MANILA, Philippines – A majority of Filipinos are satisfied with how democracy works in the country, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey held in September but released Thursday, October 4, showed.
Results of the Third Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey held from September 15 to 23 showed that 84% of Filipinos are satisfied with the way democracy works in the country.
This is 6 points higher than the 78% recorded in March 2018, but still below the record-high 86% in September 2016.
“Satisfaction with the way democracy works has ranged from 59% to 86% since June 2010,” the SWS said.
SWS also said that based on past surveys, public satisfaction with the way democracy works in the country “had peaks of 70% in September 1992, 70% in July 1998, 68% in June 2010, and the record-high 86% in September 2016, related to the successful presidential elections of 1992, 1998, 2010, and 2016, respectively.”
It was a different story in June 2004 – after the controversial victory of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo against the late Fernando Poe Jr in the presidential elections – when Filipinos’ satisfaction with the way democracy works was at 44%.
The survey – held among 1,500 adults (600 from Balance Luzon, 300 each from Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao) – has sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages, ±4% for Balance Luzon, and ±6% for Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Preference for democracy
According to the latest survey, 59% of Filipinos said “democracy is always preferable to any other kind of government” – a point lower than the 60% recorded in March 2018. Except for the 47% recorded in July 2014, preference for democracy has been above 50% since February 2009, reaching a record-high 65% in June 2013.
About 20% of Filipinos said “under some circumstances, an authoritarian government can be preferable to a democratic one” – a point higher than the 19% from September 2016 to March 2018. SWS said it has been 20% or below for 6 consecutive quarters since December 2015.
Meanwhile, 19% of Filipinos said “for people like me, it does not matter whether we have a democratic or a non-democratic regime” – two points lower than the 21% in March 2018. According to the SWS, the figure has been 20% and above in 7 out of 9 surveys since September 2013.
The question used to gauge public “satisfaction in the way democracy works” in the Philippines originated in the Eurobarometer surveys, the standard used in Latin American and Asian barometer projects, the SWS said.
SWS’s question on satisfaction with democracy was “Sa pangkalahatan, kayo po ba ay…(lubos na nasisiyahan; medyo nasisiyahan; hindi na nasisiyahan; lubos na hindi nasisiyahan) sa takbo ng demokrasya sa Pilipinas (On the whole, are you … [Very satisfied; Fairly satisfied; Not very satisfied; Not at all satisfied] with the way democracy works in the Philippines)?”
On preference for democracy, SWS asked, “Alin sa mga sumusunod na pangungusap ang pinakamalapit sa inyong opinyon? (Ang demokrasya ay palaging mas kanais-nais kaysa sa ibang klase ng pamahalaan; sa mga ilang situwasyon, ang pamahalaang diktaturya ay mas kanais-nais kaysa sa isang demokratiko; para sa mga taong katulad ko, walang kabuluhan sa akin kung ang ating pamahalaan ay demokratiko o hindi demokratiko.)”
(Which of the following statements comes closest to your own opinion? [Democracy is always preferable to any other kind of government; Under some circumstances, an authoritarian government can be preferable to a democratic one; For people like me, it does not matter whether we have a democratic or a non-democratic regime]).
SWS said its poll on satisfaction with democracy, and preference for democracy, are not commissioned and are done on its “own initiative and released as a public service.”
It said it employs its own staff for questionnaire design, sampling, fieldwork, data-processing, and analysis, and does not outsource any of its survey operations. – Rappler.com
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