tormwind’s national census has been happening for a week. The Census started on Monday 28th of June, but fear not, you still have until Sunday 11th of July to do your civic duty! At the Lion’s Roar we already did our duty, not just by filling out the forms and answering the questions, but also by keeping a close eye on the entire process to make sure this was not used as an excuse to register individuals through it, and of course also with this article. An article which hopefully will make you a little bit less worried about the whole thing. We will give you our experience, describe the process, other people’s experience and try to find out why people volunteered to help, and a ton of other information you might need.

What is a Census?

But what is a Census? Well, in the words of the main force behind the census, Dame Bridget Halliday: “A Census is a headcount of a population, which is designed to gather information on how the population of the Kingdom is structured based on the information that we gather.” With this information the Court hope to better understand the needs and problems of the citizens and try to actively solve those issues and needs, based on the data collected. If the census shows there is too few farmers to support the Kingdom, then perhaps new laws can be made with the aim of encouraging more people to take up farming, or the opposite. It is giving The Royal Court data they can use to look at inner workings of the Kingdom and adjust their politics to reach goals they may have. Now, you might want to help the Kingdom of course, but you are unsure or worried about what questions they might ask you. It is important to clarify the Census is completely anonymous, they do collect some personal information like your age or marital status, but it is important to collect some demographic data to be able to know if there might be a need of more schools, if there is a problem in birth rate that might lead to problems in the future, or any other number of things. If a problem is identified, adjustments can be made, and – hopefully – we all benefit. It is important to clarify that it is anonymous, but only to an extent. You can all try guess how many thirty-four-year-old Kul Tiran Journalists lives in the Golden Keg. But for most people any such information is not unique enough to identify people. If you do have unique identifiers like the above - totally made-up example – then you may want to consider if partaking in the Census will make you feel uncomfortable or vulnerable.

The Process

The whole process is very simple and ordered. You show up at the Census place, you get a stamp on your arm so you can only partake once – in theory anyway – since the stamp does not last as long as the whole Census does, then you could in theory partake more than once, but since this is not an election then I don’t know if anyone would actually benefit from going through the trouble of doing so. Once you had your stamp you are let inside and get to queue. They only let a few people in at a time so privacy and safety are observed while the whole thing is going on. Sadly as with anything bureaucratic then you might need to wait in line for some minutes, but that is really the worst part. After that a clerk will ask you some basic questions, apart from those mentioned already, also others like race, birthplace, residence, religious believes, if you have any title and if you reside permanently in the Kingdom. Then you will be given a form that you have to fill on your own, questions here relate to previous military service, of course you’ll skip many questions if you never did it, current employment status, education, health, and so on. Once done you just need to give it to the Court official on your way out and that is all. The whole process does not take more than 20 to 30 minutes, but it can have a big impact in our future.

What do people think?

After we were done, we wanted to ask other about why they came and their opinions, as the Census is anonymous, we of course gave the people we asked the same courtesy, so most are anonymous.
Anonymous citizen: “Everyone I know came, so I didn’t want to be the odd one.”
Katriona Hollenburg: “I came today because a Census is well overdue, dear. The last one I attended was at -least- a decade or more ago. It is a very important aspect of our life that makes sure that our taxes, which we provide for our hard work, are going to the people that need it most. It was a pain-free experience, dear. The clerks and security individuals are all very friendly. Now, I did have a short wait, which is tough on the knees, but I made conversation with others that I never would have met, and we made a good time of the short wait. It is very much an efficient process, dear. As someone who lives alone, and doesn't see many people very often, this was a terrific social excursion as much as it was a civil obligation.”
Anonymous citizen: “Because it’s my duty as a citizen to help the Crown to organise the Kingdom and to help citizens. A shame that this duty was not seen on the same way for everyone, including one of the guards on duty that was absolutely rude and looked like he was enjoying mistreating the people that appeared for the Census.”
Anonymous citizen: “At first, I really didn’t want to come, I don’t like being asked questions. But in the end, I was convinced of the importance of doing it, because if we don’t even bother to answer some questions to make the kingdom better, then what can we expect? After doing it I’m happy to say it was better than I expected, especially since questions are anonymous and not much of a bother really. I think they balanced well between getting the information they need and not bothering citizens much. The only bad part is waiting and that one of the guards at the door in Lakeshire was rather rude, even more when compared with the rest of the people that were really nice and kind.”
But this Census would not be possible without all the people involved. Not just organising it at the Royal Court or the various companies supplying security, but also those that volunteer to ask the questions, answer citizens questions, and guide them through the process. We wanted to know why they decided to use their time for this: Peter Jan Langedjik: “My motivation to partake was sparked when dame Halliday first promoted it in the Royal Court. I found myself agreeing with the idea as I think it’s a great way of giving people a voice. A feeling they matter. So, when she asked for volunteers, I didn’t even think twice. As a former guard and as the company accountant I am no stranger to paperwork and thus I joined the clerking staff.” Brienne Langedjik: “Well, I’m already quite interested in politics since Hardhy did the rally to support William Forge and the People’s Forum, at least that’s when we all started to go to the Court meetings every Monday and every week the politics fire started to ignite a bit more. So, when Dame Halliday talked about the Census and was looking for volunteers, I gladly decided to join the ranks of those. Throughout the meetings before already, I could get a good glimpse into the work behind all of this. We already helped with the announcements before and now with the Census moving around the Kingdom, you have a chance to meet so many interesting and different people, like living in Stormwind sometimes makes you lose track of how many people actually live here.” Aerion Galliard: "Let's see... The reason I volunteered is mainly the same reason as Peter and Brie. There were no second thoughts, no regrets. I think I speak for the three of us when I say this; We're commoners, we don't have positions in high places, we're simple Privateers, sailors. Yet we do what we can to help the people. Maybe become the chain that connects the higher ups to those of us down here, I dunno. We want to help the people, and by volunteering for the census, we're doing exactly that...- And we're showin' that ya' can't have things handed to you. You have to work to help make a difference." They told us their experience was generally good, with people being very polite and kind to them even after the wait. There was, however, something that surprised them and that we also consider important: Peter Jan Langedjik: “The thing that stands out to me is that the people who come to partake all have one thing in common. They tend to come across as surprised that the Court is showing interest in the surrounding lands” Brienne Langedjik: “Aye it was already like this when we handed out the leaflets to promote the census, people in Duskwood didn't even believed us that we're doing this in the name of the royal court.” But there’s also space for humour, as some people even flirted with them, as Mrs. Langedjik told us, some wondered if the marital status question was real or for more personal purposes and Mister Galliard seemed to have received a good number of compliments and even some gifts. If you have not participated yet, then here is a list of the remaining days and locations, opening time is 21:00 bells: Tuesday 6th of July: Westfall – Moonbrook Guards Camp Thursday 8th of July Stormwind City – Stormwind City Hall Friday 9th of July Stormwind City – Stormwind City Hall Sunday 11th of July Stormwind City – Stormwind City Hall