The state of public opinion
bolivia | by Miguel Centellas | 28 Mar, 2004 at 02:12 PM | comments (1) | trackback (0)

La Razón just published their latest poll (conducted along w/ Nuevo Día & ATB) of Bolivian political attitudes. The survey has a representative sample of 819 residents from the cities of La Paz, El Alto, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz — no other areas were covered in the survey (though these cities cover 50% of the national population). Click on graphic to view larger.

Results indicate Mesa's popularity slipped since it's November high point November (82%) to 74%. By comparison: Approval ratings for the "opposition" (not defined) slipped to 23%. Evo Morales' approval ratings slipped to 31%. Only 28% approve of parliament/congress.

Interestingly, despite Mesa's still-high popularity, only 60% approve of his government, only 29% approve of the national political economy (56% disapprove).

What does this mean? Seems to suggest Mesa & other political actors are losing political capital. The five-month-old administration's been unable to push forward a substantive economic recovery package or address major issues. Today was the self-imposed deadline for the gas referendum — the necessary bill was only Friday sent to parliament.

Still, Mesa's popularity is high, giving him room to maneuver against parliament. There's already a new government coalition centered around MNR-MIR-ADN after MAS — the party Mesa most relied on early on — roadblocked Mesa's attempts to pass tax laws. So. MAS is left out in the cold again, incapable of seizing its post-October opportunity to demonstrate its ability to wield power. But as Mesa turns more & more towards the "traditional" parties for support, his popularity'll continue to slip. How low will it go?

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"President Mesa finally announced the questions for the gas referendum. And although there are five of them, they seem rather vague & almost destined to win a "yes" vote by their very wording (which, I'm sure, was the point). But. Despite that, the questions are unclear as to what they..."
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