Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Europe still favours Obama, but has it lost faith in the US?

Obama may be having trouble in the polls lately in the US, but a new poll by the BBC released yesterday shows that he is still favoured by the rest of the world by a large margin. A poll by the BBC released yesterday surveyed 22 countries around the world and found that in each one, Barack Obama was highly favored over John McCain to become the US president. In total, 49 percent of the global respondents wanted to see Obama win, compared with 12 percent who favoured McCain. 17 of the 22 countries thought that if Obama were to be elected, relations between the US and the rest of the world would improve.

I thought the results for Europe were particularly interesting, not because Europe's preference for Obama hasn't been well-documented before, but because although Europeans seem to think Obama will usher in a closer relationship between the US and its European allies, many of them aren't particularly interested in that becoming a reality. Although the majority of respondents in the 12 European countries surveyed said they thought Obama's election would bring closer relations with the United States, a majority also said they do not want closer ties with America. This would suggest that even if a president Obama were to heal the rifts between Europe and America, so much damage has been done by the Bush administration that Europeans now view the United States as an unstable or undependable partner. The logic being, if the elected a George W. Bush once, they could easily elect one again in the future, even if the preferred candidate is elected for now. The logic here would be that the election and reelection of George W. Bush exposed a fundamental difference in values between Europe and America.

Still, 67 percent of Europeans said the European Union should deal with international threats in partnership with the United States rather than independently. While this is a healthy majority, it is significantly down from previous years, and is about 10 points lower than the 75 percent of American who agreed with that statement.


Jason said...

If France is against McCain, then you know that you probably on good standing in supporting him. France and the rest of Europe would like a castrated America running around talking to itself but unable to do anything (another Europe to be exact)and know that Obama is the man with the scissors to make it happen.

True Definition of Obama "Change": New paint on the same old car. This "Change" may look new to the star struck but it is the same money guzzling liberal under the hood who will take us for our last penny!

George Hanshaw said...

I think it's instructive that Europe has a preference for Obama. My preference would be that they could have him.

They would be a good fit, both preferring vapid rhetoric to any sort of actual action. Hell, the Western Europeans have redefined the word vapid. For over fifty years they have lacked the enthusiasm to even BREED at replacement rates.

As the historic cradle of Western Civilization is gradually replaced by fundamentalist Islam, we will bid good-bye to the cradle of Western Civilization. The future belongs to India, China, and the United States. Aged and aging Europe is already just a bit player on the world stage. Soon it will be less than that.