Nearly half of Belgians think politicians are corrupt, research shows
Friday, 21 February 2020
Nearly half of the respondents (48.7%) think that politicians are corrupt. Credit: Belga
Almost half of the Belgian population believes that politicians are “corrupt”, “incapable” and “do not care” about what is going on in society, according to research done by political scientists from five Belgian universities.
Political scientists from the University of Antwerp, KU Leuven, VUB, ULB and UC Louvain asked 3,902 Flemish, Walloons and Brussels citizens how they viewed the political system, just after the elections last May, reports Knack.
Nearly half of the respondents (48.7%) think that politicians are corrupt, and just under 60% think that they do not know or understand what is going on in society. 62.8% indicated that they think a lot of politicians have been doing their job for too long.
Only about 25% think that politicians are somewhere between “a little” and “completely competent”, and barely 16% thinks they are trying to keep their promises.
Additionally, over 44% of respondents said that no party or politician represents their interests well.
Despite not seeming to believe in Belgium’s politicians, the population retains its faith in the representative democracy as such. A large majority (82.9%) still believes in elections to appoint elected officials every few years, and 64% stands by the fact that coalitions need to be created to get a government.
“We were very surprised by the fact that the nuance is between negative and very negative,” said researchers Karen Celis (VUB) and Jean-Benoit Pilet (ULB), reports De Morgen.
“We know that politics, like economics, has an important psychological dimension. The interests of citizens can be objectively well-represented, but that does not mean that citizens also feel well-represented. However, the fact that citizens have such negative feelings about the actors in the game, the political parties and the politicians, was new to us,” they added.