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DIDGE - The View From Down Under

An Aussie’s ridgy-didge view of world affairs and popular culture.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Kerry would win in landslide if world were able to vote

In a story published in last Friday’s newspaper, a worldwide survey of people from ten countries concluded that if the world could vote in the up-coming American Presidential election that Senator John Kerry would easily win.

People were asked whether they wanted Bush or Kerry to win the November election. Eight out of ten countries said they wanted Kerry to win. In Russia 52% want Bush re-elected, with 48% for Kerry. Bush’s winning margin is much more striking in Israel, where 50% are in favour of a second term for Bush, with just 24% on Kerry’s side. However Russia and Israel are the minority on this issue. 60% of Canadians are for Kerry, only 20% for Bush. 54% of Australians are for Kerry, 28% for Bush. In Japan Kerry received 51%, Bush 30%. The UK gave Kerry 50%; Bush only 22%, which is very simular to Mexico’s 55% for Kerry and 20% for Bush. France is the most supportive of Kerry, with a whopping 72% of the vote, with Bush on a paltry 16%. But Bush fairs even worse in Spain, polling just 13% of the vote, while Kerry enjoys 58%.

Every country but Israel has an unfavourable view of George W. Bush. 64% of Canadians don’t like Bush, 29% do. In France 75% don’t like Bush, against 21% that do. 60% of the UK have an unfavourable view of Bush, 25% think differently. Spain overwhelmingly dislikes Bush with 77%, only 13% like him. Surprisingly 56% of Russians don’t like the current President, with 44% who do like him. 66% of Japanese dislike Bush, 30% like him. 65% of Australians don’t like Bush, with 32% who have a favourable opinion of him. In Mexico 70% are against Bush, with 23% support, which is mirrored in South Korea: 72% against, 23% for. Israel is the only country that has a majority of favourable views of Bush, with 70% of the vote. Only 24% of Israelis have an unfavourable view of Bush.

On the question of favourable or unfavourable opinion of John Kerry, well his results were much more mixed. 55% of Canadians like Kerry, against 20% who don’t. Things were clear-cut in France, where Kerry enjoyed 61% of the vote, against just 16% of dislike. Things were much closer in Britain, with 33% who like Kerry and 25% who don’t. In a surprising result Spain was the only country that polled more against Kerry. 23% have an unfavourable view of Kerry, while 21% have a favourable opinion. Another close result, this time in Russia, where 51% like Kerry, against 49% who do not. Japan was spilt down the middle, where 37% like Kerry and 37% don’t like Kerry. Australia’s support of John Kerry was more substantial, with 38% supporting him and 25% disliking him. Mexicans love Kerry with 42% of the vote against 25%. More Israelis like Kerry than don’t: 30% have a favourable opinion, while 22% have an unfavourable view. South Korea again mirrored Mexico with their love of Kerry, 47% in favour, while only 19% dislike Kerry.

While the world hates George Bush their ill will is not aimed at the American people, as every country had a favourable view of Americans. The closest results came from Spain (47% like, 32% dislike), Mexico (51% like, 43% dislike) and South Korea (65% like, 30% dislike). The countries where Americans are most liked were Russia (86% like, 13% dislike) and Israel (81% like, 10% dislike). The majority of the rest of the countries had favourable views of Americans in the low 70s, with dislike in the low 20s.

Eight countries where questioned whether it was right or wrong to invade Iraq. Seven countries said it was wrong, with only Israel believing the invasion was the right thing to do. 67% of Canadians believed the pre-emptive attack on Iraq was wrong, 24% disagreed. 77% of France was against the war, 18% for. 80% of Spaniards thought the war wrong, with only 13% for the war. Things were closer in Russia, with 54% against the war and 39% believing it was the right thing to do. 83% of Japanese said the war was wrong, with just 10% thinking it was right. In their continuing similarity 83% of Mexicans said it was wrong to invade, with just 10% disagreeing. 85% of South Koreans also believed the invasion was wrong, with just 11% saying it was the right thing to do. Israel broke with all other countries; with 68% saying the invasion was correct. Only 26% of Israelis opposed the war. Results from Australia and the UK were not printed.

Of seven countries polled all of them overwhelmingly said it was important to keep good relations with the US. Out of six countries, five believed American would remain the world’s largest economic power for the foreseeable future. Only Mexico believed otherwise.

Four countries were polled on if they believed America wielded excessive influence regarding international affairs, with every country saying yes. 86% of Canadians, 73% in France, 87% in South Korea and 66% in Mexico.

Of four countries asked, all said American culture threatened their own (countries polled: Canada, UK, Mexico and South Korea).

Of five countries polled, all of them felt it likely American would be attacked again in the coming months. Of those same countries all said they would not fear visiting America.

This was a very interesting survey. I just wish the rest of the world could vote in the US election.

The countries, and their newspapers, involved in the survey were:
Australia - The Age (Melbourne) and The Sydney Morning Herald
Canada – La Presse
France – Le Monde
Great Britain – The Guardian
Israel - Haaretz
Japan – Asahi Shimbun
Mexico - Reforma
Russia – The Moscow News
South Korea – JoongAng Ilbo

Spain – El Pais

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