Contemplating why the new Tory government has slashed funding to the arts in general and promotion of Canadian arts abroad specifically, the veritable queen of CanLit has come up with the following six-point list:
- Ignorance. The Harperites have no idea how much money the arts generate.
- Willed ignorance. They've seen the figures, but have labelled them "junk economics" in the same way they once labelled global-warming statistics as "junk science."
- Hatred. The Harper Conservatives think artists are a bunch of whiners who don't have real jobs, and that any money spent on the arts is a degenerate frill.
- Frugality. There's lots of arts around. We can get them cheaper from across the border than it costs to make them here, and if you've seen one art, you've seen them all.
- Stupidity. They thought they were gassing a hornet's nest, not poking it with a stick.
- More hatred. They tried to slash local museums, until too many people screamed. They've cut the Canada Council top-up proposed by the Liberals down to a sixth of its size. They've stuck the knife into the National Literacy Program, perhaps on the theory that they won't be able to set up a working dictatorship if too many people can read. And that's just for starters. If these things can be done in a minority government, lo, I say unto you, what things shall be done in a majority?