Indians and Indonesians Like the Idea of Unrestricted Executive Power

Fifty-five percent of respondents polled in India say a system in which a strong leader can make decisions without parliamentary or judicial interference is a “somewhat” or “very” good way of governing their country, according to a Pew Research Center survey released Monday. Indonesia, the Philippines, Russia, and South Africa round out the top five nations, indicating support for unconstrained executive power. Meanwhile only 6 percent of Germans and 9 percent of Swedes back such a political system. Twenty-two percent of Americans are in favor, about four percentage points below the median for the 38 countries surveyed from Feb. 16 to May 8.

People in wealthier nations “tend to be more committed to representative democracy,” according to the report. And in many countries, people with less education and those on the ideological right are “more willing to consider nondemocratic alternatives,” the authors found.

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