This House would prefer money to free elections

Wednesday November 10 2010
MOTION REJECTED by 37% to 63%

Opinion poll

Doha, Qatar January 5, 2011: A large majority of Arabs have told an opinion poll they would prefer to live in a democratic state, rather than an autocracy that allowed them to get rich.
But the same survey revealed that two thirds of them would choose life in communist China instead of India, with its multi-party democracy.
The discrepancy emerged in the latest Doha Debates -YouGov poll which last month canvassed more than 1000 people in 17 Arab countries.
The results also showed significant regional differences in attitudes in the Arab world with those in North Africa and the Levant showing much stronger support for democracy than in the Gulf.
The poll followed a Doha Debate last November where 63 percent of the mainly-Arab audience said they'd choose free elections over money.
It also revealed that less than a third of Arabs believe they live in a democratic state, with 42 percent saying they don't - and 27 percent rating their country as politically neutral.
Again, though, there are apparent discrepancies in the results. Although respondents in the Gulf were more ready than other Arabs to label their states "undemocratic" - more than 40 percent still said they would vote for the ruling family.
Another third would support moderate Islamist groups while 20 percent would vote for independent candidates.
By contrast, half of those polled in North Africa and the Levant would back independents.

Polling dates: 12 16 December 2010

Download the polling data [PDF]

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