A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

Gallup on Lebanon: polls that explain today’s politics

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on December 5, 2006

The Gallup Organization has released two polls this week that shed some light on current developments in Lebanon.

On December 1, the results of Gallup’s first “Worldwide Corruption Index” were released. The Index measures citizens’ perceptions of how corrupt their country’s government and corporate spheres are.

Based on the intensity of its citizens’ responses, Lebanon ranked fourth. Fourth, as in only in three of the world’s nearly 200 countries did citizens consider their government and businesses more corrupt.

This is a brutal, if not humiliating, ranking, and it helps explain both the broad spectrum of Lebanese protesting against the Siniora government and the general dissatisfaction shared by non-protestors.

Here is the news release from Gallup’s website, with countries listed in order, from least to most corrupt:

December 01, 2006

Gallup Launches Worldwide Corruption Index

101 countries ranked according to perceptions of corruption in business, government

by Steve Crabtree and Nicole Naurath

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ — Endemic corruption is one of the greatest impediments to stability and growth for many poor countries that might otherwise be looking to current international trends — the spread of information technology, debt forgiveness for developing nations, economic globalization — with great hope. The uncertainty posed by institutional corruption makes tapping into those trends difficult, curtailing much-needed foreign investment and aid opportunities.

But far more costly is the effect corruption has on the residents in these countries: It diminishes their faith in the country’s leadership. It reduces their incentive to work hard, making entrepreneurial efforts and civic engagement less likely. Perhaps most fundamentally, it robs them of the sense that they can control their own destinies.

With the launch of the Gallup World Poll, respondents in more than 100 nations around the globe are being asked for their opinions in a variety of areas — but perhaps none is more important than their likelihood to feel corruption is common in their countries. The 2006 Gallup Corruption Index is calculated from the responses in 101 countries to two simple questions:

  • Is corruption widespread throughout the government in your country?
  • Is corruption widespread within businesses located in your country?

The resulting scores range from 12 in Finland, which is something of a model society in terms of the trust its residents place in their basic institutions, to 94 in the former Soviet republic of Lithuania.

The countries included in the 2006 Index are ranked from the lowest score, indicating the population least likely to perceive corruption as widespread, to the highest.

Rank Country

Index Score

1

Finland

12

2

Denmark

21

 

New Zealand

21

4

Singapore

22

5

Saudi Arabia

25

6

United Kingdom

36

 

Norway

36

 

Switzerland

36

9

Australia

37

10

Sweden

39

11

Austria

44

 

Ireland

44

13

Uruguay

45

14

Vietnam

47

15

Canada

49

16

Netherlands

51

17

Belgium

53

18

Uzbekistan

54

19

United States

59

 

Tanzania

59

 

Chile

59

22

Madagascar

60

23

Greece

61

24

Cyprus

62

 

Slovenia

62

26

Jordan

63

 

France

63

 

Belarus

63

29

Iran

65

30

Japan

66

31

Venezuela

68

 

Botswana

68

 

Georgia

68

34

Afghanistan

69

35

Guatemala

70

 

Malaysia

70

37

Spain

71

 

Dominican Republic

71

 

Estonia

71

40

Benin

72

 

Senegal

72

42

Brazil

73

43

South Africa

74

 

Niger

74

 

South Korea

74

 

Burkina Faso

74

 

Bolivia

74

48

Germany

75

 

Mexico

75

 

Mali

75

 

Mozambique

75

52

Uganda

76

 

Zambia

76

 

Togo

76

55

Ethiopia

77

 

El Salvador

77

57

Bangladesh

78

 

Costa Rica

78

 

Colombia

78

60

Ghana

79

 

Cambodia

79

 

Portugal

79

63

Sri Lanka

80

64

Turkey

81

 

India

81

 

Philippines

81

 

Honduras

81

 

Nicaragua

81

69

Czech Republic

82

 

Palestine

82

 

Sierra Leone

82

 

Argentina

82

 

Armenia

82

74

Pakistan

83

 

Nigeria

83

 

Angola

83

 

Paraguay

83

78

Hungary

84

 

Kyrgyzstan

84

80

Nepal

85

 

Puerto Rico

85

82

Italy

86

 

Kenya

86

84

Israel

87

85

Indonesia

88

 

Zimbabwe

88

 

Peru

88

88

Moldova

89

 

Ecuador

89

 

Latvia

89

 

Panama

89

 

Slovakia

89

93

Morocco

90

 

Romania

90

 

Russia

90

 

Ukraine

90

 

Cameroon

90

98

Thailand

91

99

Lebanon

93

 

Poland

93

101

Lithuania

94


Index Scores Related to Leadership Approval, Satisfaction With Freedom

Comparing confidence and optimism levels in countries that rank high on the list with those that rank close to the bottom reveals striking differences. Among the top 10 countries on the list, a majority of residents, 55%, say they have confidence in the country’s leadership; among the bottom 10 countries the figure is about one-third (32%). Across the top 10 countries, 84% of residents say people in their countries are able to get ahead by working hard; in the bottom 10 countries, that number drops to 58%.

