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Australian views towards Democracy

Australian views towards democracy: Comparisons through time and with the rest of the region, Australian National University, November 2034

Author/editor: Biddle N & Gray, M
Year published: 2023Abstract

There are concerns in many established democracies, including Australia, about an erosion of democratic institutions and falls in support for democracy. Having data over the medium to longer term on Australian’s confidence in key institutions including government and views about democracy is crucial to both understanding how views are changing, whether there are differences between segments of society and reasons for changes in attitudes. It is also important to understand how confidence in institutions and views about democracy in Australian compare to other countries in the Asian region. This paper uses data from the ANUpoll series of surveys and the Asian Barometer to help answer these questions.  While the majority of Australians are satisfied with democracy, there is evidence of some declines in the level of satisfaction with democracy amongst the Australian population with a substantial drop in the proportion who were very satisfied with democracy between 2008 and 2023. The fact that levels of satisfaction are lowest amongst those living in the lowest income households and those with relatively low levels of educational attainment should be a matter of significant concern. This is particularly in the context of growing perceived disparities in income and wealth in Australia.