Voters’ Choices for President
August to December 2009 Surveys
|Aug 09||Oct 09||Aug-Oct||Dec 09||Oct-Dec|
Pulse Asia has an interesting table on reasons for presidential preference. The respondent is asked ‘Bakit po ninyo iboboto si _____ bilang Presidente ng Pilipinas?’ The findings from the following table may be referenced with the above summary.
|Reasons for preference||May 09||Aug 09||Oct 09||Dec 09||PossibleLink*|
|1. Tumutulong, matulungin sa ofw/ibang sector [AID/ASSISTANCE]||6.6||11.8||12||11||Villar|
|2. May nagawa, maraming nagawa [ACCOMPLISHMENTS]||11.6||25.3||14||11||Villar, Estrada|
|2a. Magaling/maganda ang palakad, [GOVERNANCE/EXPERIENCE]||4||8||Villar, Estrada|
|3. Hindi corrupt, walang kurakot, malinis [NOT CORRUPT]||7.1||6.3||21.2||21||Aquino|
|4. Mabait, mabuti, reputasyon ng pamilya [GOOD MAN/FAMILY]||5.6||3.7||4.2||12||Aquino|
|5. Makamasa, pagtingin sa mahirap, galling sa hirap [PRO-POOR]||27.3||20.3||12.2||27||Estrada, Villar|
The leap of Aquino to 1st place in October and remaining as 1st in December could be attributed to #3 and #4.
The improvement of Estrada in December could be attributed to #5, possibly #2 and #2a .
Likewise, Villar gained in December due to #5, possibly #2 and #2a.
The same could be observed in August.
The TV infomercials of Villar and Estrada play up these points.
Probably some respondents also perceive Aquino as having traits #2, 2a and 5. This has to be developed further even as he appears to have sole claim to traits #3 and 4.
It may also be well to consider the important points for 2010 summed up by public opinion polls, as summarized by Mahar Managhas of SWS. For instance, the campaign strategy of Teodoro to prop up the administration’s accomplishments will be heavily weighed down by these observations.
Public opinion relevant to 2010
By Mahar Mangahas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
1. Unpopularity of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It is an outstanding fact that most Filipinos have been dissatisfied with the president’s performance throughout the past five years. In contrast, during the 2004 election campaign, the public’s regard for Arroyo was either moderate or neutral.
President Arroyo wasn’t alone as an increasingly unpopular leader. The ratings of US President George W. Bush over 2001-08 collapsed as much. Common sense says that it will be just as hard for Arroyo’s candidate to win in 2010 as it was for Bush’s candidate to win in 2008. The main task of her candidate will be to convince the public that he/she will be very different.
Another outstanding fact is that Filipinos will definitely reject any constitutional amendment allowing Arroyo to stay as the country’s chief executive, when put to a referendum. The SWS survey percentage intending to vote NO to Cha-cha was 64 in October 2008, and rose to 66 in February 2009, and then to 70 in June 2009.
… There is a strong clamor for change by the Filipino people.
2. Serious problems of hunger and corruption. The highly alarming economic trend shown by the SWS surveys is that hunger quadrupled in the last six years—from 5 percent in 2003 to 20 percent in June 2009.
The two areas of highest public dissatisfaction with the performance of the national administration are in addressing hunger and corruption, both at -21 in our latest survey (SWS media release August 10, 2009).
… Corruption has never been this bad. We must end it.
3. Public satisfaction with the working of democracy needs to recover. “Satisfaction with the way democracy works” is a world-standard survey item, originating in Eurobarometer, and now used by Latinobarometro, Asian Barometer, and other regional barometers. I had to report that, according to the 2005/06 Asian Barometer, the percentage satisfied with the working of democracy was only 38 in the Philippines, compared to 59 in Indonesia, 66 in Malaysia, 79 in Thailand, and 83 in Singapore.
SWS has tracked this indicator since 1991, and found it obviously related to public satisfaction with elections. It had outstanding peaks of 70 percent satisfaction in October 1992 and July 1998, in the first surveys taken after the presidential elections of those years showed that transition of power was done successfully.
Unfortunately, in non-election years the satisfaction rate slumped to the 30s and 40s. The fact that it did not budge in mid-2004 (44 percent in June 2004) showed public disappointment in the just-concluded presidential election. Its recovery to 54 in 2007, after the opposition won the senatorial election, was a good sign, but its latest figure is only 43. Can the Philippines achieve 70 percent again after the May 2010 election?
…The 2010 elections will be pivotal in redirecting our country from its current path of worsening poverty and social decay.
4. Expectations and experiences of voting irregularities. The percentage expecting vote-buying before an election was 57 in April 1992, dropped in April 2001 and April 2004, but then surged to 69 in February 2007. The percentages expecting vote count-cheating, flying voters, and voter-harassment likewise dropped from 1992 to 2004, but rose in early 2007. These are worrisome numbers.
On the other hand, the personal witnessing of voting irregularities after an election has been going down over time. The percentage who said they witnessed vote-buying was 17 in June 1998, 23 in July 2001, and 19 in June 2004, but it fell to 13 in June 2007. The percentage who saw cheating in the vote-count was five in 1998, but only two in 2007. The percentages who witnessed flying voters and voter-harassment were also lower after the 2007 election than after the 1998 election. I hope these figures do not merely mean that such irregularities are being better hidden over time.
Campaign strategists, take note.