Voting is meaningless because no politician can be trusted – voters

2014-05-01 10:45

Two-fifths of the adult population in South Africa think that voting is meaningless, according to a survey by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).

In 2013 it found that 43% (two-fifths) of people agreed with the statement “voting is meaningless because no politician can be trusted”, the council said in a statement.

A total of 41% of the adult population agreed with the statement that “after being elected, all parties are the same, so voting is pointless”.

The pre-election survey was conducted by the HSRC each year between 2003 and 2013.

However, 79% of the adult population agreed that it was the duty of all citizens to vote.

“Over the last decade, this sense of electoral responsibility has fluctuated within a fairly narrow range (between 77% and 86%),” the HSRC said.

“This is an encouraging finding that sets us apart from more mature democracies in Europe and North America where there had been a diminishing sense of electoral duty in recent decades.”

The sense of duty to vote among young South Africans remained high with 74% of 18- to 19-year-olds believing in this, compared with 78% of those aged 50 and older.

The survey found a “sizeable minority” believed voting had no discernible effect on electoral outcomes or the responsiveness of those elected.

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