Autocracies outperform democracies in public trust, poll says

Autocracies outperform democracies in public trust, poll says

It also highlighted that business, thanks to its role developing vaccines and adapting workplace and retail practices, had retained strong levels of trust globally, albeit with reservations about its commitment to social fairness.

Public trust in governments running the world’s democracies has tumbled to new lows over their handling of the pandemic and in the midst of a far reaching sense of economic pessimism, a worldwide survey has found. The Edelman Trust Barometer, which for a long time has surveyed great many individuals on trust in their governments, media, business and NGOs, alternately showed rising scores in a few autocratic states, notably China. In China almost 66% were hopeful with regards to their economic fortunes and 80% of Indians accepted they would be better off in five years.

“We really have a collapse of trust in democracies,” said Richard Edelman, whose Edelman communications group published the survey of over 36,000 respondents in 28 countries interviewed between November 1-24 of last year.

“It all goes back to: ‘Do you have a sense of economic confidence?’” he added, noting high levels of concern about job losseslinked either to the pandemic or automation.

The biggest losers of public trust were institutions in Germany, down 7 points to 46, Australia at 53 (-6), the Netherlands at 57 (-6), South Korea at 42 (-5) and the United States at 43 (-5).

By contrast, public trust in institutions in China stood at 83%, up 11 points, 76% in United Arab Emirates (+9) and 66% in Thailand (+5).

Edelman said higher public trust levels in China were linked not just to economic perceptions but also to a greater sense of predictability about Chinese policy, not least on the pandemic.

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