Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New Ipsos-Reid Poll: 3-pt Conservative Lead (down three)

Starving as we are for polling data, Ipsos-Reid has come along with a very interesting poll. It shows the Conservatives down, the Liberals up, and the gap between them within the margin of error.Compared to Ipsos-Reid's last poll taken between July 6 and 8, the Conservatives have dropped one point and now stand at 34%. The Liberals are up two to 31% while the New Democrats are unchanged at 15%.

The Bloc Québécois is down two to 9% and the Greens are down one to 9% as well.

The Conservatives lead among males with 37% to the Liberals' 31%, but among females the race is tied 31-31. And while Conservatives lead among those aged 35 or older, the Liberals are ahead among those aged 34 or younger. They just need to vote.

Things are mostly unchanged in Ontario, where the Conservatives lead with 36% and the Liberals follow with 35%. Both of those results are no different than a month ago. But the NDP is up three points to 16%.

The Bloc has slipped in Quebec, dropping seven points to 38%. That is still a big lead over the Liberals who are at 24% (down two). The Conservatives and NDP are both up one to 16% and 12%, respectively.

The Conservatives are stable at 38% in British Columbia, while the Liberals are up seven points to 33%. The NDP is down four to 20% and the Greens are down three to 8%. This contradicts some of the other polling we've seen, showing the race in BC to be between the Tories and the NDP.

The Liberals lead in Atlantic Canada with 42% (where the NDP has jumped six points) and the Conservatives lead in Alberta with 62% and the Prairies with 43%. There has been some movement in that latter region, as the Tories are down eight and the Liberals are up 17 to an unlikely 38%.

The Conservatives win 68 seats in the West and North, 47 in Ontario, 6 in Quebec, and 7 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 128. They need to be doing better out East and in Quebec if they want to get closer to 2008's result.

The Liberals win 22 seats in the West and North, 45 in Ontario, 15 in Quebec, and 22 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 104. The Liberals can't expect to take home 38% and seven seats in the Prairies, so they need to increase their support in Ontario.

The Bloc wins 52 seats in Quebec.

The NDP wins 5 seats in the West, 14 in Ontario, 2 in Quebec, and 3 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 24. Their results in British Columbia and the Prairies are disastrous.

This poll adds fuel to the fire in terms of the narrative of Liberal gains at the expense of the Tories. The census issue won't go away, and as Jeffrey Simpson writes today it isn't so much about the census itself but rather how the Conservatives have handled it and their reasoning behind it that is the problem. Michael Ignatieff has been getting relatively good coverage and it is likely the media is paying far more attention to him in the regional newspapers where he visits.

But the Conservatives still lead, and it will be easier for the Conservatives to hold on to enough votes to keep them in power than it will be for Ignatieff to bring people who haven't voted Liberal since 2004 back into the fold. Numbers like these will give the Opposition a little more bargaining power in the next session of Parliament, but the Prime Minister still has control. It doesn't help that few polls benefit all opposition parties equally, meaning that one or more of them could falter if push comes to shove.

46 comments:

  1. Every other poll for months now have shown a tight race in BC between the NDP and the Conservatives. I find these results highly suspect in that regard. Otherwise no real surprises.

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  2. Éric,

    No question this Prime Minister will earnestly try to use his favourite technique -- divide and rule against the opposition parties.

    It would be nice after almost five years if the opposition could finally get their act together and turf his government.

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  3. What it does show Eric is a continuing slow slide by the Tories.

    This is a pollster who usually has the CPC up above all others so this could be more significant.

    Read the Jeff Simpson piece, well done.

    There is a definite turn in sentiment re Tories. Whether this in an election will hold is hard to say.

    Similarly will NDP support hold up or shift to the Liberals to get rid of Harpo?

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  4. The NDP vote is not likely to be very accessible to the Liberals. The NDP has the money and organization and incumbents to hold its vote and probably add to it - plus the NDP vote (contrary to the stereotypes you can get from spending too much time in downtown Toronto) is very blue collar and likely to find Count Ignatieff almost as much of a turn-off as Harper. The Liberals need to win back all those "doctor's wives" who voted Green in 2008 and also get Liberals who stayed home in '08 to actually show up.

