A survey on just how free people are to enjoy classic civil liberties — freedom of speech, religion, individual economic choice, and association and assembly — has revealed that Canada ranks 6th out of 152 countries and jurisdictions while the U.S. is a distant 20th. Why does Canada rank higher than the United States, a country often referred to as the ‘Land of Liberty’? Guess which countries ranked in the top 5? Where does your country rank?
The survey, using 76 indicators, was compiled by Canada’s Fraser Institute and public-policy think-tanks in Germany (Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom) and the United States (Cato Institute) and is called The Human Freedom Index and is available as a free PDF download at www.fraserinstitute.org.
Below are some of the highlights.
Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous Chinese territory, tops the rankings followed by Switzerland, Finland, Denmark and New Zealand rounding out the top five.
The least free country in the index is Iran. The Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Zimbabwe and Yemen round out the bottom five.
According to the data, Canada scores well on security and safety, the rule of law and economic freedom which is based on personal choice, trade openness, freedom to compete, security of private property and judicial independence.
The data points to a “significant weakening of the rule of law” and an erosion of property rights and “an expansion of quasi-judicial regulations” over time.
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