Record 89% satisfied with how Philippines democracy works – poll

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star
Record 89% satisfied with how Philippines democracy works � poll
Women and children from various Muslim communities gather at the Quezon Memorial Circle yesterday for Eid al-Fitr prayers, marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — Almost nine in every 10 adult Filipinos said they were satisfied with how democracy works in the country, according to a survey conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS) more than six months after the 2022 elections.

Results of the Dec. 10-14 survey released last Friday night showed that 89 percent of the respondents were satisfied with the country’s democracy, 11 points above the 78 percent recorded in a similar survey conducted in April 2021.

The latest survey results surpassed the previous record of 86 percent, which was obtained in September 2016, a few months after that year’s presidential elections.

SWS explained that satisfaction with the way democracy works in the country often increases after national elections.

Previous records were set in September 1992 and July 1998, both election years, when satisfaction with the country’s democracy peaked at 70 percent.

It again peaked in September 2010, a few months after the election of the late Benigno Aquino III, at 69 percent.

Satisfaction, however, fell to a disappointing 44 percent in June 2004, a month after the controversial polls that re-elected Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

As reported earlier, some 60 percent of the survey respondents said that “democracy is always preferable to any other kind of government,” up from 54 percent recorded in April 2021.

SWS data showed that it is five points below the record-high 65 percent recorded in June 2013 and 13 points above the record-low 47 percent in June 2014.

Preference for democracy has been above 50 percent since June 2015.

Meanwhile, those who said that an authoritarian government can be preferable to a democratic one “under some circumstances” rose from 20 percent in April 2021 to 26 percent in December 2022, a point shy of the record 27 percent obtained in a September 2010 survey.

The remaining 15 percent of the respondents said it did not matter for them whether the Philippines has a democratic or non-democratic regime, down from 26 percent in the April 2021 survey.

The survey had 1,200 respondents and a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent.

In January, London-based think tank The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) classified the Philippines as a “flawed democracy” in its Democracy Index 2022.

From 54th in 2021, the country improved to 52nd out of the 167 countries and territories included in the annual index.

“Flawed democracies” are those that have free and fair elections and where basic civil liberties are respected, but there are significant weaknesses in some aspects, including governance, political culture and participation.

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