May 11, 2016

Cognitive dissonance: Why don't Bill C-51 opponents hate the census, too?

Karsten ErzingerRebel Blogger

Yesterday, May 10, was Census Day, the deadline for the completion of the 2016 Canadian census. This year marks the reintroduction of the mandatory long form census, which was made voluntary by the Harper government in 2010. Failure to complete the census could lead you to be fined, imprisoned or both.

This move has been celebrated by many in the mainstream media and on social media, with numerous triumphant cries hailing the return to “evidence based policies.”

This struck me as odd. Since when did giving the government personal and private information become cool? In the age of Snowden, the NSA, and Bill C-51, isn’t handing over piles of information to the government something we’re supposed to protest and be scared of?

Bill C-51 was an overhaul of Canada’s anti-terrorism laws and was met with vehement opposition.

One of the biggest criticisms of C-51 had to do with privacy concerns. Opponents feared the prospect of the government collecting personal data like their internet browsing history or travel habits, and sharing it between different departments of government.

Yet many of these same individuals welcome the return of the long form census. What could possibly explain this apparent contradiction?

The easy explanation is partisan bias. Bill C-51 was a product of the “evil, anti-democratic” Conservative government led by Stephen Harper who is either “Hitler, like Hitler, or worse than Hitler” depending on which Harper-hater you asked.

However, the return of the mandatory census was, of course, the product of the “enlightened, data-loving, evidence-based-policy, quantum-computing expert” Justin Trudeau’s government. I guess as long as the government has a friendly face leading it, its collection of personal and private information is perfectly acceptable.

This cognitive dissonance brings to mind government plans to ban menthol cigarettes, in order to keep them out of the hands of children, while simultaneously working to legalize marijuana…. in order to keep it out of the hands of children. It seems that sound and consistent logic is too much to ask for in government policy.

Cognitive dissonance, inconsistency, and disingenuousness in public policy debates, regardless of which political camp it emanates from, is aggravating to say the least; it would be nice to see less of it in the future.

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commented 2016-05-12 22:51:43 -0400
A few of you here seem to be misinformed about a few things. I just worked a very intense week and a half delivering census forms to farmers. The ratio of long forms to short forms is 1 in 4, or in other words every fourth survey is a long form, nation wide. Here in the sticks nobody gets home delivery of mail, so every form has to be hand delivered by temporary Statscan employees like myself and about 4 thousand other good Canadian citizens. I will be going around to all the people in my area who didn’t respond and asking them to comply in the next couple of weeks. BTW, I get time and mileage (thank you taxpayers!). Now, I had to hand a long form to a few dozen unhappy Canadians. Nobody had a good thing to say about it, the best response was an angry glare and the worst was a strong hint of where I could shove that oversized envelope. So, Jay, sorry, first hand experience here, not a lot of Canadians are “happy” with the return of it. And the whole argument is silly, as per Peter’s point that all the Liberals did was bring back the penalty for not filling out the long form. That is the truth, you know. Harper didn’t get rid of anything other than the penalty, the long form was still there and some Canadians were happy to fill it out willingly. But hey, if the Liberal party says it in it’s propaganda, then it must be true!
commented 2016-05-12 22:40:06 -0400
John S.: your ramble has one big flaw in it, one that so many liberals have. It’s the misconception that the be-all and end-all of any administration is job creation. The more jobs the government can point to as having created, the better that government’s report card (and re-electability) is. That’s just not true, not all the time. It is if the government is Liberal, I guess. But the real test is business creation, because that not only takes former job seekers off the job seeking market, it creates completely new jobs. If all you care about is more jobs for Canadians, I guess you should vote Liberal. Hell, if all you care about is creation of government jobs, vote NDP. If you care about getting Canadians working, vote Conservative.
commented 2016-05-12 22:02:48 -0400
Privacy has been an issue since the census was brought in. It has always been an issue. What, you blame that on Harper too?

C-51 would affect far less individuals, I doubt C-51 would have targeted people for no reason. I don’t expect the gov. has that kind of time to waste, or I didn’t until boy Trudeau got in. Now I see the potential for abuse with renewed eyes.
But it is strange the leftie nutbars are willing to hand over all their personal information to the government yet opposed C-51. Someone said one in ten Canadians are handed the long form census. That is a lot of personal files started every 5 years, some new, some with new information to add to an existing file. Personal files on a huge number of Canadians.
The long form census is much more intrusive than the C-51 if C-51 were used as it was meant to be.
commented 2016-05-12 19:53:28 -0400
Except that Bill C-51 and the long form census really have nothing to do with each other. The issue of privacy in the long form census is really odd considering that the long form census has been in existence for decades, and yet privacy was never an issue until the Conservative government under Harper used it as a reason to scrap it.
commented 2016-05-12 14:59:03 -0400
Oh dear look at those Younge St. welfare cases in the video. Eek those are disturbing people. And super dumb
commented 2016-05-12 13:02:27 -0400
Good point Dr Genius. I should have said “foreign investors” maybe? Do you think they need to understand the security of the investment? Does an economy with a debt of ~$17,500 per every Canadian and rising need to validate to foreign money that the money will be repaid with interest over the many years to come? What is the current annual interest payment on the debt we currently owe Dr Genius? With a name like that you must know.
commented 2016-05-12 12:03:27 -0400
Peter, exactly.
Maryann, U.S.-based Lockheed Martin provides services to the Canadian government to analyze census data. Why, is a good question I don’t have the answer for.
commented 2016-05-12 11:46:04 -0400
like i said….come get me !!!!!!!!!!WHAT A JOKE
commented 2016-05-12 11:37:52 -0400
There is a misunderstanding about what Harper did to the long form census among many people, especially those opposed to Harper.

