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My (unscientific) theory on why the Census is dragging down Conservative popularity

I’ve seen more then a few people scratching their heads on why Canadians seem to be paying more attention then some thought they would to the normally mundane topic of the Census, and whether or not it should or shouldn’t be mandatory – at least regarding the longform – and why this seems to have caused downward movement on Conservative polling numbers recently.

I think there are a couple reasons. One that I wont deny is that the topic came up during the summer break when Parliament was on holiday, and there wasn’t other issues out there to obscure this topic. When the ensuing protest and uproar started from the […]


The freeloaders/free ride defence of Tony Clement et. al. over the census

So we have a new line of attack by Tony Clement (and I saw Gordon O’Connor use it yesterday as well) over those groups/provinces/cities etc. that oppose the ditching of the mandatory longform census: the organizations/provinces/cities were all freeloaders/getting a free ride from Ottawa in getting this data.

That at first blush doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense; StatsCan charges all groups for access to that census data; and does quite well from it. In fact, it’s where a large portion of the budget for their department comes from. If Clement and company were trying to take that approach as a line of defence, they either could be […]


My interpretation of Harper’s remarks to Conservative caucus today

You think Harper might have said something with regards to the Census controversy today when he talked to his national Conservative caucus; particularly in light of his poll numbers dropping as a direct result of that (at least in the Ekos poll, if not Decima’s earlier this past week as well). Harper’s been out of the spotlight for some time after all.. so.. maybe a vigorous defence of Conservatives trying to stop tyranny, or an attack on ‘special interest groups’, or Liberals, or both?

Nope, it was all everything’s peachy in Canada!

My interpretation of Harper’s speech? This:

Harper to his caucus and to the public/media: “There’s no time […]


Maybe there really ARE Canadians who care about the Census.

You might recall that Canadian Press report a few days ago where unnamed Conservative MP’s/sources dismissed the census controversy as an issue that Canadians don’t care about, and that it would fade away.

It may, but before it does, it appears to have caused a big hit in Conservative popularity, at least in the latest Ekos poll: The CBC’s title for this is “Conservative lead dries up, poll suggests”, and it details what it calls the evaporation of the Conservatives lead. The Conservatives have 29.7% support, while the Liberals received 28.5%. This is a 3% drop from the last Ekos poll, and a 3% gain for the Liberals from last […]


The legal fight begins on the Census.

With regards to the Conservative government ditching the mandatory aspect of the longform census, there have been more then a few charges that this move is not constitutionally legal. Basically, the argument has been that this move violates the Official Languages Act, as well as the Constitution. There have been more then a couple of analysts who say the former allegation has merit. Both allegations are about to be ruled on in Canada’s courts:

Census: All-out legal attack launched

A French-Canadian group is launching a legal attack on multiple fronts against the federal government’s move to scrap the mandatory long-form census. The group has not only asked Federal Court to […]


Why Harper keeps a tight lid on his Cabinet, & some sense on the Census.

When Conservative cabinet ministers give the occasional press conference on their own (Edit: ..and are forced to adlib from their PMO-prepared talking points), they tend to make a mess of it and say the darndest things that probably causes Harper and the PMO nightmares. Stockwell Day is your latest example of a press conference train wreck. Blogging colleague BCL already has detailed Stock’s “enlightening” comments on the census controversy, but his statements on data as it pertains to crime is even more bewildering:

The Treasury Board President also faced questions about the Conservative government’s commitment to cutting the deficit while spending billions of dollars on new prisons while the crime […]


More stupidity revealed on Census changes

We find out today that 25 million of the 30 million extra dollars that the Conservatives are spending on making the mandatory longform census a voluntary survey is actually going to be used to explain to potentially confused people how they screwed the census up because of their ideological idiocy on the census. Some of the background to that is revealed by this Canadian Press report, albeit from the Conservatives insider(s) point of view (no surprise either that the PM is solely responsible for this debacle).

The only surprise to me is how Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz managed to convince his boss that farmers should continue to suffer under the […]

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