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Trust in politicians plummets to new low

The Local · 17 Jun 2011, 11:51

Published: 17 Jun 2011 11:51 GMT+02:00

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Only nine percent of Germany's citizens have faith in their leaders – a five percent decrease over last year, according to a poll by market research company GFK.

The poor results for politicians reflect discontent over recent political scandals – such as the plagiarism controversy that enveloped former Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, GFK CEO Klaus L. Wübbenhorst told Die Welt newspaper.

But another factor could be politicians’ wishy-washy approaches to the Stuttgart 21 rail project controversy and the future of nuclear energy in Germany, he said.

Moves perceived as “electioneering manoeuvres” can “cost trust,” he told the newspaper.

Among the most trusted workers are fire fighters and doctors, who hold the trust of 98 and 89 percent of the citizenry, respectively. Meanwhile, 44 percent of Germans trust journalists, 47 percent trust lawyers and 56 percent trust members of the clergy.

While some numbers may be surprising – such as the fact that postal employees are among the most trusted people in Germany at 86 percent – they have to be viewed in their proper context, Wübbenhorst said.

“For many people in rural areas the mailman who comes to the house every day is an important contact with the outside world,” he told Die Welt.

Nineteen countries, including India, the United States and Britain were surveyed for GFK’s annual “Trust Index” report.

Levels of trust appear to often reflect social and political norms. Police are trusted by just 36 percent of the population in Colombia, likely because they’re widely viewed as being corrupt, for example. In Sweden, however, 89 percent of the population trusts the police.

Germans’ trust in professions by the numbers

Fire service: 98 percent

Doctors: 89 percent

Postal workers: 86 percent

Police: 85 percent

Teachers: 84 percent

Judges: 79 percent

Armed forces: 79 percent

Lawyers: 71 percent

Market researchers: 70 percent

Environmental protection organizations: 69 percent

Charities: 58 percent

Bankers: 57 percent

Trade unions: 56 percent

Clergy: 56 percent

Story continues below…

Civil servants: 54 percent

Journalists: 44 percent

Marketing specialists: 38 percent

Advertising specialists: 33 percent

Business managers: 20 percent

Politicians: 9 percent

Source: GFK Trust Index 2011

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:57 June 17, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Why is it that Socialists/Communists, never trust their corrupt Govt.s and officials, yet invariably demand even more powerful Govt.s and politicians?
17:32 June 17, 2011 by Englishted
Why is it that you derExDeutsche always follow your own right wing agenda,anti Socialists/Communists no matter what the subject is?
18:39 June 17, 2011 by whpmgr
Englishted: I think that in this case, his question is legitimate. When the majority of the people vote for what would be liberal when compared to UK and USA standards, even though they may be Conservatve in their own country (shades of perception here), why dont they trust their picks more?

I ask, why do they even measure the trust of politicians when there is no election pending? This is info that should come out just prior to an election to push people to vote right. But then, who would they vote for? If your choise is a criminal or a liar and thief, what is the difference overall?

In any case, the world needs more conservative pols and less socialist and communist ones. We are heading into an abyss and there is little tiem left to stop it. Freedom always means that people with too much freedom choose to not care and then eventually lose their freedom.
19:53 June 17, 2011 by Al uk
Trust and politicians. Two words that just do not go together!
20:12 June 17, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
I agree to some extent, wmpmgr: some people do get comfortable enough with their rights and their freedom to the point that they might take it for granted, and could vote in such a way that might jeopordize it (especially if they elect Green party members!). We all need to be vigilant in making sure the people who are elected don't try to take our rights away from us. It's a constant struggle.

The subject of trust in politicians after the plagiarism issue is something I've already commented on. It's obvious that most elections are between two bad people, and we need to choose the lesser of the two evils. It's not like we can select who runs for their party - we can only choose who has been selected for us by their respective political parties. I'd say that diminishes our chances for a good leader whom we can trust, wouldn't you say?
22:10 June 17, 2011 by whpmgr
Fom another story on Plageurizing:

OK, so we have a majority here saying Plageurizing is a crime, anyone convicted of it should lose their job, lose their title, maybe go to prison. We see that majority say that plageurizing is a sign of deceit, and that if you would do that, you would do anything. We see oft, above, that if you think the punishment of Guttenberg was too harsh, you are also prone to be a deceitful liar yourself and that you probably bugger sheep (I just added that for fun).

I wonder, why so much thought behind all of this? Why so much anger? Why do you all care so much? How many liberal or Green politicians are guilty of the same but no one is looking into them? If two did it, it is probable that many others have too. Hell, I needed a Thesis fro my Master's. That took long enough and was hard enough as it was. So how many in germany have a master's via plageurism?

