I read Freddie Kissoon’s column “Totem Pole” (which is a disrespect for native American Indians’ spiritual symbol and values – according to Wikipeda’s website — critiquing Vishnu Bisram’s latest survey (Kaieteur News, May 9).
Kissoon says the field research for the poll was carried out but Bisram skewed the questions, without saying how the questions were skewed. Did Kissoon review the questions? I don’t think so.
Instead of trying to show how a question can be skewed (in theory) to obtain a desired response, why didn’t Kissoon show how Bisram’s questions were skewed?
He (Kissoon) cannot offer any evidence that the questions were skewed, because Bisram asked simple straightforward questions, such as: “Are you satisfied with the performance of the Government?” What is skewed about that question? Is Kissoon simply trying to come up with a red herring to discredit Bisram’s work? That is the problem with our Guyanese people.
We like to pull down others, instead of offering encouragement so that good people can climb higher.
No one conducts polls to obtain the views of Guyanese about their Government, and when Bisram attempts to do so, Kissoon and other detractors seek to debase the man’s character and malign his work.
Kissoon says Bisram’s questions, not the man’s operations, were unprofessional. I recall it was only a month ago that Kissoon wrote that Bisram did not ask anybody any questions and that he simply made up numbers in his polls.
What has made Kissoon change his mind about Bisram’s operations to write Bisram does the field work but the questions are no good? Kissoon lacks consistency in his writings.
Kissoon, if you are so savvy about polls, please go out and conduct them and release the findings in your columns. He says polls are not that expensive and onerous. Then please do them for us, so the Government can be held accountable.
I should note that I recall it was only two months ago, in a series of exchanges with Bisram, Kissoon wrote he would conduct his own polls. We are yet to see one, and probably never will.
Kissoon claims that Bisram did not reach out to UG academics. How does Kissoon know this? Did he go and ask all of UG academics if they were consulted by Bisram for the poll?
And if indeed Bisram did not consult UG academics, does that negate the findings of the poll? I doubt pollsters in other countries consult academics of universities before they conduct a poll.
It would be useful if they do, but I can’t see how that is a requirement before conducting a poll. And even if one wants to consult with an academic in Guyana, who would the person be?
Kissoon engages in a daily tirade against the Government? Why would Bisram want to consult him to discredit his (Bisram’s) work? Bisram already showed in an exchange with Kissoon how Dick Morris’s poll was discredited because of Kissoon.
Kissoon says others should conduct polls to see how they measure up against Bisram’s.
I agree, and wholeheartedly support Kissoon in this initiative to conduct more polls. I don’t think we should allow Bisram to have a monopoly on polling in Guyana.
That is why I am encouraging Kissoon and inviting the “life sciences man” from New York, Dr. Anand Persaud (who feels polls should be published in academic journals) to conduct polls. I should remind Kissoon that there were two other polls besides Bisram’s for the last general election in Guyana, and Bisram recently wrote that his poll was compared against seven others in Trinidad for that country’s election.
Bisram claims his poll was right in Trinidad and the seven others were wrong. Has Kissoon forgotten that Mr. Dick Morris from the USA conducted polls telling us that AFC would win the election? Well, we know how that poll measured up against Bisram’s. Now we want to know how Kissoon’s poll will measure up against Bisram’s.
Come on, Kissoon; cut out the hype! Accept the challenge and conduct your poll! Also, Dr. Prem Misir (President Jagdeo’s media man and UG Pro-Chancellor) conducted a poll and found that 70% of voters would have voted for the PPP/C in 2006. Bisram claims in a recent letter in Kaieteur News that his poll showed the PPP obtaining a minimum of 51% and maximum of 57%. The PPP got 56%. So we know which poll was better.
Kissoon came up with a lot of “ifs” and “maybes” in his critique of Bisram’s latest poll – such as what if the interviewers did not interview anyone, and maybe the interviewers did not interview anyone, etc.
Bisram must know what he was doing; after all, he paid people to work for him. I don’t think it required UG academics to supervise the interviewers.
If the man got right results every time, the interviewers could not give him basket to fetch water.
Kissoon says something was wrong about one finding – people don’t like Jagdeo’s ministers but they liked him. Kissoon should test that claim. I can tell you people are not satisfied with the way the country is being governed and are unhappy with the ministers, but they still love Bharrat Jagdeo. Somehow, they feel Jagdeo is not responsible for the failures of his inept and incompetent ministers.
I urge Kissoon to go around and ask people how they feel about Jagdeo and his government. I believe one reason why people still like Jagdeo is his down-to-earth persona. He goes around meeting people, grounding with them.
Thus, they do not judge him by his policies and his arrogant behaviour, but by his friendliness.
Finally, Kissoon says that he does not think Bisram conducts professional polls. But he does not tell us why. Kissoon is a university lecturer, and has failed to say what aspects of the poll are not professional.
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