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.  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 the  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.  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.  You can still log on and comment til Tuesday.  At least according to the rules this afternoon.

2 comments

  • wow, there really is something happening here in the land of the neo-cons. this not some simple matter of costs, or for that matter privacy- it is by know coincidence that the UK is now embarking on this pathway as well.

    Like I said the census is the one true accurate and reliable measurable report card of the government. No report card, we revert back to hearsay and propaganda on how the economy is actually performing, in terms of the wider population.

    I guess it truly is all about business isn’t it, keep the businesses happy and everything else will be fine. Sadly, even this Harper and the rest of the Neo cons have not been able to pull off, so at least let us have our census.

    phrack- is this a whole new level of neo-con about to unfold? kind of a scary variety.

  • Control of information by stealth is essential to our continuing the farce of our living in an effective democracy while a dictatorship that favours corporate profit maximization, the protection of wealth and property of the rich and big corporate access to resources at the cost of our social, environmental, economic and political well-being. Yet another call for societal transformation that in reality enables authentic sustainability for all Creation. Unfortunately, we do not have a political party that offers us such a vision. We have to do it folks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.