Partisan Magazine: Canadian Playwrights Need to Renew Their Library Cards


JoanneFor the excellent new Partisan magazine, I wrote a bratty thing about Canadian playwrights and tacit anti-intellectualism.



The UNOFFICIAL, UNAUTHORIZED Conservative Party of Canada Policy Position on the Arts – Federal Election 2015


yoga-on-the-hill-2 What follows is a work of fiction, a dramatic monologue, a fanciful speculation. It does not purport to represent any official views or policies maintained by the Conservative Party of Canada.





The Unofficial, Unauthorized Conservative Party of Canada Policy Position on the Arts — Federal Election 2015

Canadian Artists and Stakeholders in the Arts,

Recent surveys and a broadly circulated open letter have asked us, the Conservative Party of Canada, to state our position on the arts and culture in Canada. We’ve so far declined to respond. This isn’t because we have anything against you or the arts; on the contrary, we consider ourselves relatively enlightened and believe that art and culture form a meaningful part of this or any country’s national life.

To state the obvious, you’re not really our base — the swing voters among you almost never swing our way — so we have no direct strategic interest in campaigning for your votes in particular. Moreover, our base, though it has no specific dislike for the arts, has a healthy mistrust of government spending in general, and it’s reassured when we soft-pedal spending on programs that don’t directly and obviously safeguard the security of the country or create the conditions for economic prosperity. Our base isn’t anti-art, and it’s certainly not anti-broadcasting; it just isn’t convinced that those sectors should be nationalized or dominated by market-distorting, privileged government activities.

Our base may be wrong. There are, perhaps, good arguments for why the arts should be managed as a public trust and not led by private enterprise. But in the interest of transparency (we’re turning over a new leaf!), we’d like to articulate our thinking on this subject.

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