Monday, May 14, 2007

Philippine elections 2007: The geography of cheating and the religious vote


The casting of ballots ended at 3:00 PM and now the antiquated way of counting the votes begin. Manolo Quezon blogs about the geography of cheating and electoral fraud. When I was enrolled in some higher statistics courses at the UP School of Statistics, I was enrolled in a probability course and the professor required us to listen to a lecture on vote irregularities and the probability of that happening.

It was Gloria's time to be elected in her own right as queen regnant and not just as a heir to the throne who took over under constitutionally questionable circumstances. But as history unfolded Gloria Regina's crown of winning votes has "Hello Garci" written over it. Filipino citizens everywhere until this election are not convinced that she was truly elected as President.

Thus the geography of cheating and probability of that happening was interesting to put it mildly. Yes there were areas that the probability of cheating was highest. But those were in a few places. In some places where the public thought cheating was rampant, it was hard to statistically say with good probability that cheating did occur.

If Manolo Quezon's geography is right, then what has been trialled in 2004 is now being applied to many places. I am not surprised that statisticians are on the front line of government apologists attempts to discredit surveys. Statistics geeks will have compute if there is really spatial autocorrelation in cheating. If there is then this is clear evidence of massive palace directed effort. I will not go into how organized efforts cause autocorrelation but human behaviour is a major factor in it.

Someone ought to write a PhD on this subject.

Regina Gloria may have the last laugh.

Let the cold logic of analysis begin. Regina Gloria and I have something in common. We are both PhDs

The religious vote

The Inquirer (PDI)today had a profile of the whole electorate and 75% is Catholic. It does not surprise me at all. But the Catholic Church should take heed. Once it comprised more than 80% of the electorate.

People don't give much attention to the Iglesia Filipina Independiente but if the PDI is to be believed the Aglipayans may have a hidden clout. They are still the second largest church in the Philippines. The Independientes have always been at odds with the Palace being true to its revolutionary heritage. President Ferdinand Marcos had the good sense to cajole this Revolutionary Church even if it is claimed he was a member.

Islam is second. But we still have to see if Muslims are politically savvy enough to influence national elections.

The Iglesia ni Cristo comes after Islam in numbers. But it is a good hypothesis to say that by playing safe in its choices of candidates, its ability to wield political influence is diluted. Of course it may tip the balance in constituencies where Iglesia co-religionists are the majority. But is the INC the majority in most constituencies? It is very likely that the importance of the INC bloc of votes is much overblown.

The El Shaddai is listed as a separate sect. At 0.8 percent of the electorate, it's influence is even less than that of the INC. Mike Velarde's claim to influence elections is really overblown. If El Shaddai is a separate sect, the Catholic Bishops and Benedict XVI should wake up, they have already a schism without them noticing it!

The Catholic Bishops and their influence is waning. Too bad.

Let the cold logic of analysis reign.


engineerOFW said...

Do you really want the Catholic Bishops to wield clout?

blackshama said...

No. In the same way I don't want the Iglesia ni Cristo to wield clout. In fact I believe that the State should have laws institutionalizing secularism. Any religious group that violates the strict separation of religion and state should be considered as a secular corporation. and be taxed.