Poles take first nonofficial public opinion poll

The results of the first Western-style public opinion poll ever taken in Poland were published Nov. 12 by the French magazine, Paris Match. The poll was taken between Sept. 29 and Nov. 3 of 510 Poles of all ages, regions, and professions. These included factory workers, farmers, managers, shopkeepers, service personnel, scientists, and fishermen.

Paris Match said the eight Polish pollsters were trained by the french firm Public S.A. to be "coldly objective" and "to avoid dissident circles. . . . Not one of the inquiries was a dissident [because] dissidents are strictly surveyed and also they would have interviewed only their friends."

The 17 questions ranged from politics to daily life in Poland. Asked if they would like to live in another country, 19 percent said they would like to live in the United States, 11 percent said France, 9 percent said West Germany, 8 percent said Sweden, 28 percent mentioned other countries. Nineteen percent said they'd stay in Poland, and 6 percent said they didn't know.

Asked which country they felt was Poland's best friend, 34 percent said Poland had no friends; 17 percent chose France; 13 percent, the United States; 4 percent each for Hungary and Sweden; 2 percent each for West Germany and the Soviet Union; 14 percent for various other countries. Ten percent didn't know.

Asked whom they thought best symbolized Poland, 63 percent said Pope John Paul II and 18 percent opted for LEch Walesa, the leader of Poland's Solidarity union movement. Four percent were for Stanislaw Kania, Poland's new communist Party chief, and 15 percent didn't know.

The poll-takers ranged from a student in Krakow to a worker in Lodz. They will took six weeks off from work to ask memorized questions on streets, on trains, in shops and homes. the replies were written in code and slipped out of Poland by travelers from France.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.