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Home truths

BorduasA surprise Thursday morning column from me in the Post: how Team Harper unnecessarily stickhandled the arts puck into their own net. Given the latest polls, this could be the first draft of history on the turning point in the election—some will say it was the economy, but I find it hard to believe Canadians are expressing some kind of experimental appetite for seeing how Bob Rae handles another recession. (Then again, the Americans seem to be reacting by rallying behind the honourable candidate for ACORN-Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac, soooo....)


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Comments (6)


Yes, we are - and a cultural tic; south of the border, aficionados of the political do not observe that curious Westminster tic of affixing the word "honorable" to our politicos, even when custom and legality provide for it (Ambassadors and the like are legally entitled to the use of the term "The honorable," although it is used, if at all, in speeches of introduction and official programs). Not a criticism; just one of those charming and subtle differences that keep trans-border trips and writing interesting.

But every time I hear Obama speak, I find myself thinking of Mencken's truism: "Democracy is the theory that ordinary people know what they want, and they deserve to get it good and hard."

Para Dox:

Mr. Cosh;

Your writing: "....Let's set aside political fictions for just a moment. The Liberals and the NDP consider the gala-attending, awards-ceremony-addicted part of the professional "arts community" a friendly cultural vanguard whose role is partly to preach liberal values to an ignorant public. The "arts community," which under this definition includes a tiny fraction of working artists, largely agrees. The voting public is aware of this dynamic, and much of it feels resentment over tax support for tacit partisanship. Harper's cuts were designed to appeal to this sentiment and screw over a class of entrenched permanent enemies. Anyone who denies any part of this story is lying to you." In today's National Post is right on.

Generally, you MSM-types are equally enamoured with the "arts community" as the politicians. Yours is one of very few articles in the MSM that has been able to lay out the angles of this issue and I suspect you will be the target of derision from your colleagues in the MSM.

Hey, but thanks for trying.

Do you still do sports articles somewhere?


Do you think this could possibly have been a deliberate strategy? One intended to reduce support in Quebec while driving it up in Ontario? The Mulroney experience would certainly suggest that conservative success is least satisfactory and most heavily compromised when it has a Quebec base. Harper's own experience would suggest that he'd be better off with 20 more Jim Flaherty Ontarians than with twenty more Maxime Berniers from Quebec.

Having all the Quebec MPs in opposition is a recipe for a sound government. It seems too happy a result to be merely the fortuitous outcome of a blunder. And yet, I admit, it's an awfully audacious calculation that puts the chance of a majority at risk. Still, if anyone would deliberately alienate support that he didn't want, Harper would do it.


The excuse the artists give that really rankles me is 'Governments have always supported the arts, for thousands of years.' Do these idiots have an inkling of what happened to artists who accepted payment from their leaders, and then did anything to make them unhappy? Like telling a joke the king didn't find funny, boring a important guest?


YOu mean like, um, Goya? 'Cause I'm not thinking that old Carlos IV found that family portrait to be particularly flattering.

But maybe when they were actually doing representational art, they could afford to bury the irony a little, and let the nincompoops at least think they were getting what they paid for.


ebt - by "having all the Quebec MPs in opposition is a recipe for a sound government" I assume you're referring to the Bloc?

Are you mad, fella? A Bloc opposition would be a disaster.


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