Saturday, April 30, 2011


With Monday being the federal election I think it's only fitting that this month's blog be about it. We have three main parties to chose from: the Conservatives, the Liberals and the New Democrats. The Greens, for better or worse, are totally out of it.

The Foundation For Democratic Advancement did a non-partisan audit of all federal parties running in this election and rated them totally and by issue. In looking just at Arts & Culture the Foundation rated the Conservatives at 1 out of 10. They said the, "Conservative Party of Canada's policies are extremely vague and demonstrate a lack of interest and support for arts and culture. Moreover, the Conservatives fail to mention their interest in cutting funding to the CBC. The Conservatives mention support for the RC of Music national examination system and Canadian Periodical Fund, and for this reason, the Conservatives received a score of 1."

The Liberals scored the highest at 7. The Foundation said their, "policies are concrete and with no innovation. Moreover, the policies about how to identify Canadian culture and promote and protect it, except through digital, CBC, Radio-Canada, Promart and Trade Routes, Canada Council of Arts, and support for the official languages."

The New Democrats rated 5 as their policies were very general.

On this basis the Liberals seem like the party to vote for. However, last year the Liberals came out with a press release attacking VIA Rail Canada for using freelancers and refused to apologize for it. The Conservatives are well-known for cutting funding to arts and culture. Only the New Democrats seem to have a good track record.

I am a Conservative at heart, but I left the party when the party left the center and moved to the far right. Their track record on other issues, like the environment, the economy and health, also leaves a lot to be desired. Harper is well known for keeping a tight lid on journalists. The Liberals have a reasonably good track record, but their record on the environment and health also leaves a lot to be desired. Their leader, Michael Ignatieff, is about as appealing as soggy cereal. That leaves the New Democrats and Jack Layton. In my two dealings with him I've found him approachable and consistent. For this reason, his fluency in French and the party's support for arts and culture and the press I, as a writer, endorse the New Democrats.