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Dissatisfaction with democracy reaches all-time high – TruePublica

 A new report by the recently established Centre for the Future of Democracy at the University of Cambridge has found that dissatisfaction with democracy has reached an all-time global high. Westminster-style democracies (the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US) typically fare particularly badly in terms of democratic faith, with the proportion of citizens dissatisfied with the performance of their democracy doubling since the 1990s. In the UK, this proportion increased by around a fifth since then.

The global financial and economic crisis and growing within-country regional inequality are of course important factors behind decreasing satisfaction with democracy. But the Centre’s report also suggests that ‘satisfaction with democracy is lower in majoritarian “winner-takes-all” systems than in consensus-based, proportionally representative democracies’. The antagonistic and adversarial mentality inherent in the outdated First Past the Post voting system found in majoritarian, Westminster-style democracies contributes to polarisation and tribalism, making citizens less willing to compromise and to accept the mandate of rival political parties or viewpoints. By contrast, New Zealand is the only Westminster-style democracy to have avoided the trend of ever-increasing public discontent, likely as a result of having introduced a fairer voting system in the 1990s.

These findings highlight the perilous state of our democracy, with ever-deepening citizen dissatisfaction and disengagement

These findings highlight the perilous state of our democracy, with ever-deepening citizen dissatisfaction and disengagement, but sadly they do not come as a surprise. Edelman’s annual trust barometer found that trust in institutions is the lowest it’s ever been in the UK – we’re penultimate in their league table of trust, just one spot ahead of Russia. Similarly, a BMG poll for the ERS in December 2019 found that 85 per cent of people thought democracy could be improved ‘quite a lot’ or ‘a great deal’, with 80 per cent of people feeling they have ‘not very much’ or ‘no influence’ over decision-making. Just 16 per cent of the public believe politics is working well in the UK – and only two per cent feel they have a significant influence over decision-making.

Indeed, why shouldn’t they? The 2019 general election saw the views of almost 14.5 million voters (45.3% of all electors) go unrepresented, while unelected legislators continue to be appointed to the House of Lords, without a mandate from, and no accountability to, citizens.

Our broken Westminster system – with its power-hoarding tendencies, over-centralisation and short-term policy-making – combined with decades of institutional failure and lack of reform, are at the root of most of this dissatisfaction and lack of trust.

To quote Edelman’s own findings: ‘How did the birthplace of parliamentary democracy, the “mother of parliaments,” and a respected voice of sense on the world stage find itself in such an unaccustomed place?’ Our broken Westminster system – with its power-hoarding tendencies, over-centralisation and short-term policy-making – combined with decades of institutional failure and lack of reform, are at the root of most of this dissatisfaction and lack of trust.

We need to renew our democracy wholesale before it’s too late – shifting away from the centralised ‘Westminster model’ of governance, towards a consensus model which would include a move towards proportional elections for both chambers; decentralising power and sharing it across our nations and regions; and ensuring that citizens are engaged and empowered with a genuine voice over their democracy.

Westminster needs an ambitious, democratic overhaul to bring it into the 21st century. Only by switching to a fair, proportional voting system for Westminster and replacing the House of Lords with a PR-elected second chamber representing all parts of the UK, we can bring power closer to voters, while putting into practice the fundamental values of cooperation and equality – all of which are fundamental to ensuring that citizens once again are satisfied with democracy and trust their institutions.

https://truepublica.org.uk/united-kingdom/dissatisfaction-with-democracy-reaches-all-time-high/

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Brokenspine66
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Brokenspine66

Q: “Dissatisfaction with democracy reaches all-time high”

The Heasdline is kind-of misleading and inprecise IMO, it should be like this:
“Dissatisfacction with these kinds of corrupt/rigged neoliberal ‘representative [fake]Democracy’ reaches all-time high.”

Cudwieser
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Cudwieser

I’d take Dissatisfaction with Western Styles of Democracy at an all time high.

The Hole in the Foot Gang
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The Hole in the Foot Gang

Europeans are doing mas o menos OK. It’s the US that leads the West in your venue.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Not really. Ther EU states are police states. Democracy is a sham in the EU.

Black Picard
Guest

When the ignorant masses sit back and take it up the ass — day in, day out — from their corrupt bought & paid selected bureaucRATS, they deserve everything that comes their way. Especially when they allow themselves to get distracted with meaningless social media, TV/Hollyweird “programming”, junk food & other lifestyle choices. If only I could get the fuck off this insane planet. “Chief Obrien, please beam this awakened nigger OFF this insane planet!! Pretty please?” God I hate this fucking society full of asinine sheep who are a direct threat to my peaceful existence on this planet because… Read more »

Cudwieser
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Cudwieser

I see it a little different Alex. I suspect the types of democracy aren’t the inherent issue and most are generally geared towards fairness so everyone has a shout, including minorities. What I suspect is the peoples lack of oversight as to how politics is conducted and a lack of clear insight as to the rule of law. If we the people were to participate a bit more by way of protest, check and balance and determining who we trust to fulfil ‘Our’ mandate then even the Westminster system can work. All we need is a clear knowledge of current… Read more »

ESKM
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ESKM

the power of association is key to lively and effective democratic process. special interest groups (a kind of high-powered money association) have become the only democratic means to affect policy. it is as a result of this that the citizenry in bureaucratic mass democracies feel so powerless; for indeed they increasingly are, as politics and executive power becomes more and more centralized in the remote halls of government capitals faraway from local communities.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

The rule of law is a problem in EU police states. When the state’s interests are affected, rule of law disappears. People notice that and are disillusioned with this sham called “democracy”. The EU practises a fair weather democracy. We are ruled democratically only when the sun shines.

ESKM
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ESKM

Now and again I enjoy the duran’s articles though they almost always are either irrationally conspiratorial or overly cynical, b/c I appreciate they reflect the angst and anxieties of intelligent people over their corrupt governments. Still, it pains me to read perspectives on what apparently are different worlds than our commonly shared world; the fundamental reality unfortunately is buried under the world of appearances and difficult to accept even when easily distinguished.

Pavel
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Pavel

Translation from Bulgarian The non-cyclic, true democracy is a permanent, constant election process which has its point of commencement but is infinite in terms of time perspective. It enables people to vote at any time they wish with no limitation on the number of votes. Open vote means the right of people, in case they wish, to step out of their anonymity as voters in the continuous election process of the non-cyclic democracy. Vote of correction means an open vote of confirmation or rejection at any, desired by people time from the continuous election process with the non-cyclic democracy. With… Read more »

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