Thursday, August 12, 2010

In Which My Suspicions Are Confirmed

Yesterday, I asked of the Tories census mini climbdown:

Will it be enough to deflect the court challenge? Does the FCFA ( La Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne) need just the three new questions to feel comfortable it can serve its members? Dunno.

And today we get the answer: nope. Which seems to make sense, because if you are in the business of supporting Canada's francophone community it's not enough to know who they are, but how they're doing with respect to the ethnic groups around them. All of which requires the long-form remaining mandatory.

Meanwhile, David Olive attempts to rally the business community to the pro-mandatory long-form cause. Although, frankly, I think the business community is already on side. Tony Clement's already admitting he's passing costs onto them by ditching the mandatory long-form. Isn't that like a tax on Capitalists?


Robert G. Harvie, Q.C. said...

Imagine a Canada where the census didn't exist.

And Stephen Harper had the idea of sending out a 40 page very detailed series of questions.. with a demand that if it wasn't completed, charges would be laid with possible fines or prisons for non-compliance.

When asked, he says it's to help the government take care of us..oh, and also to sell to business to allow them to more accurately define demographics for marketing.

Is there an honest Liberal out there at will acknowledge the screams we would hear from Michael Ignatieff about the approaching fascism of the Conservatives?

Loraine Lamontagne said...

You are right R.G. Harvie. However, what I find difficult to imagine is that Canada could spontaneously combust into some East German-like police state overnight because of the mandatory long-term census. And sadly this is what some unethetical politicians have tried to make us believe is happening. Those who hallucinate publicly over StatsCan reps forcing their way into citizens home late in the night belong in asylums, not in the executive branch of government.

Canadians have been answering mandatory censuses for 140 years. During that period, Canada has evolved into a modern democracy and we are viewed as one of the freest societies in the world. We avoided naziism, McCarthyism, faschism, communism whilst we were obligated to answer censuses.

I think what Canadians know is that censuses are not going away - and Harper is certainly not indicating that he intends to meet with the province to change the constitution. What I am concerned about is that he botched the job and the resulting consequences could be far worse than what we have known these past 140 years - he is now improvising. Their claim of a move towards a national registry should give pause to all who cherish living in one of the freest societies in the world.

Robert G. Harvie, Q.C. said...

Were Nazis going to come goose-stepping into my house after getting my census answers? Hardly. But neither is our social fabric going to unravel without it either.

So there is plenty of grandstanding going on from both corners.

Personally, however, it strikes me that the more detailed the questions are, the more likely we are to have more government intervention into our lives to respond to some "need".

Too much of that already for my own tase.

But then as an African Jedi, maybe I'm just different that way.

Loraine Lamontagne said...

I don't know what effect the abandonment of mandatory censuses would have on Canadian society, and neither do you. The government itself admits that it has taken this decision without consultation, not on facts but based on 'feelings of persecution' of a minute minority, including some in the executive branch of our government. What I know is that we've had these censuses for 140 years and they have not hindered us into developing into a free society.

Your argument that the less the government knows the better would have value if the government was indicating a desire towards collecting less information than previously done. Clearly the opposite is true : we have had a minister (that's the government) stating that 'we' should be moving in the direction of a 'Denmark-style' national registry while the 2011 'questionning' of Canadians will involve 45% more households (used to be roughly 10 million, including 2,5 million long-forms - will now be roughly 10 million plus 4,5 million surveys with the same questions as before).

I am definitely not an African jedi. I am a Canadienne who today wears a chain with the medal of the Virgin Mary around my neck. I don't want seek my religion on you, but please forgive me for not showing any enthusiasm for converting to African jediism.

Tof KW said...

…the more likely we are to have more government intervention into our lives to respond to some "need"

Yes, of course. And with such obviously overt, commie-style centralized government intrusions into our lives such as where to build new schools, new fire stations, hospital services, bus routes, etc, etc, and oh yes …right down to establishing EI benefit levels. Mr. Harvie, you’re being disingenuous while accusing Liberal supporters of the same. By the way, the Canadian Bar Association is against the census change, as is my local chamber of commerce (in addition to the provincial and the federal bodies). These are hardly organizations of the loonie-left. This is clearly a case of the Harper government making a really dumb move. It’s beneath you to support them in this. A voluntary census would be more expensive and yet yield poorer information, and spending more for less are hardly the views of a conservative.

ottlib said...

"...and spending more for less are hardly the views of a conservative."

Who has ever said that this government and their supporters are conservative. They are certainly Conservatives but that is just a handy brand for them to use to take power.

If they had run under a brand that better described their ideology Canadians would never have handed them the levers of power.

So, please do not be surprised by the likes of Mr. Harvie and other Conservative supporters when they support non-conservative measures and actions.