This is what the world really thinks of democracy, in one map

Joe Vesey-Byrne
Sunday 19 November 2017 14:15
news

A global study has found strong support for democracy and distrust of strong leaders, technocrats, or military governments.

Data from the Pew Research centre shows that a global median of 78 per cent backs a government of elected representatives.

While this is cheering to lovers of the right to choose your government, only 33 per cent of the world thought of the system as 'very good'.

Picture: Carto/indy100/Joe Vesey-Byrne (Carto/indy100/Joe Vesey-Byrne)

The countries whose populations gave elected governments the largest share of 'very good' rating were:

  • Ghana (62 per cent)
  • Sweden (54 per cent)
  • Tanzania (53 per cent)
  • Senegal (53 per cent)
  • Lebanon (51 per cent)

Democracy is 'bad'

The global median for democracy as 'bad' was 17 per cent, but some countries gave it a much higher score for badness.

  • Colombia (39 per cent)
  • Tunisia (39 per cent)
  • Jordan (36 per cent)
  • Chile (35 per cent)
  • Mexico (34 per cent)

In the UK just 12 per cent of respondents said they thought democracy was 'Bad', compared to 84 per cent who thought it was 'good' overall, and 43 per cent who said it was 'very good'.

According to Pew, countries where the economy is doing badly are less likely to believe that democracy is a 'good' thing.

Similarly, countries that thought life was better 50 years ago were also more likely to denigrate elected representation.

Being a bigot also appears to mean you feel pessimistic about democracy. Pew reports that in more than third of the nations they surveyed, people who thought a diverse population made their country worse were also more likely to feel negative about elected governments.

On a global scale, support for autocracy remains low. Only 26 per cent of the global median said it would be 'good', while 71 per cent said 'bad' and, 43 per cent said 'very bad'.

Support for autocracy

The countries that had the highest support for an autocratic style of government were:

  • India (55 per cent)
  • Indonesia (52 per cent)
  • Philippines (50 per cent)

In the UK 26 per cent of people agreed that a system 'in which a strong leader can make decisions without interference from parliament or the courts' would be a 'good' way to govern the country.

Some 71 per cent said this would be 'bad', and of that 46 per cent said 'very bad'.

More: Reuters told their reporters to cover Donald Trump like a dictator​

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