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All of mainstream Christian-dom now opposes Census change!

The entire spectrum of mainstream Christianity now opposes the Census decision:

The country’s Roman Catholic bishops have joined the chorus asking the federal government to reverse a decision to scrap the mandatory long census form.

In case you’re counting, they join the Anglicans, the United Church (which happens to be the church I’m a member of), and The Fellowship of Christian Evangelicals in condemning this, not to mention the Canadian Jewish Congress. Who’s left from Judeo-Christiandom that will stand up with Harper and rail against government tyranny!!?

Maybe Harper’s small church will issue a statement and come to his rescue.

More seriously, this is why the Census continues to be […]

Conservative War Room chutzpah on claims the Libs are smearing the public service

I’ve come to the conclusion this morning that the Conservative War Room must think the media and public are stupid, or they are hoping everyone out there has amnesia or memory loss on their behaviour with regards to how they’ve treated the public service since being in power. Let me list a few examples to refresh your memory.

In the most recent case of this, we’ve seen Industry Minister Tony Clement and company attempting to hide behind Munir Shiekh and Statistics Canada when they got criticized over dumping the mandatory longform Census, claiming that it was deemed perfectly acceptable by Statistics Canada to change to a voluntary longform. Unfortunately for […]

More on the Conservatives trying to hide behind StatsCan, Mr. Sheikh

Briefly, My colleague the Jurist at his blog details some more blanket condemnations of the Conservatives bone-headed/ideological move to kill the mandatory longform census, but he did miss one article that should be read – C.E.S Franks at the Globe and Mail explains why Munir Shiekh resigned, and the probable chain of events. He isn’t impressed:

The problem Mr. Sheikh faced was not the choice between voluntary survey or mandatory census, but that the minister went public with inaccurate claims about the advice he had received. Mr. Clement was selective to the point that his public claims have not accurately reflected the advice given by Statistics Canada and its public […]

Ladies & Gents, your 2011 Voluntary Longform Census – Conservative-style

Sham(wow) arguments on the Census from the Conservatives

The Conservatives are doing two main talking points trying to defend their decision to scrap the mandatory longform census. It’s wrong to send people to jail if they don’t want to answer the mandatory longform, and the questions are too intrusive.

Putting aside that it appears no one in the history of Canada’s census has anyone ever been put in jail for not answering the questions, let’s remind folks of the holes in those arguments:

– the shortform census still has those penalties, yet I’ve not seen them mention anything about the oppressiveness of that. Other forms like the Agricultural Census are still mandatory. When asked about that, Tony Clement […]

Census hearings today.

Kady of course provides her usual fine live-blogging commentary. A recap can be found here.

My initial thoughts: those in the science/stats community generally handed the Conservative MP’s their lunch at the hearing, and as far as I was concerned, Clement’s testimony and answers to questions seemed to be using the lines “we Conservatives love freedom” and “Liberals want to throw everyone in jail”, regardless of what question was asked.

Best commentary on him was from a comment I saw at Macleans, that I totally agree with:

The strongest point for the Opposition in today’s committee hearing so far is that at the same time the Minister claims to […]

So Mr. Taylor and I agree on the census thing…

Mr. Stephen Taylor decided to publish thoughts on the Census controversy yesterday. Of course, he is cheering that move on, all for it. What may surprise you is that we agree on at least one point – the government’s motives behind this move. I and others have suspected that this move to kill the mandatory longform census is less to do with privacy concerns, and more to do with trying to prevent governments from having reliable data – to see certain social problems or inequalities for instance – because it will be harder to target them with programs, or revamp initial ones. Stephen doesn’t exactly say he suspects the same […]

Cons, Clement have been plugging their ears on census from orgs.

So, the National Statistics Council has issued a press release (detailed at the link from Macleans) calling for a compromise over the contentious changes the Conservative government had tried to issue in secret to the Census in killing the longform mandatory aspect of it. Basically, keep the longform mandatory, but remove the threat of jail time for those who refuse to answer it, and commit to studying what questions might be too “intrusive” or not in time for the 2016 Census.

There is nothing in there that I object to; I think what they suggest makes sense, and the government would be wise to accept those recommendations. What’s more […]

Do some research

That’s my advice to media folks, like Globe and Mail Columnist Neil Reynolds, who tries to say a Census isn’t necessary at all – look at the Europeans – they don’t have one! He then goes to wonder why Harper and company couldn’t have put that forward as an idea to replace the Census (all of it, not just the mandatory longform).

The Scandinavian European countries is a very bad example to be using as an argument not to have a Census of any type, much less a mandatory longform part, as they collect more data, not less, and they are certainly using a system that is more Big Brother’ish, […]

Funny Star cartoon on Harper and the Census

Pretty accurate, I’d say..

Patrick Corrigan is the Toronto Star’s editorial cartoonist. This was his editorial cartoon for the Saturday paper. A list of others can be found here.

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