Survey: most Georgians believe officials are corrupt
The Open Society Georgia Foundation has published the results of a new sociological study on the state of democracy, public confidence in state institutions, attitudes towards political parties, corruption, religion and education in the country.
The study showed that most Georgians believe the government to be corrupt and do not trust any political party. It also showed the public figure most trusted by Georgians is the patriarch, Ilia II.
The study was conducted in November 2018 in Tbilisi as well as in rural areas. A total of 1,786 respondents were interviewed.
68.8 per cent of the population of Georgia believes that officials use their powers for personal gain. 59 per cent believe that officials take money in exchange for ‘protecting’ businesses.
60% of respondents are convinced that influential officials abuse their office for personal gain.
77% of the population believe that high-ranking civil servants have their own businesses. 41% consider this a serious problem.
62% of respondents believe that if a large corporation finances the opposition, the government will create serious problems for them.
80.1% of respondents believe one must be affluent in order to receive a good education in Georgia. Approximately the same number of respondents also believe that if you are without exceptional abilities to begin with, you will not receive a good education.
31% of the population of Georgia has a higher education.
The survey results revealed regional inequality in terms of access to higher education: only 24% of citizens in rural areas have access to higher education, while in Tbilisi the number is 50.2%.
When asked who has more employment opportunities – a capable person or a less capable person with connections – 69% responded that it was the second.
Only 9% of the population is “very pleased” with the healthcare system in Georgia, with 40.6% being more dissatisfied than satisfied. 72% of respondents have state medical insurance while 11% have private insurance. Most of the population spends about 50 lari (less than $25) on pharmaceuticals each month.
According to the survey, the most frequent form of work-related violations is insufficient payment and violation of safety standards. 17% of respondents believe that at work there are incidents of sexual abuse. Almost no one believes that going to court will yield results if their right to work is violated.
Attitudes towards political parties
55.2% of respondents believe there is no political party in Georgia capable of resolving their problems. At the same time, 66% admitted they had never read the election programme of any party. The majority of the population also said that, during the elections, they vote not so much for the party and its programme, but for whomever leads it.
60.7% of respondents believe a man has an easier time winning elections than a woman. 52% are convinced that people pursue government positions solely for personal benefit.
Attitude towards religious organizations
82.5% of the respondents were Orthodox Christian, 5.9% belonged to the Armenian Apostolic Church, and 3.4% were Muslim.
The respondents defined their religiosity with the following phrases: “The church hears people like me”, “I meet people like me in church”, “I feel protected in church”, “The church supports me in difficult times”, and “In a changing world, the church remains a stable and strong support”.
Though 66% of the population fully trusts the patriarch, the level of trust in the patriarchate of Georgia was low.