Kashif Hafeez Siddiqui

Posts Tagged ‘World Public Opinion’

Global Poll: Widespread Perception of Serious Lack of Political Tolerance

In Opinion Polls on September 16, 2009 at 5:44 pm


A new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of 24 nations from around the world finds a widespread perception of a serious lack of political tolerance. Large majorities perceive that people in their nation are not completely free to express unpopular views, that opposition parties do not get a fair chance to express their views and try to influence government decision, and that legislators have limited freedom to express views that differ from their political party.

The poll, sponsored by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and released in conjunction with International Democracy Day, also finds overwhelming support throughout the world for the principle that diversity of political expression should be allowed, and support for democracy more broadly.

WorldPublicOpinion.org conducted the poll of 21,285 respondents in 24 nations that comprise 64 percent of the world’s population. This includes most of the largest nations–China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia and South Africa–as well as Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Germany, Great Britain, France, Israel, Poland, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kenya, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, the Republic of Korea, and Palestine. The margins of error range from +/-2 to 4 percentage points. The surveys were conducted across the different nations between April 4 and June 30, 2009. Not all questions were asked in all nations.

A statement on the global poll, issued by IPU President Theo-Ben Gurirab is available at www.ipu.org/dem-e/idd/statement09.pdf.

When asked how free they think people are to express unpopular views in their country, without fear of being harassed or punished, in no nations does a majority of people say they are completely free. On average across all nations polled, just 24 percent say people in their country are completely free to express unpopular political views, 42 percent that they are somewhat free, and 30 percent that they are not very free.

Asked how often opposition parties get “a fair chance to express their views and try to influence government,” in only 4 out of 21 nations do majorities say “most of the time.” On average only 37 percent say “most of the time,” while nearly six in ten say “only sometimes” (38%) or “rarely” (20%).

Asked how often members of the legislature “feel free to express views that differ from the official views of their own political party,” in only one country does a majority consider that legislators feel free most of the time, while in 20 out of 23 nations, a majority says legislators feel free only sometimes or rarely. On average, only 28 percent say that legislators feel free to express divergent views most of the time while more than two out of three say only sometimes (37%) or rarely (29%).

These perceptions of a lack of political tolerance are in sharp contrast to overwhelming support for the freedom to express diverse views. Asked “How important do you think it is for people to be free to express unpopular political views, without fear of being harassed or punished?” majorities in all nations say such freedom is very or somewhat important. On average 86 percent say this freedom is important, and 58 percent call it very important.

“Around the world we find a remarkable consensus that a diversity of political views should be tolerated, together with a widespread perception that such diversity is not fully tolerated in society in general, or even in the functioning of legislatures,” comments Steven Kull, director of WorldPublicOpinion.org.

The poll also found strong support for democracy in general. Asked “How important is it for you to live in a country that is governed democratically?” majorities in all 24 nations say it is very or somewhat important. In no country do those calling this unimportant exceed about one in four. On average across all nations polled, 90 percent say it is important to live in a democratically governed country, and 67 percent say it is very important.

People who support greater political tolerance are also more apt to support democracy. Among those who say it is very important for people to be free to express unpopular political views, 80 percent said it is very important to live in a country that is governed democratically, but this drops to 48 percent among those who say such freedom is just somewhat important and to 41 percent among those who say it is not important at all.

Though none of the nations polled have parity in gender representation in their national legislatures, views are mixed on whether women are fairly represented. On average across all countries polled, a modest majority of men think women are fairly represented, but a plurality of women think they are not. In 12 nations a majority says that women are fairly represented (as does a plurality in one more); in eight nations a majority says they are not.

There is also wide variation in perceptions of how fairly ethnic, religious or national minorities are represented in national legislatures, though overall views lean in the direction that minorities are not fairly represented. Asked how fairly “minorities, including ethnic, religious, or national minorities” are represented in the national legislature, eight nations have a plurality or majority saying that they are fairly represented. Ten nations say they are not fairly represented and five nations are evenly divided.

