Turning Around The Trust Tanker: Three Clues On Getting Started

The first comes in Harold Clarke’s chapter, which looks at research into what people think of politician parties in general (rather than of one particular political party or another). Almost all of the negative associations are to do with trust. 41% say political parties don’t offer genuine choices, 58% say they aren’t straightforward about the real problems that exist, and a whopping 75% say parties don’t do the things they say they will once in office. Events like the 2009 expenses scandal or the Panama Papers may have doubtless exacerbated things, but Clarke’s chapter suggests that a huge reason for low political trust is a sense of democratic impotence among citizens, rather than a weariness with scandal or corruption. Consulting and engaging with citizens can play a key role in addressing this, giving citizens a stake in decisions, and providing transparent explanations when things go wrong.

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