Recent global events have shaken faith in governments–and political engagement itself. More than two years after the people of Britain bravely voted to leave the European Union–against the wishes of the entire world political class–British elites continue to stall the move toward Brexit. The Brexit vote was the biggest vote in British history, with thousands of Britons coming forward to vote who had never voted before or who had long given up on voting.
In the United States, voters have sent wave after wave of politicians into offices after those politicians promised to limit government. Yet almost nowhere, at any level, has any winning politician actually followed through and done anything to cut government power.
The Pew Research Center has recently surveyed people in 27 countries. Just 63% of the people polled said their country protects the rights of people to express their views. “Those views are strongest in Indonesia, the Netherlands, Sweden, the Philippines and Canada. In contrast, fewer than half of respondents in Brazil, Italy, Argentina, Spain and Hungary said free speech was protected in their country.”
Fifty-four percent of global respondents said that politicians are corrupt, including 89% in Greece, 82% in Russia, 75% in South Korea, 72% in both Nigeria and South Africa and 69% in the United States.
A median of 53% disagreed with the statement that their country’s court system treats everyone fairly. That disagreement was strongest in South Korea, Argentina, Spain, Greece and Italy.