Slowly Growing or Stunted? How Delivery of Electoral, Political and Economic Goods Impacts Support for Democracy in Uganda

Ugandans continue to prefer democracy over any other form of government, but they are also increasingly dissatisfied with the way their democracy is working. While preference for democracy has been increasing, the increase is characterized by non-uniformity, as each increase before and during a general election period is followed by a decrease after the election cycle. During the period 2000-2017, popular satisfaction with the way democracy works in Uganda has steadily declined, and the gap between preference for and satisfaction with democracy has continued to grow. This growth in the democracy satisfaction gap is related to a drop in support for democratic values such as the rule of law, freedom of the press, parliamentary oversight, multipartyism, and freedom of association. A corresponding drop is observed in perceived quality of elections, especially declining trust in the electoral commission, perceived freedom and fairness of the last national election, and freedom of association, along with increases in fear of violence and in having to be careful about what one says and how one votes.