Over half of Taiwan's people satisfied with its democracy: U.S. survey

10/21/2021 11:20 PM
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Image taken from Pixabay for illustrative purposes only
Image taken from Pixabay for illustrative purposes only

Washington, Oct. 21 (CNA) A survey released by the nonpartisan American think tank Pew Research Center on Thursday showed that 57 percent of Taiwanese people were satisfied with Taiwan's democracy, far lower than that of other countries, including Singapore, and that the island was also among several advanced economies whose people believe their political systems need major changes or complete overhauls.

"As citizens around the world continue to grapple with a global pandemic and the changes it has brought to their everyday lives, many are also expressing a desire for political change," the research center said.

The finding was part of a survey that focuses on views of democracy and the desire for political, economic and health care reform in 17 advanced economies, which included the United States, Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Australia Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

According to the survey, 57 percent of the people polled in Taiwan were satisfied with the way democracy was working, but 56 percent believe their political system needs major changes or a complete overhaul.

Several countries had a higher percentage of respondents satisfied with the democratic processes in their democracies, including Singapore, which topped the list at 82 percent, followed by Sweden (79 percent), New Zealand (76 percent), Canada (66 percent), Germany (65 percent), the Netherlands (65 percent), Australia (64 percent) and the United Kingdom (60 percent).

At the same time, the survey showed that a far greater percentage of people -- more than two thirds of respondents -- in Italy, Spain, the United States, South Korea, Greece, France, Belgium and Japan want political change, compared to Taiwan.

The Pew Research Center did not explain why Taiwan's figures differ from that of the other democracies.

When it comes to reforming the economic system, views were roughly split across the 17 economies surveyed, the center said, noting that calls for economic reform were highest in Italy, Greece and Spain, which stood at 85 percent, 84 percent and 83 percent, respectively.

For Taiwan, only 49 percent of those polled believed economic reform was necessary, while the majority expressed that their health care system doesn't need to be changed.

"Roughly half or more in seven nations think the health care system needs major changes or needs to be completely reformed, and in the U.S. and Greece, roughly three-in-four express this view," the center said.

The Pew Research Center survey was conducted from Feb. 1 to May 26 this year among a total of 18,850 adults in these 17 advanced economies.

(By Chiang Chin-yeh and Ko Lin)

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