Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Does all the world want democracy? We hear it a lot these days about how democratic political systems are desired by all people, everywhere. But this blogger cares not for platitudes, but only for systematically observed attitudes. The World Values Surveys asked people all around the world if they think that this form of government is a good idea. Here's what I found:

Percent saying democratic political systems are a bad idea:

Russia 37.0
Kyrgyzstan 18.5
Philippines 17.6
Poland 16.3
Slovakia 15.9
Ukraine 15.4
South Korea 15.4
Chile 15.2
Brazil 15.1
Armenia 15.0
El Salvador 14.6
Iran 14.4
Lithuania 13.9
Bulgaria 13.6
Estonia 13.3
Latvia 12.7
Finland 12.6
Hungary 12.9
Australia 12.6
Great Britain 12.3
Colombia 12.0
Pakistan 11.9
Canada 11.6
Belarus 11.5
Romania 11.3
USA 10.8
Belgium 10.7
Slovenia 10.6
France 10.6
South Africa 10.2
Ireland 9.9
Argentina 9.4
Georgia 9.4

World 9.2

Iraq 9.0
Portugal 8.8
Macedonia 8.7
Puerto Rico 8.3
Japan 8.2
Turkey 8.1
Luxembourg 8.1
Northern Ireland 8.1
Bosnia 8.0
East Germany 7.7
Czech Republic 7.5
Algeria 7.3
Uganda 7.0
Peru 7.0
India 7.0
Switzerland 6.8
Tanzania 6.8
Taiwan 6.8
Venezuela 6.5
Malta 6.4
Singapore 6.2
Jordan 6.1
Serbia 5.9
Montenegro 5.5
Nigeria 4.7
Spain 4.7
West Germany 4.5
Vietnam 4.5
Morocco 4.4
Indonesia 4.1
Uruguay 3.9
Austria 3.8
China 3.7
Netherlands 3.6
Italy 3.4
Sweden 2.6
Azerbaijan 2.5
Albania 2.4
Croatia 2.3
Iceland 2.1
Denmark 2.0
Bangalesh 1.7
Egypt 1.4
Greece 1.1

First, affection for democracy is widespread around the world. No country has even close to a majority of people taking a position against it. Having said that, Russia is far and away the most anti-democratic country, and Eastern European and former Soviet countries in general are toward the top of the list. Contrary to what some people might expect, Muslims like democracy as much as anyone. Of course, being in favor a democratic political system does not mean that people are good at voting for candidates likely to preserve it. Asian, African, and Latin regions of the world are mixed. Western nations generally fall toward the bottom of the list, but English-speaking countries are on the high end of this group.

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