BU’s position on the influence which Cadres opinion polls maybe having on Bajans is a matter of record. The fact that some have perfected the methodology to project the ‘science of polling’ as the gospel according to Mathew, Mark, Luke and Peter has become worrying to some. Is it that a good poll accurately measures the ‘mind’ of the person polled? Do you believe the result of a poll can be used to influence the undecided and reinforce the position already canvassed by the pollster? The fair minded have to admit that there is some robust questioning required to better understand the influence polling has on shaping public opinion in a small country like Barbados. Sadly Barbadians have decided to follow the developed world and accept wholesale polling in our political space.
It is unfortunate that the Cadres Poll has become a big discussion point leading into the next general election. In a general election where some constituencies will be ‘close’, the Cadres Poll may prove to be a factor afterall. However there is another issue of concern.
Peter Wickham leads the Cadres organization and to his credit has developed a good reputation across the region based on the consistency off his polls. Here is the rub. He writes a fullpage column in the leading daily newspaper. He is a host on the leading talk show on radio. When there is breaking news of a political – and sometimes not so political – Wickham is sought after by the Nation, VOB and Barbados Today for his perspective. Oftentimes one is left to wonder why a country which has invested billions of dollars in education cannot reflect it in the diversity of views solicited.
The ease which Wickham connects with some of our politicos often exposed in his role as a talk show host is worthy of observation. Also his willingness to express positions, in the opinon of BU, which conflict with how a professional pollster should conduct himself. BU will not besmirch the reputation of Wickham by detailing the politicos he rubbed shoulders with at Cave Hill and elsewhere, suffice to say Wickham should become more senitive to the extent his professional reputation is exposed.
Should Barbadians be concerned?