What the survey says
EVERYONE has a say about these surveys come election time. We call them manipulated, mind-conditioning. But they are still statistics and reflect voter behavior and other matters about the senatoriables that we must consider.
The recent survey of Pulse Asia shows that familiar names and incumbents are still topping the surveys. The surprise is first time candidate Bong Go, the president’s former special assistant, but this is due to a lot of factors, from name recall, popularity, controversy of using government machinery for his projection.
There is something skewed though if you look at the Pulse Asia survey and the survey made by the Social Weather Station about what qualities do voters want in choosing their candidates.
While the SWS showed that one-fourth of the people value honesty and good character as their criteria, I wonder how come candidates with controversial cases, the likes of Imee Marcos, Bong Revilla, and Jinggoy Estrada are ranking high in the surveys.
In the SWS survey though, it seems to show that voters choose character over capability. Only 9 percent would choose candidates who can give solutions to the problems of the country. While 14% would like candidates who can deliver on their promises.
This shows that our politics is still personality and popularity based. Now if we are preferring candidates who offer alternative /independent politics or principled politics, this is sad. As these candidates noted, they have to do more.
But what is there to do? We have to look at how Comelec needs to do something for the sake of making the people have informed decisions. In other Asian countries, their version of Comelec provides equal funds and resources for candidates to post their campaign material and videos. If this is being done here, this could be helpful
to know all candidates, incumbent, independent candidates or to opposition candidates that will have the same opportunity to project their platform and agenda.
But since that is not happening, what else can we do if we are not satisfied with these results?
As statistician Jose Ramon Albert pointed out in an interview with Rappler, we have to do more. Surveys are influenced by a lot of things. Choices are made by how strong candidates and their supporters campaign for them.
Another matter which could have helped the voters besides surveys is still, voter education. Institutions and media could project candidates’profiles, wealth, track record and platform; or project issues that matter and set this as the challenge to the candidates.
With the election about six weeks away, let us look into what matters in making our choices.