During the 2008 federal election, Stephen Harper spoke up for all those ordinary people who were tired of rich, elitist artists drowning in champagne at fancy galas. That glib comment backfired for the Conservatives, especially with Quebec voters, and for a brief moment, arts funding actually made headline news.
Obviously, Harper learned his lesson. This election, the Conservatives are steering clear of any discussions related to the arts. They haven’t attended any all-candidates arts and culture meetings, or responded to any requests for arts platform information.
But the discussion doesn’t end with Harper. The Canadian Arts Coalition has provided a handy Arts Vote Toolkit, which includes questions to ask your local candidates, statistics, and information on where to vote. The organization suggests using the hashtag #artsvotecan whenever you’re tweeting culture-related election issues, and offers some helpful social media tips.
UPDATE: Conservative candidate Dean Del Mastro, Liberal candidate Bob Rae, and the NDP’s Charlie Angus will debate arts and culture issues on CBC Radio 1 program Q, tomorrow a.m.