Public Verdict on Performance of Governance and Democracy in First 100 Days of National and Provincial Governments


September 15; On International Day of Democracy, PILDAT has released Public Verdict on Performance of Governance and Democracy in First 100 Days of National and Provincial Governments. The verdict is based on a nation-wide public opinion poll commissioned by PILDAT.[1]

 
Popular verdict on performance of the Federal Government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during its first 100 days is on the whole positive, as 62% of a national sample of men and women across the nation's 4 provinces give it a Good Rating, as opposed to 32% that give it a Poor Rating. The balance of the two or the NET PERFORMANCE RATING (NPR) [2] is thus 30.
 
 
This poll is a performance tracker regarding governance by the Federal Government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, 4 Provincial Governments and the Performance of Democracy in its various forms and expressions. The Poll was commissioned by PILDAT and comes nearly at the end of 100 days of the inauguration of Pakistan's newly-elected Federal Government that began with the Prime Minister's oath of office on June 05, 2013. [3]
 
 
Cautious approval is the Public Verdict on the performance of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Government during First 100 Days
Nawaz Sharif’s policy of seeking harmony with the armed forces, provincial governments led by the parties which are in opposition at the federal level and opposition parties has received the highest rate of approval. His reaching out on key foreign policy issues is also approved.
However, there is a greater caution in the approval of performance on managing electricity shortage and addressing the problem of terrorism.
Public verdict about his performance about the choice of cabinet and resolving the malaise of corruption and nepotism is also rather reserved.
The NPR ranges from -5 on dealing with the issue of terrorism to over 20 on success in achieving harmonious relationship with the armed forces (26), political opposition (24) and provincial solidarity (24). The NPR Index on dealing with Foreign Affairs is also pretty high (19), but more modest on success in reducing the problem of electricity shortages (6); fighting corruption (13); fighting nepotism (-3). A relatively poor score on fighting nepotism indicates a rather strong perception among the public that the government is not following the policy of merit and rule of law and is rather patronising its favourites.
 
 
Provincial Pluralism
Punjab (56) gives very high NPR to Nawaz Sharif Government, followed by Balochistan (22), KP (-4) and Sindh (-12) in that order. This reflects the provincial competition and vote banks in the respective provinces.
Verdict is ‘Partisan’ in the Direction of Hope
The NPR is higher on Overall approval (30) than issue-specific NPR on load-shedding (6), fighting terrorism (-5), foreign policy (19).
When overall NPR approval exceeds issue-specific NPRs, it indicates that the citizens are more hopeful about the direction of change rather than the achievements in particular issues.
Cautious Optimism
With the change of Government after Election 2013, in general, Pakistani public opinion is 'cautiously optimistic' about the new Government’s ability and capacity to address the issues facing the country.
More people are optimistic (44%) about the Government’s ability to address Pakistan's current issues than people who are pessimistic (30 %). However, a significant number are also ambivalent (22 %) about it.
In addition to the Federal Government, the poll also sought public verdict on each of the 4 Provincial Governments.
Punjab Government gets the best rating out of the 4 Provincial Governments. Its NPR Index is 73, while the Sindh Government gets the poorest NPR, which is -2. The NPR for the KP Government stands at 26, and for Balochistan Government, it is 17.
 
 
We have chosen the following parameters to determine public views about performance of Federal Government during its first 100 days in office:
1- Overall Performance Rating
2- Addressing Electricity Shortage or Load-shedding
3- Fighting Terrorism
4- Addressing Key Foreign Policy Issues
5- Creating Inter-provincial Harmony
6- Creating Harmony with Political Opposition
7- Creating Harmony with Armed Forces
8- Competence of Cabinet Members
9- Fighting Corruption
10- Fighting Nepotism
Here are the results of the survey on each one of these parameters:
1- Overall Verdict on Governance at the Federal Level
According to the survey 62% gave Positive Rating to Governance by the Federal Government during the first approximately 100 days in Government; 32% gave it a Poor Rating.
The Net Rating (difference of Positive and Negative) is thus 30. We call it the NET PERFORMANCE RATING or NPR in the Report.
The NPR of Performance by the Federal Government is high in some and low in other Provinces. As one would expect, it is the highest in Punjab at 55, followed by Balochistan at 22. It is quite low in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and stands at -5. This means that those who gave Poor Performance Ratings (~51%) were 5% more than those who gave it a Good Ratings (~46%). In Sindh the NPR was even lower at -12.

