Democracy in action

Following a rollercoaster few years in British politics, record numbers of voters have revealed they are dissatisfied with the political system.

Researchers from Cambridge University have found that dissatisfaction with democracy has soared in the UK ever since Theresa May’s snap election of 2017. With democracy across the globe in a state of malaise, the levels of people left disgruntled with their political institutions has risen from 47.9 to 57.5%.

According to a report published by the University of Cambridge Centre for the Future of Democracy, countries such as the United States, Australia, Canada and the UK have seen large increases in the number of citizens left unhappy with the performance of their systems.

it’s not because citizens’ expectations are excessive, but because democratic institutions are falling short.
Centre for the future of democracy, university of Cambridge

The findings also demonstrate how in a period from the 1970s-following strikes and the start of issues in Northern Ireland- until the early 2000s, UK voter responses demonstrated a high point for satisfaction. However, the report suggests it would be unrealistic to believe that these levels could be re-attained.

Graph seen in the report which represents the levels of satisfaction in the UK.

NTU politics lecturer Dr Matthew Mokhefi-Ashton explained what the term ‘democratic dissatisfaction’ actually means. He said “It’s the idea that people have become disillusioned with democratic institutions, processes and outcomes. The feeling is that democracy isn’t delivering for them in their daily lives.”

Nottingham North’s Labour MP Alex Norris also explained why he thinks these levels are so high and how we can combat them.

 

Political events such as Brexit are believed to have had a significant impact on the results in the UK. Voters in the ‘leave’ voting city of Nottingham had their say on why people are unhappy with the government.

For further information on the study, you can find it here: https://www.bennettinstitute.cam.ac.uk/media/uploads/files/DemocracyReport2020.pdf

For further information on electoral reform, visit: The Electoral Reform Society

For further information on the UK Government, visit: GOV.uk