Adults in India and Saudi Arabia appear particularly content with
their outlook, according to a 20-country poll by Angus Reid Strategies
for Maclean’s. 97 per cent of respondents in both nations are
personally optimistic about the prospects for their own personal
quality of life during the next decade.
Egypt is third on the list with 93 per cent, followed by Mexico with
88 per cent, and Australia and South Korea with 86 per cent each. In
Canada, Israel, Russia, Spain, South Africa, Lebanon, the United States
and Britain, at least two-thirds of respondents express optimism.
The lowest numbers came in France with 52 per cent, Turkey with 51
per cent, Japan with 43 per cent, and Germany with 42 per cent.
A coalition led by the India National Congress
(INC) secured 34.6 per cent of the vote and 217 seats in the House of
the People in the 2004 Indian legislative election. While Sonia Gandhi
was the leader of the INC, and therefore the first choice to take over
as prime minister, the party eventually nominated Manmohan Singh for
the position. Saudi Arabia does not have an elected national government.
Official results from the September 2005 election to Germany’s
Federal Diet gave the Christian-Democratic Union (CDU) and the Bavarian
Christian-Social Party (CSU) 226 seats, with the Social Democratic
Party (SPD) a close second with 222 legislators. Neither of the two
main parties was able to assemble a coalition government with their
preferred partners. In November 2005, CDU leader Angela Merkel was
sworn in as Germany’s first female head of government. The current
administration includes members of the CDU, CSU and SPD.
In June and July, Germany’s Federal Diet approved a raise in the
Value Added Tax (VAT) from 16 per cent to 19 per cent in 2007, and the
cabinet agreed to raise all health care charges by 0.5 per cent in
2007, and cut corporate taxes from a nominal 38.65 per cent to 29.16
per cent in 2008. The VAT had never been raised by more than one
percentage point since its introduction in 1968.
Are you personally optimistic or pessimistic about the prospects for your own personal quality of life during the next decade?
Source: Angus Reid Strategies / Maclean’s
Methodology: Online interviews with 5,800 adults in Australia,
Britain, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy,
Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South
Korea, Spain, Turkey and the United States, conducted from Sept. 22 to
Oct. 6, 2006.