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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Reading the Weather

Social Weather Stations released its survey on Charter Change and what to do with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Summary of the Data

First off, let us dispense with the obvious. Filipinos have this distaste with PGMA. It is no secret. The survey asked if PGMA should step down because it would be required by Charter Change--- a clear majority wins out with only 23% undecided. When asked when PGMA should step down, clearly the majority said, "yesterday" --- at 54%. When asked if PGMA should be allowed to run for Prime Minister, clearly the majority is a no.

the SWS survey reveal 42% are willing to have the "economic provisions" of the charter, changed but 32% are still undecided.

Similarly, 38% believe that Federalism is good, however 46% are still undecided.

The survey also asked if Filipinos are comfortable having the Chief Executive elected by the legislature, and similar figures came out.

What can we all gleam from this bit of data? Assuming of course that this is not garbage in, garbage out---- clearly we can construe based on these numbers and what history has told us the past 6 months, the reasons PGMA remains in power right now: 1) the opposition has nothing to offer differently and that they are simply exchanging one dog for another; 2) people have learned the lesson of EDSA 2 and Erap Estrada, that removing someone other than through constitutional means is foolish, 3) people want to do it right and are looking for an exit strategy to the present dilemma.

What else does this data reveal? That for change to happen, we must move away from the past i.e. no past presidents as prime minister (at least not right now).

What else?
Clearly this data is also telling us what we already know and perhaps the most important thing: People still need to be convinced that Charter Change is the right way. For proponents of charter change that is a very important piece of information because it tells them they have their work cut out and that they have to get it right to convince people. To do that they must get it right.