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#2335: Arthur succumbs to election trivia (fwd)

From: Charles Arthur <charlesarthur@hotmail.com>

Keywords: election, opinion poll, ID cards

The findings of the opinion poll by ECOSOF as reported by Agence Presse de 
Haiti on 31 January are still causing a few ripples. However,for what it is 
worth, I think that the results are being misinterpreted by IFES and Haiti 
en Marche, among others.

I have checked the original report by AHP, and Max Blanchet's translation 
into English is absolutely right. The ECOSOF poll interviewed 9,000 
individuals, 17% of whom said they belonged to political parties, and 83% 
whodid not. 33% of first group thought Fanmi Lavalas would win, 26% thought 
OPL would be first, and small percentages backed the others. This is split 
among self-confessed party members. What does that reveal? - that FL has 
slightly more party members than OPL, or that FL members are going to vote 
OPL or wish that OPL would win more votes - who knows?

More interesting, but overlooked by the commentators, are the 83% who do not 
belong to any party - surely a more likely indication of mass voting 
intentions (unless there are hundreds of thousands of party members which I 
seriously doubt)-  who gave the following break-down : 33% backing Fanmi 
Lavalas, 11% OPL, and 49% no opinion.

As to the voter registration, I was talking about this with my friend 
Octavio Zuniga, who some may know from the time in 1997 when he presented a 
Latin music programme on Radio Haiti Inter. He says that in Mexico, voter 
registration cards are used for all sorts of identification purposes apart 
from at election time. People value them as a handy and durable form of ID. 
He could imagine that Haitians would want to have one because - well, you 
never know when it might be useful.
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