Dear Editor,

Stabroek News is perceived as a serious newspaper that is respected by the intelligentsia (as well as the ‘educated’ class) in the Guyanese diaspora and among Guyanese at home. In surveys I conducted in Guyana on the media, many refer to it as a kind of an ‘elitist’ newspaper although I feel it has strong appeal among the middle and lower classes who actually read newspapers.

So I was taken aback to read a gutter-like description of people’s character calling someone a ‘kwak pollster’ (SN, Jul 9). That kind of comment is better suited for a sensational tabloid where anything goes. SN should not allow itself to be used for gutter-like commentaries and mud-slinging. It is not what the founding fathers of SN had in mind when the paper was launched and it is not what the few of us expected when we came to the defence of the paper when it was under attack. SN should return to be an outstanding paper rather than descend to the level of another paper.
Messrs Rose and Singh’s letter was headlined, ‘Results of a secret poll a problem for the PPP.’

I checked with high friends in the PPP, PNC and AFC on whether they are aware of a secret poll commissioned by the PPP or any other entity. They all responded in the negative.

What is interesting about the poll numbers the two commentators quoted is 99% of the respondents gave a definitive opinion on how they will vote.

That is very unusual as virtually no pollster gets such a high level of response from potential or likely or definitive voters.

It is not a stretch of the imagination that the PPP could descend to 39% from 49% in eighteen months, though highly unlikely.  As the two commentators noted, the PPP has been neglecting its base and as such is haemorrhaging support.

The PPP has not been successful in attracting much cross-over support in spite of all the resources and handouts the government has given out over the years. And more of the PPP traditional supporters are expected to stay home at the next election unless the party leadership addresses their needs. If the PPP pays heed to its supporters and has a respected list of attractive candidates, it will sweep the poll. It is not likely that the PPP and PNC (APNU) have lost so much ground to the AFC in just 18 months. That would be a phenomenal growth of a neophyte party that is virtually impossible in our polity.

Yours faithfully,
Vishnu Bisram

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