The purpose of this online nomination survey is to help eligible Tibetan voters to think and discuss about their choice of candidate for 2016 Sikyong's preliminary election.
The first round of online nomination survey on 2016 Sikyong's candidate was kept open for eligible Tibetan voters for a total of 8 days i.e., from July 24, 2015 to July 31, 2015 11:00 AM U.S. Eastern Time.
Participants were approached using Online Google Form as a survey tool to collect the data via Facebook groups such as Tibetan, IMTIBETAN, NY NJ Tibetan College Students, GTPN - North America, North America Tibetan Political Network, Tibetan Children's Village, TIBETAN YOUTH FORUM (TYF), Jobs and Opportunity for Tibetan and many others. Per survey administrator's understanding, these Facebook groups represent a larger section of general public.
When the survey was shared on survey administrator's Facebook wall post, no individual were tagged in the post to minimize response biases. On the survey request, clear information were provided in terms of anonymity.
The online nomination survey carried only 3 questionnaire items with one on candidate nomination; one on participant's country of residence and the remaining one on participant's eligibility to vote.
Of the 312 total survey responses, 14 responses were invalid and 35 responses were consolidated into "Others." This result is an analysis of the remaining 263 valid survey responses.
|Figure 1. Percentage of Nomination|
Of the total nomination for 2016 Sikyong candidate, Lobsang Sangay received 41% of the total nomination counts while Penpa Tsering received 22% followed by Tashi Wangdu at 10% and Lukar Jam at 6%.
|Figure 2. Number of Participants who nominated Lobsang Sangay by Country of Residence|
Other names used for Lobsang Sangay by participants were Lobsang Sangey, Lobsang Sangya, Lobsang Sangye and Lobsang Sangyi.
|Figure 3. Number of Participants who nominated Penpa Tsering by Country of Residence|
Other names used for Penpa Tsering by participants were Pempa Tsering and Penba Tsering.
|Figure 4. Number of Participants who nominated Tashi Wandu by Country of Residence|
Other names used for Tashi Wangdu was only Tashi Wangdue.
|Figure 5. Number of Participants who nominated Lukar Jam by Country of Residence|
Other names used for Lukar Jam were Lukhar Jam, Lugar Jam and Lhukar Jam.
|Figure 6. Percentage of Participants who were Undecided by country of residence|
Findings and Discussion
Lobsang Sangay, incumbent Sikyong of Central Tibetan Administration, tops the nomination with a margin of 19% from the second candidate Penpa Tsering, Speaker of Tibetan Parliament in-Exile. Penpa Tsering (22%) is followed by Tashi Wangdu at 10% and Lukar Jam at 6%. However, 21% of the eligible Tibetan voters are still "Undecided" which could mean any of the top 2 nominee could win the preliminary election on October 18, 2015.
However, if you look at the nomination by country of residence, Lobsang Sangay, Penpa Tsering and Tashi Wangdu has received their largest share of nominations from India and North America. Eligible Tibetan voters in India and North America will be the deciding factor in terms of who wins the preliminary election as these two holds the largest concentration of eligible voters (if we disregard Nepal where an election may not be allowed). Looking at this statistic, any of the top three could win the preliminary election.
Also, among the "Undecided" category, 42% of participants from India and 33% from North America could be waiting for a public debate among candidates to help decide their choice of 2016 Sikyong's candidate. Therefore, 2016 Sikyong's candidate should make an effort to win these "undecided" and "others" eligible voters. They could be the swing voters who could decide who wins the preliminary election.
If you are an eligible Tibetan voter and has not yet participated in this nomination survey for 2016 Sikyong's candidate, please do so before the survey closes on August 10, 2015. Here is the link to participate http://goo.gl/forms/NhDqBGPkVS.
In the mid of August, the survey administrator will launch an Online Opinion Poll for the 2016 Sikyong's preliminary election. Stay tuned.
Online surveys are not without limitations. Some of the limitations of this online nomination survey are:
1. Nominations of eligible Tibetan voters with no computer and English language skills were excluded from the study.
2. With no available features of one-time participatory settings on Google Form, a participant could have shared more than one nominations.
3. With Tibetan electorates spread across the world, it was not possible to adopt a good sampling technique. Therefore, the study’s finding cannot be termed as statistically significant.
4. Finally, due to the low rate of survey participants, the generalization of study’s findings is limited.