Oh. Wait. Their census kerfuffle.
The Republican National Committee’s new attack on the US Census is so nakedly transparent that you almost want to avert your eyes.
The charge is being led by Teabaggers, you know, those intellectual giants who believe that Barack Obama is Muslim and not US-born.
Back here at home, not surprisingly, Canadian marketers are opposed to making the long-form census voluntary.
But somewhat surprisingly, the pres of the Canadian Marketing Association states that the census is less intrusive than other methods of information gathering -- and he'd know about other methods, wouldn't he?
Also, in an open letter written to Minister Clement, whose department is responsible for Statistics Canada, CMA president and ceo John Gustavson pointed out that “With respect to the suggestion that the long form is intrusive, this information enables marketers to reach consumers more effectively and reduce considerably the amount of communication an individual receives.”
“I would therefore respectfully suggest that the long form census does, in fact, limit intrusion into individuals' lives by reducing irrelevant marketing and market surveys that would otherwise be sent to consumers,” said Gustavson.
The article also quotes Jan Kestle of Environics, who notes the damage poor data does to business competitiveness.
“It is ironic that, in these challenging economic times, a decision that is ostensibly being made for the good of Canadians may very well have a severe impact on the competitiveness of Canadian businesses,” Kestle added. “Consumer marketers have invested significant resources during the past 15 years to tailor marketing to smaller and smaller segments; one-to-one marketing is on everyone’s agenda. Consumers expect products and services to be tailored to their needs. This decision will make it harder for businesses to meet the needs of the increasingly complex and discriminating consumer marketplace.”
So, when you're arguing with friends and co-workers or on-line strangers who want to scrap the long-form census, these are a couple of more arrows to your quiver.
Or you could just call them ignorant Canadian Teabaggers.
I think I'm going with the latter from now on.
To wit: Former BC deputy health minister Lawrie McFarlane: The census is torture.
“It's almost like the argument for water boarding: if you water board enough people, they will tell you something,” Mr. McFarlane said.
This is the best the ReformaTories could come up with?
BONUS: (same Globe link) Some Calgary talkshow host named Dave Rutherford was confused:
"I agree with the democratic process in this country ... and because I participate in democracy, I am here,” he said. “But other than that, I don’t know why I am here.”