Some interesting statistics concerning bourgeois democracies. In a Eurostat study of 2004, people in the EU’s original 15 countries – almost all bourgeois democracies – were asked to evaluate their level of satisfaction with their form of government. Only 54 percent responded with “very satisfied” or “fairly satisfied.” And in the 10 states of the former Eastern Bloc that entered the EU in 2004, only 29% gave the same answer. In a Latinobarometro study (2004), 18,643 citizens of 18 Latin American were polled, as well as 231 political, economic, social and cultural figures (41 former presidents and vice presidents included). A significant 55% said they would “support the replacement of a democratic government with an authoritarian one”; 58 % said that leaders should “go beyond the law” if needed; and 56 percent said economic development was more important than democracy. The widespread discontent is due to the fact that elected governments have spectacularly failed to provide stability, security, social equity, a fair legal system, and basic social services.

Further, since 1999, The Pew Research Center in the USA has been conducting global satisfaction surveys. In 2006, of the fifteen countries surveyed, China was way in front in terms of people being satisfied with their local conditions: 81% percent, up from 72 % in 2005. Only three other countries came close, with over 50% – Egypt at 55%, Jordan at 53% and Spain at 50% (lower now after Spain’s economic pain). The other countries were below 36%. On the scale of “optimism,” China was again in front, with 76%, followed closely by India at 75%. By contrast, people in the USA registered 48% and in Russia a dismal 45%.

From  Suzanne Ogden, “Don’t Judge a Country by its Cover: Governance in China,” 2007.

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