The World Values Survey shows that public confidence in parliaments has declined in most of the peer countries over the last 20 years. The peer-country average fell from 47 per cent of respondents in the 1980s stating they had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in parliament, to 42 per cent in the 1990s, and further to 39 per cent in the 2000s.
Canadians today have less confidence in parliament than they did in the past. The share of respondents reporting a high level of confidence fell from 42 per cent in 1982 to 38 per cent in 2006.
Americans had much less confidence in their government in 2006 than in 1982. In 2006, only 21 per cent of people had a high level of confidence, down from 53 per cent in 1982. This is not really surprising given the unpopularity of George W. Bush at the end of his second term—mainly due to dissatisfaction with the administration’s policies in Iraq. A Washington Post-ABC News poll in May 2006 found that public confidence in the ruling Republican party had plunged to an all-time low: Bush’s job approval rating stood at just 33 per cent.4
Use the pull-down menu to compare the change in Canadians’ confidence in parliament with that of citizens of peer countries.