For Mauritius, the small island nation that Mark Twain referred to as the model for heaven, rising temperatures and rising sea levels can mean a host of threats, from more severe cyclones and floods to deterioration of coral reefs and beach erosion – an already-occurring phenomenon that the environment minister summed up this way: “Paradise is getting rocky” (Financial Times, 2017).
This paper asks whether a country’s choice of electoral system affects the methods citizens use to try to hold their government accountable. A large body of literature suggests that electoral system type has an impact on voting behaviour, but little work has been done on its effects on other strategies for democratic accountability, such as contacting an elected representative and protesting. Using data from 36 African countries, we find that the type of electoral system has a significant relationship with these forms of participation.
While personal insecurity in Africa is typically associated with civil wars, crime is actually a far more common threat to the continent’s citizens. Rates of homicide, sexual assault, and property crime in Africa are often far higher than global averages. Despite such threats, many Africans do not report crimes to the police.
The Constitution of Mauritius grants citizens certain fundamental rights, including the right to be free and protected by the law, freedom of conscience, freedom of association, freedom of movement and of opinion, freedom to express themselves, freedom of religious belief, and the right to private property (Constitution of Mauritius, 1968).
Summary of results for Mauritius (2017).
Round 7 questionnaire for Mauritius (2017).
In this paper, we provide evidence on how the provision of social infrastructure such as reliable electricity can be leveraged to increase taxation in developing countries, particularly sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). First, using comprehensive data from the latest round of the Afrobarometer survey, we estimate, via the instrumental variable approach, the effect of access and reliability of electricity on tax compliance attitudes of citizens in 36 SSA countries.
In addition to the growing number of African states that conduct regular elections and embed democratic principles in their constitutions, evidence comes from survey-based research that most Africans support democratic values and reward governments that adhere to democratic rules (Mattes & Bratton, 2007; Bratton & Mattes, 2001). However, in many countries, citizen demand for democracy is not met by supply of democracy (Mattes & Bratton, 2016) as governments, once elected, fail to respect the norms of democratic governance (Gyimah-Boadi, 2015).
Views on decriminalization of gandia (cannabis) consumption: While two thirds of Mauritians are against the decriminalization of the consumption of gandia one-fourth of the respondents “agree” or “strongly agree” that the government should decriminalize the consumption of cannabis.
Fight against drug trafficking: Mauritians are divided in half on the government’s handling of drug trafficking. Nearly half say the government has handled it “very/fairly badly” and another half say “ fairly/very badly”.
A majority of Mauritians do not want cannabis legalised, according to the latest Afrobarometer survey. The debate on legalisation has been ongoing in Mauritius following the arrest of Rastafarians in Port Louis in 2016, according to the Mauritius Times.
There is also division about how the government has handled combatting drug trafficking in the country.
In a stable political environment since independence in 1968, Mauritius transformed itself from a low-income country dependent on sugar into an upper-middle-income country with growing wealth creation from financial services, tourism, and other service sectors (World Bank, 2017).
According to the most recent Afrobarometer survey, about three-fourths of Mauritians feel that considering the fact that the country is having a problem of declining population growth, the government should give child allowance to all citizens who will have more than two children.
The fertility decline in Mauritius has a long history and occurred in the absence of economic growth and researchers say it may be attributed mostly to improved female educational status and active family planning programs. Currently the population of Mauritius only grows at a growth rate of 0.1%.
Six in 10 Mauritians (61%) say that corruption has increased over the past year, according to the latest Afrobarometer survey.
Overwhelming majorities of Mauritians believe that at least some government officials, police, National Assembly members, local councils, and prime minister staff are involved in corruption.
A majority of Mauritians say ordinary citizens risk retaliation if they report corruption.
Mauritius’ commitment to good governance is embodied in its Ministry of Financial Services and Good Governance, created after the Alliance Lepep came to power in 2014 (Fakun, 2016). The Ibrahim Index of African Governance vouches for the quality of Mauritius’ democracy by ranking the country as the best-governed country in Africa in its 2017 report (Mo Ibrahim Foundation, 2017).
Overwhelming preference for democracy: About three-fourths of Mauritians prefer democracy over any other system, consider multiparty competition necessary to give voters a real choice.
