A generational divide on freedom vs the law as Government urges people to not break the rules

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 13-May-20

Australians’ willingness to follow lockdown regulations and social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a key factor in our relatively low death toll from the disease. But new findings on generational divides over personal freedoms vs the law may indicate challenges ahead as the nation moves into the recovery phase. Roy Morgan’s latest findings show that while the vast majority of Australians don’t place personal freedoms ahead of the law, there is a major difference between generations. Overall, 24.7% of Australians agreed with the statement ‘Freedom is more important than the law’ in March, as the effects of the pandemic were starting to really be felt. But behind that average lies a big gap in attitudes across different ages. Among Pre-Boomers (born before 1946), fewer than 1 in 7 (13.6%) placed freedom ahead of the law, and among Baby Boomers (born 1946-1960) it was fewer than 1 in 6 (15.4%). But among Gen Z (born 1991-2006) more than 1 in 3 (35%) said freedom takes priority. Meanwhile, when asked to agree or disagree with the statement, ‘I don’t trust the current Australian government’, more than half (56.3%) agreed with it. This is fewer than those who felt that way at the height of the bushfire crises in January (59.9%) but is still above the five-year average for this sentiment (53.8%).


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