Letters To The Editor, 15th May 2017

Fiji Times Tebutt poll Joseph Veramu,  Suva From the outset I make clear that I have nothing against pollsters in general or Tebutt in particular. I am making the following
15 May 2017 11:00
Letters To The Editor, 15th May 2017
Minister for Agriculture Mahendra Reddy

Fiji Times Tebutt poll

Joseph Veramu,  Suva

From the outset I make clear that I have nothing against pollsters in general or Tebutt in particular.

I am making the following comments as an academic discourse to encourage public discussions.

The Fiji Times reported the latest Tebutt-Times poll on Saturday May 12, that Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama registered 34 per cent support compared with 44 per cent in the poll it conducted on February 2017. It claimed that SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka had moved up in his rating (16 per cent) as the preferred choice for prime minister for Fiji compared to 11 per cent in February. It reported that National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad’s support had increased to three per cent in the May poll from less than one per cent in the February poll.

It is reported that Tebutt Research is an internationally-accredited world standard market researcher. One of the strangest thing I have noted in the Tebutt Polls is that it never explains the “+ or – margin of error” of the polls it conducts. This is standard procedure provided in reputable polls.

Both the February and May polls on political leaders do not explain the age ranges, racial composition and the geographic areas where the 1003 eligible voters were polled. It does not explain whether their methodology used landlines or face to face interactions. This is important to ascertain whether samples are not tainted.

Most disturbingly, the poll has been commissioned by the Fiji Times which raises the question of objectivity and whether the goal is to sway public opinion.

I now look at the poll conducted by Tebutt-Times prior to the September 2014 National Elections.

The Tebutt-Times poll, conducted from September 1 to 4, 2014 asked 1137 respondents who they preferred to see as the prime minister if the election was held tomorrow (the next day). Tebutt-Times reported that support for Voreqe Bainimarama had slipped to 49 per cent (from the 60 per cent he purportedly polled in August 2014). This was the final poll run by Tebutt-Times before the National Elections on September 17, 2014. It goes without saying that the Tebutt Polls missed its target by about 11.2 per cent.

My own view is that there is an untenable monopoly that is held by one polling company and there should be consideration whether such a situation should persist.


Reddy’s comments

Tukai Lagonilakeba,  Nadi

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Minister for Education’s political comments during his Western tour last week.

It can be a joke; it can be termed a campaign depending on which side of the fence you are on.

All other political parties are now promising the world to all Fijians as they campaign for the 2018 elections, it is a very similar scenario to the 2014 elections.

Contrary to Biman Prasad’s claims, it is the manifesto of the FijiFirst government that is being implemented indiscriminately for all Fijians irrespectively. It is the prerogative of our Government to find the monies to facilitate development throughout our country whether through taxes or loans.

In simple terms, “nothing is free”.

Mr Reddy’s comments are well within his rights as a member of the FijiFirst Party. He is a politician and Cabinet minister, and he still commands the respect of the majority Fijians. Not a problem, Doc.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj 

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