Never trust a politician? Collective distrust, relational accountability, and voter response
We argue that the politician-versus-citizen distrust depends on a failure of relational accountability, citizens’ lacking trust in politicians’ shared intentions. Politicians have a goal to get and maintain power, and voters have a goal to elect politicians who will represent their interests and adopt competent policies. Knowing for sure only that a candidate wants to win power, voters must infer whether the candidate genuinely cares about anything else, and, if so, represents their long-term shared interests. Apparently most politicians consistently fail on this dimension.