The unrest that’s driven the election of Donald Trump and the UK’s shock Brexit decision could be bubbling away in Australia.
That’s the finding of a new survey showing quality of government and politicians is the second biggest problem facing Australia.
It’s ranked higher than terrorism and national security, immigration concerns and health and education, according to the latest annual –mapping social cohesion report from The Scanlon Foundation on Tuesday.
The economy and unemployment consistently ranks as the top problem and 2016 was no different, although the number of people who ranked it number one was down five per cent.
More than 30 per cent believe the system of government needs major change.
The survey of 1500 Australians also found a significant increase in the number of people reporting discrimination because of their race or religion, rising from 15 per cent in 2015 to 20 per cent in 2016 – the highest proportion since the survey began nine years ago.
Overall, social cohesion has fallen, to 89.3 from 92.5 in 2015.
Australia like USA has electorates, divisions, zone, states-whatever.
Gerrymandering wins government.
Whole system needs rethinking https://t.co/xg1AMge7h8
— CaptainWise (@thecaptainwise) November 20, 2016
Lobbyists & special interest groups have corrupted Australia's Westminster system of Government. https://t.co/8fTbUG53bB
— Ginny Lowndes (@ginnylowndes) November 4, 2016
But report author Professor Andrew Markus insists Australia’s “Trump” elements remain at the margins.
Australia is more like Canada and New Zealand at the moment than the US and UK, he says.
“People are looking at the American election and what happened in the UK with Brexit and they’re asking if that’s happening here,” he told AAP.
“What about Canada? Is there much turmoil there? The answer would be no.
“What about New Zealand? It seems to be reasonably stable except for the earthquakes.”
The report also found 80 per cent of Australians support euthanasia for people suffering terminal illness.
It found 83 per cent support medicinal marijuana, 67 per cent support marriage equality and 70 per cent support reduced reliance on coal for electricity.