Thursday, September 15, 2005

Vox Populi

The results of the “Voice of the People” 2005 survey were published on the BBC website today. The survey questioned more than 51,000 people in 68 countries with the aim of measuring world opinion in what is basically one broad area.

The validity of the survey as “worldwide” has to be questioned because of some glaring omissions, mainly that China is not included in the survey and Egypt alone represents the Arab world. The reason for this is that the survey was conducted by Gallup International and was paid for by Gallup’s clients, and therefore focused on markets which were important to those clients.

Here are some of the findings:

Is your country governed by the will of the people?

Worldwide, only 30% said yes.

These are the percentages of people who said NO, by region:
North America – 60%
Western Europe – 65%
Eastern and Central Europe – 73%
Africa – 61%
Asia-Pacific – 65%
Latin America – 69%

Are your elections free and fair?

Worldwide, 47% said yes, 48% said no.

Paul Reynolds, who wrote the BBC article points out certain contradictions. He offers the UK as an example:
66% said the government was not by the will of the people;
70% said elections were free and fair.

I disagree with Mr Reynolds: I do not think that those two percentages are necessarily contradictory. Elections come first and they can be free and fair (theoretically, at least) but when your choices are Dumb and Dumber, where does that leave you? And once Dumber (theoretically speaking) is elected, no one can guarantee that s/he will govern by the will of the people.

Reynolds goes on to quote Churchill: Democracy is the worst system of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

…which could possibly mean that anarchy is indeed the way forward, but I shall leave that to DD as I still have some doubts.

Which of the following do you trust?

The BBC did not list all of the possible answers but here are some of the results:

Religious leaders came out on top globally, at 33%, but there was a world of difference amongst regions:
Africa – 74%
South-east Asia – 68%
North America – 49%
Scandinavia – 12%

Politicians came in low, at about 13% worldwide, but they did better in North America than anywhere else at 23%. All of Europe, in contrast, was at 10%.

Who would you like to give more power to in your country?

Global figures:
“Intellectuals” (defined as writers, academics, etc) – 35%
Religious leaders – 25%
Military – 20%
Business people – 20%
Journalists – 20%
Politicians – 16%

Alarming: religious leaders came in first in North America at 37%. Separation of church and state, anyone?


*some of my figures may be off by 1-2% as I had to read some of them off very small graphs.

15 comments:

Sinister Steve said...

How can they be conducting polls while N.O. is under water?

Riggs is Crazy said...

Nice SS.

Max, you obviously misunderstand what the separation of church and state means. The founding fathers were fed up with British leaders coming into their churchs and telling them how to worship. They did not want the US government to tell people how to worship in church. Thus, separation of church and state. This was never meant to mean separation of faith and state or separation of religion and state; only separation of the church and the state.

My good buddies at the 9th circuit obviously have too much bong resin in their heads to understand this too. They just ruled with that atheist f*ck that "under god" was unconstitutional in the pledge of allegiance. What a bunch of sh*t.

I'm such a big fan of the 9th circuit that I'm going to get 9th circuit tatted across my stomach, ala 2Pac's Thug Life moniker.

Sincerely,

Riggs
Non-Hippie

AG said...

Actually, Riggs, the founding fathers were, for the most part, Masons (check out the dollar bill for clues) and there were too many Christian sects, as well as Judaism, already practicing in the colonies. They chose not to have a “State controlled” religion because they could not come to a compromise.

As for the pledge of allegiance, it originally said "one nation indivisible". Under Eisenhower’s administration the right wing changed it to “under God”. They should just change it back and then the atheist f*cks would not have anything to complain about!

SS - are you doing anything to help the people from N.O. relocate or are you simply being silly, as usual?

Max said...

Riggs, separation of church and state should be absolute. Religion is a personal thing and should not be mixed up with government.

Oh, and by the way, I am an atheist fuck too. Must be all that bong resin in my head.

Sinister Steve said...

AG,

Paying taxes. Every week.

SInister Steve said...

MM,

If you are an atheist what was all the "Dear Jesus" and "Oh God" coming out of that bathroom that one night?

Monkey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Riggs is Crazy said...

"separation of church and state should be absolute."

That is your opinion. I disagree with it. You would be on the 9th circuit, I would be on the Supreme Court, which overturns all the bs that comes out of the 9th circuit.

Sinister Steve said...

Riggs,

Thanks for the great posting on your blog. It really shows what a well-rounded young man you are

Ludovic said...

it is also scary to consider that many of those that identities people want to give more power people are often collapsed into one, i.e., religious leader + politician or religious leader + politician + big business type

Max said...

Riggs, of course that is my opinion, I am not qualified to give anyone else's. That is great that you disagree with me - keeps this shit interesting.

Ludo, it is even scarier that some of those people already have too much power.

SS, fair question, but I'm going to ignore it.

I really dislike the pledge of allegiance and I think we should get rid of it altogether.

Skeeter said...

AG,

True, most of the signers of the Declaration of Independance were Mason's. Our first President, George Washington was a Freemason.
It's not quite true that they "chose" not to have a "State Controlled" religion because they couldn't agree on a comprimise.
They wanted the the freedom to practice any religion you wanted. See many colonists were former British citizens that were Christians of different sects (Quakers comes to mind) persecuted for beliefs (wow, that sounds familiar) and they wanted a place to practice their particular brand of Christianity without persecution or having the Government impose a certain religion (Anglican Church) on them. Now, Freemasonry only requires you have a belief in a supreme being, it does not require that you be Christian. You can be a Muslim, a Jew, a Christian, a Deist (as some of the founding fathers were). So that is why the constitution reads "Congress shall pass no law respecting the establishment of a religion".
I don't think that means the word "God" should be deleted from everything.

Skeeter said...

MM,

New Orleans has plenty of help. You can breathe easy. Go to the pub and have a beer. We got this.

Max said...

Thanks, Skeeter. I feel reassured now. Only a few more hours of work...

Riggs is Crazy said...

Skeeter, you're the man.