posted by coyote
So, even when faced with near-universal opposition, and even when the Chief Statistician quits in protest, the government has no problem trashing the mandatory census long form: "It's intrusive!!!! We're pandering to our loony fringe base, dammit!!!!"
So we coyotes will try to explain the issue in terms that make sense to the would-be defenders of this move, WHO ALWAYS SEEM TO FULL-CAP THEIR (OFTEN FURIOUSLY UNGRAMMATIC AND ANONYMOUS) FORUM COMMENTS: the lug nuts on that cherished Chevrolet half ton you use to earn your living.
Suppose your neighbourhood garage guys - call 'em Steve and Tony - say outta the blue that they want to replace all your lug nuts with Dodge lugs, because they think Chevy is arbitrary and intrusive for insisting on Chev lug nuts. Hell (they reason), Dodge lugs look pretty much the same, so no problem, right? Oh, and? Steve and Tony can pump gas, but neither's ever worked as a mechanic.
Would ya buy that, Durango? Nope. Because you, lug nut connoisseur that you are, know that Chev and Dodge lugs have different diameters, thread pitches and chamfers. Assuming they even sorta fit, those babies are gonna strip out, or leave wheel slop. Your wheels will come off, someplace inconvenient and possibly fatal.
There are a bunch of trucky things you could customize that, arguably, wouldn't wreck the ol' Silverado's utility: running boards, exhaust stacks, a big pair of them fine-looking chrome bull balls hanging off the trailer hitch. Dodge lug nuts, not so much.
Now, assume your pickup is a census. (It's a metaphor, Durango. Work with it.) See, reliable census information is Canada's business edge. Lotsa smart people rely on it to make sure the country as a whole can earn its living more efficiently. As every civilized country in the world aspires to.
A mandatory long form is intrusive, but a small price to pay for citizenship in this country you claim to love so much. Much like obeying stop signs at intersections. We work co-operatively toward common goals, unlike, say, those anarchists you hated so much at the G20. To do anything else is to court rump of skunk, and madness.
A voluntary long form is pretty much like Dodge lug nuts on your Chevy - doesn't match. Reading statistical trends properly makes tracking changes accurately over time really important. Even if you label the data you collect by the same name, changing the method you use to collect it means that you can't reasonably compare it with, well, anything that came before. The wheels come off. Just like that Chevy.
Now, I'm only a dumb coyote, so here are my questions: why would you trust an ill-fitting lug nut named Steve to change that? Why does Steve think some lug nuts are more equal than others? And why, if Steve keeps saying his opponents are unpatriotic and unCanadian, is it always him that seems hell-bent on changing this country, lug nut by lug nut, into something unrecognizable...?