Horrors: Voluntary census stats found to have “significant errors”

Steven Chase of the Globe and Mail tries to flip around the point that a study showing voluntary census information is inaccurate compared to one that is mandatory.

Chase lamely attempts to square all the media and special interest groups’ moaning and groaning on how great and correct the Census is and how Canada will fall apart without it.

“If the [long-form] questionnaire had been a voluntary survey in 2006, the picture of the population of Canada that would have emerged seems to be different for sub groups of the population based on citizenship, visible minority, language and education,” the report said. (see here)

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9 Responses to “Horrors: Voluntary census stats found to have “significant errors””

  1. Richard Says:

    “But when the Statscan study simulated the results of a voluntary 2006 long-form – which reflect the lower response rates expected in optional surveys – it got a markedly different answer.”

    … and the rules used for the simulation was based on whose opinions?

    • Ardvark Says:

      Yup and there is more:

      pg 5 “These conclusions are based on assumptions that can’t be verified for now and based on studies with known limitations.”

  2. Powell Lucas Says:

    How does this idiot know that a voluntary census is any less accurate than a coercive one? When was the last time the census was voluntary to act as a comparison? Why is it that all lefties seem to think that only government enforced activities are valid?

  3. Frances Says:

    So it is better to have a lot of compulsory but incorrect data than less voluntary but correct data!! To all these groups who feel they need to be intrusive in my life: first, prove TO MY SATISFACTION exactly why you need all this data and what you will do with it; and, second, pay me for the time it will take to collect said data.

  4. Dave Says:

    Something that appears to be overlooked by those who oppose the mandatory long form:
    – the long form is only required by a small number of randomly selected people
    – (re: Powell Lucas) the science of statistical methods demonstrates that a random selection provides a more accurate result than self selection
    – (re: Frances) if you opt to not complete a long form, then you are not represented in the snapshot of Canadian culture (e.g. if you have a conservative viewpoint, you will not be represented, which skews the results) Government policy, budget spending and a great deal of research is based on the results of the national census.
    – the chief statistician of Canada is a conservative person. When he resigned after being told to say an optional long form would not skew the data…I became concerned.

    There seems to be a lot of radical talk and name-calling on this site. I thought conservatism is “the disposition to preserve or restore what is established and traditional and to limit change.” Since when did politics of the right mean being rude?

    • BC Blue Says:

      There are many different definitions of political conservatism. You might want to go back and look some more up.

    • Frances Says:

      Dave – my mother was one of the unfortunate few. Given she was 90+ and legally blind, I got to fill the durn thing out. It was not fun!! We also found it very intrusive. Should I ever get stuck with that form again, I’m not going to waste very much time worrying about the accuracy of my answers.

      Quite frankly, just how does knowing how many bedrooms I have in my house (and, in our place, the definition of ‘bedroom’ could most certainly matter) help anyone except possibly real estate agents? Also, since I don’t think my answers on many of the items would markedly differ from those of my more ‘liberal’ neighbours, my absence wouldn’t be overly noticed.

      Quite apart from the intrusive nature of the long form, I would really REALLY like to know just who’s relying on the data. I understand it takes a couple of years for the data to shake out, so you’re already seriously out of date. Our city takes its own census to determine how many and of what age reside where. Income level – CRA gives neighbourhood stats yearly. Dave, it’s intrusive and time-consuming, and I would seriously need to be convinced of its value other than providing make-work projects for bureaucrats and special-interest groups.

  5. Don from BC Says:

    Of course, this article now totally justifies the unwarranted and unnecessary violation of my privacy through the mandatory long form.

  6. L Says:

    Now that I truly understand how Statistics Canada is abusing the census data by selling or giving it to special interest groups, I feel less inclined to help them. These groups are abusing the long-form census to justify lobby efforts to take my money and giving it to their causes.

    I now think I no longer wish to support Statistics Canada in their efforts to promote socialism, even if this was not their intention. The abuse was created by Ivan Fellegi, who created an empire to learn everything, and then tried to NOT release the census data to the Archives of Canada. He ruined the 1906 census by making it not mandatory to release the results for historical purposes. As a result, he ruined the census anyway.

    Ivan Fellegi created this mess, so his data will suffer, as he abused our tax dollars and then wanted to withhold information for history. You will note that he was the first one out of the block decrying the demise of his empire, well before the resignation of his successor. The analyses of the sub-group census data provided by Stats Canada were quite thin, also, and somewhat biased towards socialism.

    If I get the long form, I now feel free to leave out information about my financial means, which did make me feel VERY uncomfortable.


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