Survey reveals Far Northern voters' apathy with politicians
MORE than 40 per cent of respondents to a survey by The Cairns Post do not know the name of their divisional councillor, while more than a quarter were unaware who their state or federal members are.
The State of the Far North survey, which fielded more than 1000 responses, also reveals a high level of dissatisfaction in the performances of all tiers of government.
James Cook University's associate professor of political science Doug Hunt said he was not surprised by the findings.
Dr Hunt said the public's perception of elected representatives was unflattering, a sentiment largely fuelled by the State LNP Government and a Labor Federal Government.
"There's a real disengagement among a large proportion of the population with politics," he said.
"Despite the efforts by politicians to turn this around, it seems to be getting worse. There's a real distrust of the political process and this is unfortunate because it's not good for democracy."
About 40 per cent of respondents said they did not know the name of their divisional councillor, but 90 per cent were aware of their mayor's name.
More than a quarter were unaware who their state MP was, while almost a third did not know the name of their federal MP.
"Local politicians meet lots and lots of people but it's still going to be a small percentage of their electorate or division who know who they are," Dr Hunt said.
More than 60 per cent were either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the performance of the State Government.
"It reflects the general picture and statewide opinion polling that the Newman Government is not perceived very favourably," he said.
"It's mainly arisen from their slash-and-burn approach to the public sector. The Premier's (Campbell Newman) approval rating is in fairly dismal territory."
The Federal Government fared little better, while about 48 per cent were unhappy with their council.
When asked who they preferred as prime minister, more than 20 per cent opted for former PM Kevin Rudd, followed by Malcolm Turnbull (18.8 per cent). Opposition Leader Tony Abbott (17.5 per cent) and PM Julia Gillard (16.1 per cent) were least preferred. More than a quarter did not wantany of the four options.
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Leaders: Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott have not impressed voters in Far North Queensland.