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Australian voters oppose Iraq war; and two-thirds say both US and Australia should set emission targets for greenhouse gases

Posted by gmarkets on 17 October, 2007

According to the acting chief executive of the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, Alan Dupont, US President George Bush has a serious image problem in Australia, reported The Sydney Morning Herald (3/10/2007, p. 13).

Two-third of polled Australians have unfavourable opinion of Bush: This is largely because of the unpopularity of the Iraq war, the survey commissioned by Sydney University’s United States Studies Centre confirms. More than two-thirds of those polled had a somewhat or very unfavourable opinion of Bush. However, his image-makers would be even more concerned by this unpalatable statistic – only 4 per cent had a very favourable view of Bush, compared with 42 per cent who had a very unfavourable view.

Public support for US defence alliance: Yet these negative perceptions of Bush have not translated into a reduction in long-standing public support for the US defence alliance, which remains the foundation stone of the US-Australia relationship. An extremely high 92 per cent expect the US to be a very close, or close, security partner over the next decade.

Climate change is as serious a threat as Islamic fundamentalism: A second notable trend is the dramatic loss of confidence in the US ability to manage world problems and an accompanying rise in the positive way China and Japan are perceived. Fifty-nine per cent of respondents had a favourable opinion of the US compared with 56 per cent for China. Japan trumped both by recording historically high levels of popularity (75 per cent). Three-quarters of respondents felt that climate change was as serious a threat as Islamic fundamentalism, or more so. And it is clear that anxieties about climate change are shaping Australian attitudes to the US Government as well as our own. Two-thirds said that both US and Australia should set emission targets for greenhouse gases.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 3/10/2007, p. 13

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