Comment 44285

By Michelle Martin (registered) - website | Posted July 28, 2010 at 20:40:49

Hi Ken, how are you? I'd like to respectfully address a couple of your points

but I certainly disagree with those who think that this can only be about "pleasing the [evil, right-wing, Bush-loving, abortion-banning, gun-toting] base."

Of course not- this issue transcends the political spectrum. Here's a sample list of organizations against scrapping the mandatory long form census, spanning the political spectrum. I'm not necessarily left-wing in my own politics, but I feel quite strongly about the census. As long as privacy is respected (and the punishments are serious for any census taker who reveals personal information), then personal dignity is respected.

political, media and consumer polsters manage to come up with polls

It is dangerous to democracy to leave the gathering of information that can be used to fight for the just allocation of resources or for effective legislation to those who can afford to pay for the gathering. This is from the Globe:

Of course, it’s not just government and business that could gain from the data created by the census. Ordinary Canadians use it too. In theory, the census creates a level playing field in public-policy debates. Were the Statistics Canada website user-friendly and its data accessible (data, may I remind you, we've already paid for) then citizens could use it to fight ineffective legislation, unjust policies or wasteful practices. If that data is no longer collected by the state, those who are able to pay for their own surveys – read large companies – will have an advantage not only over citizens but also governments. With the decision to scrap the long census form, the ability of ordinary citizens to defend themselves against government and businesses took a heavy hit.

Comment edited by Michelle Martin on 2010-07-28 19:46:47

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