Friday, July 10, 2009

Support for Zelaya's ouster in Honduras

Juan Forero at the Washington Post has a very interesting article about censorship in the wake of the coup. Tucked into it is this tidbit:

Such allegations underscore the one-sided nature of the news that has been served up to Hondurans during the crisis. According to results of a Gallup poll published here Thursday, 41 percent of Hondurans think the ouster was justified, with 28 opposed to it.

In other words, the coup government managed to force its version of the story on Hondurans, yet can only muster 41 percent support. This is a miserably low number given Roberto Micheletti's triumphalist tone and control over the flow of information.

Further, this means a whopping 31 percent of Hondurans have not made up their minds about the situation. Unfortunately, this may well indicate that many people do not believe it matters who is in power.

Update: Boz has some more detailed Gallup numbers. In my view, the most relevant is that only 47 percent of Hondurans believed Zelaya was pushing to change the re-election rules.

28 comments:

leftside 2:49 PM  

In my view, the most relevant is that only 47 percent of Hondurans believed Zelaya was pushing to change the re-election rules.

Because this has become the official line of the coupsters and no opposing opinion is allowed to be aired in Honduras right now.

Even in the US, this has become the standard line. In the Los Angeles Times today, Miguel Estrada, "provides the definitive explanation of why the ouster of aspiring dictator Manuel Zelaya was not a coup" (quote by the National Review).

The entire opinion piece rests on a supposed violation of Article 239 (dealing with term limits), which would trigger removal from office. The small problem, as we have finally figured out, is that Article 239 was not even mentioned in the Court documents, let alone determined to be violated. Details, details...

Greg Weeks 3:00 PM  

To clarify, Article 239 *was* mentioned, but was only a very minor part of an overall argument that focused on other issues.

Justin Delacour 3:24 PM  

According to results of a Gallup poll published here Thursday, 41 percent of Hondurans think the ouster was justified, with 28 opposed to it.

I would be interested in finding out who Gallup contracted to do this poll and what the methodology was. The figures could be legit, but I wouldn't just accept them at face value until I know something about who conducted the poll and how they went about it. There's just too much of a history of biased polling to take it all at face value.

boz 3:37 PM  

It was done by the local CID-Gallup group. Their numbers are usually pretty solid in Honduras and elsewhere in Central America. As I note on my blog, there are some significant challenges to polling immediately after a coup, but if any company in Central America is going to do a good job of it, this is the one.

leftside 4:39 PM  

To clarify, Article 239 *was* mentioned, but was only a very minor part of an overall argument that focused on other issues.

Where is it mentioned Greg? I don't see it. Irregardless, the point stands that those trying to hang their hat on a legal removal from office because of a violation of Article 239 are mistaken. If there were really a violation of 239 ruled on by the Courts, there would have been no need for the "resignation letter" charade and all the rest.

Again, I would appreciate if you told us exactly where you see a mention of Article 239 in the 86 page document. I don't see it.

Greg Weeks 4:49 PM  

As I noted in my original post, pp. 39-40 specifically mention the prohibition on reforming re-election. That is repeated later, though in a different document basically copying the first.

leftside 5:39 PM  

Greg, the mention of Presidential terms on pg. 39-40 is in relation to Article 374, which says you can not reform a number of things, terms being one of them. However, it does not contain the automatic removal from office provision that is contained in Article 239.

So, we are back at my original assumption that 239 was *not* mentioned in the Court documents. Again, this is a critically important distinction as the provisions in 239 are what is being latched onto by the coup apologists to justify the "legal" removal of Zelaya from office...

Abby Kelleyite 6:27 PM  

I'm confused. Now AP says

A new CID-Gallup poll indicated that Hondurans were split on the coup, with a slight majority appearing to oppose it.

Forty-six percent said they disagreed with Zelaya's ouster and 41 percent said they approved of it, according to the face-to-face survey of 1,204 Hondurans in the days following the ouster. Another 13 percent declined to answer.

They were about evenly divided on Zelaya himself, with 31 percent saying they had a positive image of him and 32 percent negative. That was close to findings of a similar poll four months ago in which positive views outpaced negative by 4 percentage points.

The pollsters said the survey, conducted in 16 of Honduras' 18 provinces from June 30 to July 4, had a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.

boz 6:50 PM  

That's supposedly the same survey (dates and interviews), but different numbers from what everyone else (including Reuters and Honduran media) reported. My guess is that AP made an error, but hopefully CID-Gallup will publish more complete results on their website to clarify.

Doug 7:58 PM  

Abby -

I just emailed Cid Honduras to see if there is an official document yet.

leftside 8:58 PM  

Does it really matter if the number is 46 or 28% opposed? I mean it is a big discrepancy that needs to get cleared, but does it matter in any way? We are talking about a total media blackout in a place without alternative sources of information. We are talking about a place where the Chamber of Commerce organized a fund-raising drive for media strategy and communications a few days prior to the coup...

