Fri, May 17, 2002 - Page 3 News List

Half the nation pleased with the way Chen rules

REPORT CARD The DPP survey found that the president's approval ratings are more than 50 percent, though another survey suggests that the results of the party's poll may be a bit slanted

By Tsai Ting-I  /  STAFF REPORTER

Fifty-nine percent of the nation is satisfied with President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) performance, according to a recent DPP poll, while about half of those surveyed are not satisfied with the performance of KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰).

But a separate survey conducted at the same time by a professor at Shih Hsin University has found Chen's popularity to be 11 percentage points lower than the figures the DPP survey produced.

The surveys are just two of what can be expected to be many public opinion polls that will be released in the next few days to coincide with the second anniversary of Chen's inauguration.

Chen began his term on May 20, 2000.

According to the DPP survey of 1,019 respondents, 9.2 percent of those surveyed said that they were "very satisfied" with Chen's performance, while 50 percent said they were "somewhat satisfied" with the president's performance over the past year. Of those surveyed, 240 declined to give their opinion.

The DPP also asked those surveyed about the performances of KMT Chairman Lien Chan and PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜). Results showed that 49.2 percent said they were not satisfied with Lien while 38.7 percent were not pleased with Soong's record.

The professor who conducted the Shih Hsin University poll suggested the discrepancy between the two surveys could mean that one of the surveys is inaccurate.

"Chen's popularity is only 48 percent in our survey. If the two surveys were conducted at about the same time, the gap between the results of the two surveys shouldn't be so wide," said Liang Shih-wu (梁世武), director of the Shih Hsin University's (世新大學) survey center.

Liang said his survey was conducted by telephone from May 8 to May 11, while the DPP surveyed its respondents from last Monday to Tuesday.

Liang's survey focused only on the performance of Chen's administration and did not ask questions about the opposition.

Chen Jun-lin (陳俊麟), director of DPP's survey center, said he is confident the DPP's survey is accurate, emphasizing that DPP polls have put Chen's popularity at over 50 percent since March.

"The statistics we have are stable, which makes me confident of their accuracy. Also, I believe Chen's popularity is supposed to be higher than 40 percent, since he had been rated at over 40 percent on a consistent basis last year," he said.

"That number should continue to increase," Chen added.

Last May a DPP poll put Chen's popularity at 45 percent while a Gallup poll conducted the same month put it at 43.2 percent.

Chen credited the fact that the economy has picked up and that members of his administration have better settled into their jobs as reasons behind the increase in his ratings.

Reacting to the poll results, Justin Chou (周守訓), assistant director-general of the KMT's Culture and Communications Affairs Committee, said that the DPP poll is ridiculous and "is simply a gift to make Chen Shui-bian happy on his second anniversary."

"Lien and Soong are not working for the government anymore; it's ridiculous to judge their performances with a poll," Chou said.

PFP spokesman Liao Chang-sung (廖蒼松), meanwhile, said: "If you believe the DPP poll is credible then we really have nothing to say to you."

But another DPP official defended the DPP survey.

"Many polls will be released in the coming days, but reality is reality. The reason we released the poll today is to help the public understand what the reality is," said DPP Deputy Secretary-General Michael You (游盈隆).

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