Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Whose election frame will dominate?

Slander cannot destroy an honest man—when the flood recedes the rock is there.—Chinese proverb

Pulse Asia just released its latest nationwide survey on the top choices for president. Noynoy Aquino is at 44 percent while Manuel Villar, Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Joseph Estrada are at 19, 13 and 11 percent, respectively. That makes the 2009 election a race for second place.

But that’s only true if honesty and an unblemished reputation remains the horse to ride.

Pulse Asia asked their respondents why they were voting for a particular candidate. The five top reasons cited were: “Hindi kurakot/malinis” (Does not steal/is clean) (21.2 percent); “May nagawa, may magagawa” (Has done a lot/can do a lot) (14 percent); “Para sa mahirap, galing sa mahirap” (Pro-poor/comes from the poor) (12.2 percent); “Tumutulong” (Helps a lot) (12 percent); “Reputasyon ng pamilya” (Family reputation) (4.2 percent).

Looking into the components of each of those five reasons will show why the election frame is still up for grabs.

The first and fifth reasons belong to Noynoy Aquino, obviously.

The second reason,“May nagawa, may magagawa,” belongs to padrino (patron) politicos—Disaster relief (2.7 percent); Other accomplishments (6.1 percent); Nagbigay ng pabahay (Provided housing) (4.9 percent) and one other at 0.4 percent.

The third reason, “Para sa mahirap, galing sa mahirap,” is also padrino (patronage) politics—“Matulungin sa mahirap” (Helpful to the poor) (7.8 percent); “Makamahirap/pagtingin sa mahirap” (Pro-poor) (3.7 percent) and “galing sa mahirap” (Came from poverty) (0.7 percent)

The fourth reason, “Tumutulong,” is still about padrino—“Tumutulong sa OFW” (Helps overseas Filipino workers) (6.6 percent) and “Matulungin” (Helpful) (5.4 percent).

So it seems that the way to defeat Noynoy is to change the election frame from a question of character to a contest of who is the best padrino, regardless of record and reputation.

I think the Villar and Estrada camps realize that. That’s why there is a concerted campaign to knock Noynoy off his white horse.

Estrada does not attack Noynoy directly but his campaign manager, writing an article in a newspaper closely associated with him, started a rumor that was picked up by the slimiest practitioners of jukebox journalism.

As for the ethically challenged Villar, his statement that all candidates were the same was followed with an exposé by one of his loyal lieutenants.

Rep. Crispin “Boying” Remulla alleged that Noynoy Aquino got the SCTEx (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) rerouted for his family’s benefit. He added that Noynoy’s family overpriced their land. In short, Noynoy was no different from Villar.

SCTEx was a road project between Estrada and the Japanese government. It started during Estrada’s term and was completed under the Arroyo administration. Noynoy had no hand in it.

The difference between the non-role of Noynoy in SCTEx and Villar’s hand in the cookie jar in C-5 is black and white.

The rerouting of C-5 and the overpricing of Villar’s landholdings happened while Villar was chairman of the Senate finance committee. Note that in fairness to Villar, I used “while” instead of “because.”

Noynoy neither had the political power nor the gall to do to SCTEx what Villar did to C5.

Most important of all, Noynoy, unlike Villar, will not run away from an ethics investigation. He is not afraid to testify under oath. He has nothing to hide, nothing to lie about.

The strategy of those lagging behind Noynoy is to run gimmicks and political ads selling themselves as the patron saints of the poor while spreading black lies about Noynoy, his mother and their relatives.

The American journalist Jimmy Breslin once described political campaigns as a season of “speeches and slander, of lies and libel, of life without a conscience.”

The laggards have oodles of money to finance the sort of propaganda that would do Joseph Goebbels proud.

So the question is, what will win the people’s trust and confidence this time around: the politics of honesty and cleanliness, or the politics of patronage and slander?

Slander cannot destroy an honest man—when the flood recedes the rock is there.—Chinese proverb

Pulse Asia just released its latest nationwide survey on the top choices for president. Noynoy Aquino is at 44 percent while Manuel Villar, Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Joseph Estrada are at 19, 13 and 11 percent, respectively. That makes the 2009 election a race for second place.

