Attacks not the answer, Bisram
Bisram, of the New York-based Nacta poll, has defended Nacta
against criticism coming from the UNC. Bisram boasts about
the accuracy of Nactas polls regarding the UNCs
chances in T&Ts elections. But is the Nacta poll
always accurate as Bisram says?
Perhaps the most glaring example of flawed and inaccurate
Nacta polling is in the last US general election.
Days before the election, Bisrams Nacta predicted that
presidential candidate John Kerry would win. As it turned
out, Bush won by a very convincing margin. To date, we have
no explanation from Bisram as to why Nacta failed.
Looking back, most of the other, more respected US-based pollsters
accurately showed Bush maintaining a consistent lead in the
run-up to that election.
It seems that the Nacta poll was wrong, by millions of votes,
in its own country. Care to defend that, Bisram? Or is it
that you can only respond to Nactas critics from little
Another T&T poll stays closer to statistical reporting.
It publishes comments from the people who were polled based
on political affiliation, ethnicity, etc and adds these quotations
to the statistical findings. At no time does this pollster
offer a direct, personal opinion on any matter.
On the other hand, Bisrams Nacta polls are always accompanied
by comments and opinions which are unaccounted for, and which
seem to come directly from the pollster.
Instead of attacking those who criticise his Nacta poll, Bisram
should heed the same advice he offers Nactas critics.
If Nacta is perceived to be flawed or inaccurate in any way,
Bisram and associates should work hard to improve Nacta, and
correct those perceptions... if they are wrong.
Pothole country of the Caribbean
ADDITION to the CSME, FTAA, EMA, Nema and all the other entities
that use acronyms or initials to identify themselves, I would
like to add PCOCthe Pothole Country of the Caribbean.
I dont know what the Ministry of Works is waiting on
to fix the roads because I have been driving in areas North,
South, East and West and it was like being on an obstacle
course, swerving from side to side to avoid the potholes,
even the legal ones created by manholes that have
not been raised to the surface of the roads.
And after flooding in various parts of the country on July
13, the roads are now in an even worse condition.
Some time ago, it was said a company would be formed to take
care of the roads of the entire country. How long will we
have to wait?
And what about painting the white lines so that the lanes
can be identified, particularly when it rains or at nights?
This comparatively simple thing to do would make driving a
Finally, has no one in the ministry thought of doing road
works over weekends or between, say, 9 pm to 5 am? This would
avoid inconvenience to the travelling public.
What happens now is that the works on major roads are done
in the middle of the working day, causing huge traffic jams.
What the PM really means
Prime Minister recently said that the Government is working
towards making our country the hub of the Caribbean. That
does not seem possible, however, when our roads are in such
deplorable condition, food prices are so high and the crime
rate is rising daily.
What the Prime Minister really means is that we are heading
for a 2020 Vision Dog Eat Dog.
not reason for UNC defeats
the latest Nacta poll in Trinidad for the San Francique by-election
was right on the money, the organisation was vilified again
as an agent of the PNM.
In addition, pollster Vishnu Bisram was described as a traitor
(of the Indian race) for predicting the PNM would win the
Just after the release of the Nacta poll findings, critics
said the poll would be proven wrong with a UNC victory. Nacta
is vindicated again with the accuracy of yet another of its
polls in Trinidad.
Nacta wishes to make clear that neither the organisation nor
Vishnu Bisram is an agent of any political party.
The Nacta polls did not make the PNM win the elections in
2001, 2002, 2003, January 2005 (Tobago) and last week Monday.
Also, the polls in 1995, 1996, 1999, and 2000 did not help
the UNC in the elections. The findings of the Nacta polls
merely reflected the feelings among the polity on the ground.
The findings of virtually all of the polls mirrored the outcome
of the elections when the UNC or PNM won.
It should be noted that Nacta outlined the reasons why the
parties would win or lose an election and also suggested what
each should do to improve its electoral standing.
The PNM seemingly heeded the advice while the leadership of
the UNC rejected the suggestions and lost big.
The UNC has now lost five elections in a row and has been
experiencing declining support since the 2000 election. This
cant be attributed to the Nacta polls which predicted
UNC victories during the 1990s.
