Stoplights: Safety? Or vehicular tyranny?

If you can make an issue out of the Census, you can make an issue out of anything.  But in the Season of Dumb all things are possible:

The Tories’ indulgence in this melodrama shows we have more cause to worry about the ninny state than the nanny state.

Indeed.  And what’s next on the Ninny State agenda?

Phone Books:  Convenience?  Or naming names?  (Ma Bell:  Agent of the State?)

Food Inspection:  Health?  Or an infringement on your right to host the parasites of your choice?

I doubt it’s a coincidence that the Harper government went full-metal Freedom Fighter on the Census just a few days after presiding over an event of such spectacular  police-state thuggery (whoa, that’s a 7 out of 10 on the Hyperbole Scale) that it threatens to bring left and right together in outrage… whoops!  That most certainly wasn’t in the playbook.  I can just picture the horrified CPC strategists:  “Quick!  We need a Wedge Issue, and it can’t involve fetuses or boys kissing!

I’m not wild about being listed on any useless government databases (*cough*long gun registry*cough*) but even I have to admit that Census information serves a useful purpose even if some of the questions sound a little weird:

A case in point: the long form does not ask if your home has loose tiles or defective steps. It asks if it needs repairs (useful data when government is budgeting millions for renovation tax credits) and merely gives tiles and steps as examples of minor repairs (as opposed to major items like plumbing and wiring).

There’s no shortage of genuine examples of government over-reach, like say, oh, I don’t know, G20 policing.  Falling apart over this kind of dumbness is exactly what they want.

19 Responses to “Stoplights: Safety? Or vehicular tyranny?”


  1. 1 Bruce Friday, July 30, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    They’re trying to pass this off as one of those issues that reaches the very core of conservative values, the whole invasion privacy routine. Harper doesn’t give a shit about that, he needs information.

    Unfortunately for Stats Can, the information they provide tends to refute many conservative ideologies. They’re just simply not giving out the information Harper wants, and needs, to forge ahead with his “vision of Canada”.

    It’s message control, like he’s never done that before.

  2. 2 Torontonian Friday, July 30, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    I wonder just how much of Harper’s policies in various
    areas of life were the product of census tract data?
    The home renovation tax credit is a telling example.
    Just how many more of them are there. Is Harper
    trying to reduce the amount of data on file so
    as to hamstring his successor?

    Shades of Mike Harris and Ernie Eves all over again.

    O/T Glad you’re back and I hope you’re enjoying
    the summer.

  3. 3 Calgal Friday, July 30, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    It’s interesting that the one question that is proposed being tossed out is question 33, which asks how much time is spent by household members on unpaid work. I think this is an important question as women traditionally have done most of the unpaid work and the trend is an indicator of the status of gender equality in Canada. Unless of course you don’t care and don’t want to know because you think women should be doing most of the unpaid work anyway. Hmmm.

  4. 4 AlisonS Friday, July 30, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Calgal, good point about unpaid work. I’m with those who think Harpie deliberately wants useless data for ideological reasons, both to be able to defund programs he doesn’t like, and to avoid statistics which contradict his pet projects.

    I will not fill out any voluntary form as it is a waste of time. The information will be skewed and totally useless and I would advise returning it unfilled, noting only that it will be filled out when it is mandatory.

    The census is very important and I have received and filled out a long form in the past, and would do so again, but only if the results are meaningful.

    Oh, and Harpie just seems to love wasting tax payers’ money. How’s that fiscally conservative thing workin’ out for ya, Stevie?

  5. 5 JJ Sunday, August 1, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Hi Brucie!♥

    Unfortunately for Stats Can, the information they provide tends to refute many conservative ideologies. They’re just simply not giving out the information Harper wants, and needs, to forge ahead with his “vision of Canada”.

    That’s true == StatsCan sometimes reveals information that would otherwise not come to light, poverty levels etc.

    The weird thing about this decision is, if the census is voluntary, who will be most likely to participate? This could come back to bite Harper in the ass.

  6. 6 JJ Sunday, August 1, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Torontonian – I’m sure a lot of policy is based on StatsCan data — the renovation tax credit is a good example. It also explains some of the weird-sounding questions about the condition of the home, the number of bedrooms, etc.

