Election Day, Monday, May 2
Historically, Canada has been a country known for generous Arts funding. Art activism isn’t as necessary, if the government believes in you, respects you, and funds you. In such an atmosphere, it might even become easier to feel lackadaisical about voting. Some may even believe that art and voting don’t mix. This thinking is not new, though. Nor is the idea that voting doesn’t matter, or that ‘my’ vote won’t make a difference. Voting is a privilege and a responsibility.
Democracy is not the law of the majority but the protection of the minority. — Albert Camus
Arts funding in Canada will change markedly if the Conservatives win a majority in the May 2nd election. The cliché “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” couldn’t be more applicable to Stephen Harper. He’s shown some of his colours, but if he gets a majority, he will, well, another cliché…show his “true colours” and the Art World isn’t going to like it.
Bad News about the continued postponement of the Canada Prizes for the Arts is hitting the airwaves before the election. This is particularly telling and is simply a prelude of what’s to come. Harper is buying votes, but the Arts, anathema to his being, are left out in the cold. Here’s coverage of the story from the CBC. (Sorry, Harper, blaming it on the Canada Council for the Arts isn’t going to fly.)
The Good News is that The Canadian Arts Coalition has geared up for the vote and has published a Voting Toolkit for Canadian artists and those who appreciate art. The coalition has made the toolkit available for bloggers and I hope you take a look. PDF files will pop up when you click the links. In addition, there is a push for Strategic Voting to help prevent a Conservative majority. Click here to learn about Swing 33 and Catch-22. The mainstream press is pro-Harper, so if you want to try something else, read The Tyee or Rabble. Don’t listen to the naysayers! It’s up to us, individually and collectively. Get out and vote! Just vote.
Canadian Arts Coalition Art Vote 2011 Tool Kit
Talk to your Candidates about the Arts
The Arts: a story we all share – A document to share with candidates
Talking with Candidates – Key questions and tips to use when candidates knock on your door
Key Statistics on Arts and Culture – The arts have a big impact on our economy and our society. Here are some relevant statistics to illustrate that impact.
Make your Voice Heard on Social Media
#artsvotecan twitter hashtag – If you are tweeting about federal election arts issues, we ask that you consider using the hashtag #artsvotecan – and tell everyone you know to do the same!
Canadian Arts Coalition Facebook page – Join in on the discussion.
Political Party Platforms from the Arts and Culture Perspective – Compare what each party has to say with regards to arts and culture.
Elections Canada – Information on where to vote, what you need to bring and who your local candidates are.
Tips for Service Organizations
Initiatives for Service Organizations – If you are planning events or messaging for the election we can help you connect and share resources with others.