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Do some research

That’s my advice to media folks, like Globe and Mail Columnist Neil Reynolds, who tries to say a Census isn’t necessary at all – look at the Europeans – they don’t have one! He then goes to wonder why Harper and company couldn’t have put that forward as an idea to replace the Census (all of it, not just the mandatory longform).

The Scandinavian European countries is a very bad example to be using as an argument not to have a Census of any type, much less a mandatory longform part, as they collect more data, not less, and they are certainly using a system that is more Big Brother’ish, not less. So, when libertarian types try to point out that about Scandinavia, they either aren’t aware the data collection system that they use over there is more intrusive, not less, or they’re simply trying to mislead people, in the hopes they wont find out about their system, and that they will just see the words, “Scandinavian countries don’t have a census, and their system works great!”.

I suspect there will be plenty of misguided (and that’s possibly being a charitable description) arguments from the government and their followers in the next little while such as this, or from folks who may not be their followers, but may have a libertarian bent to them and who are sympathetic to these arguments.

If they’re putting out an honest column and not trying to mislead people, but simply don’t know that the examples/arguments they are providing aren’t really arguments at all, it will be paramount for others to point that out to them.

UPDATE: Uh oh, another voting block the Conservatives like to woo/feel are a part of their base are ticked, if that report is an accurate one:

Canada’s seniors, who can be counted on to vote and tend to vote Conservative, are angry over the government’s decision to scrap the mandatory census long form, according to a new poll suggesting Stephen Harper could be punished in a general election as a result.

Looks like they did their research and aren’t impressed.


8 comments to Do some research

  • billg

    Your not posting my comments even though I’ve been very polite and respectful on your blog, but, I’ll try again.
    This stance by the Liberals is yet again puzzling. Long form, short form yada yada yada…the govt will get the info it needs somehow, its the fact that if the Libs and the media keep this up then an election might hinge on the LPC explaining to Canadians why it wants to fine you 500$ for not filing out a form and telling the govt personal information about yourself and your family. The ads write themselves.

    • Ottlib

      At least until someone points out that the Census of Agriculture and the short form of the Census of Population are still mandatory, thus subject to those same fines for non-response.

      That is one of the problems with this decision. It is inconsistant with the rest of the requirements for the other forms of the Census. Along with it being arbitrary, wrong-headed and confusing.

    • ck

      Please, Bill, what is with the shrieking over personal info? I bet you volunteer far more info on your facebook, twitter or whatever social media page you use. If not, then certainly many other shrieking blogging tories do.

  • ck

    Actually, as much as it pains me to say this. I am concerned that Iggy falls into Steve’s latest trap. I can totally see Steve turning this census circus into a confidence motion. The timing of this, so conveniently after the senate at last moment saved the hideous c-9 in its’ entirety (yeah, I know it came up before then, but not as prominently as it is now). Steve is feverishly looking for that ‘perfect storm’ to have his fall election and this may well be it.

    In spite of what Sun media, many Harpercon cheerleaders in the corporate media and Canadian Sense`s Friends say; Iggy’s meet & greet sessions from his bus tour are actually getting positive responses, at least the one I was at and from what my friends and family are telling me at their respective events. But, I have no idea how this will translate at the polls.

    • @ck, you think EVERY controversial issue that comes up is going to turn into a confidence motion.. and then you seem to advocate the Liberals and the opposition should back down, because the polls aren’t in their favor, and then Steve will get his majority.

      A census is not a confidence issue, and if Harper tried to make it into one, he’d be raked over the coals for it.

      Eventually however, the Liberals et. al. will have to make their stand on some issue for an election, and they cant necessarily wait until the government’s popularity is falling. A certain opposition leader named Harper certainly didn’t wait in 2005 for favourable polls.

  • In this case, I’d suggest the effort it takes to go on the internet and check the facts doesn’t actually amount to “research”. Reynold’s argument is incredibly stale. Lazy, lazy, lazy.

    • canadiansense

      @Shiner, ignoring what others are doing and repeating ad hominem attack are better?

      Does every country do a Census, are they mandatory? Can we learn and make improvements in data collection by using the existing databases?

      Instead we have the same line “ideological” decision, return to the Dark Ages courtesy of Federal Government.

      In the end, it does NOT matter what the Federal Government does because the opposition led by Ignatieff won’t show up to vote against the policy if it leads to an election.

    • Ottlib

      The other thing that Mr. Reynolds “forgets” to mention is that every country he mentions phased out their Censuses after first developing the alternative sources of information.

      They first proposed the changes to stakeholders, developed a plan and implemented the plan. It took years.

      They certainly did not just announce the abolition of their Censuses on a Friday afternoon before a long weekend to mark the national holidays of these countries and less than a year before the implementation of the next Census.

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