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Everyone stop the census protest – the Fraser Institute agrees with Tony Clement & the Conservatives

The Conservative government and Tony Clement has finally found a defender of its decision to (unilaterally and without parliamentary debate) kill the mandatory longform census – The Fraser Institute. It rode to the rescue, finally answering Aaron Wherry’s call at Maclean’s for some economists/statisticians etc. to come forth and defend the government decision.  It charges those that are calling for it to be reinstated as being nothing more then vested interest groups – a charge we’ve seen some Conservative defenders weakly attempt – and which seems to be a rather broad accusation, considering the scope of the opposition as listed by David Eaves.

Still, if the Fraser Institute says it’s okay to kill it, I guess that settles that, right?

Addendum: the attempted logic here escapes me:

When asked how they would ensure even representation across different income and ethnic groups on such surveys without reliable long-form data, Veldhuis questioned why those differences would matter.  “This is what should be worrying average Canadians — this information is used by central planners to plan how to tinker with the lives of Canadians,” he said of the ways in which census data is used

If you’re the Fraser Institute, you don’t care about accurate data, because according to them, it believes that having accurate data to figure out how to best deal with social problems is akin to allowing Communist-style bureaucrats from Stalinist Russia implement 5 year plans.. or something.

14 comments to Everyone stop the census protest – the Fraser Institute agrees with Tony Clement & the Conservatives

  • Stan

    Are you crazy?
    No one gives a shit about the census.

    The CBC/liberal party can beat that drum all they want but no one is listening to their garbage anymore.

    • Jon Pertwee

      @Stan, Who is noone? So far you have an unfounded, unproven statement.

      Guess you live in the world of hot air, lollypops and unicorns. CPC Wonderland must be particularily delusional in your part.

  • foottothefire

    Jack Childs,
    I can help you with the enforcement cost thing;
    there’s been about two charged in the last 10 years. On the other hand, changing to a new census format will come in at about 30 million.
    Harperites just can’t stop fixing things that aren’t broken, can they? But, sole-source contracts? Now that’s a specialty of Steve’s.

  • Loraine Lamontagne

    Also meanwhile, James Morton reminds us that “Every time you use the 407 or a loyalty points card you are letting someone know where you are and where you have been. Now perhaps that’s not an issue for the specific transaction (who cares if you bought a chocolate bar last Wednesday?) but over time a significant portfolio of who you are and what you do is created. Novels have been written about data mining where commercial companies collect information about individuals from thousands of sources—credit cards, loyalty programs, employment and banking records, government filings, and many more—then analyze and sell the data. The specter of Big Brother is among us.”

    You are filmed whenever you go to the banking machine, filmed when you walk on downtown streets, when you ride on an elevator or the subway.

    But what is the government telling us that is the big-bag-evil thing is – government! Asking YOU to complete three time in your life time a questionnaire of 60 questions is a most inacceptable form of invasion of privacy.

    In this information age.

    So let’s throw more money into it to make it voluntary to feed into the nanny government evil machine.

  • Loraine Lamontagne

    At nearly 60 years of age I have interest in a stats course. I know bullsh.t when I see it.

    Quote from the Fraser Institute Guy, from the G&M

    “It’s obviously much cheaper to get the data if you’re forcing people to answer these questionnaires than it would be if you had to voluntarily get them to respond,” Mr. Veldhuis says.

    Maybe you should ask him where he gets this leftist impression that this will be more costly.

    Again, I don’t need a stats course. I have had for fourty year a very good business nose that has served me very well. I’ll leave the stats course to you.

  • William

    Jack, you need a stats course. Conservatives seem to think reliability and validity don’t matter. They want to make public policy on the fly, damn the data. Since reliable data will often times contradict their “ideas,” stifle it. Make it unreliable, make people distrust the system, deligitimize it. Just like they are doing with the rest of public life in this country…

  • Loraine Lamontagne

    You don’t know the facts either, Jack Childs. And you’re for this change. So your guess is as good as mine. I don’t know where the newspapers get their 30 million $ estimate from, maybe from an anonymous source in the PMO, which is the modu operandi of this government. But introducing new processes in the business world where I am usually cost money.

    Regarding the mumbo jumbo of lesser quality data, that’s what I read coming from qualified statisticians quoted everwhere. I take their opinion seriously. You prefer Tony Clement’s.

  • Jack Childs

    I don’t know if it’ll cost less money. I do know your math is gibberish. All you’ve included is the extra cost of printing more long forms. You haven’t subtracted the enforcement costs that will no longer be necessary since it is voluntary. My guess is that there will be a savings but I couldn’t say for sure. Your comment, however, shows that you’re opposed to this no matter what the facts are and have not done a logical assessment of the decision.

  • Loraine Lamontagne

    The facts are with the minister. He claims that the new National Household Survey will be sent to 30% of Canadian households, rather than to 20% of the Canadian households previously for the long-form. Furthemore, from the StatsCan page on this subject…

    “We are counting on Canadians who receive this survey to recognize the importance of this information and to respond to the survey. The NHS will be conducted within four weeks of the May 2011 Census. Approximately, 4.5 million households will receive the NHS questionnaire.”

    Do you assume, Jack Childs, that it will cost less money to send out 1.5 millions additional questionnaires? Maybe you’re smarter than me, but I’ll assume it’s an additional cost, and newspapers here are there have been quoting 30 million dollars. And is it silly of me to think that the government will encourage citizens to complete the NHS with sustained advertising over the four-week period after the mandatory census deadline? If not why the hell would they send out questionnaires to 4,5 million households!

    What about you, Jack Childs: Do you think it will cost less money to send 1.5 million more questionnaires?

    The answers are with the minister. He should tell us.

    IF he knows (and that’s a big IF).

  • Jack Childs

    Where are the facts that its going to be more expensive (never mind the mumbo jumbo that it’ll be less reliable)?

  • Loraine Lamontagne

    I understand from this that the Fraser Institute agrees that this information be used by central planners to plan how to tinker with the lives of Canadians, as long as it costs more money to do so and that the information be less reliable.
    Cause that’s what the government is proposing to do.

  • Jack Childs

    Except I’m reading a lot of Liberal bloggers who are also saying this isn’t a big deal.

    • @Jack Childs, Chuckle, as if that invalidates concerns about this? You’re grasping for straws when you start whining “Liberal bloggers think it’s ok”.

      For the record, I’ve seen Warren Kinsella take a contrarian view, and 2 other Liberal bloggers on the Liblogs aggregate think this “isn’t a big deal”. I’m not sure I count 3 as a “lot”

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