[Letters] Cultural policies require consistency and continuanceThe presidential transition is gathering names and references to form the new government. A cabinet minister commands a government office and acts out governance. The Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism is responsible for a scope of arts, culture, media, religion, sports and tourism that are connected with everyday lives of the people. Our cultural standards lag far behind economic achievements and progress. We are in urgent need to veer toward advanced civil society with high values placed on intelligence, culture, arts and aesthetic taste. The role of the Culture, Sports and Tourism Ministry is becoming more important than ever.
France, an exemplary cultural society, places top priority on cultural promotion and bestows strong authority upon its Culture Ministry to uphold national cultural heritage and identity.
The first Minister of Culture Andre Malraux had full confidence from President Charles de Gaulle and set the ground for modern renaissance of French culture during his 10 years in service. Jack Lang during his eight-year service under President Mitterrand broadened the culture spectrum by promoting popular culture.
In contrast, a cultural minister here has been replaced almost every year since 1990s. Few lasted more than a year. The post served as a stepping stone for the politically ambitious to raise his or her credentials before running for legislative office. One minister served no longer than eight months during the current administration. Frequent replacements and unsuitable choices for the minister undermined the morale of the office staff and credibility of the ministry amid controversy over favoritism and parachute appointments.
A culture minister must be a respectable figure from the field. He or she must be unrelated to politics. A minister with political background may not be able to concentrate on the culture field due to various political schedules and demands.
Cultural policies are generally long-term projects and therefore require consistency and continuance. Many people are highly expectant of the government cabinet and post lineup. The culture field is equally hopeful that the new minister would be a visionary person who can advance the country’s cultural reputation and standards befitting of its economic scale.