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Even George Bush/US Congressional Republicans weren’t this crazy (on census).

An amusing item comes up today from Canadian Press, courtesy Jennifer Ditchburn, detailing what happened back in 2003, during the reign of President George W. Bush, and an investigation whether or not to make their mandatory census volunteer instead:

The U.S. Census Bureau conducted an experiment in 2003 with a voluntary version of its usually mandatory American Community Survey. The survey is a long form that has detailed questions similar to Canada’s long census form.

The American agency found that response rates dropped by a third with the voluntary process. The numbers of Blacks and Hispanics who mailed back the voluntary survey dropped to around 20 per cent — too low a level to develop reliable data the bureau reported. Congress abandoned the idea when it was told it would cost $59.2 million more to send the survey to more households and send more interviewers out to those who didn’t respond.

When George W. Bush decides it’s nonsensical to go to a voluntary Census, you know you have some ideological nuts in power in Canada right now. Okay, slight hyperbole, but the US Congress at the time was also rather conservative and in Republican control (in at least 1 House of Congress, if not both, as I recall), and also didn’t see the sense in it, or why they should charge more for a voluntary Census that would give back unreliable data.

Of course, the Republicans didn’t have the nuts known as the Tea Party’ers ranting and raving at them from their extreme right-wing yet, but it says something when the American conservative mentors of Canada’s Conservatives knew a bad idea when they saw it, and our Conservatives can’t, or don’t care.

FURTHER THOUGHT: It’s very sad to me and should be to others that Canada and its Conservative government has become a model for America’s rightwing paranoid extremists in the Tea Party movement.


2 comments to Even George Bush/US Congressional Republicans weren’t this crazy (on census).

  • Al

    “some ideological nuts in power in Canada right now” Hey Scott, thats NOT hyperbole.Some really are “nuts”

  • If Harper goes ahead with this, we should organize a boycott of the voluntary long form census. The study will be useless anyway, we might as well make it obvious.

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