Tony Vieira's Comments
18 October 2017


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Bisram Poll Response
(Aired 21 November 2008)

Dear Editor,

   Some people only learn when you hit them over the head with a sledge hammer. I wrote a simple letter that it is my opinion that Visnu Bisram in Guyana and in Trinidad has sympathies to certain political/ethnic groups and as such he should eliminate himself from further polling in these two countries.

   After all Mr. Editor how can anyone take a pollster seriously who tells us that Mr. Sharma's death announcements is the most popular television programme in the country? Perhaps CN should put advertisements in his death announcements it certainly warrants it according to this charlatan Bisram. He has now written two letters trying to convince me or the public or himself, that he has credibility, there is also a letter penned by one Balliram Suchit in the Kaiteur news dated Tuesday November 25th captioned "Bisram is an impartial commentator" this letter refers to surveys by Bisram in May and in July showing that the PPP is losing support and that people are dissatisfied with their handling of the economy and amidst numerous other observations which studiously records Bisrams writings dating back to three years ago when Bisram criticised the PPP by saying that they were inept at the handling of the floods!? Mr. Editor isn't it very curious and suspicious that we have a Mr. Suchit who is so completely familiar with all of Bisram's findings and is supporting him as an impartial commentator in your columns?     

   I am afraid that all of this failed to impress me, including the letter form Balliram Suchit if he exists and that is my honest position.

     The recent US election which Bisram told us and which started this whole letter exchange the US election would be closer than predicted, ended with Mr. Obama winning 53% of the popular vote and 365 of the electoral seats whilst Mr. Mc Cain got 46% of the popular vote and only 173 of the electoral seats. I maintain that Bisram was wrong since there was nothing close about it. Furthermore I am unable to find polls showing the disparity in the Obama victory as high as Bisram is telling us in his letter which was published in the Kaiteur news of Sunday November 2nd 2008.  Nowhere have I found projections with such large margins of winning; what is apparent is that Mr. Obana won convincingly and there was nothing close about this race.

  This is not the first time that Bisram has failed to cover himself with glory with his predictions, in one of the Caribbean islands I think Antigua he was totally wrong.

   It is clear to me that Bisram relies on official tracking polls in other places and makes educated guesses as to what the outcome will or will not be. There is nothing scientific about this assuming that you are a busybody with enough time on your hands to follow these things. I must say that up to the day before the US elections even the people at CNN, Fox News and MSNBC who were keeping excellent up to date figures of these events with daily and even hourly projections were surprised that Mr. Obama won so convincingly; so much so that three hours after the polls closed in the eastern time zone at 11 PM Eastern Standard time [12 midnight Guyana time] CNN declared Mr. Obama the winner whilst the people in the western time zone, Hawaii and Alaska were still voting.

   Why would I, having to access to all of this be interested in the meagre writings of Bisram? Especially since I consider him as having an agenda in Guyana and in Trinidad; and since Trinidad and Guyana are the only places with racial voting the public is free to speculate on what Bisram's agenda is.

   As far as my agenda is concerned the public is in receipt of all of my commentaries and analyses and they are recorded in my website  I have made no secret of the fact that I believe that the PPP is doing a poor job of governing this country, to say that I support them is ludicrous.

   As far as my integrity/impartiality is concerned I have stopped doing any political or other commentaries in The Evening News since it is not possible to present myself as an impartial commentator when sitting in the opposition benches in parliament, that was my personal decision which I think gives me some credibility, where is Mr. Bisram's?

  I am not aware that anyone who has ever asked to respond to anything I or the Evening News had ever reported was denied the right to respond, Mr. Adam Harris can support me on this, it is just not our style nor is it our style to manufacture letters to help us make our point.

     In Fact both in 2001 and in 2006 VCT, whilst showing a slight bias to the opposition parties, broke less elements of the media code we signed on to, than any other TV station which does a newscast.     

     To keep my integrity intact in the electoral period 2006 I removed my commentary from the newscast completely, since I was writing as a candidate for the opposition and by doing so I did not abuse my position as publisher of the Evening News, do not speak to me about integrity Bisram, you do not know the meaning of the word; perhaps you can get Mr. Suchit to write another ridiculous letter disputing all of this.

   I still accuse you of having a political/racial agenda in Guyana and in Trinidad and you and Suchit can write until you turn blue it will not change that view, I am afraid that for me it is written in stone. 

  As such I will not respond to any further letters from you, what you did in 2006 by publishing that poll 24 hours before the Guyana elections especially since the Guyanese voters are not as sophisticated as the US voters and would be affected by it was unforgivable and for that act no Guyanese in opposition to the PPP in this country should ever forgive you for doing so and the editor's note in my letter in the Stabroek News declared that Mr. David De Caries himself thought that it was too close to the elections and did not publish it.

   That you occasionally deliver a small jab to the PPP so that you can maintain the illusion of impartiality in order to deliver a knock out punch to the opposition at the right/crucial time is noted. It is an old strategy I just thought that I would point it out to the public.  

Anthony Vieira MS MP