After a pre-election display of forensic talent, the Cambridge City Council came out for the abolition of the Proportional Representation system of balloting, by a 5-3-1 vote.
Last week, six councilors registered their disapproval of the 17 controversial School Committee appointments, the other referendum question on this year's ballot. Mayor Eddie Sullivan cast the only dissenting vote, and two councilors abstained.
In a plea favoring PR, Councilor Joseph DeGuglielmo '29 claimed that the abolition group, headed by former Democratic State Chairman Charles H. McGlue, is not making "an honest attempt," but is trying to create a "smokescreen to hide the clear-cut School Committee issue."
Democracy to Communism
McGlue, a long-time foe of PR, is trying, according to DeGuglielmo, to interfere with Cambridge home rule and to change democracy to communism. The councilor said that McGlue had even tried to "halt the election" through petitions to the courts.
DeGuglielmo said he has been studying this system of voting since the mayor, who made the anti-PR motion, "was get- ting out of swaddling clothes."
Although at first an opponent of PR, DeGuglielmo said he has since become convinced that all groups in the city have received good representation in the Council since this system has been used here. "We've had intellectual minorities represented in this Council who could not get elected under the plurality form of voting," he concluded.
Councilor Charles A. Watson followed DeGuglielmo in a speech attacking PR. Watson scored the Cambridge Civic Association for "capitalizing on this un-American way of voting," which, he claimed, is based largely on emotional appeal