The Editor, Sir:
Permit me to express concern about an article in The Sunday Gleaner, 'Census concerns'.
Last week, a talk-show host - who should know better - was supporting a number of callers who were making such wild, unsubstantiated statements as, "Portmore must have more people than that."
Reporter Daraine Luton took the unwise decision to compare the census results with the voters' list. I say unwise because, for as long as I can remember, our voters' list has been the victim of all sorts of political gymnastics. It takes no more than two drinks of a certain strength for supporters to admit that they are registered in three or four constituencies.
The logic is that on election day, depending on the numbers and the need, they are told where to vote. Surely, no one over 30 can forget election results in some of these same constituencies which showed one candidate getting well in excess of 100 per cent of the votes.
There is another activity which could impact census results. It stems from a strong and urgent desire in the general population, but more so in these same constituencies, to migrate. Superstition forbids discussion until the party reaches his/her final destination. I am quite sure our agencies do not have the tools to capture this pattern of migration.
No census will capture everyone, but where there are genuine concerns, there are statistical remedies.
No one in the Caribbean has more practical experience with censuses than the person who supervised this exercise. She has my complete confidence and I am quite happy with the results.