Instead of attacking Nacta and pollster Vishnu Bisram, the
UNC would do well to address voters concerns as highlighted
in the polls. This would be the only way for the UNC to make
an electoral turnaround.
In analysing the results of the outcome of the San Francique
by-election, it should be noted that when the UNC was in power,
it almost captured the seat (short by only 70 votes). Then
the PNM retained it with a margin of 600 votes in 2003 and
now with all the crisis in the country the PNM handed the
UNC a stunning 54 per cent to 44 per cent defeat.
One can put all the spin on the outcome (that the UNC did
not lose). That was a massive UNC defeat and the party needs
to look at the reasons for such a huge blow.
The UNC has been operating under a flawed theory that the
rising disenchantment with the PNM over crime, etc will propel
the UNC to victory. That is a naive, flawed analysis.
Missing in the political equation is the growing dissatisfaction
with the UNC by its traditional supporters.
More UNC than PNM supporters parked up for the election. There
was also a huge racial cross over that benefited the PNM.
Indians dont see a future with the UNC as currently
constituted and as such many are switching over to the PNM.
The UNC leadership does not understand the feeling on the
ground. The leadership has ignored the peoples call
for unity and is paying the price.
Sadly, the UNC has lost its moorings. So Nacta is not the
reason for the recurring UNC defeats. More UNC defeats are
on their way.
Bread rising like everything else
latest topic that is gaining a great deal of attention is
the current price of bread and the argument that since there
has been a slight decrease in the price of flour, there should
be a corresponding drop in the price of bread.
Of course, bread does not consist of water and flour alone.
There are several more ingredients put into the dough, all
of which have gone up and keep going up in price. Then one
must remember that labour costs have increased, likewise transportation
and delivery and the mark-up by the retailer or distributor
that has to be considered.
There may not be many people of my age who are still around
and remember the old days when a hops bread the size of a
large breadfruit sold for one penny and two could be purchased
for three cents, and it was even cheaper by the quart.
Of course in those days a large leg of ham was about $8, a
new Ford V-8 was $975 and a gallon of gas was about 30 cents.
Salaries, of course, were a mere pittance and a bank or office
clerk got about $60 a month or less and a reasonable-sized
house in a respectable area was about $25 a month.
Well, here we are many decades later and one little hops bread
the size of a large orange is 50 cents, a slice of cooked
ham about three inches in diameter is 68 cents a slice, a
new Ford V-8 well over $200,000 and a gallon of gas is $11.
What I have some difficulty in trying to understand is how
a great many individuals can still go out and pay $140 for
a bottle of scotch, $8 for a beer, pay $1,800 a month house
rent, pay close to $2,000 a month instalment on a new car,
go out and spend close to $200 for a single steak dinner in
some restaurant and yet complain so bitterly about the price
of a loaf of bread?
Has not the price of everything else gone up by unbelievable
Take the rubbish away, Mr Mayor
of Woodbrook, St James and environs have been experiencing
an irregular garbage pick-up over the past couple months.
The last incident occurred between the evening
of July 16 and the morning of July 20.
Four days and garbage was not picked up, so for four days
residents had to suffer.
The Port-of-Spain Corporation, which is responsible for the
garbage, picks up six days a week. Garbage was piling up,
added to which stray dogs, cats and vagrants were having a
field day. Garbage was seen scattered all over the street.
What a sad sight.
Even the city corporations workers who daily sweep the
streets were not doing their jobs.
When garbage is allowed to pile up, it becomes a health hazard.
It also puts a strain on the householder, and more work on
I am calling on the mayor, the city corporation and the relevant
authorities to please help the residents in maintaining cleanliness
in the city.
We residents will co-operate with you and your corporation,
Mr Mayor, as long as the garbage is disposed in a proper manner.
If your city workers, daily paid workers, are dissatisfied
with their working conditions, why should we as residents
have to suffer the inconvenience?
We are also taxpayers, Mr Mayor. Our taxes pay your corporation
and your workers salaries.
We hope in the future that this inconvenience will be a thing
of the past.