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The analysis finds that dissatisfaction with democracy is not related to a nation’s overall level of wealth and development. Rather, it is correlated with economic outlooks – the greater the economic pessimism, the greater the level of dissatisfaction. The article also finds that perceived protection of civil liberties within a country is positively correlated with the level of satisfaction with democracy. However, there is interestingly no correlation between independent external judgements of a country’s level of civil liberty rights enforcement and the country’s level of satisfaction. For instance, Spain receives a top score for protection of civil liberty rights by Freedom House, yet only half of Spaniards feel like their country protects their rights to free speech. The overarching theme seems to be that perceptions of situations, rather than accredited assessments, are more closely linked to satisfaction with a country’s political state.
Why does this matter? If it’s perception, rather than reality of income inequality and growth that matters, then politicians adept at influencing perceptions – such as those populists who take to Twitter so infamously – will win out over policy wonks.
(The commentary contained in the above article does not constitute an offer or a solicitation, or a recommendation to implement or liquidate an investment or to carry out any other transaction. It should not be used as a basis for any investment decision or other decision. Any investment decision should be based on appropriate professional advice specific to your needs.)