Jordanians lack confidence in parties, elections — IRI poll

A nationwide poll conducted by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research has found that only 20 percent of Jordanians polled expressed a “large” or “moderate” degree of confidence in political parties. (Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Jordanians have little confidence in political parties, more enthusiasm for local than national elections, and younger Jordanians see possible emigration on the horizon, according to a newly released nationwide public opinion poll conducted by the US-based International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research.اضافة اعلان

When asked about political parties, only 20 percent of Jordanians polled expressed a “large” or “moderate” degree of confidence in parties and only 37 percent think that empowering political parties can lead to much-needed political reforms.

“Jordanians do not yet see political parties as a solution to the country’s ills,” said Patricia Karam, regional director for the Middle East and North Africa at IRI. “Political parties, and the government’s promotion of them, have a long way to go in convincing Jordanians they can play a meaningful role in the country.”

People appear to be more confident in the direction of their municipality than their country, the survey found. In all, 54 percent of Jordanians surveyed said their municipality is moving in right direction, compared to 48 percent who said the same about the country as a whole. Jordanians are also more likely to participate in local elections, with 41 percent likely to vote in municipal contests, while only 30 percent are likely to vote in parliamentary elections.

“These numbers reflect growing confidence among Jordanians with their municipality,” Karam said. “Party leaders and members of parliament will need to better address citizens’ concerns if they wish to gain more credibility among their constituents.”

The poll also found that many younger Jordanians have recently thought of leaving the country to pursue a better future abroad. Forty-five percent of Jordanians, ages 18 to 35, said they have thought about emigrating in the last few years. Only 35 percent of all adults believe youth can have a good future in Jordan.

As for the main reason for emigration, 91 percent cited economic reasons. Asked how they see the economic situation in Jordan, 36 percent said “very bad,” while 37 percent said “bad.” Asked who they hold the most responsible for the economic situation in Jordan, 81 percent blamed the Jordanian government, while 9 percent blamed the IMF/World Bank.

And yet, when asked where they would choose to work, in the public or private sectors, 73 percent chose the public sector. Asked why they didn’t choose the private sector, 62 percent said because it was less stable, and 22 percent said because they have fewer workers’ rights. As for the 27 percent who prefer to work in the private sector, 51 percent of them said the main reason they did not choose the public sector was the low salaries.

Asked how their household economic situation was like, 52 percent of those surveyed said it was “good,” while 58 percent said they expect their household economic situation to get “somewhat better” in the next year.

The survey was conducted by NAMA Strategic Intelligence Solutions. The sample consisted of 1,504 computer-assisted personal interviewing administered face-to-face interviews with Jordanians aged 18 and above, and was conducted nationwide between May 2 to 23, 2021.

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