C'est nous qui brisons les barreaux des prisons, pour nos frères, La haine à nos trousses, et la faim qui nous pousse, la misère. Il y a des pays où les gens aux creux des lits font des rêves, Ici, nous, vois-tu, nous on marche et nous on tue nous on crève.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Some interesting polls

I'm reluctant to place too much faith in polls purporting to represent anything as abstruse as 'world opinion', but I've been forwarded a few interesting ones lately that I feel are worth sharing.

Firstly, one poll showed that in 17 of 18 nations surveyed, a majority of participants opposed the criminalisation of abortion. (The exception was Indonesia). This poll included countries whose current laws criminal abortion:

Contrary to their public's preferences, there are criminal penalties for abortion in Egypt, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, the Palestinian Territories, Poland and South Korea.

A second poll has shown that a majority reject the use of torture, even in the mythical 'but it's to prevent terrorism' scenario:

A WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of 19 nations finds that in 14 of them most people favor an unequivocal rule against torture, even in the case of terrorists who have information that could save innocent lives. Four nations lean toward favoring an exception in the case of terrorists.

Support for the unequivocal position was highest in Spain (82%), Great Britain (82%) and France (82%), followed by Mexico (73%), China (66%), the Palestinian territories (66%), Poland (62%), Indonesia (61%), and the Ukraine (59%).

Since the 'strategic' use of torture against terrorists is likely to be 'exceedingly rare', according to this report, it is reasonable to conclude that a majority of people reject the use of torture by their government. These are interesting results in a decade that has seen the decline of liberalism, and should (but won't) give the US government pause for thought with respect to its policies of extraordinary rendition and the like.