The Political-Economic Sentiments of the People: What the 2007 Senatorial Election Says

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As reflected in the analyses in this volume, the extant research on electoral outcomes in the Philippines does not yet clearly link those results to policy positions of the candidates. In this paper, I attempt to provide some initial insights on this, using data from the 2007 national elections and focusing on Senatorial votes. I compare the results to the public positions taken by candidates on three of the most controversial political economic issues of the time. These are the value added tax (VAT), charter change, and the impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (PGMA). It is beyond the scope of this paper to fully elaborate on these reforms. One goal of this brief study is to try and link the candidates’ stances on these issues to the eventual voting results to see whether and to what extent their positions translated into votes. Another goal is to determine whether it even matters for the candidates to take stances on these issues…