Making Sense out of the Census – Count me Out

The social constructionists are in a lather because Mr. Harper has decided upstanding law-abiding citizens should not be threatened with jail for refusing to fill out a census form. The Globe and Mail and CBC are tying themselves in knots, totally perplexed about the government’s stand to protect individual rights. It’s pretty clear, a lot of Canadians, including some of our leading media outlets, are just fine with the threat of jail for those libertarians who decide the government has no business asking what they eat, where they sleep (indirectly learning something about the individuals sleeping arrangements) etc. Well I’m 100% behind the PM on this one.

The census is farce in the first place. The only people who actually believe that it shows a true picture of Canada, are the statisticians and a few simpletons. How do the statisticians account for the fact that the official census puts Canada’s population at about 34million but everyone knows there are about 10 million more “Canadians” living hither and thither (e.g. Lebanon) and holding Canadian passports. How else does one account for the fact that there are 40+million Social Insurance Numbers issued? How is it that the total number of health care cards issued by the provinces, far exceeds (by many millions) the number of Canadians identified by the census? How is it that every five years, the government declares an amnesty on the huge backlog of refugee claimants in Canada because there are hundreds of thousands of people living (often on welfare) as refugees? Where they came from…no one knows.

When it comes to actually using the data for something useful….like trying to find out how many middle aged immigrants have brought their elderly parents to Canada over the last 20 years…forget it.  We’re Stats Canada and that’s way too hot a political potato for us! We’d much rather count the number of kids living below the “poverty line”….the “poverty line” being somewhere in the neighbourhood of $25,000 of declared income per year…..so we can create more GST, and HST and Carbon Tax credits for the “lower incomers”.
I estimate that there are probably about 50,000 illegal aliens curretnly living in the Old Ruminator’s home city, alone.  They are not about to admit their presence at census time. But the government could, under the old laws, throw a tax-paying, law-abiding Canadian in jail, for refusing to fill out a census. I suspect that there are tens of thousands of Canadians who received the “long-form” census and were so pissed off at the intrusion on their privacy that they deliberatlly screwed with the anwsers rather than risk a big fine, or jail. So the results of the long form census were bogus to begin with. That’s why, although a voluntary response policy, while not normally as statistically accurate as a random sample….will in fact, in this case, likely show a more accurate snap-shot of the Canadian population picture.