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  5. That Jeffrey Simpson article is a little much.

    How is a 1 point, within the MOE, drop in CPC support attributable to the census ?

    How on earth does it provide evidence that Canadians care all that much about the issue ?

    Annecdotal evidence from multiple pollsters and media reporters is that people DO NOT care about this issue at all.

    Sometimes it would be nice if pollsters would poll the following:

    "How much do you care about this issue ?"


    Simpson's two predictions are:

    Long form census will return
    CPC voters are gone for good

    I'd say reverse the two and you got an article.

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  6. This census issue may well be hurting the Tories (though it shows just how well things are going in Canada when the census in the thing people are up in arms about), but this doesn't annoy me nearly as much as some other political errors they have made.

    At least this time they're paying a political price for good policy, as opposed to paying a political price for something that doesn't matter, or a careless remark, or even bad policy.

    Since I don't anticipate an election any time soon, I'm not concerned.

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  7. If there is any accuracy to this poll I find it unlikely that the NDP would want to rush to the polls. 15% means the loss of a lot seats for the them , twelve to be exact.

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  8. Shadow,

    "I'd say reverse the two and you've got an article."

    Of course you'd say that. ;)


    Obviously the results in the Praries are wacky, but I'm not so sure about the BC ones. I'm not usually one to go against the grain on something like this, but there's been a lot of good press lately for Iggy, and all he needs to do is power ahead in Vancouver.

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  9. I think Simpson has point. What Harper, is doing Ira and Shadow is sowing the seeds of doubt in moderate CPC supporters like AJR and myself. Right now I'm a voter looking for a party. I don't want the LPOC to win, but nor do I want a Harper majority anymore. If you think getting rid of the compulsory census is good policy then you and I are not supporters of the same Conservative Party. Harper is the problem. Plain and simple and if the CPC is to go further in polls it will be with a new leader, likely someone not currently in caucus.

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  10. Earl - You like using the threat of legal force to compel people to answer questions?

    In any event, I'm not a supporter of a party. I'm a supporter of good policy, and eliminating the mandatory census (indeed, a government-run census at all) is exactly that.

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  11. Earl since the party split in two its been demonstrated quite clearly at the polls that the reform wing has far, far greater electoral success than the PC wing.

    The idea that Harper, who has increased the seat count for three elections in a row now, is somehow a weak or unsuccessful party leader is laughable.


    BTW - If AJR79 and yourself do NOT support a voluntary long form then all your talk about getting the government out of people's lives so they can smoke dope, see hookers, and gamble away their money now sounds stunningly hypocritical.

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  12. Earl this might interest you:

    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/tories-rebound-after-mid-summer-slump-hold-six-point-lead-poll--100365904.html

    Harper has a 6 point lead. And this is from HD which is usually quite cruel to the party.

    Oh and this:

    http://thechronicleherald.ca/Canada/1196123.html

    Turns out Kevin Page was wrong, Jim Flaherty was right, and Canada doesn't have a structural deficit after all.

    Those tax increases you were begging for last spring are completely unnecessary.

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  13. For the record I don't really care about the census issue. I think it was foolishly done, and poorly explained, but I might have even been inclined to defend the move if I felt that the government were moving in a more libertarian direction.

    They are not. These new police powers are the line that has been crossed, and the reason I will likely vote for a goofy write-in, in the the next federal election.

    I'll not be waiting for the Liberals to come up with sound fiscal policy. I mean c'mon.

    Neither can I in good conscience vote for a party who will be making my country less safe, less free, and more broke.

    They are going the wrong way, and I'm getting off the bus.

    Ira, I haven't seen you comment on this issue. Have you seen the Corcoran article, that has got me all hot and bothered?

    I'd be interested in your opinion.

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  14. There are some things in the crime agenda that I could get behind: manditory minimums for violent or gun crimes, getting rid of 2-for-1, making pardons more difficut to get for serious criminals.