Views on political class and accountability: Seven in 10 favour a two-term limit for the prime minister. Almost as many say it’s more important for the government to be accountable than to be efficient.
According to the most recent Afrobarometer survey, about three-fourths of Mauritians prefer democracy over any other system and almost as many say it’s more important for the government to be accountable than to be efficient.
However, the survey reveals that only half of Mauritians are “fairly satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the way democracy is working in their country – a decline of 15 percentage points from 2014.
According to the most recent Afrobarometer survey, two-thirds of Mauritians say unemployment is the most important problem that the country is currently facing.
Moreover, the survey reveals that the majority of youth see unemployment as their most important problem. Almost a third of both women and men stated the same. This opinion is being expressed despite the fact that the official unemployment rate is currently 7%.
In any economy, balancing expenditures, revenues, and debts is a delicate and often politicized task. Competing interests and priorities buffet those tasked with planning a viable and stable national budget. For any state, taxes raised from individuals and businesses are a central plinth supporting the provision of services, the maintenance of infrastructure, the employment of civil servants, and the smooth functioning of the state.
Because of a perceived risk of repressive action, some survey questions are likely sensitive in more autocratic countries while less so in more democratic countries. Yet survey data on potentially sensitive topics are frequently used in comparative research despite concerns about comparability.
In most African countries, substantial barriers still inhibit citizens’ access to justice, a new Afrobarometer analysis finds.
Based on a special access-to-justice module in national surveys in 36 African countries, the sobering report identifies long delays, high costs, corruption, the complexity of legal processes, and a lack of legal counsel as major obstacles for citizens seeking legal remedies.
Dozens of African countries regularly conduct national and local elections.
Each election picks a winner.
But beyond winners and losers, the quality of each election also shapes how people feel about their political system in general.
Free and fair elections make people want more democracy.
Elections tainted by repression, fraud, or violence have the opposite effect.
So how good are Africa’s elections?
Afrobarometer surveyed more than 53,000 citizens in 36 countries, in every region of Africa.
In recent decades, the number and intensity of climate-related hazards such as floods, hurricanes, tropical cyclones, landslides, heat waves, and droughts have increased around the world (Emanuel, 2005; Coumou & Rahmstorf, 2012). Among climate scientists, there is a broad consensus that these increases are associated with global warming caused in large part by human activity (Hansen, Satoa, & Ruedy, 2012; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2014).
A decade-long upward trend in African citizens’ demand for democracy has ended with a downward turn since 2012, according to a new Afrobarometer analysis.
But despite warning signs of a democratic recession, public demand for democracy remains higher than a decade ago, and most Africans still say they want more democracy than they’re actually getting – a good basis for future democratic gains.
One important factor: the quality of elections. African countries with high-quality elections are more likely to show increases in popular demand for democracy.
- On average across 36 African countries, China is the second-most-popular model for national development (cited by 24% of respondents), trailing only the United States of America (30%). About one in 10 respondents prefer their former colonial power (13%) or South Africa (11%) as a model.
- Across 36 African countries, fewer than half of respondents say they trust their MPs (48%) and local councillors (46%) “somewhat” or “a lot.” Among 12 public institutions and leaders, MPs and local councillors rank eighth and ninth in public trust.
Only half of Africans trust their national electoral commissions, and many fear violence and unfair practices during election campaigns, according to a new report by Afrobarometer.
- Across 36 countries in 2014/2015, Africans express more trust in informal institutions such as religious and traditional leaders (72% and 61% respectively) than in the formal executive agencies of the state (on average 54%).
- That said, people find certain executive agencies, such as the national army and the state presidency, to be quite trustworthy (64% and 57% respectively), especially when compared with legislative and electoral institutions (47% and 44% respectively).
Political and civic engagement by African youth is declining and is particularly weak among young women, according to new Afrobarometer survey findings.
The findings, which are being released on International Youth Day 2016 (August 12), show African youth are less likely than their elders to engage in a variety of political and civic activities, including voting, attending community meetings, joining others to raise an issue, and contacting leaders. Young women express significantly less interest in public affairs than young men.
For advocates of regional integration as a path toward economic and political power for Africa, Afrobarometer’s latest survey findings suggest that many citizens still need to be convinced of the benefits of integration.