Educated youth still vote based on personalities, adverts - AIM poll

Even the educated youth chooses candidates based on personalities instead of platforms, a poll showed. According to the "Pinoy Youth Barometer" poll conducted in March by the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Policy Center, only 2.17 percent of 2,000 respondents voted based on the candidates' platform. In contrast, a 90 percent majority chose candidates based on personalities, last names and their television advertisements. One of the authors of the survey's analysis paper, AIM Policy Studies economist David Yap II said, "When you take a close look at our results, it is not the ideology behind the candidates that motivates people to vote for them. It is the personality. It coheres with the notion that we have this personalistic politics." Meanwhile, those who opted for platforms merely gave "broad motherhood statements such as the education, economy and reform," he added. "One problem that would be causing these results is that voters don't feel empowered... They don't recognize the full responsibilities associated with being a citizen of a democratic country," Yap said. The respondents who are of voting age were randomly selected from universities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Yap identified the schools as Far Eastern University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Saint Louis University in Baguio, and the University of Saint La Salle, while the others requested anonymity. Personality-politics Of the respondents who were of voting age, 37.19 percent based their vote on personalities. "This is further evidence that Philippine politics are largely defined by personalities rather than political parties or ideologies," Yap and his co-author AIM Policy Studies executive director Ronald Mendoza wrote in their paper "Is the Filipino youth a herald of change?" Meanwhile, television advertisements influenced the vote of 28.13 percent of respondents, "suggesting the power of broadcast media to influence the outcomes of national elections.” "Most consider that television campaign advertisements paint incomplete and, often, only flattering portraits of political candidates. In spite of this, a considerable portion of the sampled youth insisted on basing their choices on television advertisements," Yap and Mendoza said. Lastly, a quarter or 25 percent said they choose candidates based on their last names. "Not surprisingly, this proportion is considerably higher for those who voted for candidates with prominent last names such as Benigno “Bam” Aquino (37%), Nancy Binay (36%), and Ramon Magsaysay Jr. (43%)," according to the paper. "While it could be considered unfair to deem a candidate unfit to run merely because of his or her last name, a candidate winning primarily on the basis of his or her last name does call into question whether voters still hold candidates to account for their past political and professional accomplishments or their demonstrated potential as leaders," Yap and Mendoza said. Only 3.73 percent of respondents choose candidates based on endorsers, 1.94 percent based on what they know from the internet, while 1.84 based on what they heard over the radio. However, despite the survey's large sample size, "it would be careless to say that it is nationally representative" since the out-of-school youth were not part of the poll, Yap said. Top 15 The respondents were also asked to choose their top 15 senate bets for the 2013 elections. A comparison with the Social Weather Stations April survey and Pulse Asia March survey shows the more familiar names in Philippine politics.



Rank



Pinoy Youth Barometer



SWS April Survey



Pulse Asia March Survey



1



Escudero, Chiz



Legarda, Loren



Legarda, Loren



2



Cayetano, Alan Peter



Cayetano, Alan Peter



Escudero, Chiz



3



Legarda, Loren



Binay, Nancy



Cayetano, Alan Peter



4



Angara, Sonny



Villar, Cynthia



Poe, Grace



5



Gordon, Dick



Escudero, Chiz



Pimentel, Koko



6



Aquino, Bam



Aquino, Bam



Villar, Cynthia



7



Zubiri, Migz



Pimentel, Koko



Binay, Nancy



8



Enrile, Jack



Ejercito Estrada, JV



Aquino, Bam



9



Trillanes, Antonio IV



Angara, Sonny



Ejercito Estrada, JV



10



Binay, Nancy



Poe, Grace



Trillanes, Antonio IV



11



Ejercito Estrada, JV



Trillanes, Antonio IV



Honasan, Gringo



12



Magsaysay, Ramon Jr.



Enrile, Jack



Angara, Sonny



13



Hontiveros, Risa



Honasan, Gringo



Zubiri, Migz



14



Pimentel, Koko



Zubiri, Migz



Enrile, Jack



15



Madrigal, Jamby



Magsaysay, Ramon Jr.



Gordon, Dick



Source: "Is the Filipino youth a herald of change?" AIM Policy Center Cynthia Villar, Grace Poe-Llamanzares and Gringo Honasan are "noticeably absent" from the top fifteen of AIM's survey, replaced by Dick Gordon, Risa Hontiveros and Jamby Madrigal, according to the paper. "These results indicate that there are indeed notable differences between the voting preferences of the youth and those of household heads," AIM said. Political party system, voters' education, voters' maturity For their part, National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections chairperson Corazon Dela Paz-Bernardo said the survey results only reflect the state of political party system in the Philippines. "Political parties must have clear, distinctive platforms that would differentiate them from one another. Unfortunately, our political parties are not what they ought to be. Members move from one party to another at the drop of the hat depending on what is expedient rather than on the basis of principles and beliefs," she said in a text message. Meanwhile, Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting board member Marina Demeterio refused to comment as she would prefer to see the poll results herself. However, she did say that voters education should be "value-based" and should "not stop after an electoral exercise." Atty. Sara Suguitan, an election lawyer from the Ateneo de Manila School of Law, said in a text message that "while the sampling is limited... [the poll] betrays the level of maturity of our young voters." "It shows that many college students are not steeped in our political history and traditions... We need to start educating our youth about politics inside the classroom," Suguitan added. Suguitan once served as spokesperson for the Legal Network for Truthful Elections. — DVM, GMA News



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