Satisfaction with the state of democracy has hit an all time post-communist low, according to a STEM agency poll of 1,227 Czech adults conducted in December: 26 percent of respondents said they were satisfied, compared with 38 percent a year before. Responses were largely divided along party lines.
STEM has conducted the same poll for almost 20 years. In 1996, the number of respondents satisfied with the state of democracy hit a high of 60 percent, but the number dropped to 40 percent the following year and remained at around that level until this last month.
In the same December poll, only 24 percent of respondents agreed that the state of democracy in the Czech Republic is comparable with Western Europe – 11 percentage points lower than in 2010, and the lowest rate since 2003.
Only 30 percent said Czech political leaders adhere to democratic principles in their decision making, compared to 41 percent in 2010.
“The current low level of satisfaction with democracy in our country undoubtedly relates to critical opinion and distrust with which citizens now view the highest political institutions,” STEM said in a comment accompanying the poll results.
Levels of satisfaction with democracy and faith in politicians adhering to democratic principles are far higher among supporters of the center-right parties, the poll suggests, with 56 percent of respondents declaring support of the Civic Democrats (ODS) expressing satisfaction and 46 percent of center-right TOP 09 supporters polled responding in the affirmative.
By contrast, only 16 percent of supporters of the center-left Social Democrats (ČSSD) polled said they were satisfied. The level dropped to 9 percent among supporters of the Czech and Moravian Communist Party (KSČM), while 22 percent of undecided voters said they were satisfied with the state of democracy.