Some controversy exists about the accuracy of the Census 2011 conclusions.
Criticism we have heard is that the census process was inadequate, with some folk claiming they were not included in the process. So how can the results be accurate? And then we have two ‘brains trusts’, one independent and critical, the other not so independent and basically supportive, with apposing views on the veracity of the results. See the M&G report on the controversy and the Daily Maverick’s take on the same processes and results.
From the Direct Democracy Forum’s perspective, we don’t yet have a statistical resource we can rely on to help us form an opinion but our instinct tends to side with the sceptics who, in a confidential report, argued for their scepticism.
Our criticism and our scepticism is based on a sense that the census process was not what it should have been, basically it was not all-inclusive and transparent, and a slightly paranoid expectation that census results can often reflect the reality expected or hoped for or even al la carte, sort of numbers on demand, rather than the reality that is. In short, we have a suspicion that census results are often skewed and used as a political tool to justify the otherwise unjustifiable. This sense is reinforced by decisions to limit access to raw data and results to a select few, all-be-they experts of one or other persuasion, and that critical reports are treated as confidential, in part or in whole, and otherwise discarded as irrelevant. So, what is it they are hiding from the hoi polloi?
A DDF administration would make the process all inclusive, more open and 100% transparent, and establish alternative analytical processes and results that may be compared and debated publicly, for all to see. These numbers may seem to be as dry as dust and irrelevant, but but they are very, very relevant. Lives even depend on their interpretation and the policies which flow from the results. The DDF believe the process and the results should be 100% transparent. Ignorance is the enemy of the many and only a friend to the few.
The buck stops at the ballot box.