In 1995, more than 75% of Americans were satisfied with democracy in the US Today, more than 50% of US citizens are expressing their dissatisfaction with democracy. This isn’t just an isolated case – people all around the world are more and more dissatisfied with how democracy is working in their country and there are many reasons for this change.
Which countries are most dissatisfied with democracy?
Around the world, there are many countries dissatisfied with how democracy is working. In a survey from 2018, 12 countries stood out as the most dissatisfied – Mexico, Greece, Brazil, and Spain were at the top with more than 80% of dissatisfied participants. This means that at least 8 out of ten people in these countries believe that democracy isn’t working as it should. Next up on the list were Tunisia, Italy, South Africa, Argentina, Nigeria, the US, Japan, and the UK. In these countries, six (or more) out of ten people sad that they were not satisfied with democracy. These numbers are alarming as they clearly show us that something isn’t working quite right. The survey also included additional questions for the participants; therefore, we have a better insight into why people are not happy.
In most of the countries that expressed strong dissatisfaction with democracy, people also believe that the economy of their country is bad. Greece, Tunisia, and Brazil were three countries where it was difficult to even find people who were not worried about the economic situation in their country – more than 90% of them were unhappy with the economy in their country. The situation is similar in other countries as well which tells us that there is a clear connection between the state of the economy and how people feel about democracy. People who experienced economic hardships and unemployment usually see that as a clear indication that there is something wrong with the country itself. In those 12 countries, most of the people who were dissatisfied with democracy also believed that improving one’s living standard wouldn’t be possible in their current situation.
Another reason people feel this way is the fact that they have negative attitudes towards the government in their country. Most of the people who expressed their dissatisfaction in the survey also believed that the government doesn’t care about the people and their wellbeing. Greece, Argentina, Spain, and Brazil were at the top of this list with more than 80% of people blaming the government. People in these countries also think that their countries are corrupt and that they don’t believe that things would change any time soon. These kinds of negative feelings towards elected officials are without a doubt a huge part of the reason people are believing less and less in democracy.
Island of contentment
However, some countries had opposite thoughts and feelings about democracy. Among them, the most satisfied were Denmark, Switzerland, and Norway. These countries are a part of the ‘Island of Contentment,’ which is a group of countries where most people still support democracy. Unfortunately, less than 2% of all countries belong to the ‘Island of Contentment.’