29 September 2008

Harper Must Be Stopped

Originally I thought I would stay out of the whole political issue, and refrain from writing about my opinions.
BUT: Mr Harper has gone too far. Not that he ever had my vote in the first place, but he has completely lost my respect due to his latest idiotic speech. You know the one I'm talking about? The one where he said that "ordinary Canadians" don't appreciate the Arts, that "it doesn't resonate with them"...that artists are all about whining about their little funding and the only thing they do is go to galas. (See article here.)

To make a long story short, he's trying to justify his cuts to the Arts-45 million dollars worth of cuts. For those of you who don't think the Arts are important, or need funding, let's put this in perspective. Last year the Canadian government "invested 3.3 billion dollars in the arts, which would be shocking except for the fact that (as reported by ACTRA's national president Richard Hardacre) the arts returned the favour by providing 1.1 million jobs within cultural industries and contributed $86 billion to the GDP. To put that in context, Margaret Atwood noted that the arts industry employs roughly the same number of Canadians as agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, oil & gas and utilities - combined." (thanks to Stephanie Pearl-McFee for those numbers).

Still think Mr Harper is being reasonable? Now let's analyse his statement further: "ordinary Canadians"-ORDINARY? Does that mean that people who are in the arts are not ORDINARY? As in, not worth the ballot they'd vote on? What the hell?

For those of you who haven't thought about this, the Arts cover a lot of occupations: anything connected to television, film, music, authors, theatre, dancers, illustrators, artists, designers, ...

So those 1.1 million people aren't "ordinary", and don't count? And the rest of the country, those "ordinary" folks, art just doesn't "resonate" with them. HUH? They don't watch tv? Movies? They don't read books or magazines? They don't buy clothes? They don't buy jewellery, art? They don't listen to the radio? Their children don't like to paint, sing, dance?

Right. This man is so disconnected to the country he's supposed to be ruling that he's completely alienated himself from a huge chunk of its citizens and he doesn't even know it. I guess he's too busy going to galas to pay attention to what his constituents think.

So to all of you who plan on voting in our upcoming Federal Election: don't support the Conservatives. Please. Vote for someone who shares your love of the arts, and more importantly, vote for someone who realises the importance of the environment.

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