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Global poll shows support for increased govt intervention

afrol News, 14 September - Majorities around the world support governments playing an active role in stimulating and regulating their national economy in response to the current recession, according to a new poll conducted for BBC World Service.

The survey found that an average of three in five (60%) citizens - and majorities in 13 of the 20 countries polled - support "significantly increasing government spending to stimulate the economy." Support is especially strong for investments in renewable energy and green technology (72%) and giving financial support to troubled industries and companies (62%).

Most (67% overall) also want to see increased government oversight of the national economy. Among major economies, support was highest in China (94%) and lowest in the US (50%) and Japan (38%).

US efforts to address the crisis have been relatively well-received around the world. Nearly half (46%) of all respondents say they are satisfied with what that country has been doing, with 39% expressing dissatisfaction.

In comparison, 44% on average are satisfied with their own government's response, 36% are satisfied with the actions of the World Bank and IMF, 32% with executives of major banks and 31% with the government of China. People in developed countries are less satisfied with these groups than are people in developing countries.

People's satisfaction with their own government's response varies greatly. Most express satisfaction in Australia (68%), Egypt (63%), Brazil (59%), Canada (57%), and Indonesia (57%). However, satisfaction is low in France (27%), Mexico (9%), Japan (18%), and the Philippines (24%). Americans have evenly divided views of their government's response.

The results are drawn from a survey of 22,158 adult citizens across 20 countries, jointly conducted by GlobeScan and the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. GlobeScan coordinated fieldwork between 19 June and 17 August, 2009.

GlobeScan Chairman Doug Miller comments, "It is clear that citizens in many countries are still not seeing the kind of economic leadership they think is needed from their national government. Particularly low levels of satisfaction in Europe, Japan and Latin America suggest that stronger consumer confidence - seen as essential for economic recovery - will take more time in these parts of the world."

Steven Kull, director of PIPA, also commented, "People around the world are looking for a dynamic approach to the economic crisis and are giving relatively good marks to the active efforts of the Obama administration."

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