Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why the mandatory long form of the census is so vitally important

It's not going away; the latest Tory taunt is still all the rage for the bureaucrats of Bytown. And why not, the Census delivers vital information if you are a bureaucrat, and vital information if you are a Canadian that thinks the greater good of the country is best served by a well informed government at the helm. It makes perfect sense, not just for government, but for businesses that are too lazy or too cheap to do a proper analysis of their own market.
The Census is essential so government can implement new policies and programs, so it can best spend the taxes and tariffs it coerces collects from Canadians. With this information the politicians and portfolio mandarins in Ottawa are obviously best equipped to accommodate the needs of all Canadians. They will be behind the proverbial curtain, tweaking the dials and adjusting things just so, in order to make certain the economy hums along with no surprises, no bumps so clear will be their view. Trust in them, trust in StatsCanada and we will be a just and happy society. Sure.

All the statists were lining up in front of the Parliamentary committee "to study the long form" these past two days, all of it available for your viewing pleasure on CPAC. Rumours are flying that a compromise is in the works - so Canadian, it's sickening. I still don't understand why the conservatives decided to do this now, it really is not what you would call a "conservative" idea. But it's a diversion, more interesting than leaky oil wells and oppressive humidity. It is also a great opportunity to examine the role of government in our lives, the problem of course is that it shows just how comfortable we are with big government doing big things.
Neil Reynolds has some interesting comments on that very topic this week with reference to the Census. Interestingly he writes for the Globe and Mail which has been leading the statist charge to preserve the coercive mandatory long form of the census. I suspect whoever is pushing that agenda at the Globe might have political aspirations in the Liberal Party.     

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