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Brisbane focus group research on trust in the political system and attitudes to democracy

Michelle Grattan reports in The Conversation (2.12.16) on Brisbane focus group meetings conducted by the University of Canberra. While the focus was on federal politics, the results are as relevant for Queensland politics:

‘The Landscape research, done in Brisbane with 26 people aged 19-70 from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds, who were split into five groups, was part of a study exploring the relationship between trust in the political system and attitudes to democracy.

‘The research showed how out of touch federal politicians are with a critical and disillusioned electorate. Yet while the message is clear that people are sick of how they carry on, the politicians seem unable to change their behaviour. This week’s fiasco over the backpacker tax was a case study. It finally ended in a government-Greens deal late on Thursday after days of unedifying shenanigans all round.

‘The focus groups found voters are picking up strongly on divisions within the government, and believe his party is constraining Turnbull.

“The ongoing instability of the Turnbull government due to its narrow majority and internal divisions, as well as the adversarial nature of the current political environment, serves to reinforce voters’ views about politicians – they care more about their own political point-scoring and staying in power than working together for the good of the nation,” the Landscape report said.’

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