Democracia e felicidade

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Lendo esporaticamente um artigo na Foreign Policy, descobri uma pesquisa que associa democracia com felicidade - e convenhamos, não é uma análise que vemos todos os dias por aí... Eu que já gosto do tema, achei a pesquisa deveras interessante e compartilho alguns trechos:
Studies of what makes people happy have found that employment and low inflation are two key factors, but until now there has been no research on the effect of democracy. In the first systematic empirical analysis of the effect of different political systems on happiness, Professors Bruno Frey and Alois Stutzer show that the more extensive the political participation rights of citizens, the more satisfied they are with their lives.

Because constitutional arrangements are fairly stable over time, analyses of the effect of political institutions on happiness have to be carried out on different constitutions at one moment in time.

There are two possible reasons why a higher degree of direct democracy may raise individuals' sense of well-being. First, due to the more active role of citizens, politicians are better monitored and controlled, and government decisions are subsequently closer to the wishes of the people. Second, the institutions of direct democracy extend the opportunities to get involved in the political process. Experimental evidence suggests that people value this procedural effect in addition to the actual outcome of the activity.

The degree of happiness attributed to these people is based on their answers to the following question: How satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days? The respondents could choose from a 10-point scale of predetermined answers that ranged from 'completely satisfied' to 'completely dissatisfied'. According to psychologists, the responses to such questions correspond well to reallife manifestations of personal well-being such as frequent smiling and successful social interactions.

Happiness not only depends on economic factors but also on how well developed democracy is. The study's main finding establishes political participation as an important determinant of citizens' well-being.

Democracy should not only be favoured because it forces politicians to obey citizens' wishes, but also because people value the possibility of engaging in the political process.

Concluímos, assim, quão preciosa é a cidadania plena por meio da democracia! ;)