Political scientists Wickham and Joseph in bitter row
An acrimonious quarrel which erupted between two regional political scientists ahead of Monday’s general election in St Lucia appears to be escalating.
The latest salvo was fired today by pollster Peter Wickham in his public row with Head of the Department of Government, Sociology and Social Work at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI)
Dr Tennyson Joseph, with Wickham accusing the academic of embarrassing the university.
The two had engaged in a public spat after a survey by Wickham’s polling company CADRES, found the election too close to call.
The Wickham survey also found an eight per cent swing away from the then incumbent St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) of Dr Kenny Anthony towards Allan Chastanet’s United Workers Party (UWP).
Joseph had rubbished the poll, contending that the investigators had not gone deep enough into the individual constituencies. He also predicted at the time that the SLP would have won up to 14 seats in the 17-seat parliament, and no fewer than 11.
However, after the incumbent lost 11 to six, Joseph suggested that the UWP had bought the election, prompting a strong response from Wickham, who earlier yesterday had sarcastically described the UWI lecturer in politics as having “a superior intellect and understanding of the Caribbean environment”.
Wickham today told Barbados TODAY it was noteworthy that Joseph was persisting with his assessment of the election even in the face of irrefutable evidence that he was wrong.
The pollster maintained that Joseph’s position reflected poorly on the UWI political scientist, but worse yet, it reflected dimly on his training and discipline.
Wickham did not stop there, saying as the head of the Department of Government, Sociology and Social Work at the Cave Hill, Joseph had tragically embarrassed the department, abandoned his training and behaved like a blind supporter of the SLP.
There has been no immediate response from Joseph to Wickham’s latest criticism.