A growing number of Australians are becoming attracted to the idea of having an authoritarian leader who can avoid elections and parliament, with the phenomenon strongest among younger voters.
A new study, conducted by the Australian National University’s centre for social research and methods, found 33% of Australians now rate having an authoritarian-style leader as being “very good” or “fairly good”.
The survey found the rise in support for the idea of a “strongman” was also stronger among Australians under the age of 35.
Baby boomers – born in the aftermath of the second world war and now mostly aged 60 or above – were the most likely to view it is a “very bad” system.
“Australians aged 50 and older overwhelmingly think such a system is a bad idea, but young people are more supportive,” lead researcher Dr Jill Sheppard said.
The survey shows confidence in political parties hit a new low this year, with 27% of respondents saying they had “no confidence at all”, and 63% saying “not very much”.
About half the population regularly reports having “not very much” confidence in the federal government, but only one in five (19%) have expressed “no confidence at all” in the government.