BY I. CAÑETE DEMAIN
THE Fernandina Media Forum at Club Filipino on Wednesday proved to be quite a stunner. Former senator and senatorial candidate Kit Tatad made a revealing presentation that got the media members present transfixed—he declared that recent pre-election surveys in the country are “fatally flawed and inaccurate” and polling firms have betrayed the trust reposed in their work by the media and the public.
Kit disclosed that Philippine survey firms, led by SWS and Pulse Asia, are using discredited survey methodology and techniques that long ago had been discarded by reputable pollsters in the US and advanced countries.
Among these methods are face-to-face interviewing, quota or cluster sampling and the loading of questionnaires with paid rider questions. He cited survey experts to back up his contention that the products of such polls are “no good and worthless.”
The former senator also revealed that poll firms do what they will in their polling because there are no regulations governing the conduct of opinion polls, and there is no professional association of poll researchers that sets professional and ethical standards for public opinion polling. Market research is much better off because it has the MORI (Market Opinion Researchers Inc) that sets and enforces standards.
The nation owes Mr. Tatad one for blowing the whistle on the on local pollsters who have been taking us for a ride. Like others, I have long wondered how anyone can divine from the opinions of some 1500 to 2500 citizens the opinions and preferences of our 94 million people and 48 million voters. Now, it turns out that all the pretense at science is just a sham.
Let’s see how SWS, Pulse Asia, Stratpolls, etc. squirm out of this one.