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ZFBoxcar
15 Sep 05,, 05:49
States 'not run by people's will'

Sixty-five percent of citizens across the world do not think their country is governed by the will of the people, a poll commissioned by the BBC suggests.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/05/world_who_runs_your_world0/img/laun.jpg

Sixty-five percent of citizens across the world do not think their country is governed by the will of the people, a poll commissioned by the BBC suggests.

The Gallup International Voice of the People 2005 poll questioned more than 50,000 people in 68 states for the BBC World Service survey about power.

Only in Scandinavia and South Africa do the majority believe that they are ruled according to their wishes.

But 47% thought elections in their countries were free and fair.

The figure is 55% for the US and Canada and up to 82% in EU countries - but just 24% in West Africa.

The survey also found that only 13% of people trusted politicians and only 16% thought they should be given more power.

About a third of those asked thought more power should go to writers and academics.

A quarter felt more should go to religious leaders - who are also seen as the most trusted group.

A fifth of those asked thought military, business leaders and journalists should be given more power.

Other key findings include:

* Family exerts the greatest single influence on people

Sixty-one percent said a partner or family member has most influenced decisions about their life in the past year.

In Mexico, the figure is 88%. The lowest rating for family influence comes from North America (35%), where people report a wider range of influences, especially religious leaders (12%).

* There is a wide gap between the developed and developing world on the degree to which people feel they can control their lives

Least control is felt in Africa, the Asia-Pacific region and the former Soviet bloc.

The highest scores are in Latin America (65%), followed by Canada and the US (62%) and Europe (53%).

* National identity is still strong

Nationality was used by a third of those surveyed to 'define' themselves. About a fifth chose religion.

The sense of nationality is strongest in Latin America (54%).

Religion gained the highest scores in Africa (56%), followed by the US and Canada (32%).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4247158.stm
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How is it possible that only 55% of Americans and Canadians think that our elections are free and fair?

Regional Breakdowns (will post separately):

Mid-East extremes
Africa trusts religious leaders
US 'backs church leaders'
Europeans 'biggest sceptics'
Wealth empowers in E Asia
Religion benchmark for Pakistanis

ZFBoxcar
15 Sep 05,, 05:55
A global survey for the BBC about power and how it is used has found the Middle East to be home to some of the most sharply defined national attitudes.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40801000/jpg/_40801700_israelis203.jpg

In Egypt, people are more likely to define themselves by religion than anywhere else in the world, it says.

Israelis are more supportive of their intellectuals, military and business leaders than any other nationality.

Gallup International questioned 50,000 people in 68 states for the BBC World Service survey Who Runs Your World.

Two-thirds, compared with a global total of 26%, said they trusted their military and police leaders.

Half of the 500 Israelis in the survey wanted military leaders to have more power in their country, which is higher than any other nation surveyed.

Other professions also scored higher among the Israelis than other nationalities, including intellectuals (71%, against an international average of 35%) and business leaders (45%, as opposed to 20%).

Attitudes towards politicians were very similar to the global average, with just one in six saying that they should hold more sway.

Trust in military

The survey suggests that Israelis have the strongest national identity of any country in the world.

Sixty percent of the Israelis answered that nationality was the most important thing to them, nearly double the global average.

Only 13% said their religion was more important to them and 4% their ethnic group.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40801000/jpg/_40801698_egyptians203.jpg

In Egypt by contrast, where 500 people were questioned, a tiny 2% said nationality was most important to them.

One in 12 Egyptians cited their regional affiliation, but a massive 87% said their religion was the most important, giving them the strongest religious identity of any country surveyed.

Empowerment

An important part of the survey concerns whether those questioned feel represented by their government and whether their country holds free and fair elections. Unfortunately, not all the questions were allowed to be asked - especially ones about politics - in Egypt, where Hosni Mubarak has just been returned to office in the country's first contested presidential elections, but with a very low turn-out.

Israelis, however, believe that they are governed by the will of the people more than most other nationalities.

