Exercising the democratic rights of citizens and evaluating the Czech political system

Monitoring citizen satisfaction with the exercising of the democratic rights forms a regular part of polls conducted by the Public Opinion Research Centre. The possibility to speak openly about problems and shortcomings in the society was positively assessed by 6 out of 10 persons polled in January 2004. A third of respondents were also satisfied to be able to influence how issues are solved in their village or town.

On the nationwide level, only 6% of citizens expressed an optimistic view on this possibility. A fifth of those polled believe that their justified requirements can be met in our country. Compared to the previous year, pessimism grew as to the possibility to influence how issues are dealt with on the municipal level, and the possibility to achieve a satisfactory solution to one’s justified requirements. To assess the political system, the respondents used a ten-point scale where number 1 denoted that the system is very good and number 10 that it is very bad. The existing political system (mean rating of 5.77) got a better evaluation by the respondents than the pre-November 1989 political system (mean rating of 6.72). The respondents expressed the greatest optimism over the future development – political system of our country in 10-years time (mean rating of 4.81). Compared to the year 2002, Czech citizens are slightly less critical of both the current and the pre-1989 political system. On the other hand, they are somewhat more pessimistic about the future than in the previous period.