Better get the detectives going and find the rest. Teh fact is, you can bet your life several are guilty of it. Why isnt some paper, FAz not looking into everyone of them? WHY? because it would find that my assertion is true. It woul,d mean the end of a bunch of politicians, and liberals are more prone to dishonesty than conservatives, because the mantra of the liberal left is that ends justifies the means. Shut down the entire government. If you can't stand for a conservative to do it, why not look at everyone? Because no one cares if it is their candidate, only if it is a successful candidate of the other side.

Baffoons, fools. Look into the problem and see how deep the river actually is. What is your next step when half or more of the politicians have to quit? Where will you get the next Honest candidate with integrity?
05:49 June 18, 2011 by belladons
I agree with the majority of the comments posted. I, for one, will never trust a politician. Politicians are supposed to set the example of fine leadership. They are to protect the security of the nation and people they represent. Most of all, they are to acquire the opportunity for the people to prosper and protect that too. Instead, what do we read in the media, the exact opposite. The immoral political figure must, and I repeat, must not represent the people. People must cease voting for these types. In most cases, they do nothing for the people except throw them under the bus.
09:31 June 18, 2011 by Englishted
whpmgr just look at the percentage of people who do not bother to vote in the U.K. and U.S. ,so clearly that is not working for them is it.
10:08 June 18, 2011 by twisted
I suspect that the lower percentage number for politicians is not necessary caused by the plagiarism scandals but more by what we conceive as general dishonesty. Once a politicians gains office, staying there is of the utmost importance to that person so telling the public what they want to hear is one way to convince the voter that he or she is the right person for the job. However, after the election, things become different. Then the politicians tend to vote the way big business and money tells them to vote. One writer used the word ¦quot;electioneering,¦quot; which is absolutely correct.
16:07 June 18, 2011 by ChrisRea

I believe you are quite wrong - many German politicians have now their dissertations checked, including the liberals (you sound like you missed the article about Ms. Koch-Mehrin, even if you commented on it). If you would care to follow the German language press, you will see that they use VroniPlag (http://de.vroniplag.wikia.com/wiki/Home) to find which other politicians do this.

"the mantra of the liberal left is that ends justifies the means" - really? What is the basis of your statement? Show me one liberal leftist politician that is consequentialist and I will show you two conservative politicians that fall into the same category.

Using your metaphor, the river is quite deep. Plagiarism is not to be found with politicians, but also current students and, quite tragically, within the professorial body. But instead of accepting the status quo (treat plagiarists like they did a good thing), I would applaud everyone who points out plagiarism and make the guilty party pay for their guilt. If we want our offsprings to live in a better world, we better do the first step of a 1000 km-long path.
00:18 June 21, 2011 by whpmgr
ChrisRea, Hey I love your music,,,LOL. If you are expecting the world to make your children better, more honest and that their fate lies in tehhonesty of your politicians, you are the one in need of a rehab. We, the parents, need to raise our kids. Teach them not to lie and cheat, not to steal, to believe in a higher belief and to raise them to know the difference. It is too late to expect them to have teachers and everyone else they come into contact with to be above board with their selves.

I mean to say that you give the base of morality to yoru kids. NOt the teacher in school. You stay involved and engaged in their lives. If you have to make them mad at you, so what. Yo are not their friend but their parent. In teh end they will love you for being there, guiding them. Teachers, politicians, friends, they all try to make kids be more like them and there is no real way to know what the real them is like until you catch them at something. Punish the guilty, ok. A liberal is truly the antithesis of good moral judgement. They are the light at the end of the Soddom and Gamorrah tunnel. They are teh true image of the feel good world and not the step over this line and feel the pain world of keeping things in the norms.

We need liberals to help slowly change the world but we do not need a majority of them as they would change everything and forget that some things should not be changed. there needs to be a balance.

You believe I am quite wrong, I respect that. I enjoy the ability for all good people to come together and discuss their feelings and beliefs.

Above it is mentioned that the majority of people do not vote. They dont out of apathy, feeling of inability to make a difference, many reasons. But by not voting the non-voters are playing into the hands of those that benefit of the bad guys. Why dont teachers tell people to vote, not try to tell kids who to vote for (kids 18 and up), just how important it is to vote. In the US teachers try to indoctrinate the students from the time they are very yong. Telling them who is the best candidate, not why, just who to vote or how to vote on issues. they are liberals and they are evil in how they go about trying to change the constitution and the laws.

So I am not wrong, I am a witness and I teach my son. I educate him on moral values, and I will not worry about him learning them from a corrupt society. I will try to tell him to make good choices, to research before making a decision, and then hope he will always dohis best. Changing the world one person at a time- it comes from within.
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