The percentage of Norwegians who are satisfied with the democracy in this country has declined from 75 to 61 percent in eighteen months, according to figures from the Norwegian Citizend Panel.
It pointed to several possible causes for the decline from Spring 2015 until Autumn 2016, writes Vox Publica and Minerva.
Amongst other things, lost jobs in the oil industry and political turbulence as a result of the refugee crisis may have affected satisfaction, and many are critical of how minor parties such as the Christian Democrats and the Liberals are pushing the government around and have more power than their size suggests.
While 75 percent of respondents in Norwegian ‘medborgerpanel’ responded in Spring 2015 that they are “very satisfied or satisfied” with our democracy, this fell to 61 percent in the Autumn of 2016. During the same period, the number which was “not satisfied or a little satisfied” rose by 7 percentage points to 13 percent.
This fall breaks with the trend in election surveys by the Institute for Social Research, which show a stable satisfaction with our democratic functions.
From 1977 to 2013, the proportion that are very or quite satisfied with the funtion of democracy , were at around 90 percent, except in 2001 when the figure was 78 percent.
Also 2001 saw a lower satisfaction level due to a topical and chaotic political situation, says election researcher Bernt Aardal at the University of Oslo, who thinks the latest figures from the Norwegian Citizens panel is surprising.
Satisfaction with democracy is greatest among those with higher education, where 69 percent say they are very satisfied or satisfied.
So says 60 percent of those with High school diploma as their highest education , but only 51 percent of those with only Secondary or no education.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today