By Joseph B.A. Marzan
A political analyst said that the current trend of preferential surveys for the 2022 national elections was due to a concerted effort since 2009 to change perception of history, coupled with the early surge of social media and a failure of the education system.
Daily Guardian columnist Michael Henry Yusingco said the recent survey results where presidential bet Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is leading were not surprising but were reflective of the mood of the society at the time that these surveys were conducted.
“Surveys are just a manifestation of the mood of society, it’s not really determinant of whatever would be the results of the voting in May. We need to consider the mood of the general population at this point,” Yusingco said in an interview with Daily Guardian on Air via Aksyon Radyo-Iloilo.
He added that the impressive performance of the late dictator’s namesake son and current survey frontrunner was due to a “perfect storm of factors.”
These include a voter base that Marcos Jr. had accumulated in his 2016 vice presidential bid, a younger voting population with a distant memory of the Martial Law era, the positive performance of the outgoing Duterte administration in surveys, and a greater shift of campaigns to social media platforms.
Yusingco cited the presence of historical revisionism being planted by the Marcos Jr. camp, mixed with emerging social media platforms.
“[Marcos Jr’s] camp has had a massive social media campaign to change the perception of Martial Law. Voters who are very receptive to historical revision are also the voters who are in the platforms where the revision is taking place, since 2009. The combination of these factors is probably why his performance has been remarkable. Voters are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt,” he explained.
Yusingco also raised the failure of the Cory Aquino administration and other succeeding governments to assure that the history of the Marcos regime would be intact, citing Germany’s effort to mandate teaching of World War II history to avoid a resurgence of Nazism.
“One of the reasons why the younger generation that came after us is very weak in appreciation of how atrocious and destructive Martial Law was because of the failure in the education system in our past governments. Martial Law should have been introduced in the early stages,” he said.
He also pointed to the dominance of political dynasties across all parts of the country, which in turn has affected how the public has viewed politics.
He urged that the solution is not a “strongman dynasty”, but a collective action from the people.
“Voters aren’t disillusioned in democracy, but maybe in the current politics we have. Our politicians are very self-centered, because our political system is dominated by political dynasties, and by nature dynastic politicians look out only for themselves and their self-interest. When they are in office, it is noticeable that they are only there for their personal interest and forget to serve the public,” he said.
Yusingco predicts that the current round of presidential interviews and debates will affect the performance of candidates, and not only that of Marcos Jr.
He cited Marcos Jr.’s absence in some recorded interviews, and his performance in the live debates organized by Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI).
SMNI is owned by Apollo Quiboloy who has endorsed Marcos Jr. and running mate Sara Duterte.
Quiboloy was also in the news cycles recently after the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation placed him on its most-wanted list for alleged sex trafficking.
“Recent surveys haven’t captured the bulk of interviews and debates. The Jessica Soho interviews was already late. I don’t want to say that voters don’t understand what happens in debates or interviews. It’s pretty obvious that Marcos Jr. isn’t performing well. Surveys are just a quick Q&A. Interviews, debates, and forums are important to scrutinize because we will see there the quality of the candidates,” Yusingco said.