SWS SURVEY: 84% of pinoys satisfied with our democracy
Photo: Screenshot from the Social Weather Stations website of a graph showing the increse in Filipinos satisfied with democracy

The Third Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey, done on September 15-23, 2018, found 84% of adult Filipinos satisfied with the way democracy works in the country [Chart 1, Table 1].

This is 6 points above the 78% in March 2018, but below the record-high 86% in September 2016.

Satisfaction with the way democracy works has ranged from 59% to 86% since June 2010 [Chart 2, Table 2].

The question on "satisfaction in the way democracy works" originated from the Eurobarometer surveys, and is also in standard use in Latin American and Asian barometer projects.

The September 2018 survey also found 59% saying "democracy is always preferable to any other kind of government," compared to 20% saying "under some circumstances, an authoritarian government can be preferable to a democratic one" and 19% saying "for people like me, it does not matter whether we have a democratic or a non-democratic regime."

The 59% may be called “committed democrats,” the 20% “conditional authoritarians,” and the 19% “indifferent.”

Peaks during 1992, 1998, 2010, 2013, and 2016 national elections

Satisfaction with the way democracy works had peaks of 70% in September 1992, 70% in July 1998, 68% in June 2010, and the record-high 86% in September 2016, related to the successful presidential elections of 1992, 1998, 2010 and 2016, respectively.

The previous record of 80% in June 2013 was achieved after the May 2013 senatorial elections.

In contrast, satisfaction with the way democracy works was a disappointing 44% in June 2004, after the presidential election of that year.

59% say democracy is always preferable to any other form of government

The proportion of adult Filipinos saying "democracy is always preferable to any other kind of government" hardly moved from 60% in March 2018 to 59% in September 2018. Except for July 2014 when it was 47%, preference for democracy has been above 50% since February 2009, reaching a record-high 65% in June 2013 [Table 2].

Before the 20% recorded in the September 2018 survey, the proportion of those saying "under some circumstances, an authoritarian government can be preferable to a democratic one" had been at 19% from September 2016 to March 2018. It has been 20% or below for six consecutive quarters since December 2015.

The proportion of those saying "for people like me, it does not matter whether we have a democratic or a non-democratic regime" barely changed from 21% in March 2018 to 19% in September 2018. It has been 20% and above in 7 out of 9 surveys since September 2013.

Satisfaction with how democracy works is highest among “committed democrats”

Due to the 6-point increase in satisfaction with the way democracy works and steady figures regarding preference for democracy, the September 2018 survey found increases in satisfaction with democracy among committed democrats, conditional authoritarians, and those who were indifferent.

Satisfaction was highest among committed democrats at 88%. This is a 6-point increase compared to the 83% in March 2018 [Chart 2].

It found that satisfaction increased by 5 points among conditional authoritarians, from 75% in March 2018 to 80% in September 2018.

It also found that satisfaction was lowest among those who were indifferent at 74%. Still, this is a 6-point increase compared to the 68% in March 2018.

Euro and LatAm comparisons

In the March 2018 Eurobarometer survey (accessed here) of 28 European Union Member States, an average of 56% of Europeans are satisfied with the way democracy works in their country [Chart 3, Table 3].

It has been 50% and above since mid-2014, similar to 2006 to early 2012 when it ranged from 50% to 58%. It ranged from 40% to 49% in 1995-2005, and from 46% to 49% in late 2012 and 2013.

In the August 2017 Latinobarómetro survey (accessed here) of 18 Latin American countries, an average 36% of Latin Americans are satisfied with the way democracy works in their country.

It has been below 40% since 2011, after the record-high 44% in 2009 and 2010. It ranged from 25% to 41% from 1996 to 2008.

Survey Background

The September 2018 Social Weather Survey was conducted from September 15-23, 2018 using face-to-face interviews of 1,500 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide: 600 in Balance Luzon, and 300 each in Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao (sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages, ±4% for Balance Luzon, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao).

The area estimates were weighted by Philippine Statistics Authority medium-population projections for 2018 to obtain the national estimates.

The Social Weather Surveys on satisfaction with democracy, and preference for democracy, are not commissioned. They are done on SWS`s own initiative and released as a public service.

Read the.rest of the release here...https://www.sws.org.ph/swsmain/artcldisppage/?artcsyscode=ART-20181004232016