Census Revisit17 September 2010
The following commentaries are from Canadian Public Policy, and represent thoughts about why the mandatory long form census is important to our country. Good decisions are based on good information, without a source of reliable and trustworthy statistics decision-takers are likely to shop around for information/statistics that suit their position. Having an independent, reliable and trustworthy statistics agency enables all parties to a decision to make their case in an equally informed context. Without symmetrical information, a market system becomes less efficient and probably less equitable.
The Politics of the Census: Lessons from Abroad
The Importance of the Long Form Census to Canada (more statistic discussion, but important information)
The Value of the Long Form Canadian Census for Long Term National and International Research
2B or Not 2B? What Should Have Happened with the Canadian Long Form Census? What Should Happen Now? (possible mitigation of risk in voluntary long form. I like the idea of having a mandatory sign-off for people who choose not to fill out the voluntary questionnaire, thus forcing them to accept that they are not helping society as a whole through lack of time, lack of care or any other reason)
I would argue that if you are scared to tell the government how many bedrooms are in your house then you have a misunderstanding of what the government we have in Canada.
Also, I would venture that a minister such as former Minister of Industry Jim Prentice would not have allowed this to happen. I have faith that there are some in the current government who can and would stand up against the arguments advanced against the census.