Thursday , 22 October 2020


U.S. Designated A “Flawed” Democracy – Ranks 25th; Canada Ranks 7th – Here’s Why

The Democracy Index, as reported below, measures the state of democracy in 167 countries…[It] is based on 60 indicators grouped in 5 different categories, measuring pluralismcivil liberties and political culture….[and] categorizes each country in one of 4 regime types: full democraciesflawed democracieshybrid regimes and authoritarian regimes.

Source

Full democracies are nations where civil liberties and fundamental political freedoms are not only respected but also reinforced by a political culture conducive to the thriving of democratic principles. These nations have:

  • a valid system of governmental checks and balances,
  • an independent judiciary whose decisions are enforced,
  • governments that function adequately,
  • diverse and independent media [and]…
  • only limited problems in democratic functioning.

Flawed democracies are nations where elections are fair and free and basic civil liberties are honoured but may have issues (e.g. media freedom infringement and minor suppression of political opposition and critics). These nations have significant faults in other democratic aspects, including:

  • underdeveloped political culture,
  • low levels of participation in politics,
  • and issues in the functioning of governance.

In 2016, the United States was downgraded from a full democracy to a flawed democracy; its score, which had been declining for some years, crossed the threshold from 8.05 in 2015 to 7.98 in 2016. The report states that this was caused by a myriad of factors dating back to at least the late 1960s which have eroded Americans’ trust in governmental institutions

Hybrid regimes are nations with regular electoral frauds, preventing them from being fair and free democracy. These nations commonly have:

  • governments that apply pressure on political opposition,
  • non-independent judiciaries,
  • widespread corruption,
  • harassment and pressure placed on the media,
  • anemic rule of law,
  • and more pronounced faults than flawed democracies in the realms of:
    • underdeveloped political culture,
    • low levels of participation in politics,
    • and issues in the functioning of governance.

Authoritarian regimes are nations where political pluralism has vanished or is extremely limited. These nations:

  • are often absolute monarchies or  dictatorships,
  • may have some conventional institutions of democracy but with meagre significance,
  • infringements and abuses of civil liberties are commonplace,
  • elections (if they take place) are not fair and free,
  • the media is often state-owned or controlled by groups associated with the ruling regime,
  • the judiciary is not independent,
  • and omnipresent censorship and suppression of governmental criticism.

The Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index map for 2019

 
Rank Country Score Electoral process
and pluralism
Functio­ning of
govern­ment
Political
partici­pation
Political
culture
Civil
liberties
Regime
type
Region[n 1] Changes from
last year
1  Norway 9.87 10.00 9.64 10.00 10.00 9.71 Full democracy Western Europe Score: Steady
Rank: Steady
2  Iceland 9.58 10.00 9.29 8.89 10.00 9.71 Full democracy Western Europe
3  Sweden 9.39 9.58 9.64 8.33 10.00 9.41 Full democracy Western Europe
4  New Zealand 9.26 10.00 9.29 8.89 8.13 10.00 Full democracy Asia & Australasia
5  Finland 9.25 10.00 8.93 8.89 8.75 9.71 Full democracy Western Europe Score: Increase 0.11
Rank: Increase 3
6  Ireland 9.24 10.00 7.86 8.33 10.00 10.00 Full democracy Western Europe Score: Increase 0.09
Rank: Steady
7  Denmark 9.22 10.00 9.29 8.33 9.38 9.12 Full democracy Western Europe Score: Steady
Rank: Decrease 2
 Canada 9.22 9.58 9.64 7.78 9.38 9.71 Full democracy North America Score: Increase 0.07
Rank: Decrease 1
9  Australia 9.09 10.00 8.93 7.78 8.75 10.00 Full democracy Asia & Australasia Score: Steady
Rank: Steady
10   Switzerland 9.03 9.58 9.29 7.78 9.38 9.12 Full democracy Western Europe
11  Netherlands 9.01 9.58 9.29 8.33 8.75 9.12 Full democracy Western Europe Score: Increase 0.12
Rank: Steady
12  Luxembourg 8.81 10.00 8.93 6.67 8.75 9.71 Full democracy Western Europe Score: Steady
Rank: Steady
13  Germany 8.68 9.58 8.57 8.33 7.50 9.41 Full democracy Western Europe
14  United Kingdom 8.52 9.58 7.50 8.89 7.50 9.12 Full democracy Western Europe Score: Decrease 0.01
Rank: Steady
15  Uruguay 8.38 10.00 8.57 6.11 7.50 9.71 Full democracy Latin America Score: Steady
Rank: Steady
16  Austria 8.29 9.58 7.86 8.33 6.88 8.82 Full democracy Western Europe Score: Steady
Rank: Steady
 Spain 8.29 9.58 7.14 7.78 8.13 8.82 Full democracy Western Europe Score: Increase 0.11
Rank: Increase 3
18  Mauritius 8.22 9.17 8.21 5.56 8.75 9.41 Full democracy Sub-Saharan Africa Score: Steady
Rank: Decrease 1
19  Costa Rica 8.13 9.58 7.50 6.67 7.50 9.41 Full democracy Latin America Score: Increase 0.06
Rank: Increase 1
20  France 8.12 9.58 7.86 7.78 6.88 8.53 Full democracy Western Europe Score: Increase 0.32
Rank: Increase 9
21  Chile 8.08 9.58 8.57 5.00 8.13 9.12 Full democracy Latin America Score: Increase 0.11
Rank: Increase 2
22  Portugal 8.03 9.58 7.86 6.11 7.50 9.12 Full democracy Western Europe Score: Increase 0.19
Rank: Increase 5
23  South Korea 8.00 9.17 7.86 7.22 7.50 8.24 Flawed democracy Asia & Australasia Score: Steady
Rank: Decrease 2
24  Japan 7.99 8.75 8.21 6.67 7.50 8.82 Flawed democracy Asia & Australasia
25  United States 7.96 9.17 7.14 7.78 7.50 8.24 Flawed democracy North America Score: Steady
Rank: Steady