73% of US lacks confidence in leaders


October 26, 2005 - 10:49AM

Seventy-three per cent of Americans lack confidence in their leaders and a majority believe the country would be better off with more women in power, according to a new survey.

The survey published by Harvard University's John F Kennedy School of Government and the US News & World Report, also showed 66 per cent of Americans believe the United States faces a leadership crisis.

The release of the poll comes as President George W Bush struggles to stem a slide in popularity caused by the slow federal response to Hurricane Katrina, the Iraq war and soaring petrol prices.

The nationwide telephone survey of 1,374 adults, taken from September 13 to September 23, covered all levels of US leaders - from the White House to congress and state and local governments.

It showed 65 per cent of Americans are upbeat about the future of the country's leadership and expect better leaders in the future.

The poll also showed 64 per cent believe the country would be better off if more women occupied leadership positions, and perhaps surprisingly more men than women believe this - 69 per cent to 61 per cent.

"It's a wake-up call to leaders who enter the public sector," said Todd Pittinsky, assistant professor of public policy at the Kennedy School.

The poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.8 per cent.

© 2005 AAP