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A majority of people across the world agree that society is 'broken' — survey

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By Lauren Chadwick
A majority of people across the world agree that society is 'broken' — survey
Copyright  Pixabay

A majority of people surveyed across the world think their society is broken, the economy is rigged for the rich and powerful and that traditional politics doesn’t work for them.

That’s according to the sobering results of a new Ipsos-Mori online survey of more than 18,000 adults in 27 countries.

Seventy per cent of people surveyed said the economy was rigged to favour the rich and powerful, and two-thirds of people said that traditional parties and politicians do not care about them.

Around 54% of people said their country’s society is broken and 62% agreed that experts do not understand their lives.

In Great Britain, a whopping 70% of people agreed that the economy is “rigged to advantage the rich and powerful”. That was up from 63% in 2018 and 67% in 2016.

“There is much debate about the roots of Brexit and the impact its handling has had on British public opinion, and this latest study shows that perceptions that British society is broken, that the economy is rigged, and that traditional parties and politicians don’t care about ordinary people are all high and rising,” said Kelly Beaver, the managing director of public affairs at Ipsos MORI in a statement.

The survey, which was carried out between March 22 and April 5 2019, also asked questions about populist leaders and nativist sentiment.

In France, 77% of people said that they needed a “strong leader willing to break the rules”. In Belgium, 65% of people surveyed said the same.

Meanwhile, 70% of respondents in Britain said the country needed a strong leader “to take the country back from the rich and powerful”.

Even though the survey was carried out before Johnson became prime minister, Beaver said, "support for a strong leader to take the country back from the rich and powerful was also high, but on nativist measures such as giving preferential treatment to native Britons in jobs, Britons are somewhat less anti-immigration than the global average".

Indeed, just 39% of those surveyed in Great Britain agreed that immigrants take social services from real nationals, but that sentiment was lowest in South Korea, Poland and Japan.

Throughout the 27 countries surveyed, 43% of people said that immigrants take important social services away. That represented a 4 point increase from 2016.

In France and Germany, 45% of those surveyed agreed with the statement, 43% agreed in Spain and 42% in Italy.

A higher percentage, 60% of those surveyed, agreed that employers should prioritise natives over immigrants "when jobs are scarce".

Overall agreement with statements favouring natives over immigrants was most prevalent in Turkey, Malaysia, Serbia, and Russia, the survey results showed.

In every country except Sweden, a majority of adults agreed that the economy was rigged to advantage the rich and powerful.

Adults from Poland agreed most with the statement that their country’s society is broken, with 84% agreeing with the statement.