In continuation of the research project launched by the Center for Strategic Studies in 1993, the CSS carried out an opinion poll on democracy in Jordan during the period April 8-18, 1995 over a representative sample of citizens comprising 2,000 individuals aged 19 years or older from all parts of Jordan.
The poll aimed to discern citizens’ views of democracy through questions on amendments to laws governing parliamentary elections, political parties, and press and publications, and asking them to evaluate the performance of the Lower House of Parliament elected in 1993. It also aimed to gather information on citizens’ views of and stands on political parties in general, and their position on the freedom of expression and of the press.
The results showed that the statistical mean for democracy was 4.83 on a scale of 10, compared to 4.6 in 1993, thus showing an improvement of 5%. The results showed that 44% of the respondents said that the current elections law is not considered a basic step, or that it is a basic step to a medium or low extent, in promoting democracy in Jordan. Of the total number of respondents, 43% said the Political Parties Law is not considered a basic step, or that it is a basic step to a medium or low extent, towards promoting democracy in Jordan, while 43% said that the new Press and Publications Law is considered a basic step to a great extent towards promoting democracy in Jordan.
The results also showed that 58.6% of the respondents were satisfied, to various degrees, with the achievements of the Lower House of Parliament. 43.1% of the respondents said the Lower House members did not carry out a sufficient role, to some extent, in following up negotiations with Israel, and 45.6% supported introducing amendments to the parliamentary elections law. On the proposed amendments to this law, 73.3% demanded increasing the number of seats in the 80-member House, to 100-120.
Regarding political parties, 39% said that the political parties’ performance in Jordan was not successful, or successful to a low extent. On the reasons for the failure of the political parties to carry out their role properly, 83% said that such failure was due to the fact that their platforms did not tackle fundamental issues of concern to citizens. The results of the poll also showed that 2.2% of the respondents were current or former members of political parties and that 1.9% intended to join political parties.