Actually the polling was done by a Kabul firm under the supervision of Environics. I will post more on this. The poll results are quite interesting but in many cases are exactly what Karzai would like to hear. There are obvious difficulties with polling in Afghanistan. The pollsters have certainly tried to get a representative sammpling in terms of location gender etc. but even so I wonder about some of the results. For example what was the tribal composition of the Kandahar samples? There is very strong support for Karzai's government but that would hardly be surprising if you are polling his tribal group. It was probably impossible to poll in areas where the Taliban are quite strong. I am surprised that no commentator so far has even suggested that their might be any problem about the poll! The CBC does not even mention that Environics and the CBB did not themselves do the poll but a third party.
In spite of the fact the Canadian government does not believe in negotiating with terrorists 72 per cent in Kandahar believe that a coalition government with the Taliban would be fine and 85 per cent favor negotiations with them! This of course supports Karzai very strongly and that is what makes me wonder how representative the Kandahar poll might be.
There is much interesting detail on the results at the CBC.
Poll: What Afghans think
Environics poll in partnership with the CBC
Last Updated October 2007
In September 2007 Canadian polling company Environics teamed with partners including the CBC to ask Afghan citizens living in Afghanistan what they thought about the state of affairs in their country.
David Common talks to pollsters who went door-to-door in Kandahar. (Runs 2:05)
Questions ranged from personal security, the role and comfort level with foreign troops, views on terrorist tactics, to their outlook for the future.
Because Canadian troops are stationed in Kandahar province, special questions about Canada's role were asked to people living in that region of Afghanistan.
The complete poll results show that the Afghan people are generally supportive of their national government, generally supportive of the role foreign troops are playing and generally optimistic about the future of their country. Nationally, 79 per cent (81 per cent in Kandahar) think things generally are going in the right direction.
One in three people believes that the Taliban would return if foreign troops pulled out before the army and police were better trained.
85 per cent believe the government should negotiate with the Taliban to reduce conflict, and 72 per cent believe a coalition government with the Taliban would be acceptible.
One in three people believes suicide bombing is sometimes justified.