Friday, March 03, 2006

A Survey About Surveys permanent link   0 comments
I am not alone.
After expressing my doubts about the quality and reliability of Peruvian polls and voter surveys in this article, the Catholic University conducted yet another survey about this subject, with the results published in the local newspaper 'EL Comercio' today. A survey about surveys! How refreshing.

Et voilà, there you have it: most voters give very little or no importance at all to the results of the presidential election surveys conducted weekly by Apoyo and others, and have no influence on the decision who they will eventually vote for.
57% have little or no confidence in the polling companies and their surveys, 40% say they have. As a matter of fact, less than half (46%) say they follow the results of conducted polls in the media on a regular basis, 37% say only on few occasiones and 16% don't pay any attention to them at all.

For 22% the surveys results have no importance at all on their final decision on election day, 38% assure us they have little importance, 24% give them some importance and 15% say they are very important to decide who they will vote for.

The majority of people (65%) admits that watching related television programs is used to form their opinion on political subjects. Radio comes in second place with 18%, followed by the printing media with 12% and the Internet with a miniscule 2%.
However, on the other hand 55% of the interviewed people have little or no confidence in mass media, whereas 44% have much or some confidence.

Asked about the main talked about political topics and subjects that caught their attention in the last month, people mentioned the human rights violations during the time of the terrorism and the involvement and activities of the campaigning candidates.
Other topics mentioned were the debate about Emergency Oral Contraception* (the so-called day-after-pill), followed by the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States and the conformation of the lists of candidates for Congress.

This survey was made by the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. 1.767 men and women between the age of 18 and 70 in 19 urban provinces of Peru have been interviewed. The 'level of error' is +/- 2,31% and 'level of confidence' is 95%. The survey was conducted February 24-26.

- complete survey results click here (pdf file, 800kb, in spanish)

* Abortion is banned in Peru. It is only allowed to be performed when a mother's life is in danger.
United Nations representative to Peru, Jairo Palacio, recently urged presidential hopefuls to include Emergency Oral Contraception as a campaign issue.
According to Palacio, it is necessary for government plans to guarantee the distribution of the so-called day after pill so there is no difference between poor and rich. However, the Catholic Church and other sectors oppose.
World scientific community and the World Health Organization consider the contraceptive pill as a valid, non abortion-inducing method, with no life-threatening effects, the UN diplomat said.
Palacio also urged candidates to include the Millennium Targets in their government plans, as they call for achieving quality reproductive health services by 2015.


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