Friday, July 16, 2010

The Long Form Census

Everyone seems to be talking about the long form, but I have a hunch not many people have actually read what's in it.

So here.

14 comments:

  1. totally intrusive and unnecessary. Thanks for posting it.

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  2. Yes. God knows what an evil statistician might do once they find out how many rooms are in your house. Get a grip.

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  3. God knows what an evil statistician might do once they find out how many rooms are in your house

    Innocuous, but still...It's still none of the government's business!

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  4. Get a grip.

    Tomm's just being ironic. It's a reflex with him: for instance, he routinely calls himself a "conservative".

    Heh. He's a real gas, that Tomm. ;)

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  5. Shiner,

    Right. I really like the idea of being threatened with imprisonment when I don't tell the government bureaucrats my ethnic origin, my job status, and the pecking order in my house. I know you are just as excited by the 1 in 5 chance to fill out this form for Harper's people to pour over.

    Our kind of country, for sure.

    Sir Francis,

    Good to see you're getting out and about this summer.

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  6. I know you are just as excited by the 1 in 5 chance to fill out this form for Harper's people to pour over.


    I'm not particularly worried, I think it's been made more than clear that new Conservatives have an incredible fear of numbers and evidence of any kind, so I doubt anyone on the Government side looks at the stuff. Wouldn't hurt you to learn that census data is reported in aggregate either, there's no fear of John Baird logging on to statscan to find out how many bedrooms this Shiner fellow has in his house (1).

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  7. Shiner,

    This is a Seinfeld issue.

    We can both make a case for either position. The effect of the change is infintisimal in cost and in result. If our country really needs an unbiased estimate of ethnic origin (or sexual orientation) in Mississauga and the long form census isn't there to provide it, well guess what, they can hire a polling company.

    I use to be a statistician, probably for 8 years or so. That is, multiple graduate level courses and jobs that were dominated by analytical projects that required statistical analysis and reporting. The professional statisticians have always seen the world in one dimension. Statistical robustness is always their defining element.

    You give them an un-biased sample (with multiple complex variables) from a population... and they won't leave their room for weeks. It is just their way.

    But it isn't necessary.

    A Conservative government is a soft liberatian government, and the long form census is certainly intrusive. Not only because some of the questions are over the top, but also because I can be jailed if I don't answer them.

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  8. The effect of the change is infintisimal in cost and in result. If our country really needs an unbiased estimate of ethnic origin (or sexual orientation) in Mississauga and the long form census isn't there to provide it, well guess what, they can hire a polling company.

    Sorry, having said the above, you were either never a statistician or just not a very good one. A voluntary census is of very limited use for getting an accurate demographic picture. If it was a matter of gender, fine, age, a stretch but maybe I'd give it to you, ethnicity, sorry, can't be done. Without the power to compel people to do a survey, a polling company cannot give you an accurate read on the ethnicity of a given population. Sample design is created based on the census profile, and when there's an issue preventing a perfect sample draw final data is weighted using census numbers.

    This debate has been going on for two weeks now, I wish people could keep up with the basic facts covered in hundreds of articles and statements.

    By that definition the regular census is also intrusive, as is jury duty or any other of a dozen obligations you have as a citizen. The only reason we're talking about this is because Dear Leader sent it down the ladder that all Good Conservatives should be against the long form census.

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  9. Shiner,

    If you know a statistician, give him my comments and ask for his opinion.

    Secondly, lose the LPC talking points. Be honest in your arguments.

    Thirdly, don't smear someone on innuendo. It makes you sound like Mark Holland, and I know you wouldn't want that.

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  10. I am a statistician and I can tell you that you're full of shit. I cannot get an accurate read on ethnicity from one of my polls. Aboriginals won't answer my surveys, neither will many Chinese or Indians, or dozens of other ethnicities. I rely on mandatory statscan surveys that these groups must respond to.

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  11. Shiner,

    So you are certain the material you get from Statscan is both golden and necessary...

    What sort of social engineering makes it important to know this stuff?

    And if it is so damned important, why can't you get it from voluntary surveys?

    The ethnic questions ARE intrusive and unnecessary. We are all Canadian's period.

    http://www.pugetsoundradio.com/cgi-bin/forum/Blah.pl?m-1277431455/.

    Link to a little quote from Wilfrid Laurier.

    With respect to my sexual orientation, or how many people are living in my house, I find that insulting. I thought we were past that as well.

    As a libertarian I am uncomfortable with the creeping web of linkages we all end up sharing.

    As someone who spent a lot of time working with statistics, if you are only able to work with un-biased samples, or those from pristine or mint datasets, I suggest you join the real world.

    First of all, ask yourself whether parametric statistics really represents the population you are working with, and when the answer comes back "no"; I suggest you start employing non-parametric methods. If you don't, get off your high horse.

    respectfully...

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  12. We are all Canadian's[sic] period.

    Except for the Québécois, who, thanks to your dear leader, are now "Québécois". But it's nice to see you get all sentimental about a country you rarely express much affection for.

    With respect to my sexual orientation...I find that insulting.

    Why not just be thankful that at least someone finds the question of some interest?

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