Trust in government is vitally important. It serves as a driving force for a country’s economic development, makes governmental decisions more effective and leads to greater compliance with regulations and the tax system. Government trust levels are generally determined by whether or not people consider their government stable and reliable, if it’s able to protect its citizens from risk and whether it can effectively deliver public services.
According to the latest edition of the OECD’s Government at a Glance report, confidence in government fluctuates widely between countries. In recent years, Greece had to contend with being on the frontlines of Europe’s migration crisis, multiple elections, bank shutdowns, defaulting and the introduction of capital controls so it comes as little surprise that it’s at the very bottom of the government trust league. In 2016, a mere 13 percent of Greeks had confidence in their national government, substantially less than in other developed countries. Late last year, President Park Geun-hye was impeached before becoming the first democratically elected South Korean leader to be forced from office in March of this year. The scandal has certainly impacted Koreans and only a quarter of them had confidence in their government in 2016, according to the OECD’s report.
In the United States, where fake news, scandals and allegations about Russian collusion are still dogging the White House, only 30 percent of people have confidence in their government. In the United Kingdom which is attempting to negotiate an amicable divorce from the European Union, trust stands at 41 percent. In Russia and Turkey, Putin and Erdogan’s governments are both trusted by 58 percent of their respective citizens. With 73 percent, India was at the very top of the governmental confidence league while Canada also had higher than average confidence levels at 62 percent.
(Data journalist covering technological, societal and media topics)