Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The reviews are in

Dan Gardner compares the Cons' feigned concern over the long form census with their complete lack of interest in actual privacy issues surrounding financial reporting:
(L)et's compare and contrast:

One mandatory reporting system is extremely intrusive and burdensome. The privacy commissioner has expressed serious concerns about this system. And there is no evidence it delivers significant social benefit.

Another mandatory reporting system requires some people to spend a few minutes filling out a form once every five years at no cost to them. The privacy commissioner has not expressed concern about this system. And there is voluminous evidence that it delivers enormous social benefit -- indeed, that it is essential to public policy, social science, and business.

The government is scrapping the second system. But it fully supports the first.

Isn't that odd? I can only see two possible explanations.

One, those highly principled Conservatives had no idea what the financial reporting system actually entails. This column will shock them into action and the whole thing will be junked forthwith. Expect an announcement by Friday.

If there is no such announcement, we will be left with Explanation Two: The government's highly principled stand against mandatory reporting is nothing but a post-facto rationalization of a decision made for a different reason.

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