See also:
» 18.03.2011 - Africa defies AU chief's support for Ghaddafi
» 11.03.2011 - African Union praises Ghaddafi "reform offer"
» 01.02.2011 - New AU leader Obiang calls criticism un-African
» 31.01.2011 - Africa's worst dictator becomes AU leader
» 23.04.2010 - World Bank funding targets Africa’s malaria fight
» 26.03.2010 - Aid tied to service delivery still best, WB
» 17.03.2010 - Don’t despair MDGs reachable, Ban
» 17.03.2010 - Trade experts discuss ways to help poor countries

China wholesale online through

Houlihan's coupons

Finn autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden på
Gazpacho Børek Kartoffelsalat Taboulé Gulasj Albóndigas Cevapi Rougaille Japrak sarma Zwiebelbrot Klopse Giouvetsi Paella Pljeskavica Pica pau Pulpo a la gallega Flammkuchen Langosj Tapenade Chatsjapuri Pasulj Lassi Kartoffelpuffer Tortilla Raznjici Knödel Lentejas Bœuf bourguignon Korianderchutney Brenneslesuppe Proia Sæbsi kavurma Sardinske calamares

Autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden finner du på
Réunion Portugal Aserbajdsjan Serbia Tyskland Seychellene Bosnia Spania Libanon Belgia India Kroatia Hellas Italia Ungarn Komorene Georgia Mauritius Østerrike Romania Frankrike

Africa | World
Politics | Society

Global poll uncovers serious lack of political tolerance

afrol News, 15 September - A new public opinion poll of 24 nations from around the world has found widespread perception of a serious lack of political tolerance.

According to the poll, large majorities perceive that people in their country are not completely free to express unpopular views, that opposition parties do not get a fair chance to express their views and try to influence government decision, and that legislators have limited freedom to express views that differ from their political party.

The poll, sponsored by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and released in conjunction with International Democracy Day, also finds overwhelming support throughout the world for the principle that diversity of political expression should be allowed, and support for democracy more broadly. conducted the poll of 21,285 respondents in 24 nations that comprise 64 percent of the world's population. This includes most of the largest nations - China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia and South Africa - as well as Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Germany, Great Britain, France, Israel, Poland, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kenya, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, the Republic of Korea, and Palestine. The margins of error range from +/-2 to 4 percentage points. The surveys were conducted across the different nations between 4 April and 30 June, 2009.

The poll found out that when asked how free they think people are to express unpopular views in their country, without fear of being harassed or punished, in no nations does a majority of people say they are completely free. On average across all nations polled, just 24 percent say people in their country are completely free to express unpopular political views, 42 percent say that they are somewhat free, and 30 percent that they are not very free.

Asked how often opposition parties get “a fair chance to express their views and try to influence government,” in only 4 out of 21 nations do majorities say “most of the time.” On average only 37 percent say “most of the time,” while nearly six in ten say “only sometimes” (38%) or “rarely” (20%).

Asked how often members of the legislature “feel free to express views that differ from the official views of their own political party,” in only one country does a majority consider that legislators feel free most of the time, while in 20 out of 23 nations, a majority says legislators feel free only sometimes or rarely. On average, only 28 percent say that legislators feel free to express divergent views most of the time while more than two out of three say only sometimes (37%) or rarely (29%).

According to the poll results, these perceptions of a lack of political tolerance are in sharp contrast to overwhelming support for the freedom to express diverse views. Asked “How important do you think it is for people to be free to express unpopular political views, without fear of being harassed or punished?” majorities in all nations say such freedom is very or somewhat important. On average 86 percent say this freedom is important, and 58 percent call it very important.

“Around the world we find a remarkable consensus that a diversity of political views should be tolerated, together with a widespread perception that such diversity is not fully tolerated in society in general, or even in the functioning of legislatures,” comments Steven Kull, director of

The poll also found strong support for democracy in general. Asked “How important is it for you to live in a country that is governed democratically?” majorities in all 24 nations say it is very or somewhat important. In no country do those calling this unimportant exceed about one in four. On average across all nations polled, 90 percent say it is important to live in a democratically governed country, and 67 percent say it is very important.

People who support greater political tolerance are also more apt to support democracy. Among those who say it is very important for people to be free to express unpopular political views, 80 percent said it is very important to live in a country that is governed democratically, but this drops to 48 percent among those who say such freedom is just somewhat important and to 41 percent among those who say it is not important at all.

Though none of the nations polled have parity in gender representation in their national legislatures, views are mixed on whether women are fairly represented. On average across all countries polled, a modest majority of men think women are fairly represented, but a plurality of women think they are not. In 12 nations a majority said that women are fairly represented (as does a plurality in one more); in eight nations a majority said they are not.

There is also wide variation in perceptions of how fairly ethnic, religious or national minorities are represented in national legislatures, though overall views lean in the direction that minorities are not fairly represented. Asked how fairly “minorities, including ethnic, religious, or national minorities” are represented in the national legislature, eight nations have a plurality or majority saying that they are fairly represented. Ten nations say they are not fairly represented and five nations are evenly divided.

- Create an e-mail alert for Africa news
- Create an e-mail alert for World news
- Create an e-mail alert for Politics news
- Create an e-mail alert for Society news

    Printable version

On the Afrol News front page now

Rwanda succeeds including citizens in formal financial sector

afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.

Famine warning: "South Sudan is imploding"

afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
Panic in West Africa after Ebola outbreak in Guinea

afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
Ethiopia tightens its already strict anti-gay laws

afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
Ethiopia plans Africa's biggest dam

afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.

front page | news | countries | archive | currencies | news alerts login | about afrol News | contact | advertise | español 

©  afrol News. Reproducing or buying afrol News' articles.

   You can contact us at