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Bedtime dreams and discharges

Dean Dela PazMany can’t seem to believe the ludicrousness of the announcement that a representative mouthpiece of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) recently discharged to hacks and hounds salivating for press releases. 

Unfortunately, there are even more who can’t seem to pull themselves up from the floor after rolling in laughter as they read and reread the press releases and fell off their seats, stricken by uncontrollable giggling and guffawing.

Not everyone finds the survey that says that the LP’s presidential bet has grabbed the lead funny. Some self-indulge and revel at their own spin.

“And oh, what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive!”

Contrary to Sir Walter Scott’s epics, there is absolutely nothing chivalric in Philippine politics. For at least two people, a virtual conjugal political partnership, the topping of a statistical universe of two, even if the poll in question is technically imaginary, woven from yarn and a simulated electoral exercise, the rise of an inch was, perhaps, the culmination of a long work-up in political procreation and the partial fulfillment of blinding ambitions and a shared dream.

From being nailed as the fifth choice for the presidency in 2010, regardless of real or imaginary challengers fluidly moving in and out between the fifth and first place, to a pathetic third just recently, the ruling party’s anointed finally clambered to the top of the heap. This, according to an unidentified poll.

Other than serve as a self-centered, self-satisfying instrument of short-term pleasure, what little was revealed insults the public’s intelligence.

Here is what we know. Alongside, let us analyze why we need to know more. Unless these simple questions are clarified then, prematurely releasing the drool and droplets of data to the media—and the media›s subsequent knee-jerk reporting of the incomplete and unverified, simply ridicules the ruling party and its standard-bearer.

Of the 1,200 people surveyed, 57 percent declared they preferred the LP standard-bearer, 37 percent preferred Vice President Jejomar Binay, and 10 percent were undecided. The universe of choices was deliberately limited to two and did not include Sen. Grace Poe, on the pretext that she remained undecided.

That’s a pretty humongous and ridiculous pretext.

The fatal shortcoming leaves the margin of error as wide as a statistical third because the likelihood of a shearing of votes from the LP standard-bearer to Poe is higher, given the LP’s rhetoric on the candidate’s commonalities. Add these to the 10 percent undecided and the margin of error can extend all the way to 33 percent, thus, rendering all results invalid.

The LP official said the party commissioned the survey to “come up with a strategy.” The statement belies a disgraceful surrender to detrimental partisanship. A campaign strategy, given a party that is ideally cognizant of a candidate’s platform of government and his agenda on issues important to the electorate, rightly focuses on those and not on adversarial personalities.

That the LP survey’s press release focused on personalities panders to the kind of toxic traditional patronage and partisan politics evident in the botched Yolanda relief efforts where a traditional politician who now begs for our trust disgustingly invoked partisanship between the Aquinos and the Romualdezes as requisites to the granting of aid.

A third issue has to do with the absence of the identity and the credibility of the pollster, given that the survey was paid for by entities dreaming of radical routs and are not exactly disinterested in positive results. Credibility is everything. On the word of a small-time political sycophant, all we know is that the survey had 70 questions and mimicked methods used by others. Nothing more.

Cumulatively, these shortcomings reveal the kind of dirty tricks underlying the LP survey. Its upside is that it is appropriately self-absorbed, even egocentric.

Its downside is that it is as unproductive as an involuntary and self-indulgent nighttime discharge.

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