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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Does Canada lead the world in Jedi knights?

It is difficult to argue with the claims of long-form census supporters that the long form of the census is really important and vital (although we've given it a shot -- see here for the latest in a series of posts entitled "WS on the census"). For example, how else can we find out how many people are Jedi knights?

According to the 2001 census, 21,000 Canadians listed "Jedi knight" as their religion. Dmitri Soudas, communications director for the prime minister's office, made prominent reference to this fact in an email to the press gallery:

21,000 Canadians registered Jedi knight as a religion in the 2001 census.

Religion is asked every 10 years.

We made the 40-page long form voluntary because government should not threaten prosecution or jail time to force Canadians to divulge unnecessary private and personal information.

Canadians don't want the government at their doorstep at 10 o'clock at night while they may be doing something in their bedroom, like reading, because government wants to know how many bedrooms they have.

The Ignatieff Liberals promise to force all Canadians to answer personal and intrusive questions about their private lives under threat of jail, fine, or both.

We're not sure if Canadians want the government to show up on someone's doorstep at 10 at night, but we are fairly certain that no government official wants to mess with a competent Jedi knight, especially if the knight has succumbed to the dark side of the force.

This is unfortunately the case for Canadian Hayden Christensen, whose Jedi name is Anakin Skywalker. Christensen is one of the three or four most significant adherents to Jedi knightry.

In spite of the significance of this Canadian to the faith, and in spite of Canada being, on January 12, 2009, the first country in the world to recognize the Order of the Jedi Inc. as a federally incorporated non-profit religious entity, Canada did not lead the world in Jedis.

According to 2001 census reports from the English-speaking world, England and Wales led the world in absolute terms, with over 390,000 (0.8%) Jedis. "The 2001 census reveals that 390,000 people across England and Wales are devoted followers of the Jedi 'faith,'" the BBC reported in 2003.

England also has the distinction of having elected a Jedi Member of Parliament. Jamie Reed, then-newly-elected Labour Party MP, commented on the proposed Incitement to Religious Hatred Bill by saying, "as the first Jedi Member of this place, I look forward to the protection under the law that will be provided to me by the Bill."

Canada also lagged behind Australia, with over 70,000 (0.37%) Jedis in 2001. In May of 2001, the Australian Board of Statistics released a press release to the media on the topic of Jedis. "If your belief system is "Jedi" then answer as such on the census form. But if you would normally answer Anglican or Jewish or Buddhist or something else to the question "what is your religion?" and for the census you answer "Jedi" then this may impact on social services provision if enough people do the same," read the press release.

The honour of most Jedis on a per capita basis goes to New Zealand, with over 53,000 adherents, making up 1.5 per cent of the population, second only to "Christian" at 58.9 per cent ("No Religion" accounted for 28.9 per cent, with 6.9 per cent objecting to the question).

Membership in the Jedi Church is not restricted to English-speaking humans from Earth. "The Jedi Church recognises that there is one all powerful force that binds all things in the universe together, and accepts all races and species from all over the universe as potential members of the religion," explains the official website of the Jedi Church.

The Conservative Party promises to make the long-form of the census voluntary, which may, according to census experts, make the results statistically non-robust, and therefore will not be as useful as earlier censuses have been at accurately capturing the total number of Jedis, and providing specific services tailored to the needs of Canadian Jedis.

More WS on the census (a.k.a. the "libertarian cavalry"): Pierre Lemieux, Mark D. Hughes, Karen Selick, Paul McKeever, Kalim Kassam, PUBLIUS, Hugh MacIntyre, Martin Masse, Terrence Watson, J.J. McCullough, Walter Block, and P.M. Jaworski.

UPDATE: This story appears on Fark. You can read Fark readers' comments on this story by clicking here. It's worth the trip.

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Posted by P.M. Jaworski on July 18, 2010 in Canadian Politics, Census, Humour | Permalink


I find your lack of faith disturbing.

Oh come on, someone had to say it!

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2010-07-18 5:01:27 PM

Why do articles like this always assume that all Jedi are knights? Knighthood isn't bought with the purchase of a membership card; it takes years of study and practice. Most of these so-called Jedi Knights are more likely Jedi novices putting on airs.

Posted by: Cevenant the Unbeliever | 2010-07-19 4:04:51 AM

The HarperCONs had no problem running the long form census in 2006.

Nice flipflop, Maxie and Tony....

Posted by: ronin | 2010-07-19 3:46:52 PM

In my point of view i guess yes it the answer for your question . Canada really lead the jedi in a very good way.And you know if lead answer haven't give me the answer or advice then may be i lost something from my life like my own home.

Posted by: lead answer | 2010-11-20 1:34:01 AM

I don't think that , what Canada is doing for his own good and everyone see only their good after that they try someone else.


Posted by: Lead Answer | 2011-01-07 7:46:22 AM

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