NETHERLANDS


As found in France, Germany, and Austria, support for fundamental elements of democracy and democratic institutions is lower among Dutch citizens with higher Populism Propensity Scores. Support for democracy and democratic institutions, however, is not statistically different among respondents arrayed across the scale generated from Standard Survey Measures of Populism (SSMP).

The contrast between PPS and SSMP measurements of attitudes toward democracy among citizens is one of the most important behavioral differences observed in these surveys. While in all four countries, citizens with a higher PPS are less likely to support fundamental tenets of democracy, in France, Germany, and Austria those who scored higher on SSMP are more supportive of democracy.

There is one important caveat to this finding: While the difference in support for democracy by PPS and SSMP measurements is unmistakable throughout the data in France, Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands, the overall support for democracy and democratic institutions no matter where a citizen falls on either scale is still – at this time – quite strong.

 

The higher a Dutch citizen’s PPS the less likely they are to say that it is important to live in a country that is governed democratically. By contrast, support for democratic governance does not vary by SSMP.

[Please note: the overall support for democracy and democratic institutions no matter where a Dutch citizen falls on either scale is still – at this time – quite strong.]

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To double check citizens’ commitment to democracy a standard question from the World Values Survey, which is used to estimate support for democracy and democratic forms of government, was also asked of Dutch citizens.

Once again, the higher a Dutch citizen’s PPS the less likely they are to say that “having a democratic political system” is a very good way of governing the Netherlands. By contrast to the earlier question, which asked whether it is important to live in a country that is governed democratically, those with higher scores on SSMP are more likely to agree that democracy is a good way to govern. The greater support for democracy, among those with higher SSMP scores, mirrors findings  in France, Germany, and Austria

 

The higher a Dutch citizen’s PPS the less likely they are to say that a free press is important. Once again, support for democracy, as embodied in a free press, does not vary by SSMP.

 

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Dutch citizens with a high PPS are more likely to agree that having a strong leader who “does not have to bother with the States General and elections” is a very good way to govern the Netherlands. As you would expect, they are also less likely to agree it is a very bad way to govern. The demand for a strong leader who is not restrained by elections or a legislative body is also apparent among those with higher SSMP scores.

 

Dutch citizens with a high PPS are much more likely to say that “having the army rule the country” is a good way to govern the Netherlands. SSMP is again not significant.

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