UK young adults lost faith in democracy: Poll
A report shows that UK voters believe donors to political parties and big businesses are the main drivers of government policy.
A new report on the future of democracy - published by the IPPR thinktank, in collaboration with the Observer, revealed that the majority of UK voters have lost faith in the British democracy and its ability to serve their interests.
The report unveils that "donors to political parties and big businesses are now commonly viewed by the electorate as the main drivers of government policy," The Guardian underlined.
6% believe their views influence government decisions
Dubbed Road to Renewal, the study showed that out of 3,442 adults polled, only "6% of voters in elections in Great Britain believe their views are the main influences behind eventual decisions on policy taken by government ministers."
In a significant figure, 25% of voting adults "believe major donors to political parties have the most influence over shaping policy, followed by business groups and corporations (16%), newspapers and the media (13%) and lobbyists and pressure groups (12%)," The Guardian reported.
Only 2% voted for trade unions as the main influence behind policy decisions.
An urgent rethink of how democracy works in the UK
The Guardian said the report called for an urgent rethink by mainstream UK parties "of how democracy works in the UK, including steps to reconnect citizens with politics and politicians through devolution of more powers."
According to the report, examples of abuses that led to losing faith in UK democracy are “the sidelining of parliament by the current government – including briefing to the media before MPs, passing sweeping pandemic legislation without parliamentary censure, minimal parliamentary oversight of Brexit negotiations and the prorogation of parliament."
Politicians don't understand people's lives
When asked how well they believed “politicians understood the lives of people like you," a total of 78% of voting adults answered badly. The number is split between 36% who answered “fairly badly” and 42% who answered “very badly”
Only 1% of the voters answered “very well” and 12% “fairly well”.
The report showed that young UK adults (18-24) "are least likely to say democracy serves them well (just 19% say it operates well against 55% who say badly), while those aged 65 and over are most likely to say it is working for them (46% say well and 47% badly)," The Guardian highlighted.
Parth Patel, IPPR research fellow, considered that “democracies have not been delivering well for their citizens. Politicians and parties are increasingly out of touch, and the sway of ordinary citizens over public policy has declined. Many are opting out of political participation altogether, while large numbers have lent their support to populist challengers – signs of a protest against ‘democracy as usual’.”