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Way to keep your composure Stephen-- WOW that guy was a dick.

The real issue is that without reliable census data every nonsense claim the Fraser Institute makes would degenerate into a he said she said debate rather than than being disproved directly after someone checked their data and data collection method. Worse, the conservatives could justify just about every nonsense policy they could think up using those same Frazer studies, studies that are solicited by the conservative government itself. All those "think" tanks for hire benefit directly from eliminating the mandatory census.... I wish you would have brought that up, but it would have sounded too partisan.

Regardless, this is worth the fight.... keep it up!!!

Niels: [The Fraser Institute] surveys every single Canadian doctor, asks them how long Canadians are waiting for care. We get a 30% response rate, and we're able to estimate how long people are waiting for care.

Stephen: How do you know you got the right answer if you only got 30%?

Niels: Excuse me?

Stephen: How do you know you have the right answer if you only have a 30% response rate?

Niels: We have every doctor in Canada that we send a survey to, and get a 30% response rate.

Stephen: How do you know you have a random sample?

Niels: Again, we send it to every single---

Stephen: Right, but only 30% respond.

Niels: That's right!

The next sound you hear is my head exploding.

Can this 'gentleman' be any more disingenuous? I refuse to believe he's downright clueless -- a considerably more likely explanation is that he knows full well what the problem is, but he is banking on the fact that most people listening will not. Disgraceful.


Your point is basically that the reliability of the results demands mandatory participation.

For the sake of argument, lets grant that. Are you also contending that the value of every question demands mandatory participation?

Because the justification that "the results will be compromised otherwise" includes no upper-bound -- it is equally fit to justify a 5,000 page census form mailed to every Canadian citizen compelling them to detail every possession and experience from childhood.

I can put that better:

Arguing from the confidence of the results, even if perfectly right, admits no possibility of a question too trivial, insulting, or invasive to compel a person to answer.

Stephen discussed that in the podcast - there is, in fact, a process to ensure that questions that are 'too trivial, insulting, or invasive' do not appear on the census.


Quisnam constituo?

Certainly not me by this logic. It hardly helps if someone else decides for me what is too invasive or timewasting, since their subjective valuation of my privacy and my time versus their curiosity at the answer to any individual question is entirely beyond my control.

It treats these questions as if they were objectively so: "This question is not invasive." As if that assertion had the same quality as pointing at a blue sky and saying, "The sky is not yellow."

There is no (and can never be) such objectivity. There is no single definition of privacy where one can say, with moral truth at their back, "This question is not invasive and anyone who claims that it is is a bald liar."

Without such a thing -- which simply cannot exist -- we are back to the question. Who decides?

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