Just under half said "yes" to the question "Would you say that your country is governed by the will of the people?" - a confidence in their political system that was only topped by Scandinavian countries and South Africa.

The overall global figure is only 30%.

Israelis were also among the most positive globally in responding to the question of whether elections are free and fair.

Egyptians were asked - along with Israelis - whether there was anything they could do to change their lives.

Forty-nine percent of Egyptians said yes, they did feel in control of their own lives to some extent.

The Israelis felt more empowered, with 64% thinking they could do things to change their lives, and just 29% saying there was nothing they could do.

ZFBoxcar
15 Sep 05,, 05:58
Religious leaders are particularly trusted in Africa, a BBC World Service Who Runs Your World? survey of global attitudes towards power has revealed.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40801000/jpg/_40801634_nigerians203.jpg

Three-quarters of those questioned in Africa identified religious leaders as the most trusted group, compared to only a third worldwide.

Politicians in Africa, as in the rest of the world, are the least trusted.

Less than a third believe their government reflects the people's will, with Nigerians especially unhappy.

In Nigeria 85% of those questioned trusted religious leaders and a similar proportion were willing to give them more power.

Asked who had had the most influence on their decision-making over the past year, 13% of those surveyed in Africa said religious leaders. The global figure among more than 50,000 people questioned was just 5%.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40801000/gif/_40801586_elections2_gra203.gif

Asked which was the most important in defining themselves, a majority of Africans put religion above any other factor.

Surprisingly few identified ethnicity as the most significant factor - just 6%, roughly the same as the rest of the world.

South Africa and East Africa bucked the trend, with people putting a greater emphasis on nationality.

And South Africa produced the highest figure of any country in the world when asked if the government reflected the will of the people - 59% of South African said yes.

ZFBoxcar
15 Sep 05,, 06:00
Forty percent of people in the US would like religious leaders to be given more power, a Gallup poll commissioned by the BBC World Service suggests.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40801000/gif/_40801546_power3_gra203.gif

In the US and Canada, 49% of people said they trusted religious leaders, compared to a global average of 19%.

This would seem to confirm the view of many that religion played a big role in President Bush's victory, analysts say.

The results for 14 Spanish-speaking Latin American states suggest there is little trust in politicians.

Only 4% of Latin Americans questioned said they trusted politicians - compared to 13% of people globally - and just over one-third felt that elections in their country were free and fair.

BBC regional analyst James Painter says that with several presidential votes coming up in the region, it will make sober reading for politicians.

More than four out of five Latin Americans who took part in the poll said their family had had the most influence on decisions they had taken in their lives, one of the highest levels in the world.

Latin Americans also appear to be positive about their abilities to change their life - 65% of respondents said they believed there were things they could do to change their lives.

Similar levels were found in North America, where 84% of Canadian interviewees said they felt empowered to change the direction of their own lives.

ZFBoxcar
15 Sep 05,, 06:03
Europeans are among the most sceptical about people in power, a global survey on attitudes to authority suggests.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40801000/jpg/_40801720_1shake203c.jpg

Some 50,000 people in 68 countries were asked about trust, power, freedom of action and identity in the Gallup poll commissioned by the BBC World Service.

Few Europeans trust the media and many would like to see intellectuals play a greater role, the survey found.

Germans appear most tied to their jobs while regional identity is strongest in Portugal and Spain.

In the 23 European countries surveyed, a third of respondents said they did not trust politicians or business, religious and military leaders, rising to more than half in central and eastern Europe.

Globally, only a quarter of those in the survey held people in authority in similar disregard.

Hope of change

Journalists in particular are held in poor esteem - only one in five Europeans trusts them, if the survey, or indeed this report of it, is to be believed.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40801000/gif/_40801626_change_gra203.gif

The survey suggests that Europeans are generally disinclined to give more power to those who have it.

If there is one category they think should have more influence than they do at present, it is intellectuals, and to a lesser extent, business people.

