Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Conservatives never bothered by their hypocrisy

What, never? No, never! Certainly not when it comes to attending fancy galas with rich people:

Last September, Prime Minister Harper's wife, Laureen, pulled out of attending the NAC's October fundraising gala with singer Tony Bennett, just days after her husband's response to questions about Conservative cuts to arts funding.

That was then. Now the NAC has announced that star Conservatives will be among politicians and journalists making cameo appearances in the Gilbert and Sullivan-themed Black and White Opera Soirée on Feb. 21. The performance is a fund-raiser for youth programs run by Opera Lyra Ottawa and the NAC Orchestra, including performance tours to schools and training for young artists. NAC communications director Jayne Watson says the NAC has invited Mrs. Harper to attend, but has not heard yet whether she will make it.

Among the Conservatives who have agreed to spoof themselves are International Trade Minister Stockwell Day and Defence Minister Peter MacKay. They'll pop up in cameos during an evening that will include selections from The Mikado, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Gondoliers, Iolanthe and The Pirates of Penzance, sprinkled with updated references to the current political scene.

It was just a few months ago, during the election campaign, that the Conservatives were on the attack against these “fancy galas” and attacking culture and the arts. I guess they’re not expecting an election any time soon. What is this, example 301 of Conservative hypocrisy?

I’d give the Conservatives credit for growth if they’d truly been opposed to the arts before and were now seeing the light. But the fact is they went to these cultural events before the election, attacked them during the election, and now that the election is over, they’re going again.

It’s pretty transparently obvious. The Conservatives are trying to wage a culture war, to reach out to some pollster/demographer-identified slice of “Middle Canada” and tell them we’re just like you (and the Liberals aren’t). You work hard and play by the rules, and so do we. We’re Tim Horton’s, not Starbucks. We’re Corner Gas, not Opera Lyra. We’re just like you, and they’re not.
The problem is, its built on a lie. And the lie isn’t just that supports for arts and cultural programs is just as strong in Flin Flon as it is in Ottawa.

No, the lie is that the Conservatives ARE that which they campaign against. They are Starbucks. They are Opera Lyra. And as for playing by the rules, don’t get me started. They are establishment, and I think Canadians are smart enough to see beyond the facades they don to try to fool the “ignorant” masses.

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