Scary insight into One Nation voters
A NEW report has given a disturbing insight into the controversial views of One Nation supporters.
The Scanlon Foundation's Mapping Social Cohesion Report for 2017 shows the political party attracts the highest level of discontented voters, with many appearing to support the installation of a dictator in Australia.
However, the findings also show Australians continue to support immigration and cultural diversity despite significant demographic change over the last 10 years.
The report is the largest survey of its kind and has tracked people's views on immigration, multiculturalism, discrimination, political trust and other issues since 2007.
While there hasn't been a huge shift in views in the past year, report author Professor Andrew Markus of Monash University said there had been a noticeable downward trend in the past 10 years.
"Political leadership is scoring quite low, particularly compared to countries like Canada where there has been an upward trend," he told news.com.au.
"We are not seeing that in Australia, which leaves room for parties like One Nation to garner support from people who are critical of the system."
According to the survey, 37 per cent of One Nation supporters agree that "having a strong leader who does not have to bother with parliament" would be good for Australia.
A whopping 80 per cent of One Nation supporters think Australia's system of government "should be replaced" or "needs major change".
It seems they are also more likely to be concerned about the future.
Just over a third (about 35 per cent) of supporters are also "very pessimistic" about Australia's future - much higher than the 10 per cent or less who support Liberal, Labor or Greens parties.
More encouragingly, the number of Australians who believe the country's immigration intake is "too high" is only at 37 per cent.
Again the response varied widely among supporters of different political groups, with 86 per cent of One Nation voters suggesting it was too high compared to 10 per cent of Greens supporters.
Agreement that "multiculturalism has been good for Australia" remains in the high range of 83-86 per cent, where it has been since the Scanlon Foundation surveys began asking the question in 2013.
Notably, 63 per cent of respondents agree or strongly agree that "accepting immigrants from many different countries makes Australia stronger".
Overall the Scanlon Monash Index of social cohesion is at its lowest level since the survey began but this has not changed dramatically since 2013.
But the survey of 42,000 people has recorded some concerning shifts in other areas.
Only 75 per cent see Australia as a land of opportunity where hard work is rewarded. It used to be 81 per cent in 2007.
More people expect their lives to be worse in the next three or four years, with the percentage almost doubling from 11 per cent in 2007 to 19 per cent in 2017.
Racism also appears to be on the rise with 20 per cent of those surveyed saying they had been discriminated against on the basis of their skin colour, ethnic origin or religion. This used to be just 9 per cent.
Negative feelings towards Muslims have remained in the range of 22 per cent to 25 per cent since 2010.
Overall concern about the economy, along with issues such as unemployment and poverty, regularly tops the list of what Australians think is the most important problem facing the country.
This has not changed this year. It was followed by concerns the quality of government/politicians and immigration/population growth as the top three concerns.
Concern about housing shortages have increased but Prof Markus said this was not a huge jump. He noted worry about the environment had dropped significantly since 2011.