Is democracy in danger?

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Is democracy in danger?

In many democracies now, people trust politicians and parliaments less, not so many people vote. But is there less support for democracy?

Disconnect and discontent

People say that rich Western democracies (democratic for at least two generations, with an active civil society) are stable. But that could change soon.

The World Values Survey has information from nearly 100 countries since 1981. Political scientists have looked at this information and found that not so many people now think it is very important to live in a democracy. Older people, born around World War Two, support democracy most.

The young think it is not so ‘essential’ to live in a democracy:

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This looks shocking for the youngest group. You can understand what is happening in a different way by looking at the data of the World Values Survey. This analysis was only of people who picked the highest score (10) from a scale of 1 to 10 to say how important democracy is.

In New Zealand/Aotearoa, only 27% of young people picked 10. But 75.3% picked 6 and above, which is better.

But more people of all ages now think democracy is a bad idea.

A democratic system is a ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ way to run the country:

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Iron fist

Percentage of US citizens who think ‘army rule’ is OK:

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Two-fifths of people who answered a 2015 French survey thought an ‘authoritarian government’ with no democratic constraints should run their country:

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Becoming harder

A survey by YouGov in 2016 of 12 European countries showed that very many people support authoritarian populist views: 1) anti-immigration, 2) anti-human rights, 3) anti-EU institutions and integration policies, and 4) strong on foreign-policy issues.

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Surveys are not facts, but they do show what people think. And this explains why people are choosing authoritarian leaders and are not against violence in politics.

FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE AND REFERENCES: http://www.newint.org/features/2017/04/01/is-democracy-in-danger/ (This article has been simplified so the words, text structure and quotes may have changed).