It was never about privacy…

So it is becoming increasingly clear that the census decision was never about concern over Canadians privacy, it was about dismantling the state’s capacity to engaged in reasoned, evidence-based public policy.

It is also interesting to see the government trot out new faces to give the same old flawed defence. Flaherty is now running around saying that Canadians will fill in voluntary census for ‘the good of the country.’ Of course, we already know what happens when you make the census voluntary. People don’t fill it out. The Americans tried it and it failed miserably. Of course, maybe Canadians are radically more patriotic than Americans. But given Flaherty’s new found confidence in Canadian patriotism, why assign fines to anything? I mean let’s not chase people down who refuse to pay taxes. Under the new Flaherty plan we can rely on us all doing the right thing out of love for our country.

I shudder to think that this man is our Finance minister. Clearly he doesn’t let facts and lessons interfere with his decision making. It all reminds me of a senior Bush official quote: “When we act, we create our own reality.” It’s a whole lot easier to delude yourself of that, when your get rid of the pesky facts that might show your “reality” is just an illusion. Sigh. Welcome to Libertarian fantasy land.

The good news is that more organizations are beginning to voice their discomfort. Some are even turning to social media. The Canadian Jewish Congress released a YouTube video explaining their opposition.

Better still, Canadians aren’t fools. A growing number or ordinary citizens are showing their disapproval. I think the Globe may be reaching in referring to this poll of senior citizens – but it does suggest that there are some upset people, even among the conservative’s traditional base. It will be interesting to see what happens around polling data over the coming weeks and especially into the fall as more and more Canadians find out about this issue.

14 thoughts on “It was never about privacy…

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention It was never about privacy… | eaves.ca -- Topsy.com

  2. Pingback: Why the Census Matters to the Canadian Jewish Congress « Kempton – ideas Revolutionary

  3. Fred from BC

    “So it is becoming increasingly clear that the census decision was never about concern over Canadians privacy, it was about dismantling the state's capacity to engaged in reasoned, evidence-based public policy.” I see. Well then, if it is indeed becoming “increasingly clear” that such an outrageous, over-the-top accusation is true, perhaps you can show me the “reasoning” and “evidence” that leads you to that conclusion. I see that you've even managed to drop George Bush's name in there for some totally unknown reason. Lots of conjecture, speculation and good old fashioned political mud-slinging, sure…but where exactly is the “evidence”, again?

    Reply
  4. David Eaves

    Fred, I think the fact that there were 3 complaints about privacy and the census in the last decade to the privacy commissioner and something like 20 to StatsCan after the last census (and that the number of complaints have been in decline) shows that this was not a concern for Canadians – and not something that was concerning conservatives. This is confirmed (see linked to globe article) by a number of conservative and public servant insiders who are beginning to share the conversation that happened around the decision.I hope this helps in understanding why the charge is not baseless but, quite the opposite, grounded in fact.

    Reply
  5. Anya

    Harper once said. …. Canada is nothing but a welfare state…. hated it..why he would try to get rid of it. He also said we would never recognize Canada after he was finished . True Libertarian.I feel sorry for any PC that wants to go along with that!

    Reply
  6. Pingback: datalibre.ca · Monday Census Media Roundup

  7. Pingback: My quick two cents on the census fiasco « Public Sector Marketing 2.0 – Mike Kujawski's blog on strategic marketing & social media engagment

  8. Fred from BC

    No. You're still light-years away from proving that the Canadian government's intent is “dismantling the state's capacity to engaged in reasoned, evidence-based public policy.”. What huge leap of logic would lead to that conclusion? You're not even close, sorry. That's the kind of stuff that Holocaust denial is made of…fake moon landings, JKF was assassinated by the CIA and George Bush perpetrated the 9/11 attacks. Pure nonsense, all of it.

    Reply
  9. David Eaves

    Clearly I've touched a nerve. It isn't obvious to me why you think the government has made this change, but no one seems to believe it was about privacy. And, interestingly, I'm not the only one who believes it is about dismantling the state's capacity to engage in evidence based public policy. Consider this piece by one of the best known Conservative blogger (and national post columnist) in the country. He makes the exact same argument as me except rather than being alarmed, he bragging. And of course, this Globe and Mail editorial says pretty much the same thing in the last 3 paragraphs, but more politely.I feel pretty good about this one Fred – and am happy to let readers judge. Take care.

    Reply
  10. David Eaves

    Clearly I've touched a nerve. It isn't obvious to me why you think the government has made this change, but no one seems to believe it was about privacy. And, interestingly, I'm not the only one who believes it is about dismantling the state's capacity to engage in evidence based public policy. Consider this piece by one of the best known Conservative blogger (and national post columnist) in the country. He makes the exact same argument as me except rather than being alarmed, he bragging. And of course, this Globe and Mail editorial says pretty much the same thing in the last 3 paragraphs, but more politely.I feel pretty good about this one Fred – and am happy to let readers judge. Take care.

    Reply
  11. Fred from BC

    “Clearly I've touched a nerve.” If so, it would be my funny bone. You quote a couple of people who also believe the same thing as you, but still offer no tangible proof. “I feel pretty good about this one Fred – and am happy to let readers judge. Take care.” I feel pretty good too. And I'm happy to let the voters judge. Bring it on, David. Contact your local Liberals and urge them to bring this government down NOW…

    Reply
  12. brentonwalters

    Fred, doesn't Stockwell Day's recent ramblings about unreported crime and such support the idea? It's pretty clear that Stockwell can't engage in reasoned, evidence-based public policy, as he is just saying whatever comes to mind. Meanwhile, the numbers don't support his ramblings. Without those numbers, a disagreement with the Conservatives about crime rates would not be an evidence-based, public-policy debate, it would be a random conversation relying on supposition and faith.

    Reply

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