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#426776 - 01/05/12 08:18 AM Indy Paper Commissions Int'l Poll on Bze Politics
Marty Offline
But if the Prime Minister pays any attention to the findings of a poll that was released today - he'd probably call the election for next month!

That's because the poll commissioned by the fledgling Independent Newspaper puts the UDP way behind the PUP.

Now, true enough, the Independent Newspaper is published by Glenn Tillett - who has been a supporter and employee of the PUP.

But more than that, this is a major poll, forty questions asked in face to face interviews, of over a thousand people - the entire project, designed, and executed by international Polling consultancies.

All that from a paper that just started up in November, two weeks after the poll was conducted.

Seemed strange to us, and certainly looked suspiciously similar to the covert workings of the Alliance.

But, the data is worth a look-over and some tough examination - and that's what we had today at the Chamber of Commerce Conference Room:..

Jules Vasquez Reporting

Meet Greg Strimple, he's from Boise, Idaho in the United States and described as a professional pollster.

And between October seventh and the seventeenth, 2011 his group - along with an outfit out of Costa Rica spearheaded a poll - supposedly on behalf of the Independent Newspaper - in which they say 1008 respondents' from across the country were interviewed.

Forty questions were asked and the results are decidedly against the UDP, the Prime Minister and the Barrow Administration Generally. Most notably, the poll claims that John Briceno had a 44% favourable rating, when he was no longer even leader of the PUP as opposed to Dean Barrow's 32%. Also, 5.6% more respondents said they would more likely vote for the PUP in an October election - that is even when the party only had an interim leader!

Stunning findings - and there are other surprises.

The sponsorship, for one, seems suspect - since the Independent Newspaper, which supposedly commissioned the poll, didn't even exist when it was conducted, and some of the questions, too, bear a closer examination. Like this one - and we'll read the whole thing, all 64 words:

"With the passage of the Amendment 9 Bill, Parliament would be able to alter the Constitution to effectively move Belize from Constitutional Supremacy to Parliamentary Supremacy which lets the Parliament and Prime Minister makes decisions and changes without taking care of the laws. Knowing this fact, do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose passage of Amendment 9 to the Constitution."

What kind of question is that?

Greg Strimple, GS Strategy Group
"I said this is a brief description of the-"

Jules Vasquez
"But this is not a brief question. A poll is about questions, is then in the sense of-"

Greg Strimple
"I frequently ask questions like this."

Jules Vasquez
"In polls?"

Greg Strimple

Jules Vasquez
"Wow. I say wow because I watched polls - I'm an ignoramus, but I just watch polls on CNN, and I've never seen anything like this."

Greg Strimple
"Well, you should never listen to polls on CNN; that's your big problem."

Jules Vasquez
"What does it mean to say, "A Supremacy which lets the Parliament and Prime Minister make decisions and changes without taking care of the laws." I don't understand that phraseology."

Greg Strimple
"So this language was taken almost entirely - I don't have the article in front of me - but we took out of how it's being reported in the paper. And so - I don't recall."

Jules Vasquez
"Does the science of polling say that one should avoid dragging characterization into fact? Is that frowned upon, or is that encouraged?"

Greg Strimple
"Well, like I said, this was taken - and I can't remember exactly what newspaper - this is language that was almost verbatim for how it was being described."

Jules Vasquez
"Well, you'll have to tell me what paper it is because; as you know we have a plurality of opinions expressed in the newspapers."

"But most importantly is your inability to state your source."

Greg Strimple
"I will call afterwards, and I will get someone to send me where I can get them. Thank you."

We're still waiting on that call - and still waiting to find out who paid for the poll:

Jules Vasquez
"How much does a poll like this cost?"

Greg Strimple
"I defer that question."

Jules Vasquez
"You defer, okay. How does a startup newspaper able to afford a poll where the pollsters had to be engaged for 10 days? The good Mr. Greg Strimple had to be retained; one has to rent this 100 chair conference room. Just the little things, they add up to a chunk of funds."

