CanCon, CommCon: what’s the diff?


I had a few days to be a tourist on my trip to Berlin last week and one of the more fun things I did was visit the DDR Museum, which provides visitors with an excellent documentation of what life was like in communist East Germany before the Wall fell in 1989.

The museum has exhibits detailing the obvious stuff, like shortages of everything from toilet paper to gasoline, as well as the spying efforts of the Stasi secret police. It also sheds light on some of the really dumb ideas, such as requiring school children to take communal potty breaks. The kids would all go take a dump together and could not pull up their pants until everyone had finished.

And to think that Soviet communism eventually collapsed. Who’da thunk?

One exhibit – on music and culture in general – really grabbed my attention. I snapped a picture of the text explaining the rules that radio stations had to adhere to. Give it a read:

Hmm. Where have we seen this before? Oh yes… with a few variations, it’s also Canada’s current music policy. Who’da thunk?


CanCon, CommCon: what’s the diff?

  1. “Oh yes… with a few variations, it’s also Canada’s current music policy. Who’da thunk?”

    Collections Canada ~ RPM Story:

    “The discussion, which still continues among broadcasters, musicians, and record companies, took a decisive turn when the issue was picked up by the CRTC and championed by its chairman, Pierre Juneau. On January 18, 1971 regulations requiring most Canadian radio stations to play 30% Canadian recordings came into force.”

    Mark Steyn ~ Maclean’s:
    Anyway, the so-called “new image” derives from Young Trudeau: 1919-1944 by Max and Monique Nemni, who reveal that as a young man Trudeau had fascist sympathies, was prone to the routine anti-Semitism of mid-century Quebec francophones, blamed Britain for the Second World War, and spent it riding around Montreal wearing a German helmet. All this is the “old image” for some of us, but every few years the stories are dusted off and Trudeaupian experts are quoted professing shock and puzzlement.

  2. You know what else they had that happens to be remarkably similar? State provided health care free for all their citizens.

    Care to make any snide insinuations about that too?

    Huh. Peter Nowak resorting to the poisoning the well fallacy because he can’t make a decent argument.

    Who’da thunk?

  3. The interesting thing about that is that in the GDR they didn’t have any ‘trendy’ music to play.  Here in Canada, we have such a vibrant music industry when I filled out my ‘top ten’ favourite artists a few years ago, I realized I had a hard time NOT filling the entire list with Canadian acts.

  4. Perhaps the “diff” may be found in the rather different political and social aspects of the GDR and Canada?  I suspect the same freedom to create and express wasn’t as prevalent in the GDR…

  5. I, for one, am happy with the results of the CanCon regulations. They’ve definitely allowed countless Canadian acts to bloom. The internet has changed some of it (nearly 100% of my own listening is Radio3), but the 70s, 80s, and 90s would have been the barren landscape that it was before. 

    I don’t think that people “would choose Canadian music if it were good” is a quality argument when most radio stations just found it easier to pull feeds and pre-authorized collections from larger US distributors and did that. Few would have been able to hear the music produced here and wouldn’t have been able to choose it as its existence was unknown.

  6. Yeah – this comparison is pretty much bullshyte.

    For one thing, it’s only broadcasters affected by CanCon rules, not restaurants and all the music you hear.

    Secondly, there’s nothing “ideological” about Canada’s rules, as opposed to East Germany accepting songs from like-minded neighbouring countries.

    Thirdly, the success of Canada’s music industry, which is undeniable, has been based on our policy, which is similar to that found in most Western countries, minus the U.S.


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