Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Conservatives' Wish To "Dumb Down" Canada

Another solid Goodale writeup...


The Harper Conservatives have provoked a hostile reaction by their arbitrary destruction of Canada’s census.

Who would have thought a topic as seemingly dry as changing the operating procedures at Statistics Canada would trigger such universal condemnation? But Canadians get it.

Making the Long-Form census questionnaire “optional” will corrupt the data upon which the country functions. Canada’s world-leading reputation for statistical honesty will evaporate.

Beyond just bean-counters and number-crunchers, opposition to this “dumbing down” of the nation’s data-base reaches every corner of Canadian life.

Protests have come from provinces, municipalities, universities, healthcare providers, top economists like the renowned Don Drummond, think-tanks like the Canada-West Foundation, the Federation of Independent Business, the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, the Conference of Catholic Bishops, the United Way, the Ukrainian-Canadian Congress, and thousands more.

These are not just snooty elites. This is Main Street Canada speaking out spontaneously, just as they did when Mr. Harper misused prorogation to padlock Parliament. People instinctively understand that what this government is doing is wrong!

With no honest statistics to rely on in future, policy-making will be driven by ideology, not facts and figures. Truth will be a casualty.

Yes, taking about an hour once every 25-years or so to fill out that pesky Long-Form is a nuisance. But most people accept it as a responsibility of citizenship – like obeying the speed limit, getting a marriage license, serving on jury duty, or paying taxes (so we can have healthcare, schools, paved roads, an army, police officers and old age pensions).

And Statistics Canada has never once violated anyone’s privacy.

If the Harperites are really concerned about an “intrusive mandatory process” for the Long-Form, why are they content to leave that exact same process in place for the Agricultural Census?

Is this discrimination against farmers, or just Conservative hypocrisy?

-- Post From My iPhone


Jymn Parrett said...

Hey, I'm all for Goodale worship but what about the torture docs that Goody watered down the examination of to appease the Cons? What's the status. Do progressives care anymore?

Anonymous said...

"... Canada’s world-leading reputation for statistical honesty will evaporate."


I have never ever come across anyone when I travel mention Canada's reputation for "statistical honesty". It is total nonsense.

Jury duty?

Most Canadians lie to get out of jury duty. I've seen it first hand.

WesternGrit said...

Anon: "... Canada’s world-leading reputation for statistical honesty will evaporate." I have never ever come across anyone when I travel mention Canada's reputation for "statistical honesty"

- That comment sounds an awful lot like the talking point that "Canadians won't care". I think we all know where you're coming from. You will find, however, that within the scientific and statistical community StatsCan was/is a kind of "hero". No, your (supposedly) "average" (or simply just more vocal), Timmy's gulping, oil-rig working Albertan may not care, or know why this is important. If we only did things because a majority of "average" folks thought they were important, we wouldn't have a society today. We'd be living in the Dark Ages, with our collective heads buried in the sand (or somewhere else)...

I guess that's where most Conservatives like their heads buried - the "somewhere else"...

WesternGrit said...

Jymn, progressives DO care. We just need to play the "Ottawa game" properly, or Harp will be set up for his much pined for majority. Then the fit would really hit the shan... Watch what you wish for... The opposition needs to work together to prevent this.