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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

CBC Live blog on the census

Associate editor, Terrence Watson, is participating in a CBC Inside Politics blog live townhall regarding the census. Also participating are CBC Politics blogger Kady O'Malley, CBC national affairs editor Chris Hall, Nanos Research president and pollster Nik Nanos, Roger Gibbins, president and CEO of Canada West Foundation, and Laval University economics professor Stephen Gordon.

You can check it out on the CBC website here, or follow along below:

Posted by westernstandard on July 21, 2010 in Census | Permalink


People aren't answering those questions honestly. 55% of Canadians (CBC traffic in particular) didn't vote con in the last election. Yet this issue is going to "change their vote" according to this poll.

I suspect the large percentage of participants who indicated they would not fill out a voluntary form are being equally disingenuous.

Posted by: K Stricker | 2010-07-21 12:50:41 PM

In light of the fact that other than the chattering class almost no body watches, follows or cares about the CBC, any poll, survey produced by the CBC cannot be representative of the population.

Posted by: Alain | 2010-07-21 9:12:31 PM

Pollster Nik Nanos:
TW - you know that's not feasible - it would put too many politicians out of a job. Think of it this way, the best companies out there understand their market and their customer and how they are changing so that resources are deployed to maximize outcomes. Why shouldn't the government be efficient?

To be quite frank, it's not our responsibility to keep politicians in their jobs - it's their responsibility to make good decisions, and those can't be made based on census data done every 5 years.

These are the same people that disparage governments for polling too much (to find out what people want in real time) and yet want the government to forcibly intrude in our lives every 5 years.

Posted by: Andrew | 2010-07-22 6:59:00 AM

I was struck by the emphasis on efficiency. I do want government to be efficient -- about some things. But the world would probably be a better place now if the Nazis had been less efficient, and if the U.S. government was a little less efficient about locking up non-violent drug users.

Those are outcomes we shouldn't even want to maximize.

Posted by: Terrence | 2010-07-22 9:36:56 AM

"I do want government to be efficient -- about some things. But the world would probably be a better place now if the Nazis had been less efficient" -- Terrence Watson

I'm keeping that Terrence Watson quote.

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2010-07-22 9:49:08 AM

I cannot BELIEVE the incredible fuss that is being made over the retirement of a simple census form. I can only imagine the paroxysmal political paralysis that would grip the nation if the Tories ever eliminated the GST. From what we're seeing here, people would be marching in the streets demanding it back.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-07-22 9:55:39 AM


What you're seeing is the dynamic of libertarian political priorities. The only real freedom that conservatives are concerned with is economic freedom: lower taxes, etc.

Libertarians place many of these other issues on an even-keel, or even above economic freedom in their priority scale.

For instance, I would place repealing a lot of regulations on business and individual choice ahead of tax reform if I were elected.

This is probably best summarized by Milton Friedmans outlook on the concept of "choice". It's far more offensive to the libertarian to tell me what I can and cannot buy, than say, to skim a percentage of my income off the top.

Take you 30%, and leave me to do whatever the hell I want with the 70% you leave me.

With things like the census, it's the same thing for libertarians. We value liberty so much that what you view as no more than a 30 minute inconvenience at the kitchen table, we view as an illegitimate use of government power over us.

The government literally removes some of the choice we have to spend our time as we see fit, or the choice to keep our personal information private, and be the gatekeepers of our own personal privacy.

You may find these relatively small encroachments on liberty to not be worth your time. But they add up, the government gets bigger, it's powers metastasize, and more and more, the government is a more dominant player in our daily lives.

Libertarians choose to resist every little encroachment. Not wait for it to get so bad, that we have to have to bring in a Mike Harris or a Margaret Thatcher to arrest the system from collapse. We'd prefer to be fighting those fights all the time. Not wait until we're suffocating under government's breadth.

We prefer not to be the frog who doesn't notice the slow increase in temperature.

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2010-07-22 10:10:36 AM

Mike, you may call it libertarian while others would call it something different. It does not matter nor does it really need a label. As someone referred to as a conservative when trying to pigeon hole me, I agree completely with what you wrote above.

Posted by: Alain | 2010-07-22 12:08:39 PM

Mike, I don't think we're on the same page. Will not the proposed changes actually remove the census-related irritants you describe? This is like complaining if someone hands you money and asks nothing in return.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-07-22 12:23:54 PM


Yeah, I think a misunderstanding has occurred. As I understand the dialogue, both of you accept that eliminating the long form is no big deal/desirable.

Posted by: Terrence | 2010-07-22 1:17:55 PM

Shane its just like you ,demanding, people be put in jail for using non state sanctioned drugs.
If these substances become legal i can see you marching in the streets and demanding the people ,you dont like, be put in jail
Maybe the police will rough you up and you can seek help from MIke Brock.

Posted by: don b | 2010-07-22 2:08:49 PM

It's just like you, Don, babbling nonsense. The thread's topic is the census, not drugs. What is your take on that? If you have nothing to say, then say nothing. We won't forget what you sound like.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-07-22 2:11:52 PM

Shane your blathering again, its about freedom.

Posted by: don b | 2010-07-22 3:05:51 PM

Typical of Shane , talks freedom for himself but not for other people

Posted by: don b | 2010-07-22 3:08:58 PM

Don, you discredit both yourself and your causes every time you open your mouth. Your arguments display the reasoning skills and emotional stability of a horny baboon. Just like the G20 riffraff, you’ve got a message and are quite happy to shoulder everyone and everything aside for your turn at the microphone. It’s sad.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-07-22 7:37:52 PM

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