2- Performance in dealing with the Issue of Electricity Shortage or Load-Shedding
According to the survey, 52% gave positive Rating, while 46% gave Negative Ratings. The NPR is thus only 6.
The NPR on this issue varies from province to province. It is the highest in the KP at 32 followed by Punjab at 17, Sindh at -26 and Balochistan at -47. It is interesting that the highest or most favourable NPR on this subject is in the KP where PML-N is not in the Government.
3- Performance on the Issue of dealing with Terrorism
According to the survey, 46% gave Good Performance Rating to the Government in dealing with the issue of Terrorism, 51% gave Poor Rating. The NPR is thus -5.
The NPR on the issue of Terrorism is the highest in Punjab at 8, followed by KP at 4. It is considerably lower in Sindh at -32, and even lower in Balochistan at -47.

4- Performance on addressing Key Foreign Policy Issues: Relations with USA, China and India
According to the survey, the Positive Ratings are 57%, while Negative Ratings are 38%. Thus the NPR is 19.
The NPR is the highest in Punjab at 32, followed by Balochistan at 28, Sindh at 02 and KP at -9.
5-Performance on Creating Inter-Provincial Harmony
According to the survey, the Positive Performance Ratings achieved by the Federal Government on the subject are 59% while Negative Ratings are 35%. Thus the NPR is 24.
The NPR on provincial harmony is the highest in Punjab at 43, followed by Balochistan at 35, KP at -3 and Sindh at -17.

6- Performance on Creating Harmony with Political Opposition
According to the survey, the Positive Ratings by the Federal Government in achieving Harmonious relations with political opposition in the Parliament is 59%, while the Negative Ratings are 35%. Thus the NPR is 24.
The NPR is the highest in Punjab at 46 followed by Balochistan at 20, KP at -1 and Sindh at -16.

7- Creating Harmony with the Armed Forces (Bringing State Institutions subservient to Rule of Law)
According to the survey, the Positive Ratings achieved by the Federal Government on this issue are 58%, while the Negative Ratings are 32%. Thus the NPR is 26.
The NPR is the highest in Punjab at 45, followed by Balochistan at 11, Sindh at -2 and KP at -3.
8- Performance on Choosing Competent Cabinet
According to the survey, 31% give Positive Rating on the subject. In other words they are satisfied with the quality or competence of the Federal Cabinet chosen by the Prime Minister. As opposed to this 18% give it a Poor Rating.
The remaining (12 %) are either un-informed or unable to give a specific view on the subject. Thus the NPR is 13.
The NPR is the highest in Punjab at 22, followed by Balochistan at 20, KP at 5 and Sindh at -5.
9- Performance on Fighting Corruption
According to the survey, 54% give Positive Performance Rating to the Federal Government in dealing with the problem of corruption, while 41% gave Negative Rating. Thus the NPR is 13.
The NPR is the highest in Punjab at 30 followed by KP at 18, Balochistan where it is Nil meaning that Positive and Negative Ratings are exactly equal. The NPR is the lowest in Sindh at -25.
10- Performance of Federal Government on the issue of eliminating Nepotism in Public Affairs
The Federal Government’s poorest rating was received on elimination of nepotism. According to the survey 45% give Positive Performance Ratings to the Federal Government on the subject, while 48% give Negative Ratings. Thus the NPR is -3.

 
 
Performance Ratings of Provincial Governments
The survey tried to elicit views from each province about performance of their respective Provincial Government on the issue of checking nepotism in public affairs.
Punjab Government gets the highest NPR at 9, followed by KP and Balochistan both of which score -4 each. The performance of Sindh Government is much poorer, since its NPR is -55.
Views on Performance of the Provincial Governments were elicited on matters of governance which mostly fall under provincial authority. These include subjects such as Education, Health, Street Cleaning, Providing Safe Drinking Water and Reducing Street Crime, etc.
Here are the findings. The responses, it must be noted, were elicited from residents of the respective province only.
Performance of Provincial Governments on Education
According to the survey the highest Performance Ratings were achieved by Punjab whose NPR-Index was 64, compared with KP whose score was only slightly behind at 62. In contract the NPR-Index of Sindh at -8 and Balochistan at -12 were much lower.

