Yesterday I took an online survey hosted by one of the big market research firms here in Canada. As I was diligently going through the questions, it became more clear to me why “the economy” is first on so many lips when asked about the upcoming national election. It’s because the media has made it so. They read the press releases Harper et al send out, they cover his speeches more so than any other candidate, and they read the results of polls like the one I took.
Foolishly, I didn’t keep track of the many questions that would lead me to think that the economy is the primary election issue. However, I did take note that I was being forced to answer questions in ways that felt uncomfortable to me. And, never once was I asked to respond to how I felt about the 40 million plus that was recently (sneakily) cut from Arts & Culture funding in this country.
I do not want to imagine a Canada without funding to share with the rest of the world our videos, music, film and new media products.
So, as I tell my students, it’s really up to us to determine how the parties will deal with the issues that we feel are important. If we don’t have easy access to the candidates in our riding, we’ll have to dig deep in some cases. The Liberals and the NDP have decided Arts & Culture funding is not sexy enough to highlight on their website. If you want to find out how they might deal with it, you’ll have to seek out a buried press release. While not a headlining issue, the Green Party has posted their policy on Arts & Culture. The Parti Québécoise, on the other hand, have their outrage posted prominently on the first page of their very effective website.
I might just buy me a new funky bag with a fancy flower on it to carry my i.d. to the polling booth. Maybe the artist who designed it can use some cash.
One thought on “The economy is NOT the only election issue”
I have not looked at the party web sites, but I can tell you that this is a top issue in Toronto-Danforth, where I live.
Many people in this riding work in the cultural creative industries, from film making to writing, to design and production.
It is also the only time since the last election where there is an actual opportunity to vote on Jack Layton’s leadership on this or any issue since this is his seat.
To determine differences between the Liberals and the NDP on the issue of funding for the arts, you don’t have to dig through old news releases. You need to look at the record and decide for yourself how your vote or donation can impact the future security of these programs.
Jack Layton has never formed government and he will not form government in the coming election. The Liberals created, continuously funded and expanded funding for most or all of the programs that have made the headlines recently because they have been cut by Jim Flaherty (sp?) and Stephen Harper.
Toronto-Danforth is a place where local results can have a real national impact, shake up this campaign and put culture at the top of the news pile.
I have suggested that people across the country make their voices heard by making a symbolic 911 call into Toronto-Danforth by making a donation of $9.11 to Andrew Lang’s campaign.
Or by mailing a cheque to:
Andrew Lang Campaign at
25 Boston Avenue
All donations over $20 need to be made by cheque. Cheques should be made out to the Andrew Lang Campaign.
Another way to make a difference from anywhere is to join this facebook group, invite other to do so or to volunteer as a disenchanted NDPer to make phone calls into the riding of Toronto-Danforth.