Guessing About the Silent Majority
Just a quick note on the continuing CensusGate.
It has been pointed out that the US actually experimented on a small scale with a voluntary census and abandoned the plan as it would produce worse data that would cost more to fix than the original mandatory census. But I guess trying out a major change in government policy with an experiment is a scientific approach which goes against Conservative party principles. I hope all those old Progressive Conservatives out there call out their new overlords for this abandonment of what used to be a fairly reasonable and scientific conservative consensus in this country. Sadly, I don’t expect much given the silence of conservatives over this government’s continuous disrespect for a logical, scientific approach to decision making. From the environment, to women’s health, to drug addiction to firearms the new Conservative party has no time for evidence, scientific arguments or thorough studies. Everything is done on gut instinct and emotion. Not that they aren’t very intelligent people who are thinking very hard about what they are doing. I think the Conservative party uses a lot of statistics and analysis behind the scenes, but only to determine which emotional buttons will create the right affects to get their party into power.
The Conservatives, of course, say they actually speak for most of us:
“We’re not there to please all special interest groups, we’re there for the silent majority of Canadians,” Conservative MP Maxime Bernier told The Canadian Press on Sunday.
“I’m sure that the big majority of Canadians understand that, and will agree with our decisions.”
Mr. Bernier said he had received 1,000 messages at the time from Canadians upset with the 2006 census. On Monday, he said on his blog that “these messages were obviously not filed for future use by my staff and were deleted.”
Ok, two thing. First of all, how would they know what the majority wants when their party got less than < 40% support in the last election? They can only speak for the narrow set of solid supporters they have, no more than 20-30% of the country with the rest of their support coming from weaknesses in their opponents and a lack of choices rather than any ideological agreement with them.
Second thing, those thousands of messages sure would be useful evidence for his argument, but he doesn’t have the data, this is great irony. But it’s also purposely misleading, most likely those complaints were from the organized campaign in 2006 to protest the use of a US defense contractor for data processing of the Canadian census. These people weren’t protesting the principle of a detailed census, they were protesting this data and money being funneled through Lockheed Martin. Which you could understand generating thousands of emails.