The National Democratic Institute has published a report entitled “Public attitudes in Georgia”, the result of a March 2013 survey carried out in collaboration with the Caucasus Research Resource Centers, which was funded by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The survey consisted of 113 questions, covering different topics related to politics and policy–including things like democracy, reforms, and elections, and national and local issues. 81% of respondents said that taking everything into account, in general, they and their household remained the same since the October 2012 Parliamentary elections; 10% responded that they were better off and 8% – worse.
However, to the question ‘whether there is democracy in Georgia or not?’ – 43% answered positively, while 38 % said there is no democracy in Georgia. The majority of respondents said Georgia is a democratic country, but that it requires further development.
The survey asked participants what democracy meant for respondents: 51 % said democracy is free speech, 44 % answered saying equality, which was followed by human rights.
Looking towards development, 58% of respondents view Georgia as moving in the right direction, while 8% said the country is going in the wrong direction. Statistically, attitudes towards the direction Georgia is heading and Georgia’s democracy have remained the same since NDI’s November 2012 poll.
At the same time that 81% of respondents felt that their lives had not changed, 71% of respondents think that the current government is making the changes that matter to them. In a notable change from the previous survey in 2012, 49% of respondents say they are “dissatisfied with Georgia’s current relationship with Russia”, a decline from the previous result of 79%. Russia and Georgia have kick started their diplomatic ties in the last few months, after a political stalemate lasting from 2008.
In other foreign policy areas, Georgia’s desire for EU and NATO integration remains high at 76% and 73%.
The survey also demonstrated that employment remains the biggest concern for Georgian citizens–with 61% of respondents. Territorial integrity and affordable healthcare came in second and third as priority issues at 34% and 32%, respectively.
Read the full survey here
Who Do Georgians Trust?