What's the logic behind the SWS Net Satisfaction rating?
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2011-04-05
There is something about the SWS (Social Weather Stations) system of arriving at the Net Satisfaction rating of a polled public official or institution that does not seem right with your Chair Wrecker.

This should not be misconstrued as my casting doubts on the professionalism of Mahar Mangahas and his team. As can be seen from my past columns, SWS surveys are consistently endorsed and used as reference. This should also not be misconstrued as trying to reduce the negative impact of the March Net Satisfaction ratings of anybody. There is hardly any truly negative impact to deflect in the recent Net Satisfaction ratings of the President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Cabinet.

The President’s Net Satisfaction ratings may have dropped in March 2011 to +51 percent, from +64 percent in November 2010, but that +51 percent is still an impressive high mark compared to the rated performance of past Chief Executives. The President’s hitherto extraordinarily high marks would tend to incur what in the stock market is called a correction.

If the purchase of the Porsche was considered the chief reason for the drop in the President’s ratings — that would indicate that there is a lack of serious issues against him. Recovering his lost ratings is very possible. A question of sensitivity cannot compare to the 2004 rigging of the presidential election, as highlighted by the Garci Tapes expose. A question of sensitivity cannot compare to scandals like the NBN-ZTE deal and the Fertilizer Scam.

In fact, that Porsche issue was simply mishandled by the Messaging Team of the President, as clearly demonstrated by Secretary Ricky Carandang’s “I don’t give a damn” arrogant attitude to the criticism of Mae Paner on that Porsche purchase. The erosion of the President’s goodwill is traced more to the substandard performance of the Messaging Team and not what the President did or failed to do. This administration is not wanting in its reform agenda and its sincere efforts to deliver positive change. The problem is none of these are being communicated.

After the release of the Pulse Asia February 24 to March 6 survey, Sec. Carandang became more visible in media. However, his performance is still very much wanting as efforts are mainly geared towards announcing and explaining presidential actions and decisions but there’s hardly any presentation of the President’s accomplishments. Manny Pacquiao cannot win a fight by only parrying an opponent’s punches.

Mahar Mangahas stated in an ANC (ABS-CBN News Channel) April 1 interview that there’s a remarkably general good feeling about the present government and it’s this general good feeling that enables an erstwhile unpopular House of Representatives and its Speaker during the previous regime to now register positive Net Satisfaction ratings.

In the March 2011 SWS survey, Speaker Sonny Belmonte had a +17 percent Net Satisfaction rating compared to his +7 percent in the November 2010 survey. That’s an impressive 10 percent increase. The House of Representatives had a Net Satisfaction rating in the March 2011 SWS survey of +33 percent, with 51 percent satisfied and only 18 percent dissatisfied. Can you recall when the House of Representatives ever rated that well in national surveys?

Even Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile (JPE) is enjoying what is perhaps his best rating ever in opinion polls. JPE had a Net Satisfaction rating of +43 percent, up 9 percent from his November 2010 rating. In the SWS March 2011 survey, 62 percent expressed satisfaction with JPE and only 18 percent were dissatisfied.

Thus we come to the question at hand — just what exactly is a Net Satisfaction rating? To your Chair Wrecker, Net Satisfaction rating — deducting the dissatisfied responses from the satisfied responses - seems like a case of STATISTICAL DOUBLE JEOPARDY.

Why should the dissatisfied number of respondents have to be deducted from the satisfied number of respondents? In a universe of 100 percent, a lesser favorable number was already meted by not crediting the dissatisfied. When you further deduct the dissatisfied from the satisfied - that is tantamount to a double deduction already. What is the point of doing so?

In the case of Vice President Jojo Binay’s high +74 percent Net Satisfaction rating, 81 percent were satisfied while only 7 percent were dissatisfied. The 7 percent dissatisfied were no longer credited to Vice President Binay so what’s the point of deducting it again from him. Shouldn’t 81 percent be his Net Satisfaction rating?

Certainly, this cannot be likened to computing a company’s net profit which is derived by deducting total costs from total revenues. Revenues and costs operate from two separate outgoing and incoming universes. This also should not be likened to an election margin where the total vote of the second placer is deducted from the total vote of the winner in order to get the winning margin.

The Net Satisfaction rating tends to confuse more than enlighten people on the real state of a public official’s perceived performance. It presents a warped view of reality because of the factor of statistical double jeopardy. Mathematics is logic and this method of double deduction somehow doesn’t seem logical. There’s no perceived purpose or usefulness for the double deduction.

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Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

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A great disservice to P-Noy

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