Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Confusing numbers, few surprises in Montenegrin poll
Montenegrins are more inclined to trust in members of the clergy than they are in politicians, according to the results of the latest survey conducted by the Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM).
Released this fall, the survey shows that the Serbian Orthodox Church enjoys the trust of 69% of Montenegrins, while only 45.9% trust their government. The Montenegrin Orthodox Church is trusted by 39.2% of the public, while police have the trust of 45.2% of Montenegrins, slightly higher than the 41.1% who trust the country's judiciary.
Despite the fact that 66.2% of Montenegrins chose to vote in the March 29th national election, and only 30.9% of those surveyed by CEDEM said they trust political parties, a full 95% of survey participants reported that they would vote for one of the 16 registered parties if an election were held now.
The survey suggests that Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic's ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) would receive 48.7% of the vote. Asked to explain why some would vote for the DPS when they do not trust the party, University of Montenegro political science Professor Milos Becic credited Djukanovic. "The people believe he is the chosen one."
Becic adds that the DPS is "probably the best organised political party in Europe", as fieldworkers are directly in contact with voters, not just during campaigns, but constantly. While many say they distrust the DPS, they will vote for it anyway because of the party's extensive groundwork.
Despite attempts to introduce the idea of individual responsibility, Montenegrins still cling to the notion that the state is, and should be, responsible for almost everything, Becic says."They believe the state should provide jobs for everyone, the state should provide pensions for everyone, etc." That was demonstrated in the CEDEM survey when 36.8% of respondents said the government should do everything in its power to keep the aluminum plant KAP afloat.
A further 22.3% of Montenegrins said the government should provide financial bailouts for the plant, while 9.2% said the government should not. Nearly 32% voiced no opinion. In 2005, the government privatised 65% of the plant before buying back 50% of those shares in June.
The survey showed a slight increase in support for Montenegro joining NATO. A February 2008 poll showed 29.5% of Montenegrins in favour of joining the Alliance, while the October 2009 survey showed 31.2% in favour.
Becic says the campaign to sell NATO to Montenegrins is "simply sad, totally uninteresting and counterproductive". The professor says the campaign will continue to spin its wheels until ethnic Serb political parties are brought onboard, or Djukanovic directs DPS fieldworkers to start singing the benefits of membership.
Posted by Conference Organizer at 3:36 PM