Recently the Sigaw ng Bayan and ULAP raised their petition to the Supreme Court. Do you have much trust, are unsure, or have little trust that the Supreme Court would make a fair decision as to whether or not to grant the petition of Sigaw ng Bayan and ULAP regarding people's initiative?Now take a look at SWS asking it in Filipino:
Kamakailan ay inakyat ng Sigaw ng Bayan at ng ULAP ang kanilang petisyon sa Korte Suprema. Kayo po ba ay malaki ang tiwala, hindi sigurado, o maliit ang tiwala na ang Korte Suprema ay makapagbibigay ng makatarungang desisyon kung dapat o hindi dapat na pahintulutan ang petisyon ng Sigaw ng Bayan at ng ULAP ukol sa people's initiative24% of respondents said "little trust".
13% said they had "much trust"
61% were "unsure".
But look at several HEADLINES announcing these results:
SWS (Raw Data Page):
62% unsure if SC will decide fairly on 'people's initiative' petition
SWS (Media Release on Main Home Page):
Third Quarter 2006 Social Weather Survey: 62% unsure if SC will decide fairly on 'people's initiative' petition
Philippine Daily Inquirer (Front Page Headline):
60% of Filipinos doubt SC fairness, says poll
Notice how the obvious and correct description (that a 60% majority of Filipinos are UNDECIDED about the case) was transmogrified, apparently for propaganda purposes, by both SWS and PDI in an obvious breach of some kind of Ethics. Also, the Media Release people at SWS are not the statisticians, that is fairly obvious.
The Loaded Fairness Question itself is problematic, as pointed out in yesterday's post. I note also that the English and Tagalog versions of the question are NOT exactly the same, but even leaving that out, my faith in SWS has taken a mighty big hit these past weeks. They have evolved into a genre of propaganda, or are manipulable in that direction.
The question itself is badly flawed in a number of respects:
The English and Tagalog versions are not exactly the same, and it is not just the fact that something is always lost in translation. The premises and presentation of the question are complex and convoluted, requiring some knowledge of many current events and issues that even the Justices of the Supreme Court themselves are unsure of.
In fine the question asks the respondents to make a prediction about how the Supreme Court will rule; whether it will rule fairly or on the merits; and on behalf of some obscure organizations that are meaningless acronyms to most people randomly selected.
No wonder the majority answered loud and clear UNDECIDED.
But that is the Macchiavellian thing about this question (or is it Orwellian?), the way the question was phrased gives the Media Release folks license to SAY the people are unsure IF the Supreme Court will rule fairly, yet NOT SAY that the data also means the people are unsure if the Supreme Court will rule UNFAIRLY. It's like announcing that a half-full glass is half-empty, as IF there were a difference!
This is self-justifying propaganda based on scientifically collected statistical data packaged to say something the data plainly does NOT.
It's intellectual dishonesty.