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Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Olympic Games and Human Rights

A Taverner Research poll published in the Sun Herald and Sunday Age (Sunday 13 April) found that two thirds of voters (68%) across NSW and Victoria want our athletes at the Olympic Games in Beijing, despite recent revelations about China’s actions over human rights in Tibet and elsewhere. Slightly fewer (55%), though still a majority, say that it is appropriate for our Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, to be present at the Opening Ceremony. On the other hand, a sizeable minority (33%) want him to stay away.

Despite general support for us to remain involved in the Beijing Olympics, there is widespread belief that we, as a country, should make a formal protest. The poll found that 66% support it. This finding is positive reinforcement to the criticism of China’s actions that Mr. Rudd publicly expressed in China during his visit there last week. Only one in five voters (21%) say we should not formalize a protest. The Taverner Poll says to Mr. Rudd that his country supports stronger diplomatic actions against China by our government.

posted by Tom Mitchell-Taverner

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