Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Are surveys useful to Filipino voters?

Don't vote for someone just because he or she is popular.
DJ Mojo Jojo, Magic 89.9

Surveys are useless to the Filipino voter
It seems we are being smothered by surveys, but are surveys of any real use or benefit to the actual voter?
As a voter, what you really need to base your decision on are the qualifications of the candidate and his/her platform of governance - if it is at all made available.

Surveys do not give out that sort of information.  Surveys just say that one candidate is popular at the particular time that a survey is conducted. 

Surveys are actually more useful for the candidate who must know how his or her campaign is doing.  Say, for example, the candidate's survey drops significantly or increases dramatically, the survey data can be correlated with elements of the candidate's campaign.  Through surveys, candidates can gain insight into what elements in his campaign are effective, ineffective, and counter-productive. 

If his survey improves or dips and it is traced to an element like a new political ad, then it should guide the candidate's decision on whether or not to pour more money into advertising. 

Moreover, in cases where the candidate has a very good standing, publishing the results of very positive surveys gives the candidate a psychological advantage over his rivals who may have a lower ranking in the same survey. 

In a time of universal deceit,
telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
- George Orwell

Surveys are propaganda tools
Newspaper headlines and first gaps screaming that a candidate has topped one survey or another doesn't just provide publicity for the candidate, it is gives the candidate an opportunity to project himself as the most probable winner of the electoral contest. 

This, in effect, allows the candidate to claim victory long before the first ballot is actually cast.  By constantly hammering on the claim of being the frontrunner of every survey through the media, the candidate can condition the minds of voters into believing he or she is the "sure winner" in the electoral contest.  This helps create a bandwagon effect, which allows the candidate to tap the support of the less critically minded.

Choices are the hinges of destiny. 

~Attributed to both Edwin Markham and Pythagoras

My advice: BE INFORMED

The quality of any decision depends on how well informed you are. 

Perhaps it goes without saying that if you make a good decision, you're bound to achieve good results. And in order to make a good decision, you  need to figure out what your options are and then get as much information about each of the options available to you.

My good friend Magic 89.9 DJ Mojo Jojo says, don't vote for someone just because he or she is popular.  This is just like doing something because everybody else is doing it or joining a group just because everybody is joining.  That's not deciding for yourself, that's allowing others to decide for you.

As it applies to the election in 2010, it is your responsibility as a voter to get to know about each candidate.
Don't just vote for someone because some personal circumstance that they went through tugged at your heart or because their TV commercial repeatedly tells you that they will help the poor or whatever.

You have to be critical about every candidate, find out if they are telling YOU the truth by reading as much as you can about each candidate and seeing if their actions are consistent with their words.

Get to know more about what their qualifications are, look into their track record as public servants, find out about what they intend to do once they are in office,  see if they've been involved in serious misdeeds in the past, and see if they can present a clear and credible plan for doing whatever they say they'll do.

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