Here is another argument against dumb questions formulated by survey firms getting senseless answers from their respondents. It’s not that I think President Arroyo is spotless. But when a Pulse Asia Survey (October 30-31) said that President Arroyo is more corrupt than Ferdinand Marcos, I almost fell off my seat.
Who was it that said that a little knowledge is dangerous? When you ask the uninformed a silly question, it follows that he/she will give you a stupid answer. I won’t ascribe any motive to Pulse Asia, although there are rumors it is being used as a propaganda tool by the political opposition, but firms that claim to be scientific should not have formulated a question that would invite an unenlightened answer.
Asking respondents who they think is the most corrupt president since 1965 presupposes that the one questioned lived through the period mentioned, has enough knowledge of the extent of corruption committed by each president and more importantly understands what corruption is. Or does Pulse Asia want to be like those TV stations that ask man-on-the-street questions about topics people on the street don’t know about?
I was a young man lapping up all the information I could get in the waning years of the Marcos regime. And I assure you no succeeding president can ever compare with the kind of plunder of the government coffers that Ferdinand and his cronies committed. At the end of his reign, Marcos was listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most corrupt, hoarding billions of dollars in people’s money.
The truth is, this country plunged economically from being second only to Japan in Asia to trudging the behinds of other countries because of the rapacious ways of Marcos and his cronies. Thus, to say that any of the succeeding presidents is more corrupt is to be ignorant of the history of this country. And if one is ignorant, why did Pulse Asia ask them the question in the first place?
This just shows the quality of the survey firms we have in this country. They give surveys a bad name.
–Bong Wenceslao, December 12, 2007