Good morning Ms Dames,
I am writing to inform you of the misleading article printed in today’s, Feb 14th Guardian titled “FNM claims most Bahamians support sale of BTC to CWC.”
What troubled me is that in the article you wrote, you state that the polls are not scientific, which is right, so why are you even giving space in your newspaper to 2 unscientific polls? No newspaper or news outlet in the US, Canada, Europe or any developed country would be caught dead taking this story serious if they knew the poll was not scientifically done because straw polls are not the type of polling used to get a national opinion on anything.
Most newspapers and media organizations have a poll on their website. This to is a straw poll, but they don’t imply or relay that poll as accurate and certainly don’t publish them as such in their own papers. Only in the Bahamas.
In my opinion, this article gives the wrong impression, the impression that the majority of Bahamians support the sale of BTC and whats more troubling to me is that you didn’t go to much lengths to define for your readers what a straw poll is, how it is used and whether or not its suitable for the government to use in this case. I guarantee you that 9.99 out of 10 Bahamians don’t know what a straw poll is.
As i have stated earlier, both polls mention in the article were NOT scientific polls. Straw polls are used mainly to take the opinion of a group, in a group setting and NOT for opinion polling on a national basis. The polls you see in the NY Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, MSNBC, CNN, CBS, ABC and Fox News are scientific opinion polls with a margin of error clearly stated. These polls the FNM is using as evidence to support their claims don’t even have that, lol. The media organizations in the US and Europe normally hire a reputable polling firm to conduct a national poll or they partner with another media organization to do so as scientific polls are not cheap.
The most obvious question you should have asked is, why is the FNM using an unscientific, inaccurate type of poll to get the opinion of the country? If they want to know the mood of the people on this issue, get a proper scientific poll done or hold a referendum. This is carelessness on their part! They are making a decision of great magnitude based in part by some UNSCIENTIFIC POLL? Really? You don’t see something is wrong with that?
Have you, Candia, even reached out to these so called polling groups and asked to see their “cross tabs” or ask to explain why there is no margin of error tabulated? What about asking them for proof of their accuracy, in other words, what other polling have they done and how accurate was those polls? Are these companies affiliated with any other major polling company overseas, as most smaller polling firms are?
I can tell you right now that one of the polling companies sighted in the article did another one of these straw polls before the PLP convention in 2009 and according to their polling, PC should have lost, but as we know, he didn’t. Don’t you see something wrong here? Polling firms with bad track records should not be given the time of day, yet the government, in its attempts to latch on to anything to prove they are doing what the people wants, quotes them and no one in the media does any kind of checking into the history or accuracy of these polling firms that just came out of no where.
You may not know much about the ins and outs of polling, but if you googled “polling,” “straw polling” or “scientific polling” you would get some very good info. and see that i am being honest with you about this.
So i ask you, can you please, please, in the name of good journalism, not allow any politician point to these or any other unscientific polls as proof of this or that in the future. This BTC issue is to great and shouldn’t be treated so carelessly by those leading us!
Thank you and have a wonderful day!
– A Concerned Citizen