In 2014, 5000 citizens were randomly selected from the electoral roll. 1435 of them returned a completed questionnaire.

What questions were asked?

Questions included:​

  • ​What does it take to be a good citizen? Always voting in elections? Never evading taxes? Being active in social or political associations? Helping people who are worse off than you?
  • ​Should religious extremists be allowed to hold public meetings? How about people who want to overthrow the government by force? People prejudiced against any racial or ethnic group?
  • ​Have you ever signed a petition? Took part in a demonstration? Donated or raised funds for a political activity? Expressed your political views on the internet?
  • ​How often do you use the media to get political news or information?
  • ​Do you belong to a politcal party? Trade union? Church? Sporting group?
  • ​How important is is that all citizens have an adequate standard of living? That citizens have the right not to vote? That healthcare is porvided for everyone?
  • ​Do you feel you have any say about what the government does?
  • ​Would you do anything if a law was being considered by parliament that you considered to be unjust or harmful? Do you think this would lead anywhere?
  • ​Can you trust the government to do what is right most of the time?
  • ​Do political parties give voters real policy choices? Do they encourage people to become active in politics?
  • ​Are referendums a good way to decide important political questions?
  • ​Are the elections in Australia fair and honest?
  • ​How committed is the public service? How widespread is corruption in the Australian public service?
  • ​How well is democracy working in Australia?​

Respondents were asked about belonging to groups or associations. Only 1% of respondents reported belonging and actively participating in a political party. 90% say they have never belonged to a political party. More than 80% of respondents belong, or have belonged to a sports, leisure or cultural group.

Almost all participants reported that they have, or would sign a petition. Over 53% of respondents report that they have not and would never express political views on the internet.

Access to further information and results from AuSSA 2014

A summary (codebook) of the results from the AuSSA 2014 is available to view in your web browser

AuSSA data is lodged in the public domain by its deposit in the Australian Data Archive (ADA) – AuSSA 2014 archive. The ADA provides online analysis tools for those with basic data analysis skills who wish to use AuSSA in their own research. In addition, the data file can be downloaded free of charge for your own further analysis.

For more information:

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