By MANUEL L. MORATÓ
In the TV program of Boy Abunda, “The Bottomline” last Sunday, he guested some students whose names I was not able to jot down. But I did catch the names of Ms. Gabee Paras, Ms. Diana Caga and Mr. Gab Bayan. There were six of them and if I am not mistaken, some are UP students.
The discussion was very good, if I may say, for the students are very aware of the topic being discussed. The principal guest was Dr. Ana Maria Tabunda of Pulse Asia; and the discussion revolved around the various surveys being conducted for the elections in May.
While Pulse Asia has the right to conduct surveys, the students were apprehensive about the “mind conditioning effect” of surveys involving a sample of some 1,800 persons out of 50 to 60 million voters.
On my part, I kind of agree with the students; that indeed the surveys can influence a big percentage of our voters who are not sophisticated enough to know the good ones from those who should not be elected at all.
It is an accepted fact that a great portion of our voters go on “name recall.” And another point to consider is that we have voters who go for alleged “winners” based on the surveys. Ayaw ng mga botante bumoto ng “talunan.” Gusto nila, for self-pride, na panalo ang ibinoto nila at hindi talunan.
Dapat yata mag-ingat ang ating mga botante. Sabi na pag may bumoto ng more than 12 senators, mana-nullify ang voting slip. Ang hindi maliwanag kung valid ang bumoto ng less than 12. Will the ballot be nullified or not?
Normally, there are voters who can only recall 5, 6 or 7 names. The rest are named based on name recall. Huwag po ninyong gawin ‘yan. Make a list o codigo ng 12 senatorial candidates na talagang pinili at sinuri ninyo ng mabuti.
On my part, I do believe that surveys have a tremendous impact on the voters. Dahil nga sa ating kaugalian (hindi ko nilalahat) base sa lumalabas daw sa surveys, suriin pa rin ninyo ng mabuti.
I will admit that surveys have a great impact on a big sector of our society who are not sophisticated enough; and who can be carried away by publicity and/or surveys.
Ang dapat matutunan ng ating mga botante ay alamin kung anong klase ang pagkatao nong kandidato.
While the survey outfits have the right to conduct surveys, let us just hope that not only those who can afford to spend for a survey to see how they are doing in the campaign trail are the ones who come out in the list.
No matter how we look at it, the surveys can definitely condition and somewhat influence the minds of some voters – short of saying a lot of our voters, specially the “no-read, no-write” and are not well-informed, living in remote areas whose concentration is on how to make a living. They are kind of pessimistic “na pare-pareho lang ‘yan lahat pag nakaupo na sa puwesto.” This attitude must be removed from their minds. Kung ganoon ang nangyari noong araw, dapat hindi na ganoon ngayon. Alam na ninyo kung sinu-sino ang nag-disappoint sa inyo. Marami na ngayon ang matitino na mapagpipilian. Huwag ninyong sayangin ang oportunidad.
But I do have a suggestion to make, if I may. To be fair to everybody, last minute surveys must not be allowed to be released, like 3 days before election. Hindi ito karera ng mga kabayo na ina-announce hanggang sa finish line.