We're No. 2! How the world views Canada's influence
A large Canadian flag is passed through a crowd in as thousands streamed into Montreal from all over Canada to join Quebecers rallying for national unity three days before a referendum that could propel Quebec toward secession on Friday, Oct. 27, 1995. (Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Daniel Reid, CTVNews.ca
Published Saturday, May 25, 2013 7:00AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 25, 2013 10:56PM EDT
If the world was a high school cafeteria, Canada would probably be sitting at a table with the athletes and cheerleaders, suggests a new global popularity poll.
Canada ranked second in a new BBC poll measuring how people view 25 countries around the world.
Fifty-five per cent of respondents viewed Canada's influence in the world as "mainly positive" - second only to Germany.
The fewest amount of respondents - only 13 per cent - thought it was "mainly negative."
Despite negative international press relating to the oilsands and seal hunt, the poll suggests Canada's reputation only seems to be improving: Canada has gone up two percentage points in the positive category since 2012.
Germany topped the list as the most favourably-viewed country, bumping down Japan, which dropped to the fourth spot in the rankings.
The U.K. rose to the third position, propelled by favourable views in the wake of the London 2012 Summer Olympics.
"With ratings of most countries declining this year, it appears that frustration with governments in general is growing, as nearly five years on from the financial crisis they seem incapable of pulling their economies out of the slump," Sam Mountford, director of GlobeScan, one of the group's that conducted the poll, wrote in the report.
"But the 'Olympics effect' looks to have allowed the U.K. to buck this negative global trend."
On the other end of the spectrum, countries like Iran, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel were overwhelmingly viewed as "mainly negative."
The poll also shows that views of China and India have taken a serious hit since 2012. China's positive rating fell eight points to 42 per cent and its negative rating grew by eight points to 39 per cent.
Similarly, India's positive rating fell six points to 34 per cent and its negative rating grew eight points to 35 per cent.
The director of polling group PIPA attributes the decline to slowing growth rates and humanitarian issues.
"They seem to be falling back to earth with slowing growth rates and a perception of widespread corruption," Steven Kull wrote in the report. "The scandals surrounding the treatment of women in India may also have had an impact on this year's findings."
The poll was conducted for the BBC by GlobeScan and PIPA, who interviewed more than 26,000 respondents face-to-face and by phone between Dec. 10, 2012 and April 9, 2013. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.0 to 4.9 per cent, 19 times out of 20, depending on the country.