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In a statement he said that the column carried in its Monday edition is an attempt by the newspaper to provide a forum for select members of the public to give their views.
"The usefulness of that feature begins and ends there", he said.
"One of the unfortunate things about such features is that it can be mistakenly used as a gauge of public opinion, which it is not.
"Such interviews do not reflect scientific sampling and therefore the comments elicited by the interviewees cannot be generalised to the population as a whole", he argued.
In addition, the designing of the question(s) can induce bias, as was the case with the question asked to the respondents appearing in yesterday's edition under the headline `Hoyte's $250M Buxton revival plan'.
Several individuals were asked about their thoughts on the plan for the community without any reference to the context within which Mr. Desmond Hoyte, leader of the main Opposition People's National Congress Reform (PNC/R) proposed the so-called "revival plan", Persaud said.
He claimed this is "a value-laden question, framed in such a way as to introduce what is known as `systemic bias'."
"I doubt whether any citizen would want to say no to a checklist of projects intended to benefit any community. Therefore, the answers were predictable because the question was biased to elicit such a response" he contended.
"Who in Berbice, for example, will say that they do not favour the construction of the bridge across the Berbice River? Very few, if any, are likely to say that they do not support the idea of a bridge.
"However, many persons may have difficulty with the technical specifications, the location, the agreed plan of action, the contractor or even the price", the official said.
"So to ask someone about his or her thoughts on Hoyte's plan is more likely than not to elicit a favourable response", he said.
He suggested that the interviewer(s) should have asked more than one question on the issue of the plan in order to elicit responses that cover the broad spectrum of controversies surrounding the plan, which was proposed as a price tag for "peace" and an end to the banditry and killings that occur in and around Buxton.
Persaud said examples of such questions are: Do you see the demand of "$250M or no peace" as a ransom demand? Do you feel that criminals are using Buxton as their base? Will the plan end the criminal attacks in Buxton? Should Hoyte have condemned crime in Buxton? Do you agree that criminals are not hiding out in Buxton?"
"These would have also addressed the context within which the `revival plan' or more accurately, the ransom was placed", he said.
"Even more disturbing is the fact that Stabroek News has a tradition of succumbing to Hoyte's pressure - he has written two letters to the newspaper pointing out that he has no apologies to make for his Buxton remarks", he charged.
According to Persaud, Stabroek News has often, in the past, responded to criticism by softening the editorial stance on certain issues and wondered whether yesterday's `What the people say' column was intended "to compensate for its earlier criticism of Hoyte's foray into Buxton?"
"On the issue of Hoyte's Buxton plan, the Government's position is very clear and will not resile one inch.
"The Government's stance is consistent: it supports unequivocally the development of communities throughout the country, but it rejects blackmail as a means to commit government resources.
"Hoyte's plan was a ransom, which read $250M or no peace. No self-respecting government will ever accept such a plan, no matter how worthy the specific projects that comprise the plan.
"Further the administration's development programme for Buxton, as is the case with other communities, has been substantial.
"A fact is that the PPP/C, in the last five years alone spent ten times more than Hoyte's entire Presidency", Persaud said.