And now it has just become depressing.
The international media has picked up on the census debate and they’re just mocking it.
There is this priceless quote in a New York Times article:
“I wouldn’t call this political interference,” Professor Prewitt said. “I would call this government stupidity.”
Yes, the beauty for all of America to read from Kenneth Prewitt the former director of the United States Census Bureau and now Columbia University professor.
So, in the space of 1 short year our government has gone from model regulator of the banking industry to world laughing stock on policy. If only it ended there.
The Wall Street Journal – that left wing rag owned by that hippy Rupert Murdoch – has a piece as well. It opens up its article on the subject with a sly:
The government of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is under fire from a range of opponents for an unusual privacy initiative—making participation in his country’s census largely voluntary.
Even the Christian Science Monitor pokes fun at the decision.
Interestingly, even as people outside the country are starting to take notice, apparently the rank and file Conservative MPs continue to believe this story will blow over:
“It’s just another dead news-cycle story,” said one Conservative MP. “Most people will look at it, and say, what’s the difference?”
Ah, there is nothing like relying on the ignorance of Canadians to inspire confidence in leadership. This from a party who roots are allegedly in believing that the Canadian public has a way of learning about things and then forming judgments that are none too pleasant. Especially, when they think politicians are trying to pull a fast one.
Given that a diverse coalition of forces never before seen in this country has assembled in opposition to this idea, such a view smacks of arrogance. Possibly even hubris. Indeed, it is the same time of arrogance that the Conservatives have, for so long, claimed distinguished them from the Liberals. The kind of hubris that leads to decisions that wind up putting plans for a fall election on hold…
And yes! I do look forward to a day when I won’t write about this. Sorry about this folks… just sad to see billions upon billions of dollars of Canadian of taxpayers money spent over the last 100 years, and a multibillion dollar asset, destroyed by a government that doesn’t want reality to interfere with the decision making process. I promise this will be the only post on the census this week (barring some dramatic news).