Thursday, March 22, 2007

More house-to-house surveys

It appears that we may be both optimistic and pessimistic about the situation on the ground in Iraq, as our inclinations or prejudices may dictate.

A major poll of Iraqis has found that “by a majority of two to one, Iraqis prefer the current leadership to Saddam Hussein’s regime despite the collapse of security and lack of public services,” and that “contrary to the views of many Western analysts, most Iraqis do not believe they are in a civil war.”

The poll was “conducted by the Opinion Research Business, a British market research company that funded its own survey of 5019 Iraqis over 18.”

No doubt Australian Prime Minister John Howard, with his abhorrence of house-to-house surveys, will find no comfort whatever in the results of such a survey.

Undoubtedly Mr Howard will be similarly unmoved by another survey which found “increasing pessimism” among Iraqis. For example, “Less than 40% of those polled said things were good in their lives, compared to 71% two years ago.” Similarly to the other poll, however, “a majority of those questioned ... did not believe Iraq was in a state of civil war.”

This poll “was commissioned by the BBC, ABC News, ARD German TV and USA Today. It was conducted by D3 Systems.”

As a rather poignant footnote to these house-to-house surveys, it’s reported here that Mr Kadhim al-Jubouri — the leader of the crowd that famously toppled the statue of Saddam Hussein in central Baghdad’s Firdous Square — has “nothing but regret” about that episode.

Mr al-Jubouri is quoted as saying, “I really regret bringing down the statue. The Americans are worse than the dictatorship. Every day is worse than the previous day.”

The devil you know better than the devil you don’t. We no longer know friend from foe. The situation is becoming more dangerous. It’s not getting better at all. People are poor and the prices are going higher and higher.

It’s not reported whether Mr al-Jubouri proferred an opinion on whether or not Iraq was in a state of civil war.


Blogger Caz said...

Don't know what to believe.

Polling on any topic in Iraq seems to be highly unreliable.

On Steve's blog last week he had survey results that showed a surprisingly optimistic out look by the population, then the next day the BBC survey results came out with radically different figures.

23/3/07 12:26 PM  
Blogger Jacob A. Stam said...

I guess it comes down to what is being asked, how it's being asked, and the circumstances in which they're answering.

I'm sure it's absolutely a minefield for pollsters and polled alike.

Thus the 'metrics' make it possible to argue just about any 'position' on this disaster.

25/3/07 11:34 AM  

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