Affluence would seem to play a big part in whether people think they are in control of their own destinies.

In Britain, Denmark, Norway and Ireland, more than three quarters of those polled said they could change their own lives, but fewer than half thought so in central and eastern Europe.

Germans would appear to be the most attached to the concept of being European: the poll suggests 28% of Germans see themselves first and foremost as Europeans - twice the European average.

Austrians, Luxemburgers and Icelanders are ostensibly the most proud of their nationality, with more than half saying that was most important to them.

Regional identity appears to be more prominent in Spain and Portugal.

The stereotype of the industrious German also seems to have been borne out by the survey - 11% said their employer had the most influence over their life decisions, compared to 4% in Europe as a whole.

ZFBoxcar
15 Sep 05,, 06:05
East Asians from wealthy countries are more likely to feel they have control over their lives, a new poll suggests.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40801000/jpg/_40801748_ap_koizumi2203.jpg

Those from South Korea, Japan and Singapore feel they have the most power to alter their own destiny.

In contrast, those surveyed in Vietnam, one of East Asia's poorest countries, feel there is very little they can do to change their own lives.

Gallup International questioned nearly 9,000 people in East Asia for the BBC's Who Runs Your World? survey.

Respondents were asked who had power over their lives, who they trust and if they have the power to change their own lives.

The BBC World Service commissioned the Gallup International Voice of the People 2005 poll of more than 50,000 people in 68 countries.

Nationalism is an important part of the East Asian identity: More than a third of those surveyed found it more important than religion, ethnicity or continent.

In South Korea, 73% of respondents considered their nationality more important than anything else.

Lack of trust

In terms of who they trust, East Asians are more likely to look up to intellectuals, journalists and religious leaders than the military and business elite.

That is apart from the Japanese, who appear to trust virtually no-one.

Over 70% of the Japanese surveyed do not trust either military, religious, business or political leaders - perhaps surprising when you consider the fact that the ruling Liberal Democratic party has been in power almost continuously for the last 50 years.

Democracy does not appear to be alive and well in the region.

Fewer than 30% of East Asians believe that their country is governed by the will of its people.

This is even more remarkable when you consider that people from some of the least democratic countries - such as Burma, North Korea and China - were unable to take part in the survey.

ZFBoxcar
15 Sep 05,, 06:07
Most Pakistanis believe their religion is more important than nationality while Indians trust the police and army more than their politicians.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40800000/jpg/_40800880_rel.jpg

These were two of the findings of the Gallup International Voice of the People survey 2005, commissioned by the BBC World Service.

The poll surveyed more than 50,000 people in 68 countries, representing the views of 1.3bn citizens.

Its findings explore the global attitudes to power.

Little control

On the question of which people were most trusted, 61% of the surveyed Indians cited the military and police, and 58% said journalists, while only 1% trusted politicians.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40800000/gif/_40800864_most_important2_gra203.gif

Of the surveyed Pakistanis, 55% trusted religious leaders, 42% journalists, 31% politicians and business leaders and 29% the military and police.

Globally, only 13% trusted politicians.

Two-thirds of Indians did not feel their elections were free and fair.

About 77% of surveyed Indians did not believe their country was governed by the will of the people, not far from the global average.

On the question of who had the most influence on decisions taken in personal lives, 92% of surveyed Indians said family and partner, compared to only 45% of Pakistanis. A total of 18% of Pakistanis answered religious leader, while none of the Indians surveyed did.

A total of 68% of Indians and 53% of Pakistanis agreed that there was very little they could do to change their lives. The global average was 34%.

The two countries were almost identical in who they would choose to give more power to - around 55% choosing the military and intellectuals and 50% journalists.

A total of 1,063 Indians and 843 Pakistanis were surveyed in June.

lemontree
15 Sep 05,, 06:19
... Indians trust the police and army more than their politicians.
Actually its only the army that Indians trust, the police is also despised as much as the politicians.