Harper did NOT do away with the long form census!

All Harper did was to remove the penalty for not filling it out.

All the Liberals have done is to make it illegal to not fill it out.

The Liberals believe that forcing people to fill out the form will produce accurate results.

The Conservatives believe that allowing people to voluntarily fill out the census will produce more accurate results.

Common sense and logic clearly indicate the Conservative are correct and the Liberals are idiots.
commented 2016-05-12 11:36:51 -0400
Jay O «They use the census to validate the security for the billions in loans from the IMF (show all those that will be enslaved to pay the loan back).»

I don’t know what you’re talking about. Canada is a donor to the IMF, not a borrower. You might want to learn a little more about macroeconomics from some source other than a conspiracy blog.
commented 2016-05-12 11:31:08 -0400
commented 2016-05-12 11:28:02 -0400
commented 2016-05-12 11:06:02 -0400
When a person gets a loan at the bank some sort of security is needed. Usually some sort of asset is given and records of employment are shown to validate the loan can be payed back. Same thing for the government of Canada. They use the census to validate the security for the billions in loans from the IMF (show all those that will be enslaved to pay the loan back). No one should complete the census so we don’t bury the next generation with debt.
commented 2016-05-12 11:00:24 -0400
commented 2016-05-12 10:59:52 -0400
Nice to see Marissa again even if only in a replay =)
commented 2016-05-12 10:58:14 -0400
I have the long form,still sitting on the table….got a reminder in the mail ( recycled it ) !! When the government starts making MY mortgage payments,then they can know how much it is !!!!I AM NOT FILLING IT OUT,APPARENTLY (not sure but…. )THIS INFO IS THEN HANDED TO AN AMERICAN COMPANY ????JUSTIN ( CANADIAN BLOOD ON HIS HANDS ) TRUDEAU……YOU CAN GFYS !!!!
commented 2016-05-12 10:10:11 -0400
“Which is why Canada needs mechanisms and independent officers of parliament to truly conduct these measures and to take the power out of the hands of the political parties”, John, yeah that will work well. Not.

I understand the government needs some information for an efficient distribution of services however I object to some of the questions as I see them of no real value in organizing services and more of a personal info grab on individuals. They are compiling files on people. I don’t like it. Its intrusive, unnecessarily intrusive and I fail to see how some of those questions facilitate anything. It is an intrusion of my Charter Rights. If someone wants to know if I’m sleeping with someone,how many rooms in my house or, how much I would estimate my property is worth, or any of the other personal questions they ask, they had better be my mother so I can tell them to go jump in the lake.
Why do they need to know who answers those questions, if the questions are answered, a name tied to them should be irrelevant.
commented 2016-05-12 04:50:07 -0400
But this story does go into a deeper debate which is why do Conservatives only support pet issues such as this?

To be a loyal Conservative you have to buy the nonsense much like the Liberals and the NDP. The fact is the Conservative party wants control on law and order, the environment for energy projects, sending people overseas. It seems to me that the Conservatives are very selective in their libertarianism when in fact they do not believe in libertarianism at all because much of their policies are globalist, social conservative and libertarianism is used as a campaign marker rather than being in the forefront. The Liberals with their marijuana issue have shown that the Conservative party is in the past on such a pro-libertarian stance which the Libertarian party would be deeply in support of. The Conservative party for the most part is not even for decriminalization or any recreational drugs.

It seems to me that the social conservative wing of the party wants law and order to be the main focus of the party with foreign policy being the second and tax cuts being the third with energy with a focus only on oil issues. With that narrow-minded focus, it appears that the Conservative party is very much a partisan party which is stuck in its ways and does not even want a middle ground on any of these issues and the issue at hand is really about balance rather than the right wing conservatism which does not want moderation at all.

That is truly what this debate should be about rather than control which all parties if you think about it have their own segments of control when Lilley is being disingenuous about control on other issues which I would say the energy issues matter even more to people’s lives than just the census. Harper and his party when they were in power ignored the natives and just wanted to ram through the pipelines when there should be consultation. I am by no means a massively pro-environmentalist, but I believe in balance for most issues.
commented 2016-05-12 04:40:43 -0400
For services to run correctly, I think it is vital to have a long-form census. The Harper regime got rid of the census in a reckless, ideological and partisan manner. They do not care in the Conservative party about legitimate and reasonable science to build a unifying and a society where we can have the services that we enjoy and a society where we know exactly who is unemployed and who the most vulnerable truly are.

