Mistrust is the main aspect of how Romanians relate to political parties in Romania and their activity, as reveals a poll conducted by the Romanian Institute for Evaluation and Strategy (IRES) released recently.
The survey shows that three quarters of Romanians have derogatory opinions on political parties in Romania. More than 9 out of 10 respondents say that they have little and very little confidence in parties in Romania and three quarters of the study participants have derogatory opinions on political parties in Romania.
“Mistrust is the dominant attitude of Romanians toward parties in Romania. Among men, young people aged between 18 and 35 years, residents of urban areas and people with higher education, negative opinions about the parties are more common. (…) While more than 9 out of 10 respondents believe that parties should represent the interests of citizens, only 6 percent of the respondents think that parties in Romania meet this criterion. Party leaders are considered the main beneficiaries of the interests of the parties, followed by the party members, ” the poll shows.
The document reveals that parties are almost exclusively associated with negative terms. When asked to voice the first word that comes to mind when they think of parties in Romania, most statements were derogatory in respect to the nature of political formations.
“Among these the most common concern: thieves / theft / fraud – indicated by 12 percent of the study participants, or corruption / bribe (10 percent). Positive associations are present in a low proportion,” the IRES study reveals.
Regarding Romanians’ preferences of parties and politicians, 6 out of 10 Romanians believe Romanian parties should do national politics, while 3 out of 10 think parties should take a pro-Western political stand.
Also, almost 6 out of 10 Romanians prefer an independent politician, but 3 out of 10 express the option for a politician affiliated to a party. “The option for independents is more common among young people between 18 and 35 years, secondary education graduates, persons living in Moldavia and the respondents who self-evaluate as being right-wing oriented. Party affiliates are preferred by elderly persons, higher education graduates and respondents who say they are left-wing oriented,” says the IRES study.
Half of Romanians believe that in the voting process what matters most is the candidate and one third of the respondents say the programme is most important. Only 7 percent say that both are important in the choice they make.
Regarding the voters’ options on the priorities of parties winning the parliamentary elections in 2016, these are jobs (51 percent) and infrastructure (18 percent).
In respect to the upcoming elections in Romania, only one third of the respondents (34 percent) believe that after this year’s local and parliamentary elections the situation in the country will improve, while 43 percent believe that the situation will remain the same and 17 percent think that it will worsen. The most optimistic are the elderly, the respondents with low education and those living in rural areas.
The study was conducted on February 2 on a sample of 1,199 respondents aged over 18 years, nationally representative for Romania’s adult population. The poll was conducted for “Sinteza” magazine.