Democracies ‘not democratic’ enough, many in West see banks, social media as political threats


People really do care about democracy — and what is surprising is that that’s news. A new study, to be released today, says citizens are unambiguous when it comes to their belief that democracy is the best form of government. And they want more of it, says POLITICO’s Playbook.

Only half of the world’s population thinks their country is democratic, with many Western Europeans viewing banks and social media as threats to democracy, according to a survey of over 150,000 people from 57 countries by German polling firm Dalia Research and the Alliance of Democracies Foundation. Even in democracies, 38% of people are dissatisfied with the state of affairs, Reuters reports:

People surveyed in the United States, where the 2020 presidential elections are ramping up, were split as to whether their country was democratic – 46% said it was and 40% said it was not democratic enough. Over half of Americans surveyed said the U.S. has had a positive impact on democracy around the world, though majorities in Western countries such as Canada and most of Europe felt the impact had been negative.

In Europe, 52% thought the EU does not act in the interest of most Europeans, with the most criticism coming from Italy, France and Greece….Over 40% of people surveyed in the United States, Canada and Austria, among other countries, felt that social media such as Facebook and Twitter had a negative impact on democracy.

“Right now, the biggest risk for democracies is that the public no longer sees them as democratic,” said Nico Jaspers, CEO of Dalia Research, said in a statement.

But does the demand for more or better democracy suggest stronger prospects for democratic resilience and renewal?


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