There is also a strong connection between Index scores and respondents’ sense of their personal freedom. Ninety-two percent of residents in the top 10 countries say they are satisfied with their freedom to choose what to do with their lives, compared with just 65% of those in the bottom 10 countries on the list.

Gallup Index Correlates Strongly With Other Corruption Measures

To test the validity of the Gallup Corruption Index, the scores were correlated with two widely referenced sources on corruption in business and government:

  • Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, which compiles surveys with country experts and business leaders
  • results from three survey questions addressing corruption in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, which includes responses from approximately 11,000 executives in 125 countries

In each case, strong correlations (r = .70 or higher) were found. Eight of the top 10 countries in the Gallup Corruption Index also appear in the top 10 of Transparency International’s 2006 Index.

Gallup’s Index, however, is set apart by its consistency. Gallup supervises all the data collection using identical methodological standards. In every country, samples are designed to be representative of the entire population, rather than just urban residents or other subpopulations. Thus, the Gallup Corruption Index represents the true likelihood of residents countrywide to perceive widespread corruption.

Survey Methods

Results are based on interviews with randomly selected national samples of approximately 1,000 adults who are permanent residents in the 101 nations surveyed in 2005 and 2006. For results based on these samples, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is ±3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

The Gallup Corruption Index is calculated using the responses to two questions:

  • Is corruption widespread throughout the government in your country?
  • Is corruption widespread within businesses located in your country?

Scores are derived from the ratio of affirmative to negative responses (with “don’t know” responses or refusals removed from the analysis).

(http://www.galluppoll.com/content/default.aspx?ci=25612)

This morning, Gallup released the results of a second poll, conducted earlier this fall, in which interviewers asked a sampling of Lebanese citizens which country/countries bore the greatest responsibility for the summer war. The survey is a bit biased – it seems that respondents were asked to pick among five countries, rather than asked an open-ended question. Also, the entities listed were all nation-states, leaving no room for respondents to choose, for example, a non-state actor like … Hizballah.

Bearing those caveats in mind, the survey’s results still make interesting reading. Unsurprisingly, respondents identified Israel as the country bearing greatest responsibility for the war. However, the next-most-responsible country was … the United States.

It isn’t clear from the news release whether respondents were asked to distinguish between countries responsible for starting the conflict and those responsible for prolonging it. What is clear is that the perception of the United States in Lebanon is one congruent with the old saying that deeds speak louder than words. The embassy in Aoukar and the State Department in Washington have used many words in support of Lebanon … but at least from a Lebanese point of view, their deeds have spoken other words, more convincingly and with greater impact.

December 05, 2006

One in Four Lebanese Holds U.S. Primarily Responsible for Israel/Hezbollah Conflict

United States cited most frequently after Israel itself

by Richard Burkholder

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

Forty percent of all Lebanese say that Israel bears the most responsibility for last summer’s conflict with Hezbollah, which killed over 1,500 people and severely damaged Lebanese infrastructure. But of the five entities listed in the survey, the next most likely to be assigned primary culpability, according to Gallup World Poll data collected in September and October 2006, is not Hezbollah (18%), Iran (8%), or Syria (5%) — it is the United States (24%). In fact, among the country’s Shiites, primary responsibility is attributed nearly as often to the United States as it is to Israel (42% vs. 49%, respectively).

The perceptions of Lebanon’s Christian community are more varied. Roughly one Christian in three (36%) places primary blame for the conflict on Israel, one in four (25%) faults Hezbollah, and roughly one in six (17%) holds the United States primarily responsible.

Beyond the attribution of primary responsibility, however, at least a third of all Lebanese say they believe each of these five actors bears “a great deal of responsibility” for the conflict. Eighty-one percent of the Lebanese people say this applies to Israel, 67% to the United States, 36% to Hezbollah, 34% to Iran, and 34% to Syria.

Few Lebanese (2%) say they think Israel was justified in using all the military action it took following Hezbollah’s kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers (and the killing of three others) in early July. About one-quarter (24%) say that “Israel was justified in taking some military action, but went too far.” However, the preponderant view, held by 70% of Lebanese, is that none of Israel’s subsequent military response was justifiable.

Survey Methods

Results are based on face-to-face interviews conducted between Sep. 18 and Oct. 12, 2006, with a randomly selected national sample of 1,000 Lebanese adults, aged 18 and older. For results based on these samples, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is ±3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

(http://www.galluppoll.com/content/?ci=25741)

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2 Responses to “Gallup on Lebanon: polls that explain today’s politics”

  1. intlxpatr said

    How were the nations selected to be rated? I don’t see Kuwait on the list . . .

  2. hmm. I don’t know. the release says that citizens of 101 countries were polled on their perceptions of their country’s corruption levels, but there is nothing as to why these 101 countries were selected while the other 92 were not. hmmm hmmm.

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