Concern over manipulation during presidential election campaign
On Monday sociologists are holding a press conference to warn of manipulation during the coming presidential elections. Deutsche Welle spoke with the Director of the Democratic Initiative Fund, Ilko Kucheriv. He says that overt attempts to mislead people during the presidential elections will not work, since the public have developed an immunity against out and out lies. He regrets the lack of such an immunity among Ukrainian sociologist who have not been able to provide a proper assessment of the rigging of public opinion surveys during the previous presidential elections.
Mr Kucheriv says that even well-known researchers sometimes succumb to the temptation of corruption. “After the 2004 elections rigging was uncovered of public opinion surveys. Yet those who did the rigging were not only not punished, but were not even condemned by the sociologist community”.
He believes that a level of professional ethics which prevents rigging of sociological data in the West is lacking in Ukraine and suggests American manuals for journalists which the Democratic Initiative Fund has translated into Ukrainian. These provide a list of questions that must be asked about the authors of sociological surveys, the methodology of such surveys and the source of their funding. He points out that one nationwide survey costs at least 10-12 thousand dollars, and during an economic crisis there remain not so many eager to commission public opinion surveys.