Performance of Provincial Governments on Healthcare
According to the survey, Punjab Government scores the highest NPR at 49, followed closely by KP at 45. The NPR for Sindh at -24 and Balochistan at -33 are much lower.
Performance of Provincial Governments on the Issue of Street Cleaning
According to the survey, Punjab scores the highest NPR at 32. On this issue, KP is considerably behind Punjab and stands at 5 only. Both Sindh and Balochsitan do much poorer as the score of Balochistan is -4 and that of Sindh is -47.
Performance of Provincial Governments on Safe Drinking Water
According to the survey, the NPR of KP is the highest at 25. On this issue Punjab is the runner up falling closely behind KP at 23. The score for Balochistan is 8, while the NPR for Sindh is extremely low at -46.

Performance of Provincial Governments on Reducing Street Crime
According to the survey, the NPR of Punjab is the highest at 19 followed by KP at 8, Balochsitan at -12 and Sindh at -46.

Popularity Contest of 4 Chief Ministers among All Pakistanis
According to the survey, Chief Minister Punjab is the clear winner in a popularity contest in which All Pakistanis voted irrespective of their province of residence. Survey findings show that 59% voted in favour of Mr. Shahbaz Sharif as the best performing Chief Minister, followed by Syed Qaim Ali Shah at 18%, Mr. Pervez Khattak at 9% and Dr. Abdul Malik at 4%. These ratings may have been partly influenced by the size of the sample size which is obviously the largest in Punjab followed by Sindh, KP and Balochistan corresponding with the population of each province.
In each province, their respective Chief Ministers enjoy most popularity, with the exception of Balochistan in which Chief Minister Punjab is the most popular. Other than Balochistan and Punjab, where Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr. Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif is the most popular, in other two provinces, namely Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Chief Minister Punjab is a close second choice of public.
In Punjab, Chief Minister Punjab has 76% approval ratings, followed by Syed Qaim Ali Shah, CM Sindh who is a distant number 2 in Punjab at 8%, followed by Chief Minister KP, Mr. Pervez Khattak, at 4% and Dr. Abdul Malik, Chief Minister Balochistan, with popularity rating of 1% in Punjab.
Popularity Ratings of 4 Chief Ministers in Punjab
Question: In your opinion, out of the country’s four Chief Ministers, which one has been the most successful? And it can be from your own province or from any other.

In Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah’s approval ratings are at 39%, followed very closely by CM Punjab, whose popularity ratings among Sindh’s population is 38%, followed by Chief Minister KP at 7% and Chief Minister Balochistan at 6%.
Popularity Ratings of Chief Ministers in Sindh
Question: In your opinion, out of the country’s four Chief Ministers, which one has been the most successful? And it can be from your own province or from any other.

In Khyber Pakhtunkwa, Mr. Pervez Khattak, CM KP, has approval ratings of 34%, followed by CM Punjab at 29%, followed by CM Sindh at 26% and CM Balochistan at 1%.
Popularity Ratings of 4 Chief Ministers in KP
Question: In your opinion, out of the country’s four Chief Ministers, which one has been the most successful? And it can be from your own province or from any other.

In Balochistan, Dr. Abdul Malik, Chief Minister Balochistan, is approved by 31% - as number 2 choice of people of Balochistan, while Chief Minister Punjab, Mr. Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif enjoys highest popularity ratings of 40%. Syed Qaim Ali Shah, CM Sindh, gets 17% approval ratings in Balochistan followed by CM KP, Mr. Pervez Khattak, at 8%.
Popularity Ratings of 4 Chief Ministers in Balochistan
Question: In your opinion, out of the country’s four Chief Ministers, which one has been the most successful? And it can be from your own province or from any other.


