Online citizens’ poll reveals THA performed below average during the past year

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine. – THA

AN online citizens’ poll of the Tobago House of Assembly’s (THA’s) work for the period December 2021 to December 2022 has revealed that the administration generally performed “below average or worse.”

The poll, commissioned by Tobago CivilNET and the Council of Elders, was held between December 4 and 17, 2022

The groups revealed the findings on Wednesday in a 17-page document titled Let’s All Pull Tobago Together.

Copies of the poll, the first of its kind on the island, are available on Tobago CivilNET’s Facebook page.

The Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) created history in the December 6, 2021, THA election, winning 14 of the 15 electoral districts.

However, on December 4, almost one year after assuming office, all of the THA’s executive members, including Chief Secretary Farley Augustine, resigned from the PDP and declared themselves independents.

This came about as a result of the public fallout between Augustine and PDP political leader Watson Duke over the THA’s alleged refusal to financially assist members of a Roxborough cultural group, which were due to perform at an event in New York in August. Duke remains the PDP’s political leader.

Watson Duke. File photo/Angelo Marcelle

According to the document, the poll, which featured 16 questions, asked a sample of Tobagonians to rate various aspects of the performance of the administration and minority council in several categories., including excellent, average, below average and poor.

It said of the 315 respondents polled, the majority were of the opinion that the THA’s overall performance was below average or worse.

On the THA’s overall performance during the past year, 22.9 per cent of the respondents said it was very poor while 18.7 per cent said it was below average. Only 5.7 per cent of the respondents said the assembly’s performance was excellent.

Twenty-nine per cent of the respondents said the performance of the minority bench was average while 5.7 per cent of them said it was excellent.

One respondent said, “The current THA executive is trying but people expect them to fix everything in one year, which is unreasonable and wicked.”

Another said, “There is understandably much room for growth from this young team of assemblymen. We hope to see them strive to improve on the first year as 2023 rolls in. The matter with Roxborough Performance Group and their Brooklyn trip, using tax payers’ money is something that must be ventilated to the satisfaction of civil society.”

The document added all age groups were represented, the highest from the 30-49 age group, which accounted for 52.7 per cent. The least number of individuals polled came from the 18-29 age group – 6.7 per cent.

The highest participation came from the Signal Hill/Patience Hill while the lowest came from the Parlatuvier/L’Anse Fourmi and Belle Garden/Glamorgan electoral districts.

The results have a (+ or -) 6 per cent margin of error.