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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Why Does Harper Hate Ordinary Working Artists?

Stephen Harper thinks artists are not worthy of public support. Not surprising. Good to see the event in Montreal last night where a protest concert was organized by artists to send him a message. Artist need to do more of this all over Canada. And they need to show up, vote, and defeat this Harper government.

Harper frames artist as “…on the TV…(with) a bunch of people at a rich gala, all subsidized by the taxpayer.” Boy, if that is the image Harper has of the ordinary working artist in Canada he lives in a fantasy world. That is so far from the reality of the “ordinary working artist.” The ordinary working artis are the very same people Harper says is not valued by other “ordinary working people.” Spare me sir!

Go to the Fringe Festival in Edmonton Mr. Harper, if you ever visit Edmonton again after us again after tomorow. You will see the talent, determination, perspiration, boldness and unabashed creativity of hundreds of ordinary working artist. This is far from your condescending characterizations of the “rich gala on television” set. This kind of artistic event, and thousands of other like it all over the country, represents the real world work of the culturally creative people of Canada.

This Neo-Con attitude is more of the malicious message manipulation Harper has honed in his pursuit of personal political power. It is tailored to the radical Conservatives in his base audience. It is intended to convey a negative image of good folks who simply use their talent, skills and crafts in ways to add meaning, value, insight and yes, even some entertainment, to our lives.

It is not like Harper does not know exactly what he is talking about when he says to the effect that “taxpayer subsidies are not something that resonates with ordinary working people.” He is right. Consider this. What is the taxpayer resonance of the negative television election campaign ads that are at centre of the dark heart of the Conservative Party “creative competitive culture?” Each and every negative campiagn attack ad was also paid for by taxpayer subsidized dollars.

Political party contributions are amongst the most highly taxpayer subsidized donations in the country. Those subsidized dollars can be used for partisan political purposes and even apply some “artistic license.” By that I mean those partisan negative political attack ads can just lie and mislead with impunity.

I know how that resonates with ordinary working people. Harper can lie and tell half truths in election advertising and even have the gall to cheat the system by running the ads before the election campaign spending controls kick in. And he still can make the ordinary working taxpayer subsidize those ads for him and his political purposes. Because the political party donor dollars are all income tax deductible and election campaign expenses are also highly subsidized by taxpayer dollars.

Given the chance to subsidize real artists doing real culture creative work that adds to our collective well- being as a society sure resonates with me. It resonate more with me than when I have to see my tax dollars going to subsidize some bullying politician like Mr. Harper. It is especially angering when that same bullying politician wants to reduce my democracy and mislead the public for personal power purposes and is being subsidized by my taxpayer dollars to boot.

Shame on you yet again Mr. Harper! You seem intent on dividing us instead of uniting us as citizens and as a country. Worse than that, your mean-spirited bullying political ploys and tactics show that you are better at MISLEADING THAN LEADING.

Danny Williams is right. Vote Anybody But Conservative. This is especially true if you value your freedoms of speech and expression as a citizen of Canada. That is what is at stake if Mr. Harper wins this election.