Letter Writer Blasts Guardian Editor and Questions Polls on BTC

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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

16 COMMENTS

  1. I am the real old man, do not try to use my name with such vile and hateful rhetoric. I am all for the BTC sale to whoever is willing to take it off our hands. stop the hate and accept the sale for the advancement of the Bahamas into the 21st century, it is done. Finally I may be able to get a viable source of DSL in my cave, and no longer have to ride my mule for miles to borrow a fellow cave dwellers 2400 baud dial up.

  2. My main concern for future generations is the fact that when they research they will see the flaws and partisanship of some in our generation.Polls can be skewed in any direction that the pollster wishes.The main concern in the selling of BTC is the loss of jobs for employees and other business partners of BTC.Gen Elections 2012 will be the true barometer by which the Govts decision to sell BTC will be gauged.Until then I view the many spins as just that.

  3. ANOTHER CONCERN BAHAMIAN, YOU ARE A JOKE OR YOUR HEAD IS SO FAR UP ING-RUM ASS YOU CAN SEE ANY LIGHT. IT IS CLEARLY OBVIOUS THAT THIS DEAL IS A BUNCH OF SHIT. IF ING-RUM WANTED US TO HAVE BETTER SERVICE HE ONLY HAS TO ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN AND IF HE WANTED TO GIVE US BETTER RATES HE ONLY HAS TO SEND THE MEMO DOWN. FROM LISTENING TO MOST BAHAMIANS WITH SENSE, SPEAK TO THIS ISSUE(THIS DOES NOT INCLUDES U) THIS DEAL IS FILLED WITH BACK DOOR DEALS. WHAT IS SAD IS THAT IF THIS SHIT SOME HOW GOES THROUGH THE ONLY THING WILL HAPPEN IS THE CROOKS WILL GET VOTED OUT BUT WALK AWAY WITH THERE BIG FAT CHEQUES. I THINK WHAT IS NEEDED IN THIS COUNTRY IS A REVOLUTION, SOME HEADS NEED TO ROLL BECAUSE IT SEEMS AS IF THESE FUCKERS HAVE NO FEAR. ITS LIKE A BULLIE WHO COMES INTO YOUR HOUSE RAPES YOUR WIFE AND CHILDREN THEN TAKE ALL YOUR VALUBLES AND FEELS THAT HE COULD PASS YOU ON THE STREETS AND THERE AINT A FUCK YOU CAN DO. WATCHOUT YOU THEIFIN MOTHER F…. TIMES ARE CHANGING AND IT AINT LONG NOW BEFORE SOMEONE GET FUCK FA THEIFIN. YA GA GET CATCH ONE DAY IF YA KEEP THEIFIN SO STOP YA SHIT.

    • APPARENTLY YOU DID NOT GO TO SCHOOL FOR LONG. PROBALY PRIMARY. YOUR VOCABULARY IS SO LIMITED UNTIL IT SI SAD. WHY THE OBSCENCE LANGUAGE? WHY WAS THIS EVEN PUBLISHED. YOU HAVE NO RESPECT FOR YOURSELF NOR THE PUBLIC. SICK/SAD SOUL!!!!WHAT ARE WE COMING TO AS BAHAMIANS WHEN WE CAN’T RIGHT WITH OUT CUSSING. I HOPE YOU DON’T HAVE ANY KIDS!

  4. Another Concerned Bahamian: Here goes another uninformed,follow the leader,blind, so called Bahamian spewing out lies they undoubtedly heard from their lying PAPA, that BTC have to be sold to CW, in order to improve services. You said that you rather Hubert than Perry because,he(Hubert) makes decisions, how many bad ones has he made in the past three years? Because of these many rash decisions we are headed back 40 years. Seek out the truth then speak it, don,t borrow lies and repeat it.

  5. It was unequivocal Ms. Dames received her journalism degree IF ANY from a cereal box. Any reputable newsfirm would have never published such an article without confirming its legitimacy via authorised entities who conduct such polls.The questions posted in this letter is on the money; where were these polls conducted and how were they tabulated? In the FNM camp? This poll clearly is NOT credible and of POOR TASTE and should be retracted in the best interest of the Guardian and indeed credible, real journalism.

  6. Yall Bahamians kill me. You complaion about the phone service and blackouts and so forth. Now that the government made a real decision to improve the telecommunication infrastructure you have a problem. I am tired of yall making everything political. yall rather have some guy who cant control his cabinet and have no control over nothing and so indecisive run our country. I een say Hubert is the man but I rather Hubert than Perry cause at least he gonna make a decision.

    • @ AnotherConcerned Bahamian:

      We have to be careful not to frame the debate on BTC’s privatization to two choices 1) BTC as it is now or 2) 51% Sale of BTC to C&W. The reality though is that the government can do a variety of things to extract itself from the day-to-day operations at BTC, which I believe we ALL agree is the reason for it’s less than optimal performance. So, in short we should not reduce the debate to just these two options, as this is a fallacy.

  7. The article in the Nassau Guardian is juvvenile and puerile and is a raw attempt to influence public perception of the sale of BTC. They have written some stupid things before but this is among the worse.As the learned letter above confirms, straw polls mean nothing, they are unscientific. What for example was the sampling base? what was the question asked? and so on? For God’s sake, the Guardian must credit the Bahamaian public with having more intellegience than they and the FNM would have you believe. I would say that my straw poll confirms that about 80% of the Bahamian public is opposed to the sale of BTC. Is my polling accurate? Hardly! But I do not have a media forum to publish my results. And that is the difference.

  8. I have said many times that the media in this country sucks. Simply basic and sometimes obvious questions are not asked or researched.

    Whats perplexing is that these media houses admit that these polls are not scientific, yet they bill them up as if they are. Further adding to the confusion.

    One has to wonder if this is intentional?

    If the source of information the FNM press release relies on is flawed, that release should not been printed or repeated in any serious newspaper without the obvious flaws pointed out by the editor or article writer.

    If this were the US, the FNM, the Tribune and Guardian would have been the laughing stock of the media today because its an obvious attempt to put a positive spin on a particular point of view using information that is neither reliable nor credible.

    Yet, this is what passes for hard journalism in the Bahamas!

    (Sigh)

  9. Good letter; Candia Dames is obviously blinded by FNM partisianism. The Guardian, however, ought to be more responsible, but then again, which media house in this country is? They are all politically corrupt and ought to be pissed away as trash, no more reliable than the PUNCH. In some cases the PUNCH may be more credible because at least the PUNCH, at times, critizes both FNM and PLP politicians alike but not TRIBUNE nor Guardian.

  10. Newspapers in my opinion have lost a lot of crediability and have become propagandas for the government.The print media should be considered “the fourth estate”.If a poll was done there it should have been a disclaimer to say that it was not scientific. This is not only bias but dis-information meant to mislead the public. The overwhelming majority of Bahamians are in favour of privatization but to Bahamians and not a foreign entity who in this case has a reputation worse than BTC. This begs us to ask the question Is there a fourth estate in the Bahamas? Truly I don’t think so. The print media has done more to divide us than bring us together for the truth. It has become so bias the the real story is buried in the business section. To get a good sense of how we are perceived I read papers in the caribbean. This is Tabloid Journalism. like they say garbadge in garbadge out.

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