Glenn Tillett - Editor, Independent Newspaper
"I'll tell you straight-up; I won't reveal the people - and there are several - who have donated and supported this cause, for the simple reason that they don't want to. The partisanship, the polarization in name-calling - in other words, they don't want to be driving their kids to school, they hear Joe, Juliet, Alfonso, Vaughn, and the other crew, speaking about them in that disrespectful way that we tend to. But they believe that it's a noble cause; they believe that it's going to help move our discussion forward, and as a result, they've been putting up the money."

Jules Vasquez
"Are you able to say how much money?"

Glenn Tillett
"At this point, I won't say. I am able; I won't say it."

Jules Vasquez
"Are you able to say if Michael Ashscroft or any of his various moving hands, such as Godfrey Smith for example, is one of those persons involved?"

Glenn Tillett
"I could say, but I won't say. I won't call any names; I will not have any of the people involved in this exposed in that way, no, not in this climate."

Regardless, he says he'll soldier on with more:

Glenn Tillett
"Now, this poll is already outdated, and I'm hoping that we'll shortly be able to do another one. And we will be better at it, and now that people know that it's there, they will start to see more of it earlier. In the end, the people who are impacted by it will give it their own weight of credibility."

Tillett says he'll invite the media to put up questions for the next poll. This media house will only participate if and when it knows precisely and verifiably who is paying for the poll, how much is being paid - and who's organizing the logistics.

Channel 7

#426780 - 01/05/12 08:24 AM Re: Indy Paper Commissions Int'l Poll on Bze Politics [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

American Pollster and Independent Newspaper team up

The results of a recent poll was released today and they are both surprising and interesting. But first, the poll was done by the GS Strategy Group from Idaho. It is billed as a professional and national poll that covers everything from quality of life to political strife. The results were released by Glenn Tillett, the publisher of the Independent Newspaper and Greg Strimple, whose research group has conducted polls for former U.S. presidential Candidate John McCain. According to Strimple, one thousand and eight eligible voters were surveyed in face to face interviews and there was a three point one percent margin of error. The numbers were based on normal election turnout and the pollster randomly selected districts to survey. Now to the questions; the first set dealt with what participants liked the most or the least about living in Belize.

Greg Strimple, American Pollster

“We asked folks what they liked the most about living in Belize. The number one issue was that it was a peaceful country; twenty-three percent, then their own personal freedom at twenty point seven percent, and then a whole bunch of stuff that it is my country, democratic country, I’m Belizean—it had a very nice feel of pride and the fact that people really liked the kind of peaceful, opened society they lived in. and then we asked about the least they liked about living in Belize. And the number one issue was the increase in crime at thirty percent and then violence at thirteen and then to the economic opportunity at twelve point seven. Interestingly, cause we talked about the outset of this project, many people thought that corruption was going to be the number one issue, but corruption was at five point six percent. And so far more folks are concerned about the economy; far more folks are concerned about crime than corruption. Then we asked what’s the most important issue facing the country and again this is the top five responses from a quoted opened end question. Number one issue at thirty-eight point nine percent was the crime rate, but when you combine the economy and the need for jobs; those two responses came at forty-nine point nine percent. Then again government corruption was at five and education was at two. Then when we asked which of the following issues is most important to you and we actually gave them responses, the country’s economic issues including more business investment, job creation, the rising cost of living was number one at forty-six point four percent. Then fighting crime and drugs, gangs was number two at thirty-nine percent. So it almost mirrored the open end responses in terms of what people are concerned about. Then government corruption came in at eight percent. So again we’re seeing a fairly consistent pattern about crime and the economy being two top issues—far overshadowing what people are concerned about in terms of corruption. We asked what they thought what will happen with the economy moving forward: will Belize’s economy get better, worse or basically stay the same over the next year. Twenty percent of the folks thought it would get better, forty-eight percent thought it would get worse and thirty percent thought it was going to stay the same.”

Channel 5


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