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2012-02-27 00:24:00|  分类: 阿拉伯的故事 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Do 55% of Syrians really want President Assad to stay?






完成时间:2012-02-25,01:33 GMT(格林尼治标准时间)

作者:Charlotte McDonald(BBC)

翻译:@skipper79 http://weibo.com/u/2077625315?topnav=1&wvr=3.6 



An opinion poll was widely reported last month as evidence that 55% of Syrians think President Bashar al-Assad should not resign. But does the claim stand up to scrutiny?



The world is watching Syria, where every day there are new scenes of horror as the violence between protesters and the regime's security forces continues.



Against this backdrop, some commentators have picked up on a striking statistic - that 55% of Syrians want President Assad to stay in power.



In a column in the UK's Guardian newspaper, the statistic was used to suggest that the Western media was mis-reporting the situation in Syria, suppressing "inconvenient facts" for the purposes of propaganda.



The statistic has been reported widely elsewhere, from the New York Times, to Al Jazeera (in Arabic) Iranian owned Press TV, and Syrian news sites.



So what was this poll and who carried it out?



It was an internet survey of the Arab world by YouGov Siraj in December. It covered just more than 1,000 people in 18 countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

这次民调是调查机构YouGov Siraj在12月份进行的,是一次在阿拉伯世界的网上调查,受访者人数超过1,000人,他们来自中东、北非18个国家。


The central question was: "In your opinion should Syria's President Assad resign?"



Across the whole region, the overall finding was that 81% of people polled thought President Assad should go.



But the polling company also stated: "Respondents in Syria are more supportive of their president. 55% do not believe Assad should resign."



Looking closely at the survey report, it does not say explicitly how many of the 1,000 people who responded were from Syria. But it does say that 211 were polled in the Levant region, 46% of whom were in Syria.



Doing the sums, this suggests that only 97 people took part. When the BBC checked with YouGov Siraj for the exact breakdown, the company said that in fact there were 98 respondents from Syria (the difference arising from the fact that averages given in the survey report were rounded).

这样算一下的话,只有97名(来自叙利亚的)受访者。BBC向YouGov Siraj咨询了准确数字,该调查公司称,来自叙利亚的的受访者实际上有98人(计算得出的97人与实际的98人之间的差异是由于根据民调报告计算平均取整造成的)。


This is a very low sample according to the managing director of survey company ORB, Johnny Heald, who has been carrying out polls in the Middle East for many years.

调查公司ORB曾在中东进行过多年民调,其常务董事Johnny Heald认为,这个民调结果可靠性很低。


"When we poll and we want to find out what Libyans think, or what Syrians think, we would rarely do anything less than 1,000 interviews," he says.



"One thousand is the generally accepted industry minimum to be able to speak confidently about what people from a particular country think about an issue.



"If you say that this poll covers people from 18 countries, then that's fine. But you need to be very careful when you interpret the findings.



"It is not good to say that 55% of Syrians, for example, think that Assad should stay when only 97 people were asked that question."



But he has another criticism - according to UN figures, only 18% of people in Syria have access to the internet, which means that the sample polled is biased towards those who can get online.

Johnny Heald还提出了其他异议,比如根据联合国的资料,只有18%的叙利亚人可以上网,那就意味着这个民调倾向于那些能够上网的人群。


The people who conducted the survey at YouGov Siraj, the Dubai-based arm of a UK polling company, say the poll was not intended to be representative of all Syrians.

YouGov Siraj是一家英国调查公司在迪拜开设的部门,进行这次民调的人员称,该调查不代表所有叙利亚人。


They too say the sample was too low for this and that internet penetration in the country is not good enough.



This is why they referred to "respondents from Syria" rather than referring to "Syrians", they say.



However, the Doha Debates TV programme, which commissioned the poll and published its findings, were not as sensitive to the distinction.



The figure is described on its site as: "Syrians are more supportive of their president with 55% not wanting him to resign."



In a statement, the pollsters at YouGov Siraj said that with hindsight they wish they had been clearer: "To the layman, there seems very little difference between the two expressions but for researchers, the difference is huge.

对于这一声明,YouGov Siraj民意分析人员后见之明地表示,他们已经表明了态度,他们认为:“对于这个业界以外的人,两种表述之间的差异微乎其微,但是对于研究者,这一差异很大。”


"I think we should have stressed the difference much more to our client (or simply not shown the Syria data, as there was always a chance it might be misinterpreted)."



When we asked the organisers of the Doha Debates about the statistic, they insisted that despite the small sample size, the result was "of interest".



They say the figures and polling data are freely available for people to draw their own conclusions.



Is it OK to put out a figure based on such a low sample?



Johnny Heald thinks it is acceptable for pollsters to pull out data from a broader poll, because often it is interesting.

Johnny Heald认为,对于从一个广泛民调中获取资料的民意分析人员来说,这是可以接受的,因为这经常让人感兴趣。


But he says: "What you should always do is say: 'Caution - this is a low base size.'



"The problem comes when people interpret it to be representative of a country.



"And I think in defence of YouGov, they don't claim the poll is nationally representative of what Syrians think.



"They have just pulled out the Syrian numbers and because it is an interesting story and somewhat controversial, I think the journalists jumped on it and ran with it, without thinking about the science behind how they came to that figure."




President Bashar al-Assad has called a referendum on a new constitution this weekend



(Mis)interpreting data



• More than 1,000 people from 18 countries in the Middle East responded to YouGov Siraj's internet poll question: "In your opinion, should Syria's President Assad resign?"

调查机构YouGov Siraj进行网上调查,问题是“在你看来,阿萨德是否应该辞职?”,受访者遍布中东地区18个国家,人数超过1,000人。


• 81% of answered Yes



• 55% of respondents in Syria said they thought the president should stay






• Only 98 respondents were actually from Syria



• Only 18% of people in Syria have access to the internet



Source: YouGov Siraj internet survey

调查公司YouGov Siraj的网上调查报告


http://clients.squareeye.net/uploads/doha/polling/YouGovSirajDoha Debates- President Assad report.pdf

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