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Australian Census: A Vote For Jedi Is A Vote For Jim Wallace

It’s expected that around 30 per cent of us will complete the Census online tonight, up from 10 per cent in 2006. And while it may be funny to enter Jedi or even Pastafarian as your faith if you’re not particularly religious, you should know that your stat won’t count, and that results are used by groups like the Australian Christian Lobby as an example of how many Australians share their viewpoint (whatever that may be).

That’s fine for representing religion (I’ve no probs with God), but not so much when it’s used as a platform to attack video games and try to cancel R18+, for example. Around 55,000 Australians said they were Jedi in 2006 — that’s a lot of wasted representative data.

The Atheist Foundation of Australia is also encouraging people to select “no religion” if you’re personally not particularly religious, despite any family background.

For its part, the Australian Bureau of Statistics simply encourages you to “answer truthfully as it relates to you so decision makers can plan education, hospitals and aged care funding decisions.”

You have until September 5 to fill out the census, but it needs to be based on a snapshot of where you were on the night of August 9. As with voting, there are fines if you forget to participate, even if you’re travelling.

In the meantime, ABS has a cool infographic generator based on your own stats, complete with a fun narration by Shaun Micallef. [ABS]