Youth Survey on Elections Conducted for New Video

FEB 19TH 2013

Asurvey of around 1,400 young voters from 43 private and public schools all over the country has become the basis of the latest video documentary from CFA. The 18-minute video titled “A2Z”, which is written and directed by filmmaker Clodualdo del Mundo Jr., is part of the voters’ education package of materials that CFA has produced in partnership with the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).

The survey results provide perspective and reference material for the youth focus group discussions featured in the video. Concepts and issues such as qualities of a good leader, good governance, and characteristics of a responsible voter are expounded and analyzed. Celebrity host and athlete Chris Tiu acts as the moderator of the panel made up of student leaders, a PPCRV volunteer, a member of the barangay youth council and out-of-school-youth.

The data from the survey produced some surprises. Twenty-nine percent of the respondents answered that the candidate her/himself (and not any external influence) is the most influential factor in determining their voting choice. How the candidates present their plans of action or platform of governance and their performance will ensure that they garner the votes of the youth.

Other people’s influence was downplayed in the youth’s choice of candidates. Parents or family members (25 percent), the church (21 percent), social media (14 percent) and conventional media such as TV, newspapers and radio (13 percent) ranked lower than the candidates themselves in winning votes. Teachers and friends were found to have the same level of influence (9 percent), while the opinion of classmates had the least influence (5 percent) on respondents’ choice of candidates, contrary to popular assumptions that peer pressure or influence is strong among the young.

About a quarter of the participants (26 percent) said that their top priority in the candidates’ plan of action should be transparency and accountability in governance. The next top choices in the candidates’ plans of action were: employment (23 percent); education sector reforms (14 percent); and peace and order (12 percent). Among the respondents who were senior year students and about to graduate, employment was their priority for the candidate’s plan of action.

The survey also showed that thirty-four percent believe a responsible voter would not sell her/his vote at all costs. Other respondents believe that being a responsible voter meant keeping oneself informed about relevant community issues (32 percent); encouraging others to vote wisely (22 percent); or volunteering in election-monitoring activities (7 percent).

The nationwide survey involved a total of 43 schools, with an average of 36 students per class, who belong to the youth age bracket of 17 to 24 years old. Data gathering was conducted between the second and third week of October 2012, through the assistance of local partners of CFA. Participants were asked to accomplish a self-administered questionnaire on their socio-economic status, involvement in the 2010 national elections, their involvement for the upcoming 2013 elections, and their views on governance and citizenship. Of the 1,536 total questionnaires received, 1,395 cases were included for analysis.

CFA commissioned an independent research group to design the survey questionnaire and analyze the responses. The researchers are part of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA EAP), a project of the Ateneo School of Government. ANSA EAP seeks to mainstream social accountability in various sectors, including education, procurement, and health sectors.

The analyses derived from the data may be generalizable within the participants. While the survey sample can be considered as nationwide as it involved youth in public and private schools in all the three major island regions as planned, the convenience sampling techniques used in the collection of the data, when improved, would ensure better conclusions and profiling.

For a full report on the survey, please click here.