I can understand why the Conservative party may want to not have ways of finding out where people truly stand and using accurate data because they want to end the “Social Contract”, which is something that people should be aware of. The Conservative party is a populist right wing party. They will only give their supporters red meat bait to satisfy them and to hell with the consequences, but for a society to run well we need balance and we need real policies that can help the people in the middle and the bottom first and foremost.

Conservative supporters also do not realize that people that are poor for the most part did not end up there by their choosing. They ended up there because Canada does not make anything anymore. People think that hard work guarantees that you will end up at the top. Well, no it does not. People all the time work hard and play by the rules. There are not enough jobs to go around. You look at people applying for jobs nowadays there are tons of people just applying for a single job. When governments show unemployment numbers they never take into account those that have fallen off the unemployment benefits and those that have stopped looking for work. This is a phenomenon which successive Liberal and Conservative governments have used to make employment numbers seem a lot better. Even the 1.3 million jobs done by the Conservatives is pretty suspect because that was not verified.

Which is why Canada needs mechanisms and independent officers of parliament to truly conduct these measures and to take the power out of the hands of the political parties so that they can be kept accountable and transparent as they claim to be doing, which anyone that has watched parliament knows exactly that the three major parties only care about power and not about accountability, transparency and openness. That is why Canadians need for services to be run well a census and other mechanisms as well.
commented 2016-05-12 02:55:21 -0400
Colin, actually it is fairly simple. When the question asks “What is your sex?” the answer is “male” or “female”.

Do not suppose that it is more complicated. The census is very well formulated.
commented 2016-05-12 02:39:04 -0400
I noticed the picture next to the story is of someone answering “Female” to the question “What is this person’s sex?”. This would necessitate a long form just to list all the gender options the SJW’s think there are. Will CBC be doing a story on how unfair it is or humiliating it was for some snowflake to have to choose between just male and female?
commented 2016-05-12 02:35:48 -0400
My four neighbours and I got the short form. Those who got the long-form: I hope you fill it out honestly.
commented 2016-05-12 02:00:56 -0400
Yes I got the long form and what’s more my neighbour got the long form. How random is that? Were the questions fair? Kidding right? They couldn’t have been more intrusive. What part of ‘as far as I’m concerned its an infringement of my rights to privacy from the government ’ don’t you understand Jay boy.
commented 2016-05-12 01:53:48 -0400
Drew, please fill out the form honestly and accurately. That is what most people do.

No-one has ever been put in prison for not filling out the census. The hope is that Canadian citizens will fill out the census truthfully because they want to be heard and they want accurate information to be available.
commented 2016-05-12 01:47:28 -0400
Jay Kelly i hate the form, and who the hell are they to jail me for not filling it out? I will lie my ass off. And as usual you miss the point of the story.
commented 2016-05-12 01:23:40 -0400
Liza, did you get the long-form? Only one in ten got the long form. The rest of us got a three page survey asking where we were born and if we speak English and French.

How did you like the questions? Were they fair?
commented 2016-05-11 23:46:11 -0400
I was just so happy to give over even more personal information to my government under the pretext of a better governing effort, transfer payments et al. Personal, medical,financial, assets, estimated sale price of property, rooms in your house, reno’s, how you get to work, where you work, who you live with and what your relationship is, education, whereabouts last year and 5 years ago, skin colour.
If the census were truly confidential you wouldn’t have to give over identifying information. I would gladly give them accurate, indepth information if it were truly confidential, as in my name and exact local excluded. I wouldn’t mind being identified as a citizen of area x, but that is all the identifying info they should ask for. As it stands it is an infringement of my rights to privacy from government.
commented 2016-05-11 22:53:17 -0400
Those rotten Liberals protested like crazy about Bill C-51, yet they are militant towards anybody who is against having their privacy invaded.

Liberals are for one thing and one thing only. and that is their Liberal Party.

Liberals put their Party ahead of their country, or even their ideals, on every occasion, without exception.

Yes, I think that is the best way to put it.
commented 2016-05-11 22:48:41 -0400
speak for yourself kelly not others
commented 2016-05-11 22:05:04 -0400
I suspect that Canadians are happy about the return of the full census for two reasons:

1) they know that accurate information about the population is important. How many people actually live in this town? Do they speak French or English at home? etc.

2) People want their own voice heard. I am living “common-law”, or, “the first language I learned was…” etc.

For this sort of basic information people want to be counted in. Everybody knows that no-one has actually been thrown in prison for refusing to answer. A mandatory census gives us the facts.

From the old detective show: “just the facts, Ma’am, just the facts.”