About 77% of surveyed Indians did not believe their country was governed by the will of the people, not far from the global average.
I wonder how far this is correct, our election commision is very independent and a very hard task master, that even the ruling party cannot question its instructions/orders.

ZFBoxcar
15 Sep 05,, 06:24
It's not correct, it's an opinion poll ;)
If you look at the other countries polled, you will see that most of them are similarly wrong about their country. Or maybe they are just opposition supporters who are bitter about their party losing the last election so therefore they make outrageous claims like their country is not governed by the will of the people.

Ray
15 Sep 05,, 06:59
A very interesting series of posts.

In countries where there is the Westminister type of democracy and where the first across the post is the winner, the winner of a constituency may not actually be the major choice of the community.

If there are three or more candidates, the votes get broken into segments. It normally shows that while the winner polls the maximum votes, the consolidated votes of the losers would be much more than the winner.

Thus, the winner does not represent, in actuality, does not represent the majority of the constituency.

ZFBoxcar
15 Sep 05,, 07:03
But if there is a minority government, the winning party cannot hope to govern without the co-operation of other parties, whether on specific issues or in a coalition. Either way a majority view point is being expressed because without 50% of parliament agreeing on issues, the government will collapse.

indianguy4u
15 Sep 05,, 10:49
I wonder how far this is correct, our election commision is very independent and a very hard task master, that even the ruling party cannot question its instructions/orders.Politicians do take us for a ride many a times :biggrin:.

Parihaka
15 Sep 05,, 23:23
It's not correct, it's an opinion poll ;)
If you look at the other countries polled, you will see that most of them are similarly wrong about their country. Or maybe they are just opposition supporters who are bitter about their party losing the last election so therefore they make outrageous claims like their country is not governed by the will of the people.
It's because the power isn't representational. The 'losing' side has far less representation in decision making during the term of a Govt than the 'winning' side does. So 49% are not having their views adequately represented at any given time. Obviously it depends on the country and system of govt as to how great that disenfranchisment is.

Ray
16 Sep 05,, 03:42
But if there is a minority government, the winning party cannot hope to govern without the co-operation of other parties, whether on specific issues or in a coalition. Either way a majority view point is being expressed because without 50% of parliament agreeing on issues, the government will collapse.

In the event of no party winning a majority, a coalition has to be formed and if such a coalition is not feasible, a Presidential rule comes into effect with a caretraker govt (normally the last govt and without powers to make any major policy decision) in the interim till another general election is called; normally within 6 months.

In the case a coalition govt is formed (as is the case with India for the last two general elections), they have a Common Minimum Programme (a programme purpotedly acceptable to all coalition partners) and governance is done.

Yet, in addition to what Parihaka has mentioned, it need not be representative of the majority since each candidate is the winner past the post and though in the Parliament, the coalition could have the majority in numbers of Member of Parliament, it may so happen that the Coalition MPs aggregate votes polled be less than the votes polled by the combined opposition.

Parihaka
16 Sep 05,, 04:00
Yet, in addition to what Parihaka has mentioned, it need not be representative of the majority since each candidate is the winner past the post and though in the Parliament, the coalition could have the majority in numbers of Member of Parliament, it may so happen that the Coalition MPs aggregate votes polled be less than the votes polled by the combined opposition.
In New Zealand we've got around this problem with MMP. You Have two votes, one for your local candidate and the other for your favourite party. The numbers are made up in parliament by taking the number of elected mp's and adding 'list' mp's from the party vote to represent the votes each party got. No govt since this was introduced has had a majority and has had to form Government with co-operation from minor parties, often only supported by confidence and supply. There have been four elections like this so far and one again tomorrow. Both leading parties seem to be somewhere around the 41% mark, depending on whose polls you believe. Despite this lack of a clear majority, all the Governments so far have been able to enact most of their policies. We have a 94% enrollment of eligible voters and over 70% are expected to turn out tomorrow (depending on weather)