What does real liberalism look like? From Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal budget for Canada in March:

“Canada’s heritage, shaped by our diversity, deserves to be celebrated and shared.

“Our cultural industries represent a key sector of our economy and the intersection of art, science and technology offers infinite opportunities to innovate and problem solve. Investing in the Canadian cultural sector helps to create jobs, strengthens the economy and ensures that the unique Canadian perspective is shared with the world. Measures included in Budget 2016 will support important national institutions, safeguard our two official languages, and promote industries that highlight Canada’s culture by investing $1.9 billion over five years.”

That’s $2.01 billion for arts, language, culture and ideas for our Commonwealth cousins.

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In Australia? Last week was a dark one: dozens of arts organisations began considering slashing jobs and output after their funding was ripped from them by this federal government, decades of writing experience and artistic skill walked out of Fairfax as media organisations struggle to balance the books, while our centuries-old native languages are being lost every day.

Australia could be entering a time of deep cultural deficit — the one big idea nobody in this election campaign is talking about.

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