CTV.ca | Canada gets some love, except from Turkey, Russia
A new global survey shows the majority of the world views Canada in a positive light, except we appear to be rubbing the Turks and the Russians the wrong way.
The BBC World Service poll, for which GlobeScan conducted interviews across 21 countries, showed Canada had the second-best rating with 57 per cent seeing it as having a positive influence in the world.
However, in Turkey, views of Canada have become sharply more negative.
In 2007, 20 per cent of Turkish people viewed Canada as having a negative influence. Now, that figure has jumped to 49 per cent.
Doug Miller, chairman of GlobeScan, said Friday that analysts suggest Canada's position on Turkey's past war crimes is likely to have contributed to the decline.
"That obviously has had some widespread media coverage in Turkey and that is a likely contributor to this," Miller told CTV.ca from Toronto.
However, Miller said Canada shouldn't feel so bad since Turkey "across-the-board" held negative views of most countries polled, with the exception of Germany.
"With the basic refusal of the EU to admit Turkey and the Iraq war I think there's quite a negative view of the West and other great powers in Turkey," he said. "I think they're feeling quite isolated and unsupported."
Meanwhile, in Russia, positive views of Canada deteriorated significantly from 2007 -- dropping from 51 per cent to 36 per cent.
Miller said there was nothing specific that its research team was aware of that could have triggered the drop.
From 2007 levels, significant increases in positive views of Canada were found in the following countries:
France, Australia, Germany, Chile, Spain, Central America, Mexico, Indonesia and India also saw Canada as having a positive influence.
- Philippines (83 per cent, up from 67 per cent)
- United States (82 per cent, up from 65 per cent)
- China (75 per cent, up from 65 per cent)
- Italy (74 per cent, up from 62 per cent)
- United Kingdom (74 per cent, up from 65 per cent)
- Egypt (26 per cent, up from 12 per cent)
Overall, Germany, at 61 per cent, was viewed the best by the global community.
The poll showed public views of China and Russia have slipped in the past year. Of those polled, 39 per cent held positive views of China, a drop of six points. Forty per cent held a negative view.
When asked about Russia, respondents expressing negative views jumped eight points to 42 per cent while only 30 per cent said they had positive views of the country.
"This poll shows that people are paying attention to how countries operate and the way in which they operate gets judged," Miller said.
"In the case of China and Russia that judgment is getting increasingly negative."
The poll showed improvements in the way Canada, Egypt, Ghana, India, Italy and Japan viewed the U.S. Still, 12 countries had predominantly negative views compared to six with predominately positive views.
"In the case of the United States, there is a measure of recovery of less negative views towards the United States, which could be called the Obama effect," Miller said.
"But it's modest. They're basically back to the levels when we first monitored this back in 2005, which was still predominately negative."
As was the case in 2008, Iran, Israel and Pakistan were the three countries rated most negatively. The largest number of countries -- 19 out of 21 -- gave Israel negative ratings, with the exception of the U.S. and Russia.
In the U.S., more viewed Israel in a positive way and in Russia the opinions were divided. Researchers note that most polling was taken before the conflict in Gaza.