More from the excellent Afrobarometer surveys this week, from the latest report on their 2012 surveys. The topic is democracy.
First, what is the demand for democracy in different parts of Africa? This chart shows the percentage of people in each country who said both that they support democracy and that they reject authoritarian alternatives (authoritarian rule, military, one-party state):
Second, how well are countries meeting that demand? This chart shows the percentage of people in each country who were both satisfied with democracy and perceived their country to be democratic:
The report noted Tanzania’s high score on the “supply of democracy” measure, and made two comments related to this. First, “since Tanzanians are below average in rejection of one-party rule, however, they may well use a much less exacting democratic standard than [others]”. (page 9) In other words, Tanzanians may be more satisfied with the state of their democracy because their expectations are lower.
And second, as a country where “supply” exceeds “demand” for democracy, the authors categorised Tanzania as a “country with a surplus of authority”, where:
“mass demands are relatively limited and people say they are satisfied with (whatever elites choose to call) “democracy”. … Because elites in these countries enjoy a great deal of room for policy manoeuvre, any political change is likely to emanate from authorities.” (page 20)