Bureaucracy In Action

There’s quite a debate going on in Canada over health care, and in particular, over government bureaucracy and its role in ‘streamlining’ hospitals and clinics perceived as inefficient. But how can us arts folk understand such a debate? One doctor is happy to provide a useful analogy: what if the Montreal Symphony were similarly ‘streamlined’? “All 20 violins were playing identical notes! This constitutes needless duplication. The staff of this section should be cut drastically… For considerable periods during the concert, the oboe player and the percussionist had nothing to do. Both jobs could be done by the same person… The position of conductor, a non-player who amazingly is paid the highest salary, should be eliminated [and replaced with] an inexpensive metronome.”