Census Long Form and Handwringing Bureaucrats

The Canadian Census gets more and more intrusive every year.  The so-called “Short Form” is certainly not short, and the “Long Form” only gets longer.  That’s not surprising, if one examines it from the bureaucrats’ point of view: job security.

For government workers, if nothing else, are fantastic at justifying their existence. So forms get longer.  Regulations get expanded.  Departments get ever-larger budgets and manpower.

Don’t get me wrong… we, the good citizens of Canada get some things out of this process each year as well.

  1. Larger tax bills
  2. More government intrusion into our lives
  3. More laws which we can never hope to read, let alone comply with
  4. More roadside checks with bullet-proof vested cops unconstitutionally searching our vehicles

You get the picture.

Which is why I find this whole census uproar so amazing. It’s actually the government who is saying, No, we don’t need to do this. I applaud this.  I encourage more of it at all levels of government.

But what is fascinating beyond all of that is that it’s forced the rats out of the closet and into the light.  The bureaucrats are the ones screaming bloody blue murder over making the long form census voluntary.

And some bloggers too, it seems.  “Quiet Mike”, on his blog Forget The Box, said the following:

The conservative mindset is that the governments are intruding on the lives of ordinary citizens. Some go as far as saying that the government uses the census to spy on its people. The fear of the government using the census as a spy tool is only true if you fear a statistician in a suit and pocket protector in a distant town knowing you’re a catholic or that you make twenty thousand dollars a year.

Quiet Mike, like most liberals, clearly believes that the government has the right to know anything and everything about you, the individual. What gives the government the right to know my religioon (or lack thereof), my income (or lack thereof) or any of the myriad other questions demanded on census forms.

Do I “fear” the government? I value my privacy. There’s a difference. One that Michael Ignatief, his liberal party and the rest of the chateratti needs to comprehend. It’s simply none of their business.

Most Canadian citizens have no idea what the penalties are for NOT filling out a census form. You can actually be sent to jail for not filling out a piece of paper.  And fined. Or both.

All because you wanted your government to respect your right to privacy.

When I read Chuck Strahl’s editorial on the subject in Chilliwack Times this morning I was amazed, shocked, and happy that Chuck gets it.  He actually comprehends that piling on fines and jail time does not enhance compliance, it actually decreases it.

“What no one acknowledges is that the long form will still be used, it just won’t be mandatory, and you won’t be fined, jailed or harassed if you fail to fill it out…. Just in case people want to be subject to fines or jail time, the federal Liberals are making it a campaign promise. Fill it out, or it’s a $500 fine, jail time, or both. These guys are geniuses, 27 per cent of the time, 19 times out of 20.”

I for one am glad the Liberals want to make this a campaign issue.  It will certainly show Canadians how, as usual, out of touch and misguided and irrelevant Canada’s “natural ruling party” continues to be.

“…my office gets inundated with complaints during census time, especially from seniors who understandably don’t appreciate being threatened by their own government.”

Big surprise.  Nobody likes being threatened.  Nobody likes a bully.

“The few that refuse to participate will be offset by the improved quality of information from those who do.”

And isn’t that what the census is all about? Getting accurate information on Canadians?

Why can’t the bureaucrats comprehend any of this?

1 thought on “Census Long Form and Handwringing Bureaucrats

  1. Quite right in all you say, Christopher. And don’t forget, as you mention the careerism of these rats, that quite apart from the census itself, Statscan has begun running all sorts of other random “surveys” literally 24/7, 365 days of the year, and they all carry the same threat of penalties as the census itself. You’re minding your own business in the privacy of your own home and then one day you’re getting a phone call or knock at the door and someone telling you that you’ve been randomly selected and MUST answer their questions – or else. Unbelievable!

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