Sunday, July 25, 2010

A simple solution to the long census form debate

I was arguing with my very left wing dad about the replacement of the mandatory long census form with a voluntarily version. He can’t grasp that government mandated intrusion into private life is a fundamental core issue with the CPC base. He claims that 80% of people want the form to remain mandatory. As my dad is 88 I don’t fight hard with him and I didn’t take him to task on his numbers, the last poll I saw placed Canadians at 51% for and 49% against. While mulling over this debate, a simple solution popped into my head.
All those people who support the long census form can volunteer to receive it next time around, StatsCan can set up their webpage for people to request it, write in for it or have it at Post Offices to fill out. So instead of 20% of the people getting it perhaps we will get 40% filling it out. Meanwhile those who don’t trust government don’t have to deal with the intrusion. Everyone’s happy right?
No doubt someone will claim that it won’t represent all parts of the population, but consider this. If you force people to fill it out, what are the chances of them lying on it? I suspect pretty darn high. This way people who fill it out will truthfully answer the questions. It’s so simple, so why the debate?


  1. Canadians form two groups: those that receive from the government and those that pay to the government. Those who form — or are constituent to — organizations dependent on government policy (and spending) are firmly against the changes to the census. Those on the other side are largely ambivalent because they are the large, unorganized and unsubsidized net taxpaying masses.

  2. Thanks for the comment
    I agree that there are other agendas at work. However I think the opponents are missing the fact that there may be an opportunity here, by making the long form more accessible and voluntary they might be able to get more of their “group” involved and submit information that while truthful is also beneficial to them.