This has been eating me for a very long time now: Surveys, Philippine style. For many, many years now; voter behavior/preference has been mostly dictated by what the surveys say.
Intelligent, free-thinking voters should know better than to listen to what surveys say about the candidates, in particular, the presidential and vice-presidential candidates. What the surveys do is not to shed light on the rightful person/s to take the highest seats in government; what they do, other than earning millions of pesos for themselves, is to manipulate the minds of the voting public and “brainwash” them into thinking AND believing that the candidates topping the surveys are the most deserving of the lot.
Never mind if the candidates have no strong backings of notable and positive contributions to the country, never mind if the candidates have so far been in the shadows lurking behind the scene and not doing one bit of ANYTHING to promote the betterment of the country, never mind if their only backings are supposed what-could-be’s and not what-I-have-achieved-so-far — never mind any of those. The surveys say that the PROMISE of a better future from someone who has so far not done anything AT ALL is good enough for us, so it better be good enough for you.
Dick Gordon doesn’t believe in surveys and rightfully so. He says to “ignore the surveys” because they are misleading. I completely agree with him. In a column by Conrado de Quiros in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, he notes that Gordon has said the surveys “do not provide any public service. They just railroad the voters into voting for the leading candidate.”
The columnist on the other hand, reiterated his stand that “it’s not a question of who is likely to be so, it’s a question of who ought to be so.” The intelligent, free-thinking voters choose their candidates based on these premises but I only know of a handful of voters who think this way. The majority still goes for the popularity ratings because they are too lazy to think for themselves.
What the surveys do is to send the message that voting for someone who is not at the top of the survey list is foolish, stupid, asinine — call it whatever you like, it’s still the same stupid message anyway.
It’s the surveys that make the election and if we keep on listening to these subliminal messages, we might as well base everything else on surveys and cross our fingers that what the surveys say are what’s best for us. Fools.