Survey: Citizens don’t feel empowered (duh)

Ya, I’d go with that statement…


According to a new survey commissioned by the BBC and conducted by Gallup International, most of the worlds population feels that they do not control their own government.

The BBC has a couple stories on this poll, and some great graphs that you should check out at the link above, I can’t directly link to them unfortuantely.

Some other results:

More North Americans (US and Canada) felt they’re governments followed the will of the people than anyone else… but it was still a measly 35%… Europeans barely scratched 30%. Hardly a ringing endorsement and it only got worse in other parts of the world.

Perhaps the most surprising finding in the survey was the answer to this:

“Who would you like to give more power to in your country”

The BBC says the most popular respondants were writers and academics… but most surprising… when asked about religious leaders, North Americans were second only to Africans in their perceived want for more power for religious leaders (35% and 72% respectively) other regions are all well below 25%

The BBC also points out interesting extremes in the Middle East:

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.

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.

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.

An interesting followup question might have been… do you equate your nationality with your religion?


The BBC has more stories relating to this survey in other sections.

One dealing with South Asia focuses on the attitudes of the regions Nuclear Powers Pakistan and India

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

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 BBC also has an article focusing on North America

I’m slightly annoyed that they give no indication of the breakout between Canadian and US responses, especially when they say things like..

“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.”

Uh, are the “analysts” aware that Canadians are in a different country and thus play absolutely no role in President Bush’s victory?

Oy… And people wonder why Canadians sometimes have a bit of a “complex” about being identified with their southern neighbours.

3 replies on “Survey: Citizens don’t feel empowered (duh)”

  1. “Oy… And people wonder why Canadians sometimes have a bit of a “complex” about being identified with their southern neighbours.”

    Actually, it’s you Canadians who are doing the identification with us southerners. Admit it, Chris…you slip in a “we” all the time when discussing US affairs. You’ve created your own identity crises it seems to me. Americans think Canadians are cousins once or twice removed not siblings. 🙂

  2. You may be right. I think Canadians are quite happy seeing Americans as brothers and sisters… but we are a little conflicted because we do recognize, and desperately try to maintain, our independance and unique characteristics.

    Travelling is always an adventure. Sometimes I’m quite happy simply telling people I’m from Western North America… it jives in certain cases.

    Other times, I’m put in a situation where like the relation of religion and state in this BBC Article, something is so utterly mixed up and un-Canadian that I get more sensitive about identifying myself as a Canadian.

    That reminds me actually.. i really need to touch base with some American friends I made when travelling in 2003….

  3. Well, it always good to make the distinction when you get the chance when being lumped together really doesn’t apply so more power to you. Actually, I would characterize the American’s attitude as first cousins with Canadians (when you’re not bashing us!) rather than once/twice removed. there is much common ground between us as Iv’e learned since becoming acquainted with you and several other Canadians vio blogs.

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