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Polls finds Bashar al-Assad has more support than the Western-backed opposition - Article by Steven Gowans

Suppose a respectable opinion poll found that Bashar al-Assad has more support than the Western-backed opposition. Would that not be major news? Here are results of surveys that tried to find out what Syrians actually want in terms of government, rather than what foreign forces wish to impose on them.

Poll shows most hate population growth: Lessons from Queensland in polling reliability and interpretation

This Queensland Survey demonstrates how superficial questioning about population growth as an abstract good or ill gives a completely different response from deeper, prompted questioning on the matter of experienced impact of population growth. Deeper questioning elicits a profound rejection of population growth and the colourful graphs reflect the real trends. We publish this analysis because of the counterintuitive results of two much publicised recent Victorian polls, by Roy Morgan and by the Australian Institute of Progress. Those poll results and methods are analysed in another article, "Evaluating Surveys that find Australians want higher immigration and a bigger population.". The author would like to thank M.R. for drawing her attention to the subject of this article and for some valuable discussions.

Evaluating Surveys that find Australians want higher immigration and a bigger population

What gives with surveys that tell us that most of us want more immigrants and a bigger population when, all around us, we suffer the effects of faster and faster population growth in groaning infrastructure, costly housing, road congestion, and rising costs for power and water? If we examine such studies, we will find that they pose their questions in the abstract and do not prompt people to make concrete associations about the effects of immigration and population growth. This is a bit like asking people how they feel about war compared to asking how they feel about war in their suburb. These polls also focus on ethnicity of immigrants rather than environment and planning impacts of mass migration. This article looks at recent polls by the Australian Institute of Progress, Roy Morgan Research, the Australian Election Study and Queensland Growth Management Summit 2010, Social Research on Population Growth and Liveability in South East Queensland". The Queensland survey is the most detailed and valid and has been discussed in its own article, "Poll shows most hate population growth: Lessons from Queensland in polling reliability and interpretation."

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