Dr. Saso Ordanoski, political analyst and expert of CIVIL – Center for Freedom, in this analysis speaks about the reasons why it is practically impossible to give a real prognosis on how the elections will end. According to him, citizens massively lie in surveys, and they should not be blamed for this, because they live in an undemocratic country and are exposed to various pressures every day.
In just few weeks prior to the elections, it is normal for the Macedonian public to be flooded with various media and expert analysis on what the election results will be like. We here different estimations, predictions, forecasts, expectations on who and how they will pass in this or that electoral unit, or within the entire election process.
My position is, however, different. I believe that this time it is nearly impossible to have a real picture and to come to a real prognosis on how the elections will end, regardless of the numerous surveys carried out among the Macedonian public, not only by the parties, but also by other organizations.
There are several good reasons for this.
First of all, Macedonia has not been a democratic country for years, therefore you cannot expect for the public to behave in a democratic manner in an undemocratic country, not even at the level that is called public opinion. When we look at the polls, we who deal with this matter see clear distortions in the views in all the polls on the public opinion, and in much greater percentages than are the statistical errors. In other words, I say that people are lying, they are lying massively and should not be blamed for this, because we live in a country in which for two years we have been under the explosion of “bombs” on surveillance of telephone communications, we have been able to hear many different conversations in which senior party and state officials speak of various pressures, on various methods of threats and racketeering of the citizenry. Well then, it is no wonder that citizens – when asked in telephone surveys “who will you vote for, and what are your political views?” – massively lie! That is the first reason.
Secondly, the political crisis here has been lasting for too long. In such a situation, it is normal for the society to be shaken, not only at the individual level, but also at higher social levels. And because of this, there are great waves of people who, in these surveys that are also being published now, in a large percentage say that they do not know, do not want to or will not go to vote! This percentage is unusually high and ranges between 30 and 40 percent, and in just a few weeks prior to the elections. And with such a large percentage of unclear responses, we cannot make a precise estimation, or even an approximate estimation on – how they will vote.
The third factor is in the fact that hundreds of people have moved out of Macedonia. We do not have a true realistic picture on the ground on how many citizens and voters there are in Macedonia today. The Voters register was cleared, as it was, but of course far from some real situation. But this also is a fact…
Another factor is the possibility to assess the real figures and real percentages on how the electorate will behave. Also, a big factor is the fact that for the first time, perhaps, in the last ten years, we have a significant movement in the two main voting campuses, in the Albanian and in the Macedonian voting campus. On the one hand, there is a new wave among the Albanians, after an entire decade, a new option that is trying to gain votes from a truly great dissatisfaction that is prevailing among that electorate, from the manner in which DUI has been included in the ruling of this country for almost an entire decade. Because we have for the first time an agenda that is not only ethnic, but also an agenda that is social, economic, that is in favor of certain political rights and so forth. It is difficult to anticipate in which percentage that dissatisfaction, which is evident among Albanians, will turn into voting for other options, and among which, not only for Albanian options. Because we can hear predictions that part of the Albanians, and I would even say a significant part, not just hundreds, but thousands of people could end up voting also for SDSM. This would probably be the most significant political new moment in Macedonia’s twenty and some year-old political history – to have a significant part vote for an option that is not necessarily ethnic.
There is another phenomenon among the Macedonians, which is mainly this new occurrence, in a more organized and more consistent manner, a new right wing. We need to see whether this gathering of significant figures from the past of VMRO-DPMNE, that call to the original membership of VMRO-DPMNE to vote for them and not for the existing DPMNE, which according to them and many other analysis has abandoned the original values of the historic VMRO, will attract the electorate. We will see how it will reason on the day of the voting. That is why it seems to me that this time Macedonia has been brought to a situation in which, we will truly find out the mood of the electorate in Macedonia, I would say, on December 11, around midnight. Not only because even worldwide all public opinion surveys have showed great problems and major inaccuracies in the past year. But, there are also numerous cases of missed predictions on the outcomes of various referendums, of various political choices and so on, and we here as well, are in such a situation in which current research on the public opinion is an accurate sum of inaccurate data.
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