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Friday, July 16, 2010

Long form census

I don’t agree very often with Liberal blogger Warren Kinsella, but his blog post, HERE COMES THE LONG FORM CENSUS ELECTION!, is right on. I have been very uncomfortable filling in the long-form census in the past. I don’t trust any organization with sort of personal information asked for. Time and again we hear of misuse and carelessness by private organizations and by governments, despite promises—even laws—protecting our privacy (see Kinsella’s article for a list of significant lapses).

I also agree this is not much of an issue with which to go to the polls. I can just see Michael Ignatieff criss-crossing the country in an election campaign, ranting how terrible it is that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has made it voluntary to fill out the long-form, and will no longer threaten citizens with jail terms if they refuse to divulge highly personal information to federal bureaucrats.

I notice that the moaning and hand-wringing over this issue seems mostly to be coming from organizations, public and private, which use our personal information for their own (useful or otherwise) ends. I hear and read little from individuals bemoaning the loss of an opportunity to hand over quite intrusive private information about themselves.

I agree with Kinsella that a mandatory long-form, with the sort of private questions it demands be answered, would likely not pass a privacy law challenge. And the fact it’s the federal government asking the questions doesn’t make a difference to me. I’m a private person and have a right to be so.

 

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© 2010 Russell G. Campbell
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6 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. having to agree with that butt-kicking blowhard is most unfortunate - while his relative silence of late is welcome, his attraction to spinning gibberish is well known, and a writ drop is the signal. ................... and yes, the census form as it stands, is obtrusive

    ReplyDelete
  2. Accurate stats can be derived from polling 1 in 10000 or even less than that. There is no need to poll 1 in 5.

    Polling done on voting intentions can be very accurate with only 1000 people responding; all of them voluntary. That would be roughly 1 in 25000(a guess).

    This is pure politics. Bottom line the mandated census form is unenforceable. It's over.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I applaud Harper, because finally he's done something conservative for a change.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Then will you fight for your right to privacy and help strike Bill c-42?

    I mean, if you're not comfortable with your own government having your personal info, then you should be much less comfortable having either the American or some other foreign government having access to all your personal info.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The long form is not just obtrusive, it is immoral. Hard to beleieve that so many Canadians support the idea of forcing their countrymen to fill out a form. The use of force here is immoral, and fascist, pure and simple.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The long form is not just obtrusive, it is immoral. Hard to beleieve that so many Canadians support the idea of forcing their countrymen to fill out a form. The use of force here is immoral, and fascist, pure and simple.

    ReplyDelete

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