Sunday, January 20, 2013

Letter: Unfair move to influence Tobago voters

Elections are won on elections day! Tomorrow, the people of Tobago will be heading to the polls to determine which party will control will control the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) - The People's National Movement (PNM), the Platform for Truth or the Tobago Organization of the People (TOP).

The media influence elections and voting patterns all over the world, and this release by the Express should be no different. However, by publishing this poll today (Sunday), the Express is being dishonest with its readers by attempting to use unfair influence to try to swing the election.

This poll was conducted using a random sample of 108 people. With 46,607 electors registered to vote, this is less than ¼ of 1% of eligible electors! It averages 9 voters per polling district! Is this a valid representation of the eligible electorate?

Even if this poll were accurate when it was done some five weeks ago, it simply cannot be presented today with the stating that “The survey's conclusions are based on the assumption that voters' intentions will hold.” 

This is a big stretch. Indeed, the Express and the pollster seem to have deliberately ignored the fact that the releasing of any polling results is based on its timing. A poll represents a snapshot of an opinion at the time the poll is taken.

Politics in Trinidad and Tobago is fast paced. From December 12-15 (5 weeks to the day) when this poll was done, the political landscape of this campaign has been reshaped on several issues. 

By releasing this poll less than 24 hours before polling day some issues are on the agenda that were not known when the survey was done. Some of these are:
  • Hilton Sandy’s infamous racist Calcutta" statement
  • The self-government issue that the Prime Minister herself has now forced to centre stage
  • The Tobago’s economy and fiscal (mis)management of over $20 billion dollars by the PNM over the last 12 years
  • The collapse of Tobago’s tourism industry, which is the lifeblood of the island
  • The unanswered questions to about the THA’s role with the MILSHIRV land deal
  • The claim for the damages and compensation amounting to in excess of USD 30 Million (TTD 200 Million) against the State of Trinidad and Tobago or thereabouts by certain UK investors that arose out of the alleged unlawful/illegal action of the Tobago House of Assembly in not granting a Licence to them under the provision of the Financial Investment Act to acquire an 184-acre estate known as the Culloden estate in Tobago
It is indeed a disservice to the electorate of Tobago to have such a poll published today… too much has happened since this very small poll was done to make this type of judgment and prediction.
Capil Bissoon

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai