Stephen Harper’s New BFF
From strategies on austerity to shutting down public discourse, Prime Minister Harper seems to have found a new BFF at the G8 meetings.
David Cameron’s new tough-as-nails coalition government is planning to scrap the Census in the U.K., which has been taken every 10 years for the past 200 years.Â It is viewed as “expensive and inefficient”.
Unlike Canada’s decision, this proposal won’t affect the 2011 Census, but the Brits have taken the idea another step: to use a combination of public and private information from other sources, like credit records.
As in Canada, the Census is theÂ backbone of decision-making for businesses and banks, public service providers, community-based organizations, public health and infrastructure planning, and allocations made by charitable organizations.Â It is also used for social science research which means that pesky questions like “how are people managing in the wake of the Great Recession?” or “how is the distribution of income changing for Canada’s racial minorities and Aboriginal populations?” can’t be answered with broad-based evidence.
But think of the efficiencies! Cut costs and dissent at the same time!
And in breaking news, just as I was typing this I received a message that Canada’s digital economy consultation has removed entries related to the Census from its front page, which notes what the hottest three topics are. Reinstating the Census was/is the second most popular thread on the site.Â You can still log on and comment til Tuesday.Â At least according to the rules this afternoon.