By now, anyone who is not living under a rock, knows that the decision to eliminate the long-census form has lobotomized the government and made public policy a mystical, maudlin, and moralistic guessing game rather than an objective evidence-based undertaking. Many compelling arguments regarding this sad outcome have been made and are firmly grasped by most.
To the few dissenters—who coincidentally already align themselves with the political right— I say this: if you are not going to oppose the census decision for statistical reasons, than do it to save conservatism! How is that possible? Well, it seems to me that the data debacle hurts Canadian conservatism in two very basic ways. First, the elimination of the form is an assault on the principle of individual responsibility. The government has effectively admitted that it is willing to capitulate to a group of citizens that find the census form burdensome. In so doing, the Conservatives have confessed to their belief that the public is too apathetic and too indolent to complete one of its very few and easy civic duties. [Read more...]