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Thread: Trust in government by country

  1. #1
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Post Trust in government by country

    The OECD has just released the new stats of trust in government. The results are edifying. The Swiss have the most confidence in their leaders (84.6%), which is not surprising considering that Switzerland may be the only direct democracy in the world (at least in some cantons). They are followed by the Norwegians (82.9%), Finns (80.9%), Dutch (78.1%), Luxembourgers (78%), Danes (71.6%), Swedes (67.1%) and Germans (65.4%), all countries with low levels of corruption.

    Looking at this it would seem that Germanic countries have the most trustworthy governments nowadays. But one country stands out: Belgium, which comes 3rd to last in the ranking with a mere 29.5% of respondents (down from 44% in 2018 and 60% in 2007). Only Poland and Chile did worse. Why is that? I would think that the main problem is the linguistic divide and the multiplicity of parties which make it hard to form governments after elections. Belgium holds the records for both of the longest periods in history to form a new democratic government after the elections and both where in the last 20 years (589 days in 2011-12 to reach a 6-party coalition, and 494 days in 2019-2020 to form a 7-party coalition). It's not so much that Belgians feel that the government is there to control them or spy on them (a paranoia felt by many Americans), but rather that the system has become so complex that it lacks efficiency. Trust in government can mean many different things.

    Among Western European countries, the second lowest score in 2020 is for the United Kingdom, where trust in government remained around 34% for the second year in a row following Brexit and Boris Johnson's many gaffes and general maladministration. Still at 50% of Britons trusted their government in 2010 and 42% in 2018.

    Americans, who usually do not place much trust in government, nevertheless scored 46.5%, better than Australia (44%), South Korea (44%) Japan (41%), France (42%), Italy (37%) or Spain (38%), but still far behind Canada (60%). In contrast to Belgium and the UK, trust in government has been going up in the USA. It wasn't hard to improve as it has fallen to an all-time low of 29.7% in 2016 under Trump.

    Since the OECD started these stats, the lowest levels of trust observed were in Latvia (10% in 2009 and 10.7% in 2011) Lithuania (11.5% in 2010, 12.6% in 2009 and 14.6% in 2012), Greece (12.6% in 2012, 13.2% in 2016, 14% in 2017, 14.4% in 2013) and Italy (14.6% in 2013).
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  2. #2
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    Belgium has 7 governments.
    They have the largest number of ministers and officials per capita in the world.
    Instead of making governance more efficient it makes it more complicated.
    And still there is the Walloon Parti Socialiste who comes once again with an 'investement plan' worth billions of € to help the Walloon economy redress.
    The last few decades the Parti Socialiste has launched several such plans squandering big amounts of money with zero result, because they refuse to reform structures they've installed themselves.
    I'm Belgian, but I'm not proud of my own country.

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    Junior Member Sjackson3289's Avatar
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    I really appreciate your support in this post. keep it up and doing such types of great work continually.

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    Regular Member Mordred's Avatar
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    I'm not surprised of Sweden. People's are like sheep here. Whatever government says it's believed. Nobody will ever say their true opinion, unless it's in the close community of friends.

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    Regular Member firetown's Avatar
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    There are two ways to look at this:
    1) High levels of trust indicate that the government is trustworthy.
    2) High levels of trust indicate that the population is quite naive.
    In the case of Switzerland I would apply option 1.
    In some of the others I would go with option 2.

  6. #6
    Regular Member Mordred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firetown View Post
    There are two ways to look at this:
    1) High levels of trust indicate that the government is trustworthy.
    2) High levels of trust indicate that the population is quite naive.
    In the case of Switzerland I would apply option 1.
    In some of the others I would go with option 2.
    In my opinion, it also has to do with the media. Most people here watch state-owned television and daily newspapers are very homogeneous, the so-called The Fourth Pillar Of Democracy. I would believe it's a mix of the two options, at least in Sweden.

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    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firetown View Post
    There are two ways to look at this:
    1) High levels of trust indicate that the government is trustworthy.
    2) High levels of trust indicate that the population is quite naive.
    In the case of Switzerland I would apply option 1.
    In some of the others I would go with option 2.
    I completely agree.


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    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mordred View Post
    In my opinion, it also has to do with the media. Most people here watch state-owned television and daily newspapers are very homogeneous, the so-called The Fourth Pillar Of Democracy. I would believe it's a mix of the two options, at least in Sweden.

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    The media has a lot to do with it. Thankfully, in America we're not limited to the "mainstream" media, which is really also just state run media.

    If this question was asked of Americans today, I think the percentage would be lower.

    I've frankly been shocked at the reaction by Canadians to what Trudeau is doing in response to the Truckers' Protest. I had to walk past the "Wall St." protestors for what seemed like months, holding my nose the whole time because they were urinating and defecating outside, and the city did nothing. Yet Trudeau can impose these draconian methods and Canadians aren't outraged???

    And I say this as someone who is pro Vax. That has nothing to do with the fact that people have a right to protest whatever they want. Plus, if I understand correctly, the vaccine passport is due to expire on March 1st. Just wait them out for God's sake.

  9. #9
    Regular Member Mordred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    The media has a lot to do with it. Thankfully, in America we're not limited to the "mainstream" media, which is really also just state run media.

    If this question was asked of Americans today, I think the percentage would be lower.

    I've frankly been shocked at the reaction by Canadians to what Trudeau is doing in response to the Truckers' Protest. I had to walk past the "Wall St." protestors for what seemed like months, holding my nose the whole time because they were urinating and defecating outside, and the city did nothing. Yet Trudeau can impose these draconian methods and Canadians aren't outraged???

    And I say this as someone who is pro Vax. That has nothing to do with the fact that people have a right to protest whatever they want. Plus, if I understand correctly, the vaccine passport is due to expire on March 1st. Just wait them out for God's sake.
    I agree with every word you wrote.

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firetown View Post
    There are two ways to look at this:
    1) High levels of trust indicate that the government is trustworthy.
    2) High levels of trust indicate that the population is quite naive.
    In the case of Switzerland I would apply option 1.
    In some of the others I would go with option 2.
    So you are saying that Nordic people are naïve then? Why would the Swiss government be so much more trustworthy than those of Scandinavian countries and Finland?

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    Regular Member firetown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    So you are saying that Nordic people are naïve then? Why would the Swiss government be so much more trustworthy than those of Scandinavian countries and Finland?
    The countries you mentioned other than Switzerland were all Scandinavian?
    The countries on the link you provided were other than Switzerland all Scandinavian?
    I highly suggest you re-read your own post.
    I highly suggest that you read first what you decide to link to.

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    Am I wrong in thinking that most of the population in those countries are not overly materialistic? Hell even just thinking of their cuisine, maybe its the lack of that Latin/Mediterranean influence/decadence

  13. #13
    Regular Member firetown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EV13SON View Post
    Am I wrong in thinking that most of the population in those countries are not overly materialistic? Hell even just thinking of their cuisine, maybe its the lack of that Latin/Mediterranean influence/decadence
    You can't be overly materialistic and be okay with giving half of your income to the government.

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