So of course some (47%) are going to believe propaganda about re-election, when the opposite view is not allowed to be heard. Even when Zelaya was around, the major media ignored his clear statements about not being interested in re-election (and played up the other angle big time).

But the larger point is that a coup can not be judged on popularity. Cristina stressed this the other day, remarking how the Plaza de Mayo used to be full of Argentinians supporting the dictatorship. Many are in fact "popular."

Justin Delacour 9:50 PM  

My guess is that AP made an error

Well, I'd like to see some corroboration on that one, Boz, because AP's figures appear more plausible in at least one respect. The notion that so many Hondurans (31 percent) are not going to have an opinion of such a mass-mobilizing event as a coup strikes me as somewhat far-fetched.

And as for the Honduran press' presentation of the figures, it's not as if the Honduran press is operating in a particularly credible manner at the moment. One would hope that you and Reuters don't rely too heavily on the Honduran press for your info.

Doug 10:22 PM  

Justin -

Abby had a great observation
on the Daily Kos diary I have up, namely, that Reuters is quoting Honduran newspapers, whereas Ap is quoting Gallup seemingly directly.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/7/10/752199/-Gallup-Polls-HondurasPlurality-disagree-with-coup#c4

Doug 10:25 PM  

Boz -

BTW, you have to open up your comments section. I spend too much time toggling between here and your place..

Nell 10:49 PM  

Wondering how the golpista talking points on the coup (including, prominently, "it's not a coup") got so entrenched so fast? And how conservatives in U.S. blog comment sections suddenly became such experts on the Honduran constitution and laws?

Opinion here was shaped by a barrage of pro-coup opinion pieces placed by the Cormac Group of Miami with money collected just before the coup for that purpose by the Tegucigalpa Chamber of Commerce.

Justin Delacour 10:50 PM  

Ah, yes. Now we see where Reuters gets its data from.

A CID-Gallup survey published in La Prensa newspaper on Thursday showed 41 percent of respondents considered his ouster justified versus 28 percent who were against it. The other 31 percent said they did not know.

La Prensa is also the newspaper that just airbrushed the blood out of the photo of the fatally wounded protester. That doesn't necessarily mean that their presentation of the polling data is false, but their reports obviously need to be taken with a grain of salt.

I'm gonna get to the bottom of this one.

Justin Delacour 10:52 PM  

Opinion here was shaped by a barrage of pro-coup opinion pieces placed by the Cormac Group of Miami with money collected just before the coup for that purpose by the Tegucigalpa Chamber of Commerce.

Cocksuckers.

leftside 12:02 AM  

I think both my and Nell's link to the Chamber of Commerce story appear broken (a conspiracy!). Here is my intended link - to Al Giordano.

boz 8:19 AM  

The 41-46 number comes from a brief clip of Carlos Denton, president of CID-Gallup, talking on the VOA website. I updated over on my blog.

Nobody has published the full data yet and this can be resolved rather quickly once the data is made available. Either the Honduran media reported it incorrectly, Denton misspoke (unlikely), or they were giving the data from two different questions.

Justin Delacour 2:03 PM  

Thanks, Boz. Much appreciated.

If La Prensa doctored the figures and Reuters and the Washington Post ran with it, they need to issue a correction.

Anonymous,  8:00 PM  

I've got the full numbers from CID and will post tomorrow or Monday. At first glance, it looks like the question was asked in two different ways (media should publish both results). I won't know for sure until I can open the document.
-boz (from my iPhone)

boz 6:07 AM  

OK, I've updated on my blog. Here are the two questions and numbers (although I still can't see the graphics). I would encourage media outlets to publish both numbers along with their questions:

¿Considera usted que las acciones que tomó Mel Zelaya con respecto a la cuarta urna justificaban su destitución del puesto de Presidente de la República?
Yes 41%, No 28%, Don't know/No answer: 31%.

¿Cuánto está usted de acuerdo con la acción que se tomó el pasado domingo que removió el Presidente Zelaya del país?
Support 41%, Oppose 46%, Don't know/No Answer 13%.

Justin Delacour 4:50 PM  

The relevant numbers are from the second question, Boz.

Abby Kelleyite 12:10 AM  

Just wanted to add my thanks to Boz for doing the work to sort this out.

Robert Naiman 10:50 AM  

The Christian Science Monitor has published a response to the criticism of their initial report:

(as of this writing the original article doesn't link to this)

Honduras: Deciphering poll numbers
http://features.csmonitor.com/globalnews/2009/07/14/honduras-deciphering-poll-numbers/

The Wall Street Journal has published a "Corrections & Amplifications" note at the bottom of the original article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124718543706320515.html

Abby Kelleyite 7:30 PM  

The AP has also updated their report on the poll:
Gallup Poll: Ousted leader with 46 pct approval confirming Boz's results and including some additional numbers form CID-Gallup.

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