Democracy

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BOXED_Democracy

One of the most striking findings in our polling history has been about the value Australians place on democracy. Over the last five years, Australians, particularly young Australians, have consistently indicated a surprising ambivalence about democracy as a system of government.

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Democracy

In 2016, 61% of the voting-age population say that ‘democracy is preferable to any other kind of government’, four points lower than last year, but consistent with previous years’ results.

The number who say ‘in some circumstances, a non-democratic government can be preferable’ has risen six points this year to 24%, back to a level comparable with that recorded before 2015.

In previous Lowy Institute Polls, the responses of younger Australians to this question have been striking, with only a minority of the 18–29 year age group (ranging from a low of 39% in 2012 to a high of 49% in 2015) expressing a preference for democracy. The trend over the last two years has been upward, however, with 54% of 18–29 year olds in 2016 (up 12 points since 2014) saying democracy is preferable to any other kind of government. This year, as in previous years’ Polls, feelings about democracy strengthen with age. The preference for democracy is stronger among 45–59 year olds (61%) than for those aged under 45, and is strongest among those 60 years and over, 74% of whom express a preference for democracy over other forms of government.

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Democracy

I am going to read you three statements about democracy. Please say which one of the three statements comes closest to your own personal views about democracy.


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