    I wasn't big on 6 months for 6 pot plants, but at least it was passed thru parliament. I would've swallowed it.

    This lastest move, being passed only by cabinet, without parliament even in session disgusts me so badly I can't get over it. If there is a fall election the CPC will not have my vote, or support.

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  15. I'm not sure I would go quite so far to say Page was wrong. Growth was just way better than anybody predicted. Besides anyone who remembers Jim as Ontario finance minister know they should be highly suspect of his numbers.

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  16. AJR79 you're not making a lot of sense.

    You think the government might be right on a policy issue but now you don't really because you think they're wrong on a separate policy issue ?

    Oh but you really don't care about the census issue at all so it doesn't matter.

    As for the Corcoran article, everyone will just have to agree to disagree.

    The law applies only to gangs and is going to be used against the large scale distribution of drugs, the trafficking of women, and gambling money being used to fund crime. It will NOT apply to individuals because the legal standard is a proven involvement in a gang.


    BTW - How do you justify not voting for the Conservatives when you know the outcome will be to help elect parties who will make the country far less safe, far less free, and far more broke.

    Shouldn't you strive for the outcome that represents the lesser evil ?

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  17. Shadow: Annecdotal evidence from multiple pollsters and media reporters is that people DO NOT care about [the long form census] issue at all.

    As long as our evidence is anecdotal, everybody I've discussed the matter with is greatly bothered by this move. Most of them aren't Greens.

    Also anecdotally, it appears that the census flap has driven Tony Clement underground.

    The Minister of Photo Bombing usually gladhands the annual Port Sydney Regatta on the August Civic Holiday weekend. This year he was conspicuously absent. Pity; a number of people wanted a word with him.

    A reasonable interpretation is that he doesn't want to answer reality-based questions on the census. He may believe that he's bought Parry Sound--Muskoka for the next election. If so, his best strategy until then is to minimize uncontrolled public access.

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  18. Shadow,

    I'm saying that I'm not going to be a cheerleader for an inconsequential libertarian issue, while other civil liberties are trampled on left and right.

    I could be persuaded to get rid of the long-form, or census altogether.

    You may tolerate these kind of backroom changes to police powers from your government, that's your choice.
    I won't tolerate it from mine.

    I'm glad you have such faith that these powers will be used wisely. I hope that is so. I know that the CPC will have to reverse on this to get me back. That's an unlikely prospect.

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  19. Good article AJR79. reminds me of this one from MP Dr.Keith Martin.
    Keith Martin

    And Shadow how can you say the CPC will make us anymore safe, more free and more wealthly? Crime rates when the Liberals were in power fell. The Conservatives a restricting our Access to Information Even the CPC said they cut the GST because it was visible everyday and they were shocked to find that people didn't realize how much the Liberals cut taxes. If Harper was in charge instead of the Liberals our banking system would have crashed with the Americans. Harper was against Martin putting in the regulations that saved the industry here.

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  20. Morakon nobody is ever "right" in the sense of being dead on when doing projections.

    Flaherty predicted higher growth then Page. Page conducted a media campaign against him. The media sided with Page. There's a lot of crow to go around and yes, a lot of people who were "wrong" by the standards of projections (which is being less right then everyone else).

    Flaherty was only finance minister of Ontario for a little over a year.

    What was "fishy" about his numbers during that time period ?


    Hey John. What circles do you travel in ?

    I'm not suggesting there aren't any Canadians anywhere who don't like this issue.

    It just seems to be limited to a certain set of people who use statistics in their work.

    Would you agree that 1/3 of Canadians probably don't know what a long form census is ?

    And that 1/2 of Canadians probably don't understand what it means when someone tells them a voluntary census introduces the challenge of a self selection bias in the sample ?

    Its a pretty wonky issue. Not something the average guy on the street is going to get up in arms about.

    I honestly down anyone in Uncle Tony's riding is all that concerned about it. He probably missed the event for some other reason.

    Try twittering him and ask why.