But that’s only true if honesty and an unblemished reputation remains the horse to ride.

Pulse Asia asked their respondents why they were voting for a particular candidate. The five top reasons cited were: “Hindi kurakot/malinis” (Does not steal/is clean) (21.2 percent); “May nagawa, may magagawa” (Has done a lot/can do a lot) (14 percent); “Para sa mahirap, galing sa mahirap” (Pro-poor/comes from the poor) (12.2 percent); “Tumutulong” (Helps a lot) (12 percent); “Reputasyon ng pamilya” (Family reputation) (4.2 percent).

Looking into the components of each of those five reasons will show why the election frame is still up for grabs.

The first and fifth reasons belong to Noynoy Aquino, obviously.

The second reason,“May nagawa, may magagawa,” belongs to padrino (patron) politicos—Disaster relief (2.7 percent); Other accomplishments (6.1 percent); Nagbigay ng pabahay (Provided housing) (4.9 percent) and one other at 0.4 percent.

The third reason, “Para sa mahirap, galing sa mahirap,” is also padrino (patronage) politics—“Matulungin sa mahirap” (Helpful to the poor) (7.8 percent); “Makamahirap/pagtingin sa mahirap” (Pro-poor) (3.7 percent) and “galing sa mahirap” (Came from poverty) (0.7 percent)

The fourth reason, “Tumutulong,” is still about padrino—“Tumutulong sa OFW” (Helps overseas Filipino workers) (6.6 percent) and “Matulungin” (Helpful) (5.4 percent).

So it seems that the way to defeat Noynoy is to change the election frame from a question of character to a contest of who is the best padrino, regardless of record and reputation.

I think the Villar and Estrada camps realize that. That’s why there is a concerted campaign to knock Noynoy off his white horse.

Estrada does not attack Noynoy directly but his campaign manager, writing an article in a newspaper closely associated with him, started a rumor that was picked up by the slimiest practitioners of jukebox journalism.

As for the ethically challenged Villar, his statement that all candidates were the same was followed with an exposé by one of his loyal lieutenants.

Rep. Crispin “Boying” Remulla alleged that Noynoy Aquino got the SCTEx (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) rerouted for his family’s benefit. He added that Noynoy’s family overpriced their land. In short, Noynoy was no different from Villar.

SCTEx was a road project between Estrada and the Japanese government. It started during Estrada’s term and was completed under the Arroyo administration. Noynoy had no hand in it.

The difference between the non-role of Noynoy in SCTEx and Villar’s hand in the cookie jar in C-5 is black and white.

The rerouting of C-5 and the overpricing of Villar’s landholdings happened while Villar was chairman of the Senate finance committee. Note that in fairness to Villar, I used “while” instead of “because.”

Noynoy neither had the political power nor the gall to do to SCTEx what Villar did to C5.

Most important of all, Noynoy, unlike Villar, will not run away from an ethics investigation. He is not afraid to testify under oath. He has nothing to hide, nothing to lie about.

The strategy of those lagging behind Noynoy is to run gimmicks and political ads selling themselves as the patron saints of the poor while spreading black lies about Noynoy, his mother and their relatives.

The American journalist Jimmy Breslin once described political campaigns as a season of “speeches and slander, of lies and libel, of life without a conscience.”

The laggards have oodles of money to finance the sort of propaganda that would do Joseph Goebbels proud.

So the question is, what will win the people’s trust and confidence this time around: the politics of honesty and cleanliness, or the politics of patronage and slander?

14 comments:

Dean Jorge Bocobo said...

I vote for slander. Definitely slander!

Dean Jorge Bocobo said...

But now that Straw Poll Season is over, all the geniuses making predictions based on surveys taken before the public even knows who are actually running need to brace for major changes in the published results. This article's claim that 2010 is now a race for second place is laughable and naif.

Dean Jorge Bocobo said...

I think fairness requires that the following question be asked, since moral comparisons have been made in this article between Noynoy and Manny Villar: Has the SCTEX accusation been subjected to as grueling an investigation and as public an airing as the C5 project involving Villar?

