Commonwealth poll of county executives

Commonwealth Magazine has published survey results showing satisfaction rates for each county/city executive.

Their interpretation of these results is that the top six are all DPP governed counties, while the bottom twelve are all KMT governed.  I have taken the liberty of changing Yang Qiuxing’s party from DPP to IND, since it isn’t quite right to continue to call him a DPP politican.

While the difference in performance by the two big parties is stark, I don’t think it is quite as damning as Commonwealth makes it out to be.  For one thing, their methodology isn’t great.  The sample size is between 500 and 650 in each county, which means the sampling error is +/- 4% or so.  In other words, if two numbers are within about 7%, there might be no statistically significant difference between them.  (Publishing such estimates to the second decimal place is ludicrous; with these sample sizes, even one decimal place is pushing it.)  So pick a scrum.  For example, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between # 6 and #14 or #18 and #21; if you did another poll with exactly the same methodology, you’d probably find an entirely different ordering.  On the other hand, we can be pretty sure that the top 5 are better than the bottom 10, and that the DPP executives, as a group, are better than the KMT executives.

The other big thing that jumps out at me is how high these numbers are.  Commonwealth didn’t give their question wording and response categories, but I assume they are comparable to other such surveys.  Note that the worst satisfaction rating is 45% (Zhou Xiwei, Taipei County).  In contrast, President Ma’s and Premier Wu’s satisfaction ratings are only 31% and 35%, respectively, according to a poll published by Global Views on August 20.  It’s not that Taiwanese are shy about expressing dissatisfaction.  It might be that they are just less critical of local government, or it might be that everyone is doing a passable job.  (Of course, this might be an indication of how abysmal the performance of the national government is, but I tend to lean to the methodology or different standards explanations.)

All that said, don’t think that the various candidates aren’t going to make hay over this survey.

rank County name Name Party % satisfied
1 Kaohsiung County 楊秋興 Yang Qiuxing IND 80.29
2 Ilan County 林聰賢 Lin Congxian DPP 75.20
3 Kaohsiung City 陳菊 Chen Ju DPP 72.12
4 Pingdong County 曹啟鴻 Cao Qihong DPP 71.15
5 Tainan City 許添財 Xu Tiancai DPP 70.83
6 Chiayi County 張花冠 Zhang Huaguan DPP 68.38
7 Hualian County 傅崑萁 Fu Kunqi PFP 68.07
8 Chiayi City 黃敏惠 Huang Minhui KMT 67.46
9 Lianjiang County 楊綏生 Yang Suisheng KMT 66.62
10 Changhua County 卓伯元 Zhuo Boyuan KMT 66.00
11 Yunlin County 蘇治芬 Su Zhifen DPP 65.75
12 Jinmen County 李沃土 Li Wotu KMT 65.22
13 Tainan County 蘇煥智 Su Huanzhi DPP 64.87
14 Penghu County 王乾發 Wang Qianfa KMT 63.93
15 Miaoli County 劉政鴻 Liu Zhenghong KMT 62.69
16 Nantou County 李朝卿 Li Chaoqing KMT 60.33
17 Taidong County 黃健庭 Huang Jianting KMT 58.79
18 Taichung City 胡志強 Hu Zhiqiang KMT 56.27
19 Taoyuan County 吳志揚 Wu Zhiyang KMT 55.36
20 Hsinchu City 許明財 Xu Mingcai KMT 54.28
21 Taipei City 郝龍斌 Hao Longbin KMT 52.26
22 Hsinchu County 邱鏡淳 Qiu Jingchung KMT 47.74
23 Taichung County 黃仲生 Huang Zhongsheng KMT 46.98
24 Keelung City 張通榮 Zhang Tongrong KMT 46.97
25 Taipei County 周錫瑋 Zhou Xiwei KMT 45.09

5 Responses to “Commonwealth poll of county executives”

  1. Okami Says:

    Does Commonwealth Magazine have an ideological slant or is it considered pretty neutral? I’m not surprised by the polling, just idle curiosity.

  2. Echo Says:

    Good analysis. Good blog.


    “Hualian County 傅崑萁 Fu Kunqi PFP”

    I think Fu is no longer in the PFP. He was, but switched to the KMT, and currently he is not in any party. Or did he go back to the PFP ?

  3. frozengarlic Says:

    Echo, I think you are right.
    Okami, I don’t think Commonwealth has any clear slant. I think they want to sell magazines. I suppose that doesn’t preclude them thinking that they could sell a lot more this time with a “KMT is terrible” angle, but I’m not aware that (a) this actually happened, or (b) that there is any pattern to their positions. On the other hand, I’m not terribly impressed by their professionalism as pollsters.

    By the way, my favorite response to this story was from Premier Wu, who explained his party’s poor support thusly: “There were some ‘news events’ that have affected people’s perceptions.”

  4. Echo Says:

    Two more things, man :

    1) This survey was carried out before Aug. 8th. Kaohsiung County 楊秋興 Yang Qiuxing announced his campaign and left DPP on Aug. 9th. Therefore, at the time of this survey, Yang was still a DPP member;

    2) This survey is not exactly a survey of public opinions extracted from the people. It contains 20% of “experts opinions”, which is another source of bias. With the title of the survey, 施政滿意度 — the extent of satisfaction, it should have contained only the “feelings” of people (no matter how they are), but not that of experts.

  5. Okami Says:

    FG-It’s my understanding that all news media in Taiwan is aligned with one side or the other so I assumed Commonwealth would be similar. I find it hard to believe in this internet age that Taiwan’s newspapers and magazines are making that much money. It’s sort of a similar situation in that there are good blogs for one side or the other of American politics, but hardly any that cover both sides effectively.

    Interesting finds there, Echo.

    I generally find that most govts and all news media hate giving out anything without the elite’s stamp of approval. The 20% of the experts’ opinions doesn’t really surprise me and seems pretty much in line with what a news organization within a socialist democracy would do.

    I wonder how Yang Quixing would rate now. I wonder if this will effect voting and perceptions that the DPP are better administrators of public office.

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