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  21. Morakon crime rates have fallen while the CPC has been in power too.

    Although they are still WAY, WAY up from when stats began being taken in the 1960's. Like by a factor of 2 or 3. So anyone who suggests crime rates are not an issue because they've marginally declined doesn't understand stats.

    I just happen to think the CPC has a better plan to tackle the issue.


    As for our banking system the Liberals didn't really do anything to it at all.

    They prevented some mergers in the 90's. But banks big and small failed in the US. Size wasn't a relevent factor at all in the collapse.

    The tough work on creating the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions was done by the Mulroney government.

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  22. Shadow:

    "Those tax increases you were begging for last spring are completely unnecessary."

    I've never called for tax increases although they may still be necessary. You've got the wrong guy there. I also posted the news that we were one year ahead on the deficit front a couple of weeks ago as proof that the government's economic policies are working.

    I'm ticked off over the census which I think produces valuable information. A voluntary long form census is as useful as an online poll. It has no break down provincially, economically by, gender or race. Totally useless.

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  23. I agree with Earl's reasoned analysis, that it is Stephen Harper, that is the problem with the CPC.

    The CPC, has gone as far as they can go with Harper, at the helm.

    He is a turn off to people who would otherwise like to vote for the CPC, but will not under any circumstance vote for the Conservatives with Harper, as the leader.

    It is painfully obvious that Harper, is not a Progressive Conservative, but rather a far right Reform party, whack job.

    He is now at the point that even he realizes that he will never garner a majority, and he is trying to inflict as much damage as he can on Canadian institutions before he is through.

    Hence the battle with Statistics Canada.

    Stephen Harper, has a well chronicled history of having disdain for Canada, and it's values.

    Other's on here laud his tremendous accomplishments, and it would be nice if they could pull their head out of their ass for a change, and tell the truth about the Harper, record.

    Harper, has blown the fiscal framework of the nation, and he is also wiping out eight years of debt repayment with his fiscal recklessness.

    I almost swear he did it on purpose, so as to weaken the finances to such a degree, that it gives him an excuse to take an axe to all the social programs he hated.

    While at the NCC, Harper is on record as being against our universal health care, and the single payer system. He also called for the elimination of the Canada, health act.

    The NCC, was originally formed by insurance men in opposition to universal, single payer health care.

    The $10 billion expenditure for prisons is asinine. Crime in Canada, is falling and that includes violent crime.

    Stockwell Day, let the cat out of the bag when he admitted that he didn't care, they want to focus on punishment, and retribution, and fill these prisons with our poorest citizens, minorities and the mentally unstable.

    The closing of the prison farms was an unconscionable act, and just proves once again that Harper, is cruel cold and calculating.

    Harper, is beneath contempt, and is completely unfit to govern this great nation.

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  24. In my circles (905 area of the GTA) Harper is pretty much detested. Conservatives are mumbling nonsense when asked about the party leader and freely admitting that harper has blown it with several important issues.
    We have a choice in this Country. We allow an ideologically driven government of the few to drive our societal norms to their mind control ideals and fiscal insanity or we stand up and be counted. Lets make sure the Tories know we are standing up to be counted as beng opposed to them. There are 70%or more of us against him and his policies.

    Support the federalist opposition party of your choice with both your voting intention and money. Financial support from the ideological hard right types are what keeps the Harper thugs going in the direction they do.

    Support for an opposition party that can make a difference is urgently needed. One way to ensure Harper is given the boot is to support the main opposition party in the next election. We need to stand united against these facists.

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  25. "It is painfully obvious that Harper, is not a Progressive Conservative"

    People say that all the time, but the fact is that some of the most rightwing ideologues in the Harper gov't have solid PROGRESSIVE conservative pedigrees - like Clement, Flaherty, Baird, Nicholson etc... not to mention how life-long PROGRESSIVE Conservative Mike Harris brought in muvch more damaging extreme rightwing policies than Harper ever did.

    BTW: So called "red Tory" Brian Mulroney - tried to cancel the entire census in 1986 - but backed down after the big business lobby complained.

