The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) has labelled a new poll as irresponsible propaganda because it failed to print all of the data including an alleged significant swing in favour of the DLP. The Poll printed in another section of the printed media on Sunday reportedly originated in the Faculty of Social Sciences, Cave Hill Campus under the name of the Cave Hill Associates Polling Organisation. Professor Ian Boxill functioned as polling director, Dr. George Belle as an analyst, and Dion Greenidge as data manager and had a sample of 1 220 enumerated voters. General Secretary of the DLP, Chris Sinckler, held a press conference yesterday morning stating that we knew for some time that this poll was being conducted. What we find interesting is that the information that is being withheld is far more significant and damaging to the Barbados Labour Party
Source: Barbados Elections
The just released Cave Hill Associates Polling Organization (Chapo)/Boxill poll has generated a lot of debate in Barbados, especially amongst the political pundits. Although Peter Wickham has ‘reluctantly’ agreed that competition is good in an area which was his sole preserve until the Chapo/Boxill poll, the BU household has some concerns.
We believe that the dissemination of information which is expertly packaged can have the effect of influencing public opinion.The science of polling has been introduced by the late Pat Emmanuel and refined by his protégée Peter Wickham. Despite what Peter Wickham’s detractors are saying his success rate of forecasting the outcome of elections in Barbados and in the region is a matter of public record.
The timing of the Chapo/Boxill poll has raised a question mark in our minds. Although we welcome more pollsters to the market, we question why the owners of the Chapo/Boxill poll would have allowed the Nation newspaper in its edition of 23 December 2007 to print only a snapshot report of the results. Dr.George Bell in a radio call-in offered the poor excuse that the owners of the Chappo/Boxill poll wanted to beat the Nation deadline. The response obviously disregarded the effect that incomplete information dumped in the public domain could have with a general election on the horizon. We are not experts in the science of polling but would it not have made more sense to have formatted the Chappo/Boxill poll to make it easy for the public to make a comparison to the last Peter Wickham CADRES poll?
The other issue which we have is the disturbing report reaching BU which questions the data collection method used by the Chapo/Boxill outfit. There is strong indication that the criteria used to identify some of the subjects who participated in the poll was not a true representation of ‘Barbadians’. In one case that we know of the subject lives outside of Barbados. Could we ask Dr. George Bell to publish the methodology which was used to collect data for the poll? Was the data collected using door to door, telephone, Internet etc?
The PEOPLE want to know!
We wonder why the Chapo/Boxill poll would have been published by the Nation newspaper with such urgency against the background that Chapo/Boxill outfit has no track record in Barbados. Dr.George Bell has himself admitted that the University of the West Indies needs to build expertise in the science of polling.