 
 
Factors Underlying High or Low Performance Ratings
The following 4 factors seem to be the key in determining the level of Performance Ratings.
1. Political Partisanship
It is quite understandable that those who voted for the party currently in power, in the Federation or in the Provinces, are more likely to give better Performance Rating to it compared to those who did not. This is why the NPR of Punjab Government is higher than the Federal Government, 73 as opposed to 48. After all, the PML-N won 46% of the votes in Punjab. But only 33% at the Federal level. But political partisanship is not the only explanation.
2. Outreach beyond Political Partisanship
The second most important factor in obtaining high performance ratings is the ability and success to win high ratings from political opponents or those who do not intend to vote for the ruling party. This second factor explains the high NPR achieved by Chief Minister Punjab. His NPR is 90 among the PML-N voters but also as high as 48 among all other who do not intend to vote for the PML-N. This latter figure is considerably lower for the Federal (30) as well as the other 3 Provincial Governments (Sindh -21, KP 26 and Balochistan 17).
The findings suggest that the Prime Minister and the respective Chief Ministers can raise their Performance Ratings if they are seen in their position of PM and CM to represent all voters rather than heads of their respective political parties.
Apparently, the performance of Chief Minister of Punjab enjoys a great deal of appreciation across political partisanship and provincial boundaries. When asked to name the best of the four Chief Ministers he scores quite high not only in his own but also other provinces.
3. National Mood to Seek Harmony
A third factor underlying high ratings seems to be whether government leaders are successful in seeking harmony. Apparently, the popular mood is weary of a long period of conflict and contentious politics across political groups and institutions. Thus, any policy or action which appears to enlist harmony is appreciated.
4. Issue Specific Differentiation and Pragmatism
A fourth factor underlying Performance Ratings seems to be the ability and inclination among Pakistanis to be quite pragmatic and issue specific in giving their positive or negative verdict. It is not a matter of all out ‘love’ or ‘hate’ based on emotional support or hostility. Thus, the Federal Government gets as high an NPR as 26 for its harmonious relationship with the armed forced and as low as -5 for its success in dealing with the problem of terrorism.[4] Similarly the Punjab Government gets as high an NPR as 64 on education but as low as 19 on reducing crime and only 9 on dealing with the problem of nepotism. This trend to give issue-specific pragmatic evaluation or verdict is visible in the case of all Provinces and the Federal Government.

Benchmark for Performance of Democratic Processes and Institutions in First 100 Days
Fairness of General Election 2013 got an NPR of -1 as 31% nationwide respondents caused aspersions on the fairness of General Election 2013 while 30% said 2013 General Election was more transparent and freer than the previous General Election (2008). 31% respondents believed there was no difference in the fairness of the 9th (2008) and 10th (2013) General Elections.
Trust in Political parties got NPR of 44 as nearly 69% respondents said they trust their political parties (A lot of trust: 32%; Trust to an Extent: 37%) while 16% showed little trust and 9% at very little trust.
According to the survey, the Net performance Score of 13 Democratic Institutions or processes is provided below. These scores can not be attributed to the successes or failures achieved by the new Governments during its first 100 days. However these Benchmark figures will be a useful guideline to gauge the performance of new Governments as they make progress during their 5 year term.
Net Performance Rating (NPR) on
Perceived Improvement Over Previous Government

1-Overall Quality of Democratic Functioning26
2-Hope that Democracy will deliver22
3-Effectiveness of Parliament19
4-Effectiveness of Cabinet10
5-Law-Observing Behavior of the Executive-2
6-Effectiveness of Democratic oversight on Military12
7-Fairness in Elections-1
8-Trust in Political Parties44
9-Effectiveness of Supreme Court3
10-Respect for Human Rights17
11-Independence of Media20
12-Safeguarding National Sovereignty7
 
Provincial Government's Role on the subject
 
13-Assertion of Provincial Autonomy:
  • Punjab
5
  • Sindh
2
  • KP
-6
  • Balochistan
27
Complete PILDAT Report titled Public Verdict on Performance of Governance and Democracy in First 100 Days of National and Provincial Governments can be downloaded at PILDAT website: www.pildat.org or by accessing this Link here.
 
 
References:
[3]The respondents for this survey are 3568 men and women chosen through a statistical process from Rural and Urban areas from all 4 provinces of Pakistan. They represent a cross section of young and old, middle and high income; people with no education, modest education and high education. As a result composition of this group is quite similar to the notion of a Public Jury. This is the reason that the findings of this survey are also metaphorically described as the Public Verdict of a National Jury. The field work for the survey was done face to face in respondents’ homes during August 26 – September 02, 2013. The sample comprises a cross section of various age, income, education and language groups of the population. Error margin is estimated to be approximately ± 2-3 per cent at 95% confidence level.

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