Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Divide and conquer: Harper takes aim at artists and academics

Well, if you didn't see it before now, it's becoming pretty clear what demographic the Harper Conservatives have targeted.

His appeal to the "ordinary average" Canadian is being spread pretty thick.

Earlier, I finished listening to him mangle a statement on why the average Canadian doesn't support the arts, conjuring images of "rich people at galas" complaining about not getting enough funding; rather, he contrasts how "ordinary Canadians" know how they have to live within a budget.

The message is that artists are "elitist," and "ordinary" Canadians shouldn't support them.

Now I read that he's rejecting the assessment of sociologists, criminologists and others "who work in ivory towers" and oppose his get-tough, law-and-order proposals.

The message is that sociologists and criminologists don't live in, or are somehow disconnected from the world of the average Canadian. Never mind, Harper suggests, their education or specialized study in the fields which he presumes to understand better.

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