Thursday, August 04, 2011

Did GMA win?

Rigoberto Tiglao reminds us that by all metrics, GMA won the 2004 elections. Quoting Winnie Monsod's article
“Item: ‘Gloria Arroyo is an illegitimate president’ [because she cheated to win].

“1. Voter preferences as recorded by the Social Weather Stations, which conducted polls every two weeks since the start of the campaign period, showed that while at the beginning (Jan. 16-28) the lead of FPJ over Arroyo was almost 10 percentage points, this was whittled down so that a month later, they were running neck-and-neck, and this continued into March. By the second week of April, the polls showed Ms Arroyo ahead by almost five percentage points although this was not statistically significant. But by the week before the elections, Ms Arroyo’s lead over Poe was significant (37 percent vs. 30 percent).

“The other major polling organization, Pulse Asia, also noted the same trend, although its polls were taken at slightly different time periods…

“Its last poll from April 26-29 showed Ms Arroyo leading, 37 percent vs. 31 percent. Note that a six-point lead in voter preferences… would imply a difference of 2.0-2.5 million votes between the two candidates.

“2. Exit polls on Election Day itself by at least three media organizations validated the run-up polls. All of them showed Ms Arroyo as the winner.

“3. The final official congressional canvass showed Ms Arroyo getting 40 percent of the votes cast, while Poe got 36.5 percent (a difference of 1.1 million votes), while the Namfrel Quick Count, based on 83 percent of total precincts showed Ms Arroyo with 39.4 percent and Poe with 36.8 percent (a difference of 700,000 votes).

“All figures from different sources are within the same ballpark, and all indicate that Ms Arroyo won. For those who think that the poll results should not be accepted, it should be pointed out that the head of the Social Weather Stations is the first cousin of Poe.

“What’s more, other circumstances obtaining during the campaign period support the conclusion that it is the claim of ‘illegitimacy’ that is a lie: after all, her coalition party, K4, won 58 percent of senatorial seats, 87 percent of congressional seats, 85 percent of gubernatorial slots, 87 percent of city mayor seats, and 85 percent of all mayor seats. Either they carried her or she carried them, or there was some combination of both.

“Could this have been the result of a grand conspiracy to commit massive cheating at all levels? But that is not what either the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines or the Namfrel thought. Said the prelates: ‘There were some instances of cheating and violations of election law by political parties in their areas but these did not affect the voting in general. It is the view of the bishops that the results of the elections reflected the will of the Filipino people.’

“Said Namfrel secretary general Bill Luz: ‘The results of the elections are credible and reflect the vote of the people. We didn’t see enough electoral anomalies at the national level to have a material effect on the national results.’

“… And finally, it was generally acknowledged that Poe was shooting himself in the foot during the campaign, and that the opposition was split four ways. In other words, they did it to themselves.’’

And “Garci”? If he cheated for Arroyo, he did a lousy job. Votes for Arroyo in Mindanao, based on Congress’ official count, were 527,144 less than the votes based on the SWS exit poll. That is too big to be a poll’s margin of error: Was it she who was cheated?

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