Roland Soong of ESWN translates a piece from China National Radio on the discovery of rigged answers to a Jiangsu public opinion poll. Villagers complained that questions regarding annual incomes, social security, and overall satisfaction levels all had predetermined responses:
A few days ago, there was a random telephone survey of residents in the Qidong, Haimen, Tongzhou and other districts of Nantong city in Jiangsu province. The purpose was to determine the prosperity level of the people and to listen to their feedback. Local cadres asked the interviewees to use previously distributed standard answers. Many elementary and secondary schools even had a day off so that the students can memorize the answers and “assist” their parents to deal with the telephone poll. Our in-depth investigation showed that this brazenly rigged public opinion poll was the work of certain individual cadres who wanted to show that the people have reached the prosperity target goals.
At the Seventeenth Communist Party Congress, the goal was bring about a fully prosperous society. Jiangsu province proposed a high-level of prosperity in which the masses will benefit and accept. Public opinion polling was part of this process, whereby a county/city needs more than 60% agreement from the public before it can be declared as reaching the full prosperity standard. In late 2008, Qidong city under Nantong city attained a 94.8% approval rate in the random telephone poll conducted by the Jiangsu province Bureau of Statistics. However, many local villagers told our reporter differently:
Village 1: The wholis thing was faked! It was all faked in our village! It was certainly faked!
Village 2: This is using money to buy lies.