The 2013 Philippine Mid-Term Election: An Empirical Analysis of Dynasties, Vote Buying and the Correlates of Senate Votes

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This note contains a preliminary analysis of patterns regarding (separately) political dynasties, vote buying and the correlates of certain Senators’ votes, drawing on data from the 2013 mid-term election in the Philippines. The analysis questions the inclusiveness and legitimacy of the political process. The evidence underscores the continued dominance of political dynasties, the prevalence of vote buying, and the powerful influence of name recall. Political dynasties, in the aggregate, appear to be on an upward trend since the election in 2004. Most of this seems due to a large number of dynastic candidates fielded by the most established (and therefore better financed) political parties. On vote-buying, a survey of 360 respondents from approximately the 4th and 5th income quintile living in Metro Manila showed vote-buying incidence of about 20% when a direct question was used — doubling to about 40% when an indirect question was used. Around 80% said they voted for the candidate because they like him/her or for his/her qualifications. This would suggest that vote buying could be used to encourage turnout notably in areas where would-be voters are already inclined to support the candidate. Finally, an empirical analysis of the share of voters cast at the provincial level for Bam Aquino and Nancy Binay suggests that each of these candidates benefited from strong support garnered by their relatives, President Aquino and Vice President Binay. A 1 percentage point increase in the share of votes for President Aquino (Vice President Binay) at the provincial level, translated into a 0.29 (0.19) percentage point increase in the votes for Bam Aquino (Nancy Binay).