Census Night was a Serious Disappointment

On the 9th of August I was about to do duty when I realized that I had lost track of the letter with the log in number. I kept my head thinking "why panic? in earlier days I would have been just as likely to decide not to fill it in coz they wanted personal information like my name address and signature".

Mellow and savvy me went to Google to find the 'fix' and learned that I had until September to fill it in and I could get my log in number by ringing the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and they would SMS me the number. I was also advised that it was best to wait a day or two after the TH to avoid the heavy load of callers. 

This morning, nth August, I made a cup of tea and sat outside where I met a neighbor who had lent me a couple of books so I went inside to retrieve them and lo and behold there was the big envelope with a census form and a log in number. Back at the pc I enthusiastically logged into the ABS website only to learn that the site was down and to try again in 15 minutes. Back with the neighbors I told them what happened and learned that there had been extensive problems with the online option and not to worry I had until September. I knew this but wanted to get it done in case it slipped my mind just like the envelope with the form.

I filled it out in hard copy and am going to post it when I finish here and go out. No big deal. This is where the mellow me gets the boot from the disappointed me who wanted to do my census on line. Even in my hardcore militant youth I was a strong supporter of the census and found out why when I was studying for a Nursing Diploma why.

The census is a vital part of civilized society. Without it how can society meet its obligations relating to health, welfare, housing, economic planning, immigration and a range of similar areas. There is also the no less important issue of how the country looks internationally. 

I seriously wonder if the government we have is even concerned about these things. If this level of failure is what we get for a fifth yearly census then what do we get from the government in those areas which depend on the census to plan and function? Something like what we are getting with the National Broadband Network (NBN)? A letter in the mail telling me to ring my ISP and sort out a new modem etc only to be told it could be 18 months yet before I need to be concerned.

This not a clever country. A clever country wouldn't tolerate such a degree of failure and misinformation from its government and its employees. This is a dumb country run by a poorly funded public service employing people who can't find a real job. Those thousands of sad individuals who have freely decided to hand over their lives in return for nothing more than a paycheck with super as the carrot and poverty as the stick. For no other reason than to feed their kids, which has some degree of respectability, or more commonly to buy the substitute whatever it happens to be. This is not smart. It lacks imagination, initiative and courage which are, in the end, what gives us civilization in the first place.