More than 30 years after the EDSA People Power Revolution that toppled a dictatorship, eight in every 10 Filipinos are satisfied with the way democracy works, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
This was six points below the record 86 percent logged in September 2016 and similar to the previous record of 80 percent in June 2013.
SWS interviewed 1,200 adult respondents nationwide.
Satisfaction with democracy has been above 60 percent since June 2010, ranging from 64 percent to 86 percent.
It exceeded 50 percent in only two out of 31 surveys from October 1999 to June 2009.
The best readings were in October 1992 at 70 percent, July 1998 at 70 percent, June 2010 at 68 percent, and September 2016 at record 86 percent.
SWS said the peaks during those periods were due to “successful presidential elections.”
“The previous record of 80 percent in June 2013 was achieved after the May 2013 senatorial elections,” the pollster noted.
“On the other hand, satisfaction with the way democracy works was a disappointing 44 percent” in June 2004, or after the election that gave President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo a full term.
The term “satisfaction in the way democracy works” originated from the Eurobarometer surveys and is also used in Latin American and Asian barometer projects, according to SWS.
The results of the 2017 Eurobarometer survey of 28 European Union member states showed that an average of 55 percent of Europeans were satisfied with the way democracy worked in the European Union.
The SWS survey also found that 61 percent preferred democracy over any other form of government, while 19 percent said that “under some circumstances, an authoritarian government can be preferable to a democratic one.”
Another fifth of the respondents said it did not matter whether the country had a democratic or a non-democratic regime.
SWS said preference for democracy has been above 50 percent since February 2009, reaching a record 65 percent in June 2013.
“People’s preference between democracy and authoritarianism is a different issue from the degree of satisfaction with how democracy works, and is probed by a separate question,” the SWS explained.
The poll, which was conducted on June 23-26, has sampling error margins of ±3 percent for national percentages, and ±6 percent each for Metro Manila, Balance of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.