Just watching the BBC programme, What the World Thinks of America. Basically they are presenting the results of a poll of 1000 people in each of eleven countries (US, Canada, UK, France, Israel, Jordan, Russia, South Korea, Indonesia, Brazil and Australia). They have a ranged of political speakers from Claire Short to Benazir Bhutto, as well as TV pundits reporting live from each of the hosted countries.
I’m not so sure on the choice, scope and range of countries polled but as you can imagine there is a 40/60 split on countries generally positive to the USA’s political viewpoint (US/Canada/UK/Israel/Australia) while the rest are more pessimistic. (Ok well at least only USA/Israel had a favourable attitude towards Dubya Bush).
‘Culturally’ 58% thought that the US influence was too great in their country. Although a slight majority enjoy US films, music and clothes – their food and TV are disliked. (Amazingly the French correspondent was trying to say the French hate McDonalds when one opens in France every 6 days and they always seem to be quite busy). However the majority of Americans don’t think their culture is the best. So many statistics coming out of the programme to many to list but I don’t think it’s too favourable towards the States.
The site has a full review of the poll results which is very impressive. Also is a good discussion between Will Hutton and Michael Elliot on whether Globalisation is Americanisation. The programme did tend to descend into solely reeling off statistics and did not contain as much discussion as I would have liked though there was an interactive debate afterwards.
Continuing the theme, I’m going to see George Monbiot talk at University College London tomorrow with Will Hutton chairing. A report on that coming up on Thursday. He’s going to be talking about his new book.