Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Conservative Party Wants You, Beleaguered and Embattled Aspirational Voter

Thanks to Peter at CanCult for pointing out this very interesting article about Harper's campaign strategies. It confirms what seemed to me quite obvious, that these recent cuts to arts programmes are targeted tactical manoeuvres, not merely ideological reflexes, as the noisy opponents of them seem to believe. I say "noisy" pejoratively not because I disagree with their position, but because I think it's a tactical blunder, playing right into the hands of Harper and his strategists. This is not a stupid man, no matter what anyone thinks. He is a Machiavellian schemer, playing his cards close to his chest. The artists and others who have been loudly decrying his devilish acts (really minor ones, compared to some of the things this guy's up to) would be far better off devising similarly canny responses and in helping to rally support for someone who might defeat him. Instead, they're running around in circles, alienating the very voters Harper's trying to sway.

Personally, I'm for cutting a lot more arts funding (along with EI, welfare, family allowance, CPP and all the bureaucratic apparatus that administer them) and redirecting it into Elizabeth May's proposal of Guaranteed Livable Income. With a GLI, all kinds of creative people would be freed up to do creative things. I'm also for universal, but conditional, free university tuition. But I have a hard time seeing our country being ready to implement such pragmatically visionary policies any time soon. Not till we get rid of first-past-the-post...

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