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The Great Deflation

Not just in US and UK, political support once pumped up after 9/11 is leaking away.

Angus Reid 14 Sep 2006TheTyee.ca

Blair's on the ropes, Bush is in trouble and Harper's facing mounting criticism over his policies for Afghanistan and global warming. Five years after 9/11, public opinion polls can be read as a referendum on how citizens think their governments are handling a world changed by the attacks. Here's what the world has to say about powerful political figures' popularity (and, mostly, lack thereof).

In the United States, George W. Bush began this month with his approval rating hovering around the 40 per cent mark. Although these are not the lowest numbers of his presidency, they are certainly a long way from the 90 per cent he garnered in the last two weeks of September 2001. For more, click here.

In Britain, Tony Blair has already announced his retirement, but more than half of all Britons want him out of 10 Downing Street before the year ends. For more, click here.

In Australia, John Howard -- who has governed without interruption since 1996 -- holds his lowest numbers in more than three years. For more, click here.

In Canada, with the Liberals searching for a leader, Canadians are equally divided on whether Stephen Harper deserves a second chance in the next election. For more, click here.

In Germany, the grand coalition experiment has not worked for Angela Merkel. Her party holds the support of 30 per cent of Germans -- the poorest numbers since she became leader in 2000. For more, click here.

In Italy, in April, voters put an end to the centre-right government headed by Silvio Berlusconi -- which had wholeheartedly supported Washington -- and allowed a group of centre-left parties commanded by Romano Prodi to take over. In May, most Italians maintained high expectations for the new administration. For more, click here.

In Spain, Socialist José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero maintains the support of half of the population, something his predecessor -- Conservative José María Aznar -- could not do during his last two years in office. Zapatero ordered the end of Spain's contribution to the Iraq war hours after naming his cabinet in 2004. For more, click here.

In Russia, Vladimir Putin's domination continued over the summer, with almost four out of every five Russians expressing satisfaction with his government. He claims he will not change the constitution to seek a new term in March 2008, but some observers are not so sure. For more, click here.

In Israel, during the conflict with Hezbollah, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert's ratings rivaled only Putin around the world. Now, 63 per cent of Israelis want him to resign. For more, click here

When France did not support the war in Iraq, Jacques Chirac's rating skyrocketed. Now, after the failure of the European Constitution and with the country thinking about next April's presidential election, his numbers are much more modest. For more, click here.

In Mexico, Vicente Fox will leave office in December with his approval rating topping the 60 per cent mark, despite the country's divisive and fiercely contested election. For more, click here.

TrendWatch runs twice monthly, exclusively on The Tyee. The series shares the global scan of Angus Reid Consultants, Vancouver-based leaders in public opinion analysis.  [Tyee]

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