Comment 44144

By Mark D Hughes (anonymous) | Posted July 27, 2010 at 20:00:12

A Modest Proposal - for the census

If all the talking heads, editorialists and statistics boffins are correct and the census long-form information is vital to the domestic tranquility of our great country then I say the long form census should be imposed of on 100% of the population. And for those who refuse to comply...well, we should give them a second chance and if they still don't comply then we should kick-em-out of the country ...forget about jail time or fines. After all, like the income tax, it is a "condition" of living in Canada, part of the social compact that were magically sign at birth. Indeed, as many commentators have reminded us, complying with the census it is our civic duty. We simply don't want openly anti-state/social compact nuts running around questioning the authority and good sense of politicians and life-long bureaucrats.

And while we are at it, lets collect some really useful information. None of this "what time do you leave for work?" silliness. I think out first question should be about blood type and DNA. To be sure, one of the most pressing problems in Canada today is the shocking lack of potential organ/bone marrow donors. (Well, there really isn't a lack of them--there are after all some 34 million of us--we just lack the means to hunt them down and compel their cooperation). If we had a good searchable cross-referenced blood type/DNA database it would make public policy on organ donning so much more efficient. But wait, what about all that privacy nonsense? No fear, all that delicate private information will be aggregated by the good boffins at Statistics Canada. Unfortunately, this anonymizing will, admittedly, complicate any hunt for doner matches. However, being able to narrow down our hunt for suitable donors to regions or, better still postal codes, will make our national organ-donor policy so much better than it is today. And better organ-donor policy is such a vital component of or national health care identity. Quite literally, unless we can collect this important policy-making information, we are dooming our great country to the fate of a rudderless oil tanker in the St.Laurence.

You simply have to wonder about the motivations of any politician or government who is unwilling to demand national blood type/DNA database. In my considered opinion, I think they simply hate people who need organ transplants.

Mark D. Hughes
Executive Director
Institute for the Study of Privacy Issues (ISPI)

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