    Is Harper trying to reduce the amount of data on file so as to hamstring his successor?

    :shock: I never thought of that.

    But I think it’s more likely that in the wake of the G20 the Harper gov’t wanted to create a wedge issue without treading into any dangerous territory. I’m sure they’ve been watching politics south of the border even more than we do, which is no doubt where they go the idea.

    EDIT:

    O/T Glad you’re back and I hope you’re enjoying
    the summer.

    Thanks, but I am only semi-back… I’m working on getting a new blog up & running, and then I’ll be totally back. Obviously I haven’t been working very hard on it, probably because I’m enjoying the summer ;)

  7. 7 JJ Sunday, August 1, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Calgal

    I think this is an important question as women traditionally have done most of the unpaid work and the trend is an indicator of the status of gender equality in Canada.

    I’m not sure that would be the case in households where women choose to stay home and do the homemaker thing, but maybe in double-income households.

  8. 8 JJ Sunday, August 1, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Alison

    I will not fill out any voluntary form as it is a waste of time.

    As it stands now the census is basically voluntary anyway, since nobody has ever been fined or jailed for not filling it out (to my knowledge). The threat of legal sanction is kind of toothless, but I can definitely see why it’s offensive to some. They should keep the long form, maybe revise some of the questions, and dispense with the empty threats.

  9. 9 Willy Monday, August 2, 2010 at 4:00 am

    Let me be the first to welcome you to Progressive Bloggers. You’re joining a group of sometimes like minded bloggers:)

  10. 10 JJ Monday, August 2, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Willy :lol: Oh nooo! :lol:

    Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

  11. 11 Bruce Monday, August 2, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    I thought you were on Prog Blogs before because I swear I used to vote for you on there sometimes. Then you stopped showing up and I wondered if you were ever a member at all and I just made it up. It can take so little to mess with my mind…

  12. 12 JJ Monday, August 2, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Bruce – I was :lol:

    Then you stopped showing up

    No longer one of the Kool Kids, I guess.

    I had a temper tantrum a couple of weeks ago and quit in a Fit Of Pique (ahhh, I’ve always wanted to use that expression). Scott asked me why and gave me some time to think it over, and then I changed my mind. After all, if my posts aren’t being seen there anyway, what’s the point of quitting? ;) Hardly makes for a good flounce :P

  13. 13 deBeauxOs Monday, August 2, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    The problem with doing anything in a Fit Of Pique is that it makes your ass look big.

    Ask Stevie Grudgiepants.

  14. 14 Bruce Monday, August 2, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    You’re always cool. I’m spending a lot of time trying to re-work my own site because I feel I’m less relevant all the time.

    I’m not a professional writer and I can’t pretend to be, but that was never the point. I’m just a dude with a blog that the world kind of allowed me to have.

    It gets more sophisticated all the time and we have actually had to grow with it, but occasional snits should be allowed. If, as individuals, we can’t be who we are online, then we don’t have a life worth living.

    That really is how this whole thing started out.

  15. 15 southern quebec Tuesday, August 3, 2010 at 1:10 am

    “If, as individuals, we can’t be who we are online, then we don’t have a life worth living”

    That’s when you join the CPOC and let them do yer thinkin’ for ya! *snicker* *snicker*

  16. 16 JJ Tuesday, August 3, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    deBeauxOs

    The problem with doing anything in a Fit Of Pique is that it makes your ass look big.

    :shock: I just checked — still a size 8. It may take several consecutive fits of pique to accomplish significant ass-embiggening.

  17. 17 JJ Tuesday, August 3, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Bruce

    You’re always cool

    And you’re always ♥ sweet ♥

    It gets more sophisticated all the time and we have actually had to grow with it, but occasional snits should be allowed. If, as individuals, we can’t be who we are online, then we don’t have a life worth living.

    Well-said. You are someone who gets it.

  18. 18 JJ Tuesday, August 3, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    SQ – What I find fascinating about the CPOC and its strategies is how similar they are becoming to the GOP south of the border, with dumb wedge issues etc. In any other time, with an effective opposition, it wouldn’t work.

  19. 19 Bleatmop Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    JJ – “effective opposition”

    What’s that?


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