It should come as no surprise that people are feeling more and more disillusioned with the political system in Australia, after Scott Morrison became the sixth prime minister in the space of 10 years last month.
However, new research by the Museum of Australian Democracy and University of Canberra has revealed that younger generations are far more dissatisfied with democracy in this country than the Baby Boomer generation.
Professor Mark Evans, from the University of Canberra, said: “Everyone says distrust of government is part of the Australian culture, but if you look at survey data, there has been a stark decline since the John Howard era.
“We’ve had some peculiar high profile events that did not play out well in the electorate with the dismissal of several prime ministers. Those incidents figure very strongly when you discuss issues of integrity within focus groups.”
However, the research, which was conducted as part of the museum’s new Democracy. Are You In? exhibition, also revealed that while Boomers are satisfied with the status quo, they also place very little trust in Aussie pollies with just 31 per cent of Boomers saying they trust the Federal Government.
Three in 10 Millennials also distrusted the likes of Scott Morrison, Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop, while Generation Xers (those born between 1965 and 1979) were the least trusting, with 54 per cent saying they did not trust the government, while 25 per cent were unsure and 21 per cent said they had faith.
And the youngest cohort Generation Zers – born between 1995 and 2010 – had the most trust in our political system, with 40 per cent answering yes when asked how much they trusted the government, compared to just one third who answered no.
When asked “How would you rate the standards of honesty and integrity of elected politicians in Australia today?”, a whopping 67 per cent of the Baby Boomer age group, classed as those born between 1946 and 1964, gave the answer “low”.
The only age group which valued the integrity of politicians less were Generation X, with 68 per cent rating their standards as low, and just 6 per cent saying they believed our pollies had high standards and integrity.
It wasn’t just Boomers who emerged as satisfied though, as National or Liberal Party voters, households earning more than $200,000 a year and university graduates were also said to be content. While, at the other end of the spectrum, dissatisfaction appears to be most widespread among people in their 40s, women and households bringing in less than $50,000 a year.