Autocracies more trusted than democracies – study — Analysis

Edelman Trust Barometer, which has conducted thousands of polls over the last two decades of communications, published this week a disturbing report that showed low trust in democratically elected government. 

This group interviewed more than 36,000 individuals in 28 countries, from November 1-24. It found that German institutions are the worst offenders, with their trust rating falling seven points to 46. 

Australia came in at 53 (-6), South Korea was at 42 (-5), United States at 43, (-5), all of which were deemed to be having lost the greatest public confidence.

Contrary to popular belief, trust in the public was higher for more dictatorial states. China scored 83 points. The United Arab Emirates scored 76 points. Thailand was at 65 points.  

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“We really have a collapse of trust in democracies,” said Richard Edelman, who heads up the group. “It all goes back to: ‘Do you have a sense of economic confidence?’”He added that the concern over job losses is a perennially elevated issue. 

Edelman argued that China’s higher levels of public trust were related to greater predictability regarding Chinese policies, with particular reference to the Pandemic.

“I think there is a coherence between what is done and what is said… They have had a better Covid than the US for example,”He spoke to Reuters.  

This trend was also evident in China’s economic outlooks. Two-thirds believe their family will be more financially secure in the next five years, even though there is a housing crisis and slowing economy. 

Only 15% in Japan, however, were positive about their economic prospects. Similar results were found in most democracies with around 20% to 40% of people answering the question positively.

Study also revealed strong trust levels among businesses worldwide, due in part to their roles in creating vaccines and adapting to changing working methods during the pandemic.

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