I ask this in connection with author's claim that reasons 1 and 5 (honest-clean, family reputation) "belong to Noynoy obviously". Since this adds up to 21.5 + 4.2 percent or 25.7%, even if we assume ALL these people voted for Noynoy, then where is the balance of Noynoy's 44% coming from? The trapoistic patronage factor? At 19% that's a much bigger number than Erap's or Villar's corruption index!

Dean Jorge Bocobo said...

I think the interpretation of the five reasons people gave for choosing someone is a bit skewed by the obvious partisanship of the author of this article and preference for Noynoy Aquino. There is absolutely no basis in the survey for divining which of the five reasons the 44% who mentioned Noynoy actually had. They could not all have come from the just the first and fifth reasons.

ricelander said...

May I post this here: The ghost of Hacienda Luisita

See the downside of parental legacies as a jump off point?

manuelbuencamino said...

well dean,

I doubt if an accusation of honesty against Erap or Villar will stand scrutiny

manuelbuencamino said...

DJ,

If you reread my article you will see that I wrote "Looking into the components of each of those five reasons will show why the election frame is still up for grabs."

The reason is the padrino factor, reasons 2 to 4, add up to 36.3. That's more than 25.4 total for reasons 1 and 5.

That's why I concluded, "So it seems that the way to defeat Noynoy is to change the election frame from a question of character to a contest of who is the best padrino, regardless of record and reputation."

manuelbuencamino said...

ricelander,

if you read the poll it says

“Hindi kurakot/malinis” (Does not steal/is clean) (21.2 percent);

“Reputasyon ng pamilya” (Family reputation) (4.2 percent).

Obviously Noynoy will not get 44% support if all he had was reputation ng pamilya.

manuelbuencamino said...

Dj,

people have known for months who are the candidates.

I am sorry that Erap did so poorly.

By the way, did you check his numbers in the CDE category? Pathetid for the man of the masa.

well who knows. May is a long away and between you, maceda, del castillo, arillo, and kapunan you might still pull off a win...for Villar. hahaha

Jesusa Bernardo said...

Surveys by SWS and Pulse Asia are generally reliable. However, I cannot forget the big2004 survey fiasco when Pulse Asia was predicting Arroyo had 10 points or something lead over FPJ. Well, Arroyo did "win," but it turned out it was via "Hello, Garci."

My mind is hoping no manipulation took place with the really astounding performance of Noynoy. However, I cannot forget how the uncivil 'civil society' did magic with Erap's ouster, made FPJ look "losing" in the 2004 surveys, helped with the railroading of the 2004 congressional canvassing, etc.

manuelbuencamino said...

Jesusa,

I too hope that no manipulation took place.

Dean Jorge Bocobo said...

MB,
You have been hoodwinked by a series of Straw Polls. Until the Fixed List of certified candidates comes out, all this polling is so much snap shooting on a windy Sunday. Even Noynoy's numbers are already plummeting (from 60% SWS to 44% Pulse).

Now of course the Holy Grail of all polling is to explain the results in term of news developments and people's attitudes and value judgments. But I think you are weaving sand here putting tenths of a decimal place to characterize very general emotions and criteria. Moreover, the identification of certain motivations (1 and 5) with Noynoy is illogical. I am sure no one grades candidates or makes choices based on just one of these stated criteria.

baycas2 said...

well, let's hear the explanation from the eminent djb how he can conclude a plummeting percentage from two different straw polls...

i remember ms. tabunda saying that numbers from each poll should never be compared.

???

will meta-analyses work in polls too (as they do in comparing randomized controlled trials in medicine)?

Jesusa Bernardo said...

Herman Tiu-Laurel explores the political ad angle (that I failed to consider). He estimates the ratio of Noynoy/Villar ads to Erap is be around 200-1. More:

"I heard Pulse Asia’s Felipe Miranda over radio explaining that TV ads, even more than radio presence, make all the difference in survey results today. The Yellow dummy has been getting three-minute plugs for free, courtesy of his oligarchic family controllers, which, if paid for, would cost P240,000 for every 30 seconds or P1.44 million for each run. It’s unclear how many times it is aired a day; some say three and others say up to 10 times. This doesn’t yet factor in the “casual mentions” (the broadcast term for plugging and name-dropping) by the candidate’s sister and her co-host in all their shows."