperation could be accomplished on this position in the interests of all China, it could be perceived as the 'first step' toward eventual reunification." However they divide their claimants, then, the Spratlys, conceivably, could help unite the two Chinas. Some form of cooperation among the six claimants Ic. exploit any oil or other resources in the islands might be the ideal solution. But if the Spratlys did nothing more or less than help heal the long rift between the two Chinas, they would serve a historic and noble purpose. What impels a man to shoot 23 people, including himself, to death and wound 23 others? Massive inner rage apparently drove George Hennard to commit the worst mass killing in U.S. history when he sprayed death in a Killeen, Texas, cafeteria. But not all ingredients of that rage are known. The son of divorced parents, Hennard, while unemployed, was not a product of poverty. He lived in his parents' former mansion. His father, Dr. 'George Hennard, is a Houston orthopedic surgeon. The only early clue to his rage was a mysterious letter he'd written two sisters in which he referred to "all those mostly white, treacherous female vipers who tried to destroy me and my family." He was said to have an explosive temper and sometimes put his fist through a wall when angry. While not all the mental and emotional factors behind his killing spree may ever be known, what is known is the weapons he used a Glock 17 9mm semiautomatic pistol, with a 17-round magazine, and a Ruger P89 pistol. Nothing in the law bars such BY DAN ZAVON Guest Columnist Cincinnati's current 9X system of electing city council is likely to be declared unconstitutional if challenged in court. There is broad agreement that the system should be changed. Proportional Representation, Issue 6 on the November ballot, is the reform system which would make our electoral system constitutional again. Cincinnati used PR for three decades of good government and fair representation through 1957. It was kicked out by political party bosses because it was fair they could not manipulate the votes under PR. Here's what's wrong with the current system: Assume there are 99,000 voters 44,000 Republicans, 33,000 Democrats and 22,000 Charterites. Assume each party has nine candidates, and all voters vote a straight party ticket. Each of the nine Republicans would get 44,000 votes, no one else would get more then 33,000 votes, so all nine Republicans would be elected. Even though a majority of the voters (55,000) wanted Democrats 'and Charterites, that majority would have :no representation. A political mix Under Proportional Representation, the same votes would produce a council of four Republicans, three Democrats and two Charterites, accurately reflecting the mix of political preference in the voting population. If there is just one seat to be filled by election, 45 might vote for the loser and consider their votes wasted. If there are nine seats, 45 of the voters should expect to control not a majority but a substantial minority of the seats about lour. PR prevents the distortions of voting power which 9X allows. It unites the city behind the principle of majority rule while assuring representation for substantial minority racial, ethnic, gender, religious, issue coalition, political party or any other. PR empowers any large group of voters to elect their fair share of representatives. The district alternative (which is not on the ballot) would deal only with racial groups, only part of the problem with 9X. It would not deal with the underrepresentation of women on council. Women are not concentrated in Attending JACKSONVILLE, Fla.: Do you know what it is to be a victim of mugging? I do. I was one. It happened nearly 12 years ago, but I doubt that a week has passed when I have not remembered it. I remembered it here in Jacksonville the other day, but in a very different way. I had come to see a good dream coming true. The nation's first comprehensive Victim Services Center is primarily the good dream of City Councilman Eric Smith. He is an attorney, a former prosecutor in Duval County. He served for four years as a member of the state's House of Representatives. His professional life is devoted to financial counseling, but the center is his baby. Victims left out The idea began to germinate as far back as 1969. As prosecutor and legal adviser to the police, Smith was impressed by an imbalance that has impressed millions of others. Criminals get everything. Their victims get nothing. That is an oversimplification, of course, but it contains a striking nucleus of truth. Typically the mugger or rapist is not arrested at all. If he is arrested, he may not be tried. If he is tried, he may go free. If he is found guilty, he rarely goes to prison. If he does go to prison, he won't stay there long. Set free on parole, he is eligible for counseling at public expense. What of the mugger's victim? What about the woman who is raped? Well, what about them? Except for their brief value to the law, it is as if they did not exist. They might identify stolen proper- the victims of crime The Chinas Six nations have shown interest in the Spratly Islands' oil Dan Zavon is a volunteer with Citizens for Proportional Representation. Pat Alexander took me around. To describe it as a "building" leaves a wrong impression, for the center will be housed in what appears to be a house. Located in the city's historic Springfield neighborhood, it is painted a kind of putty color. By the time it is landscaped the house will look as if.it grew there. Through a Victim Assistance Services Trust Fund (VAST), the center expects to do many little things that mean a lot. In recent months VAST has provided new locks for a poor woman whose house was broken into. In another instance, a victim of auto theft was unable to pay storage charges on her car after police found it. VAST paid the bill. A third of the center's cases will involve sexual assault; probably 12 will involve wife-beating and other domestic violence. The center will work with abused children and with victims of drunk driving. Its time has come The idea is to give substance to a constitutional amendment that Florida adopted in 1988. The amendment guarantees certain rights to victims of crime, for example, a right to be present at every crucial stage of a criminal proceeding. Yes, an accused person has rights (and no one is trying to diminish these), but victims of crime have rights as well. It's a novel idea whose time has come. James J. Kilpatrick is a Washington-based, nationally syndicated columnist. Charles yriciuii idiiiinci ty or point to a suspect in a lineup. Otherwise victims are ciphers. This picture struck Smith 20 years ago as dreadfully wrong. At Tallahassee, he was part of a successful effort to establish a state program of compensation for victims of crime. Most states now have, such programs, but some of them are poorly funded. (Florida's program is temporarily out of funds altogether.) Compensation for medical expenses and lost wages is fine, but Smith believed much more should be provided. Slowly the idea developed. In 1982 Jacksonville's city council commissioned a study of a victim-services center. The commission gave the plan a green light. Over the past four years, bending to court pressure, Jacksonville has built $100 million worth of new prisons. Last year the city council voted to commit $250,000 to the Victim Services Center. The University Medical Center gave a piece of property close to the emergency room. The Jacksonville Economic Development Corporation hitched up. By early December the center will open. When I visited the building a few days ago, carpenters were getting down to the final trim. Director Jerry L. Flakus was out of town, but Smith and coordinator I- The Spratly Islands in the South China Sea scarcely comprise the world's best known geography. But with six governments, including mainland China's, in a tussle over them, they may get better known. In fact, China and Vietnam fought a marine battle three years ago over the Sprat-lys' Chiqua Reef. While the six-nation dispute may not lead to further hostilities, it could lead to something close, for oil under the Spratlys' shoals is their expected high prize. And, oddly, the dispute could unite Beijing and Taipei, both of which claim the Spratlys. Their unofficial delegates to a Spratly issues workshop in Indonesia in July stood together, claiming the islands for "China." Peter Kien-hong Yu, associate professor of political science at Taiwan's National Sun. Yat-sen University, says this was the result of a Taipei conference of ex 1 I

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