Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Salvadorans' view of the utility of democracy

A poll released by El Faro suggests that Salvadorans could abandon their democracy if they thought it would improve their daily lives:

In a country with a history of military dictatorship and a democracy refounded just 19 years ago, almost half of people are willing to support the military overthrow of a democratic government if it helped solve their problems

Only one seventh of Salvadorans value democracy as the system of government preferred to any other, while nearly half say they would be willing to support a military coup if the country continues without resolving its economic problems and public safety issues.

These are two of the findings of a nationwide survey conducted for the purpose of finding out how much Salvadorans value their democracy in relation to the needs of the population. The information was gathered by the Analitika Research and Marketing Company between November 8 and 13 last year, through 1200 interviews with a margin of error of + /-  2.8 points.

The research ... shows a wide swath of Salvadorans aged 15 years or more willing to consider the possibility of supporting authoritarian governments if they don't see the resolution of public safety and economic problems. Many say they are willing to give their support to the military replacing a democratically elected government.
Other questions showed that Salvadorans are disillusioned with politicians who don't keep their promises. (Aren't we all?). The bottom line: Salvadorans take a pragmatic view of their current form of government. Democratic values could be allowed to slide away if it meant more food on the table and less crime on the streets.



This is why military dictatorships thrive. This is why Italians waxed nostalgic that Mussolini made the trains run on time. Or why Iraqis and Russians pine for times when there was no crime, streets were clean, etc. But, at what price...

Lawrence M. Ladutke said...

Democratic values have already slid away. The increasing militarization of public security has effectively killed the seed of democracy planted by peace accords.

Susan Cruz said...

I'm curious who are these "Salvadorans" that were polled? Members or family of the military and police?