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Poll: Free market under pressure

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16 April 2008 16:29

Some signs of weakening support for the free market, which could feed into protectionist sentiment, in this poll from GlobeScan. Majorities in most of the 18 countries surveyed still agreed with the statement 'the free enterprise system and free market economy is the best system on which to base the future of the world'. But over the last two years support in 10 of the 18 countries polled has eroded. The number of Turks who 'strongly' or 'somewhat agree' with this proposition has fallen to 34% and in Korea it has fallen 15 points to 55%. Other falls were recorded in Chile (down 14 points since 2003), China (down 9 points), Britain (7 points), Brazil (7 points), Mexico (6 points), and Kenya (6 points). The poll also showed strong support for government regulation of markets with 'supporters of the free market show[ing] more enthusiasm for a strongly regulated free market system than critics'. The fieldwork was carried out in mid-2007, before the current financial crisis began, suggesting free market sentiment may have weakened further since the poll was conducted.

Photo by Flickr user iCampbell, used under a Creative Commons licence.

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