West Germany: Counting Heads Or Sheep

Counting Heads Or Sheep

Most people regard a census as a minor nuisance. But in West Germany a national census scheduled to be completed on May 25 has become a cause for protest. The pro-environment Green Party, which won 8.3% of the vote in this winter's parliamentary elections, is leading a census-boycott movement under the slogan ONLY SHEEP ARE COUNTED.

West Germany has not had a census in 17 years, and officials insist they need current data for deciding such matters as tax allocation and the delineation of election districts. The census poses 33 questions, on topics ranging from a person's religious affiliation to whether...

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