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  26. Left Hand -

    In BC, the Tories polled 38% in this Ipsos poll and also have 37% in today's HD poll.

    Again, the NDP polled 20% in this Ipsos poll and also have 20% in today's HD poll.

    That said, all of these sub-samples are basically useless without a minimum 300 sample size and even then they are suspicious. Give me an 800 sample size poll in BC from either AR or Mustel and you will have an accurate snapshot.

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  27. Earl - You like using the threat of legal force to compel people to answer questions?
    You mean the short form census, which continues to have the threat of jail for non compliance?

    I'm sure the "this is not like that" argument of short vs. long census will be as amusing as the one for the short gun registry (good) and long gun registry (bad).

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  28. Earl I distinctly remember you were of the belief that tax increases AND spending cuts would indeed be necessary to balance the budget when Flaherty brought in his budget earlier this year.

    Other interesting bit of economic news.

    Turns out we didn't lose any jobs last month:

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Implausible+stats+skew+July+employment+report/3379812/story.html

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  29. Shadow: Hey John. What circles do you travel in ?

    By and large, people who think. People who believe in evidence-based policy.

    Yes, this places me poles apart from Clement. I had an epiphany about his political style when I spoke to him a couple of years ago. When he came out with a truly fatuous, unsupportable position he got VERY EMOTIONAL. If what you say is fundamentally wrong, emote; it sways a certain class of voter who mistake strength of feeling for strength of argument. If your target insists on thinking, bail and go trolling for the next sucker.

    My circles aren't that sucker. I hear outrage in conversations with a Toronto research doctor, a senior Calgary oilman and an Ottawa high tech exec for starters. I'm driven to conclude that any support for the government census move comes from people who don't--or won't--understand the issue.

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  30. AJR - I agree entirely with you on the drug laws and this government's approach to criminal justice. This is the sort of bad politics that annoys me, because it's also bad policy.

    liberal supporter - Oh, they're exactly the same. I don't approve of the mandatory short-form census, either. Having any census data collected by a central government agency does not serve our interests.

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  31. We didn't have to wait long for Colby Cosh to chime in.

    Barb Kay has a well reasoned article about it as well (and more prisons).

    Perhaps the NP says it best, "Tough on crime, weak on logic."

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  32. Shadow your link doesn't work to the Gazatte doesn't work.

    I've said that tax increases may be needed in addition to spending cuts. I'll reserve judgement until I see where the cuts are made.

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  33. John I understand the census issue completely and I agree with the government's position.

    Yes data quality will be eroded. Although Clement says otherwise he knows it. He's just running political defence.

    At bottom the fundemental issue is whether you think the government should compel people, by threat of fines and jail, to answer detailed questions about their personal lives.


    I don't. Its morally wrong. Frankly its smacks of the worst kinds of 20th century governments.

    For you to suggest only the ignorant support the government's census position is extremely arrogant.

    One can disagree with your position without being illinformed.

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  34. Shadow: For you to suggest only the ignorant support the government's census position is extremely arrogant.

    I did not suggest that only the ignorant support the government's census position; that's clearly not true. One might add the unprincipled and the venal.

    The government has shown no signs of having performed any cost/benefit analysis. It's not the additional $30,000,000 that's the problem; it's the potential many, many millions that will be wasted by future government policies. It's hard to do the right thing when you have no idea what the right thing is.

    Occam's Razor says that this is the underlying motive in this whole exercise. If government is crippled by lack of information, evidence-based policies can't be justified, so less government is the result.

    Alternatively, less information available to policy makers and the public means that less ammunition is available to attack wrong-minded legislation. And let's face it, from supervised injection to global warming to law'n'order and on ad infinitum, the current government just doesn't do evidence.

    At bottom the fundemental issue is whether you think the government should compel people, by threat of fines and jail, to answer detailed questions about their personal lives.

    Most of us do this every year around April. Try skipping it next year and see what Revenue Canada says. Ditto for those of us with driver's licences, health cards and myriad other connections to the social web.