Sorce : http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/governance_bt/638.php?nid=&id=&pnt=638&lb


Pakistani Public Turns Against Taliban, But Still Negative on US

In Opinion Polls on July 2, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Latest Survey released on July 1st by World Public Opinion

Source: http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/brasiapacificra/619.php?nid=&id=&pnt=619&lb=

Most Pakistanis now see the Pakistani Taliban as well as al Qaeda as a critical threat to the country–a major shift from 18 months ago–and support the government and army in their fight in the Swat Valley against the Pakistani Taliban. An overwhelming majority think that Taliban groups who seek to overthrow the Afghan government should not be allowed to have bases in Pakistan.

However, this does not bring with it a shift in attitudes toward the US. A large majority continue to have an unfavorable view of the US government. Almost two-thirds say they do not have confidence in Obama. An overwhelming majority opposes US drone attacks in Pakistan.

These are some of the results of a new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll conducted May 17-28, 2009. The nationwide random sample included 1000 Pakistani adults, selected using multi-stage probability sampling, who responded in face-to-face interviews. The margin of error is +/- 3.2 percent.

“A sea change has occurred in Pakistani public opinion. The tactics and undemocratic bent of militant groups–in tribal areas as well as Swat–have brought widespread revulsion and turned Pakistanis against them,” comments Clay Ramsay, research director. However, he adds: “It’s crucial to understand that the US is resented just as much as before, despite the US having a new president.”

There has been a huge increase in those who think the “activities of Islamist militants and local Taliban” are a critical threat to Pakistan–a 47 point rise to 81 percent, up from 34 percent in late 2007. If the Pakistani Taliban were to gain control of the country, 75 percent say this would be bad (very bad, 67%)–though only 33 percent think this outcome is likely.

Seventy percent say their sympathies are more with the government than with the Pakistani Taliban in the struggle over Swat. Large majorities express confidence in the government (69%) and the military (72%) to handle the situation. Retrospectively, the public leans (by 45% to 40%) toward thinking the government was right to try to make an agreement in which the Pakistani Taliban would shut down its camps and turn in its heavy weapons in return for a shari’a court system in Swat. But now 67 percent think the Pakistani Taliban violated the agreement when it sent its forces into more areas, and 63 percent think the people of Swat disapprove of the agreement.

On the Afghan Taliban, an overwhelming 87 percent think that groups fighting to overthrow the Afghan government should not be allowed to have bases in Pakistan. Most (77%) do not believe the Afghan Taliban has bases in Pakistan. However, if Pakistan’s government were to identify such bases in the country, three in four (78%) think it should close the bases even if it requires using military force.

Public attitudes toward al Qaeda training camps follow the same pattern. Those saying the “activities of al Qaeda” are a critical threat to Pakistan are up 41 points to 82 percent. Almost all (88%) think al Qaeda should not be allowed to operate training camps in Pakistan. Though 76 percent do not believe there are such camps, if the Pakistani government were to identify them, 74 percent say the government should close them, with force if necessary.

This striking new public willingness to see the government directly oppose Taliban groups and al Qaeda owes little or nothing to an “Obama effect.” A 62 percent majority expresses low confidence in President Obama to do the right thing in world affairs (none at all, 41%). Only one in three (32%) think his policies will be better for Pakistan; 62 percent think they will be about the same (26%) or worse (36%).

Views of the US remain overwhelmingly negative. Sixty-nine percent have an unfavorable view of the current US government (58% very unfavorable)–essentially the same as in 2008. Eighty-eight percent think it is a US goal to weaken and divide the Islamic world (78% definitely a goal). The US Predator drone attacks aimed at militant camps within the Pakistani border are rejected by 82 percent as unjustified. On the war in Afghanistan, 72 percent disapprove of the NATO mission and 79 percent want it ended now; 86 percent think most Afghans want the mission ended as well.

Asked about the nation’s leaders, a large majority–68 percent–views President Zardari unfavorably (very, 50%), but–unlike the recent past–there are multiple national leaders whom most do view favorably. Prime Minister Gilani is seems untarred by negative views of Zardari and gets favorable ratings from 80 percent of Pakistanis. The restored Chief Justice Chaudry is very popular (82%), and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif is extremely popular (87%). The leader most associated with the Pakistani Taliban, Maulana Sufi Mohammad, is viewed positively by only 18 percent of Pakistanis.

WorldPublicOpinion.org is a project managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. Funding for this research was provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Calvert Foundation.