Interestingly unknown

It was the BBC that got me here. Their article ‘Arabs believe economy is weak under democracy’ (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-62001426) has a few debatable sides, but these debates come from a preset mind that did not have access to all the evidence (read: raw data). Yes, that would be my mind, but the setting is interesting. And the mental race get tarted with “Michael Robbins, director of Arab Barometer, a research network based at Princeton University which worked with universities and polling organisations in the Middle East and North Africa to conduct the survey between late 2021 and Spring 2022, says there has been a regional shift in views on democracy since the last survey in 2018/19.” And when we get to ‘Rise in people who agree the economy is weak under a democracy’ we see that nearly all of them went up, only Morocco remains under 50%, the rest is higher and Iraq gets up to nearly 75%. It is interesting that a question ‘This country needs a leader who can bend the rules to get things done’ There too Morocco is in a doubt, but so are the Palestinian territories, the rest is largely in favour of that statement. In most cases, the economic challenges are on most minds and that makes sense. Only in Tunisia, Iraq and Libya is corruption a much larger fish than other nations. It is when we get to the question ‘More than one in three people ran out of money to buy more food’, the question seems trivial, but the fact that it is 68% in Egypt seems OK, it is the fact that the same question scores below 50% in Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, and Palestinian Territories when we see the News from all kinds of sources the fact that food prices and hunger is not on the forefront in at least 2 nations comes across as weird to me, yet as I stated. I never saw the raw data and these results should be scrutinised. The lack of an N is several charts give rise to debate, Also, it seems nice to see percentages, but if Jordan has an N of 3500 and Libya has an N of 12500, the setting becomes slightly warped and weighting data is dangerous, especially when you compare different groups. There is a lot more, but that is not up for discussion without seeing the raw data and the complete report. But I am speaking too soon, you see at the end we see “The project interviewed 22,765 people face-to-face in nine countries and the Palestinian territories” yet the one thing I do not see it that the cultural stage towards government changes per region. You see Tunisia, I see Kibili, Sfax and Kef. And we can do that for each of the nations. Now it is possible that the Arab Barometer took all that in account, but I cannot tell at present and lets be clear. I am not attacking the article, or the results. I like the setting, but at all times I keep a skeptical mind awake. The setting that clearly shows the desire for strong leaders is nothing against a democracy, it is that democratic nations have largely shown nothing more than indecisiveness and ‘corporate corruption’ to coin a phrase. There is a lot more going on and the fact that the media is part of the problem is also a debatable setting in all this and the Arab nations have seen too much of that too, but that too is a debatable side in all this. In the end, the article is good reading and it does refer to sources and methodology. If only the BBC had thought a few matters through and added a few more parts, but as I stated, these thoughts are debatable, so I am putting myself under similar scrutiny, because I would hate to judge anyone on items that seem incomplete. And it is one of the final parts “It is of Arab world opinion, so does not include Iran, Israel or Turkey, though it does include the Palestinian territories. Most countries in the region are included but several Gulf governments refused full and fair access to the survey. The Kuwait and Algeria results came in too late to include in the BBC Arabic coverage. Syria could not be included due to the difficulty of access.” So the question is raised with “several Gulf governments refused full and fair access to the survey” Did that include Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Yemen? Yemen might be excluded for a few natural reasons, but the others? 

A setting that requires scrutiny, because the Arab voice with 6 missing voices? It does not make the other views invalid, merely debatable and optionally one sided as the UAE, Oman and Saudi Arabia are Monarchies, but that is merely my view on the matter.

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Politics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.