Tuesday, December 13, 2005

What say you, Iraqis?

The 2005 National Survey of Iraq is out, and it should come as no surprise that the average Iraqi is more optimistic about his own situation than is the average American. After all, few Iraqis watch CNN or read the New York Times, so they have no idea how bad things are going over there. Some highlights, concentrating on the "now vs then" and forward-looking questions:

* Compared to before the war, 51.5% say things are better in their lives now, 29.3% worse, and 18.6% about the same

* 64.2% say things will be better in their lives one year from now, 12.5% worse, and 13.7% about the same

* Compared to before the war, 45.9% say things are better in Iraq now, 38.7% worse, and 13.4% about the same

* 68.6% say things will be better in Iraq one year from now, 10.8% worse, and 11.3% about the same

* 5.7% think that American forces leaving would be the best thing that can happen to Iraq in the next 12 months

* 8.9% think that American forces not leaving would be the worst thing that can happen to Iraq in the next 12 months

* 2.5% trust Saddam the most of a group of national leaders, 6.1% the least (Alawi was most trusted, Jaaferi least)

* 57.2% think that democracy is the best political system for Iraq now, 25.8% a strong single leader for life, 13.8% an Islamic State. For five years from now the numbers are 64.0%, 17.6% and 11.8% respectively

* 76.2% have confidence that the December 15 election will produce a stable Iraqi government, 18.8% do not

* 1.1% say they plan to vote for the Al-Baath Party in the December 15 election, 9.4% (the highest of any party) say they would never vote for them

* 70.2% approve of the new Iraqi constitution, 19.3% disapprove

* 43.8% think that the Iraqi government controls the country, 23.6% think the US government does, 17.4% think somebody else does (?)

* 61.0% think the current Iraqi government is doing a good job, 32.2% bad

* 36.2% think the coalition forces have done a good job since the war, 58.6% bad

* 25.5% think that coalition forces should leave now, 19.4% think they should leave after the December 15 elected government is in place, and 51.0% think they should remain longer

* 63.2% feel very safe in their neighborhood, 35.9% do not

* 41.4% think that security has improved since the end of the CPA, 31.1% that it has deteriorated, 17.8% that it is unchanged

* 70.1% think that security will improve in the next year, 12.3% that it will worsen, and 10.6% that it will remain the same

There are some questions that break down in detail questions on individual aspects of Iraqi life, the constitution, safety and women's rights. I urge those interested to check them out.


At 12/13/2005 9:57 PM, Blogger michael thomas kolodziej said...

I'm quite wary of polls (because of biases), but this one sounds fair.

I'm finding a lot of people are poll obsessed. Here in Canada, we're currently undergoing a federal election, and it seems Poll results are often big media headlines. Probably because they require little work on behalf of the reporter. Just add some fancy visuals (enter 3D pie charts), a political scientist to interpret the findings, and you got yourself a story on the 6 o'clock news.

Thanks for letting me rant on your blog!

At 12/14/2005 10:45 AM, Blogger Gary Collard said...

I too am quite wary of polls in general. Push-polling, asking questions meant to elicit a desired response, is increasingly common in this country with our agenda-driven media. I always like to see the exact wording of a question before I think about the results.

Which is why I posted a link to this poll, so the reader can decide for himself. The questions look pretty neutral to me, and there is certainly some grist for both the pro and the antiwar factions in the results, another good sign WRT its fairness. The only possible concern here is that something gets lost in translation, but overall this looks to me like a reasonable study.


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