    Nobody has ever been sent to jail over the census. In fact, this is a classic example of the EMOTE VERY STRONGLY approach described above. It's a signal to the herd to disconnect brains and repeat the meme.

    By the way, one other category can legitimately support the government census initiative: the pure libertarian. However, anyone who is not condemning the recent law'n'order moves in the strongest possible terms is not such a libertarian; they're a fraud. Census privacy infringements are noise level by comparison.

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  35. Shadow: At bottom the fundemental issue is whether you think the government should compel people, by threat of fines and jail, to answer detailed questions about their personal lives.

    Oh, and if that's really the government's deep moral problem, Gilles Duceppe has an answer. Quite an elegant one in fact, which should even find support from the most extreme libertarians.

    It's not too late for Stephen Harper to change his mind if it's really the hypothetical jail time that's making him queasy.

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  36. John it hardly matters if nobody has ever been to jail or not. The THREAT exists and it is not a threat that a government should be making to free born citizens.


    And what is this silly notion that fines or other penalties like no passports are OK but we'll simply get rid of jail ?

    ANY punishment of ANY kind is unacceptable.


    Nor do I see how one needs to be a "pure libertarian" to oppose the long form census.

    Why this all or nothing, take it or leave it approach ?

    That's laughable.

    As if there is no middle ground between pure anarchy and complete communism.

    By your logic ANY IMPOSITION by the state is now acceptable because SOME IMPOSITION already takes place.

    The point you make that Canadians already sacrifice so much of their time and privacy to the government only bolsters my case.

    Too much is already given. No more. In fact lets roll it back some.

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  37. The point you make that Canadians already sacrifice so much of their time and privacy to the government only bolsters my case.

    It's called Duties Of Citizenship

    Get used to it ! Nobody gets a free ride !

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  38. Peter calling something a duty of citizenship is meaningless.

    It doesn't tell us if it is good or bad, right or wrong.

    For example, it is a "duty" of citizens in China to submit to censorship.

    Its been the "duty" of Jewish people to wear various marks identifying them at multiple points in history.


    Just because a government asks something of its citizens doesn't automatically make it good and right and forever more.

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  39. No more references to fascism or Nazis in this discussion.

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  40. Well I see you got that right from Dmitri !!

    Only place I can think of that could equate civic duty to what you said.

    I'm really disgusted at the level of whinge and purple rhetoric over a simple action on here. It's not an invasion of "privacy" at all as the identity of the providers is never released.

    What a bunch of libertarian malcontents !! "Sheesh !!

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  41. Peter calling something a duty of citizenship is meaningless.

    It doesn't tell us if it is good or bad, right or wrong.

    For example, it is a "duty" of citizens in China to submit to censorship
    . etc

    Still waiting to hear why the above argument only applies to the long census, but not the short.

    Why do you consider it ok to jail people if they do not complete the short census? Why does the searing rhetoric equating the long census to the actions of dictatorships not equally apply to the short census?

    Let me know if my inability to understand your comments is the problem here. Otherwise, explain why jailing people if they don't fill in the short census is ok.

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  42. Liberal Supporter it is not OK to jail people for not completing the short form either.

    Which is why the government today gave notice that it plans to introduce legislation to remove jail penalties from ALL census forms and surveys including the short form and agricultural census.

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  43. Liberal Supporter it is not OK to jail people for not completing the short form either.

    Which is why the government today gave notice that it plans to introduce legislation to remove jail penalties from ALL census forms and surveys including the short form and agricultural census
    .
    Yes, it looks like Clement is slowly climbing down.


    However, you did say:
    And what is this silly notion that fines or other penalties like no passports are OK but we'll simply get rid of jail ?

    ANY punishment of ANY kind is unacceptable
    .

    So again, let me ask the same question, minus the jail part, and including the fines part:

    Still waiting to hear why the above argument only applies to the long census, but not the short.

    Why do you consider it ok to fine people if they do not complete the short census? Why does the searing rhetoric equating the long census to the actions of dictatorships not equally apply to the short census?

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