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LATIN AMERICA
Democracy fails to consolidate
Latinamerica Press
9/16/2016
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New report from Latinobarómetro reveals that dissatisfaction with democracy is linked to inequality, discrimination and disparity.

Latinobarómetro published their 2016 report on Sep. 2, titled “El declive de la democracia” (“The Decline of Democracy”), in which the organization analyzes the evolution of the support that has been given to democracy in the region since 1995, when the organization completed its first public opinion study.

In the current edition, Latinobarómetro, nongovernmental organization based in Santiago de Chile, conducted 20,204 interviews in 18 countries in the region between May15 and June 15, asking about the present attitudes towards democracy, reaching the conclusion that democracy has not been able to fully consolidate in the region.
“The data gathered over time tell of a region that has not yet climbed to higher levels of democracy,” Latinobarómetro points out. “Democracy seems to consolidate in an imperfect manner, remaining stagnant in some issues.”

This year, support for democracy in Latin America has reached 54 percent, two percentage points lower than in 2015. Also, 23 percent of those surveyed stated to be indifferent to the type of political regime, and 15 percent support authoritarianism.

After 21 years of monitoring the support for democracy, Latinobarómetro considers that “the situation is worse than at the beginning.” In 1995, 58 percent of those surveyed considered that democracy was preferable to any other form of government.

Although 75 percent of those surveyed agree with the statement that “democracy may have inherent problems, but it is the best system of government,” rephrasing a quote attributed to Sir Winston Churchill, satisfaction with democracy has nothing to do with ideological questions, but with “the high demand for higher levels of equality and freedom, observed in terms of civic and political guarantees, as well as social guarantees,” the report reads.

“Much evidence leads to the conclusion that social, political and economical inequality, discrimination and disparity, are the determining factors for the behavior of citizens in the region, more so than ideology. In other words, the population in the region wants refrigerators, vacation, income, and access to opportunity, a voice, to feel part of a whole that belongs to them.  Rather, dissatisfaction lays in the fact that nowadays the perception of the citizenry is that it does not have a voice, or access; their income is precarious and too low to afford a vacation,” the report adds. —Latinamerica Press. 


LATIN AMERICA

Support for Democracy 2016
 

Country
%
Venezuela
77
Argentina
71
Uruguay
68
Ecuador
67
Bolivia
64
Dominican Republic
60
Costa Rica
60
Paraguay
55
Chile
54
Colombia
54
Peru
53
Mexico
48
Panama
45
Nicaragua
41
Honduras
41
El Salvador
36
Brazil
32
Guatemala
31
Regional average
54
Source: Latinobarómetro

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