After Feb. 21 debate, anything more to expect?
This is in reaction to the news report titled “Poe, Binay tied in latest poll” (Front Page, 3/5/16).
Less than two weeks after the first “square off” (held at Capitol University in Cagayan de Oro City on Feb. 21.) among the five presidential aspirants, Pulse Asia released the results of voter preference poll on the presidential election. The reaction of the rivals were varied. But to this senior citizen, the response of candidate Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesperson could be very apt: The “[r]esults of the Pulse Asia poll did not reflect the real sentiments of the voters.” Why?
The survey covered 1,800 respondents within the period Feb. 15- 20. The findings were released March 4, or 13 days from the last day of the survey. Significantly, Pulse Asia had conducted a similar survey from Jan. 24-28 this year, covering the same number of respondents as the February survey did. The results were released on Feb. 6, nine days after Jan. 28, the last day of the survey.
But Pulse Asia’s February survey covered the period Feb. 15-20. Why didn’t it cover Feb. 24, the day marking a full month from Jan. 24, the first day of its January survey, or Feb. 22, the day after the first presidential debate in 24 years was held?
Which of the five presidentiables excelled in that first debate, we might never know. After all, the scheduled presidential debates (two others are still to be held) are meant “to shift attention to policy talk in a country where many have been fascinated by personalities and show biz-like campaigns” (“Five rivals cross swords,” Front Page, 2/22/16).
On March 20, the second presidential debate is going to be held in the University of the Philippines, Cebu City (Cebu Daily News, 2/22/16). The five candidates better come prepared; UP is known for its trademark, no-holds-barred queries!
We hope the “answers to questions about their vulnerabilities would be remembered most after the (first) debate.” But with our short attention span, we are clueless if the first debate shifted voters’ attention to the candidates’ demeanor or misdemeanors, sincerity and preparedness. After the first debate, candidates are back, true-to-form, to their show-biz style of campaigning—bursting with promises!
—MANUEL Q. BONDAD, Makati City