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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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    Country: Belgium - Flanders



    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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