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A Kick(back) where it counts

From Abramoff to Katzav, corruption was big in 2006.

Angus Reid 21 Dec

This Tyee series shares with you the research conducted by the Angus Reid Global Monitor, the Vancouver-based leaders in public opinion analysis. TrendWatch columns offer quick, concise context for developing stories in BC and beyond.

2006 was another banner year for government corruption. From the United States to Australia, officials elected and otherwise were caught up in kickback schemes involving everybody from Jack Abramoff to Saddam Hussein over the last 12 months. Just last week in the U.K., police questioned Prime Minister Tony Blair over allegations he traded political appointments for big cash donations. Meanwhile, in Israel, two former employees of the president claimed that he not only sexually harassed them, he sold pardons too.

So have all these scandals eroded public confidence? Or is the world now used to government shenanigans?

Well, a full three quarters of adults in 20 countries believe corruption is a big problem, according to a recent Angus Reid Strategies poll. But there's a lot of variance in that sample. Ninety five per cent of Mexicans are concerned, for example, compared to just 43 per cent of Canadians and only 41 per cent of Australians. That last figure comes despite widespread concern among Australians about relations between the Australian Wheat Board and Hussein's Iraq.

To find out what South America, Europe, the Middle East and more think about corruption, click on the sidebar links.  [Tyee]

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