Okay I’m dying. So many ironic twists to share with people.
Ironic moment 1:
Ironic moment 2:
So last week I briefly felt what it must be like to be a writer on the Daily Show after showing that at the same time Vancouver Province Editorial Page Editor Gordon Clark was attacking me and those who opposed the decision on the long form census in his column he was simultaneously bragging about his paper’s readership using data that depends on the long form census. Yes, it really was the fun.
Sadly. It gets better. Today, a mere eight days later after his anti-census piece, Clark has a new column about rising teenage happiness levels (this is, of course, a bad thing). But the kicker? Apparently Clark hates StatsCan’s invasive survey’s up until he needs them to write a story. It’s about a statscan survey.
Ironic moment 3:
It looks like Maxime Berner’s has taken over talking about the census for the Government. He’s penned a piece in the Western Standard in which he argues there was significant public support for the change:
Most people don’t want to be called or be visited at home by a census bureaucrat pressuring them to answer the questions and threatening them with sanctions. They understandably do not want trouble with the government and when they get such threats, they simply comply. Few will officially complain to the government, although when I was Industry minister in 2006 during the previous census, several thousand email messages of complaint were sent to my MP office. (Some people have asked me to show proof of this. It was evidently part of an organized campaign, as my Parliament colleagues and I sometimes receive vast numbers of messages on controversial issues. They are one way among others to gauge the level of public support or opposition to a decision. These messages were obviously not filed for future use by my staff and were deleted.)
Okay, so just to understand. There was a huge protest. But you didn’t do anything about. Didn’t mention it. Didn’t ensure that it make it into the 2006 Census Review. Didn’t even raise the issue in Parliament.
But despite this we should believe and it would all be obvious to us if only you had all those letters still. In short, if only you had… the data. But you stopped collecting and saving it. Just like you want to do with… the census.
Ironic moment 4:
And on CBC radio on Saturday, while explaining why the mandatory long-form agricultural census was not scrapped, Minister Clement said the agricultural census is used for valuable measures “that will help farmers” and “The argument obviously to farming associations and to farmers is, ‘You fill out the form, it’ll help the government help you in your farming activities.'”
Isn’t that the same argument for why the census is important for non-farming activities? Like say planning where to build highways, hospitals, offer new services and pretty much everything government does?
The only difference between farmers and ordinary Canadians is that farmers know how valuable and important the census is. Most Canadians often don’t realize how pervasive census information is in decision-making.
There is of course, another interpretation. Maxime Bernier says the government won’t bend on the census decision to special interest groups like The Government of Quebec, The United Way, the Canadian Medical Association, the Toronto Board of Trade, the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (and many, many others), but maybe they are willing to bend to the Farmer’s lobby?
At some point I think we’ll wake up from this collective nightmare of poor decision making and worse arguments. At least some of the country’s most prominent thinkers are trying to do something.