It's an interesting paradox that ordinary people asked to choose the best form of government don't necessarily choose democracy — the only form structured around how they feel about such questions. A 38-country survey published by Pew Research Center on Monday shows most people the world prefer a technocracy, with a minority favoring a type of military or civilian authoritarianism.
Pew asked 41,953 people earlier this year to judge if five forms of government — representative democracy, direct democracy, or rule by either experts, a strong leader or the military — would, in their opinion, be good for their country. More than three-quarters said they liked representative democracy and two-thirds praised direct voting; none of the other options won an overall majority in the 38 countries. That should be enough to satisfy a pro-democracy optimist. The data, however, are more complex.
Discarding the direct democracy option, Pew classified respondents as those committed to representative democracy (those who only support this type of government), those who are positive about at least one other type and those who only support a non-democratic option or two. Sweden turned out to be the only country with a majority — 52 percent — strongly committed to representative democracy.