Democracy in meltdown: In almost every country, people’s faith in democratic systems is at rock-bottom levels
29 Jan, 2020

‘’Democracy’’, goes the adage, ‘’is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner’’.

A new study has delivered a huge reality shock to career politicians and liberal elites—that dissatisfaction with democracy has been rising for decades ... approaching an all-time global high. World leaders love to toot the horn of democracy. To take just three recent examples, Angela Merkel, Justin Trudeau and even Barack Obama have all weighed in on how great their country’s democracies are. This would be all very well, if only the people agreed. But according to research ... they do not. In total, the question was posed to over 4 million people. and the results were unequivocal. Wherever in the world you look, you will find democracy in a state of malaise. Overall, since the mid-1990s, the number of people who say they are "dissatisfied" with democracy has increased by almost 10 percentage points ...

Nowhere in The Constitution or Declaration of Independence is the word 'democracy' mentioned.

Amid all this, how is the world’s greatest democracy doing? Not so well. In a single generation in America, over one-third of the population became dissatisfied with democracy there—an astonishing 34 percentage points. It remains to be seen how it turns out, but what would the impeachment of President Trump do to the perceptions of for democracy? Could it be the final blow to an already fragile political structure? Across the water in the UK, Brexit has absolutely tanked faith in democracy.Lead author Dr Roberto Foa said that "The rise of populism may be less a cause and more a symptom of democratic malaise.’’ He also added "If confidence in democracy has been slipping, it is because democratic institutions have been seen failing to address some of the major crises of our era ...

This is not a problem of perceptions; of a febrile public who have been bamboozled by fake news and fire-breathing demagogues. People think democracy is broken because it is. But what this study shows beyond doubt is that people everywhere, on every continent, are becoming more and more disillusioned with the system under which they live. They are told that by having an election every few years they can decide what kind of societies they want to live in, but increasingly, they see that this is not so. Every election cycle they see the same pre-packaged candidates trotted out, having faux-heated debates with each other despite having substantially identical policies on the issues that matter most.