Question Mark Looms Over Chapo/Boxill Poll~Revisited

Question Mark

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.

109 thoughts on “Question Mark Looms Over Chapo/Boxill Poll~Revisited

  1. We keep hearing this argument about Parliament having been dissolved and there being no Prime Minister.

    Here is what he Constitution says:

    66. (1) The office of Prime Minister shall become vacant-
    (a) if he ceases to be a member of the House of Assembly for any reason other than a dissolution of Parliament;
    (b) when, after an election of members of the House of Assembly following any dissolution of Parliament and before that House first meets thereafter, the Prime
    Minister is informed by the Governor-General, acting in his discretion, that the Governor-General is about to re-appoint him as Prime Minister or appoint another person as Prime Minister;

    For Ministers:

    (3) The office of a Minister, other than the office of Prime Minister, shall become vacant-
    (a) upon the appointment or re-appointment of any person to the office of Prime Minister;
    (b) if his appointment to his office is revoked by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, by instrument under the Public
    Seal ;
    (c) if, for any reason other than a dissolution of Parliament, he ceases to be a member of the House of which he was a member at the date of his appointment as a Minister; or
    (d) if he is not a member of either House at the date of the first sitting of Parliament after a dissolution of Parliament.

  2. I wud like de BLP and dey supporters to stop littering my verandah wid dat ‘election record’ garbage.

  3. Hard Driver

    Your comments on the PM addressing the nation highlight the fact that uyou do not know anything about election broadcast. The incumbent government is allowed 3 broadcasts paid for by the state. The one that was delivered tonight was the last one for the BLP. The opposition is allowed 2. As they could not find time to do a second one or did not want to risk exposing one of their candidates other than Thompson to such a job they merely repeated the first one they did with thompson. How sad this was!!!

  4. The dlp appear to be ashamed of their manifesto. They have deleted it from their web site!!! check it out.

    I cannot even find the new youth manifesto.Can anyone help or are they too ashamed to reveal it to non dlp followers

  5. I made some PRO Blp, posts about a week ago to BFP and they were “awaiting moderation” and then they did not get posted that NEVER happened to me before but since the elections it happened, that was after they openly said they where voting DLP I was explaining why I could not etc., also what the gov’t was doing right and where they let me down, but why I still feel better with them All decent posts nothing rude, crude no name calling etc. Nothing to warrant not getting posted, since then I have noticed that only the very pro DLP stuff gets posted. I have not visited that blog in the last 4/5 days and do not intend to do so until after elections, and also not as frequently as I used too. Seems that if you don’t attack the gov’t then you are a gov’t lacky overthere.

    If I ever decide to post again on that blog is somethng I will have to give great thought too as well. For those posts to just disappear says a lot. For now I like it over here anyhow. Until………….

  6. anon // January 14, 2008 at 12:02 am

    The dlp appear to be ashamed of their manifesto. They have deleted it from their web site!!! check it out.
    I just checked and it is still there.

  7. GUEST COLUMN: No secret to polls
    Published on: 2/9/08.


    THE CHAPO/BOXILL POLL emerged out of a Faculty of Social Sciences, Cave Hill Campus project on psephology. There is no Belle/Boxill Poll. The arrangement was always for a team of professional researchers from the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS), Cave Hill Campus, to work in association with Dr Ian Boxill, professor of comparative sociology, Mona Campus, and head of a private psephology consultancy firm based in Jamaica.

    The faculty psephology project is one of four short-listed for priority attention by the FSS. These are faculty projects distinct from individual or departmental projects and are team efforts by faculty members. The psephology project (the study and statistical analysis of elections and trends in voting) would have been listed as a priority faculty project since early 2007. The CHAPO/Boxill Poll emerged out of this.

    The relationship with Professor Boxill was initiated when Professor Boxill approached me, as Dean, FSS, in May 2007 to examine the possibility of conducting a poll on the then upcoming general election in his capacity as a professional pollster.

    Professor Boxill again approached me at the beginning of the academic year 2007/2008 and at that juncture we were aware that elections could possibly be called in a few months. We agreed to go forward with the project. This led to the formation of the Cave Hill Associates Polling Organisation (CHAPO) in December 2007, with Professor Boxill and his polling organisation coming on board in a joint relationship with CHAPO.

    Professor Boxill serving as polling director, and Mr Dion Greenidge as data manager, conducted two workshops, training 50 plus students for the field work aspect of the poll. I served as the facilitator of the poll.

    Based on my previous involvement in the public arena in terms of elections and my personal research interests in psephology stretching back decades, we agreed that Dr Boxill and I would be the public voices of the poll, with Mr Greenidge as a third option.

    I did not design the research instrument, I did not collect data, I did not enter data, nor did I process any data. As I appeared on the various televised programmes and/or spoke to the media houses, I reflected the data provided to me from the polling exercise. This was the basis for my public statements in relation to the poll.

    The CHAPO/Boxill Polling Organisation conducted two national polls. The first was conducted from December 7 to 17, 2007, and the second during January 4 to 7, 2008. The election date was announced before our first report was completed and consequently there was an urgency to publish the first report since the timing would only allow for one other national poll. The CHAPO/Boxill Polling Organisation decided to provide a shaved analysis of the first national poll to THE NATION and the Advocate.

    In January, 2008, the CHAPO/Boxill Polling Organisation conducted a second national poll; in this instance negotiations were possible with media houses for the sale of findings. We are currently receiving payments from these organisations – THE NATION, the Advocate and the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation – for our polling results in relation to the second national poll. All financial issues were addressed under the financial code of the University of the West Indies (UWI).

    The experience was a most uplifting one for the many undergraduate and postgraduate students who participated and the faculty members who engaged in hard professional work. What we shared with the public of Barbados was of tremendous heuristic value to the faculty as well.

    With respect to questions raised by Mr Evelyn Greaves in the January 25 WEEKEND NATION, let me assure the public of Barbados there are no secrets, no conspiracies and no plots. All polls were done professionally by well-trained and competent personnel in the pursuit of knowledge.

    As stated before, CHAPO is comprised of a team of faculty members of the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS), Cave Hill and Dr Ian Boxill, professor of Comparative Sociology at the Mona campus. Fifty plus students, undergraduate and post-graduate were trained by Professor Boxill and Mr Dion Greenidge as field workers to collect data. The instrument was designed by Professor Boxill and the data manager was Mr Dion Greenidge.

    I am not a member of the Barbados Labour Party or the Democratic Labour Party and advised former Prime Minister [Owen] Arthur in a technical capacity. I was adviser to Mr Arthur on governance in relation to the Caribbean Single Market and Single Economy. I did not politically advise Mr Arthur in any other way. Many notable UWI academics, however, have advised prime ministers across the region in technical capacities and many others have been political confidantes, party members and political advisers.

    Election polling is a legitimate research activity carried out by social scientists globally and particularly political scientists. I am pleased with this research effort by faculty members and I invite the public of Barbados to participate in our post-election symposium next month at which Professor Boxill will be present.

The blogmaster dares you to join the discussion.