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PostThe "Economist" Democracy Index 2021 (Richard Hancock, USA, 07/19/21 5:30 am)
The London Economist has done a study on Democracy in the world. In this 69-page study, the Economist has focused on how the world's nations stand in regard to democratic government. It has assigned a grade to each of these nations, with a score of ten being perfect and one being the lowest. The article characterizes nations as follows: 1. Full Democratic, 2. Flawed Democratic, 3. Hybrid regimes, and 4. Authoritarian.
In North America, Canada is given a grade of fully democratic (9.24) and the US is flawed (7.92). In Europe 13 nations are full, while 7 are flawed. In Latin America and the Caribbean, there 13 flawed nations, 5 hybrids and seven authoritarian nations. The lowest nations are Cuba with 2.84, Venezuela (2.76), and Nicaragua (3.60). The Latin American average is 6.09.
The first eight countries in the world with the highest fully democratic designation are as follows: Norway (9.81), Iceland (9.37), Sweden (9.26), Canada (9.24), New Zealand (9.25), Finland (9.20), Denmark (9.15), and Ireland (9.05). These nations have small, homogeneous populations that speak the same language and are mostly Christian. These matters allow them to work together easily. Canada might be an exception because of its size and considerable number of French speakers.
The hybrid nations face election irregularities that prevent elections from being free and fair. Corruption is widespread and the rule of law is weak. There is harassment of journalists, and the judiciary is not independent. Honduras and Bolivia represent this classification in the Western Hemisphere.
The authoritarian nations are widespread throughout Asia and Africa. North Korea is the lowest with a grade of 1.08. China has a rating of 2.27, while that of Russia is 3.31. In summary, out of 167 countries in the world, 57 are authoritarian, 35 are hybrid, 52 are flawed democracies and 23 are full democracies.
I wish to end this post by describing a trip that Nancy and our daughter Jennifer took to visit our daughter Susan, who lives in Lawrence, Kansas. Norman, Oklahoma, where we live, is like Lawrence because the two towns are each home to large state universities, respectively the University of Oklahoma in Norman and the University Kansas in Lawrence. The towns are similar in size as are the universities. Both are located on the great plains and have enjoyed great weather this year, a cool and rainy June and July. We traveled through green plains with thousands of cattle grazing on them. While we were in Lawrence, we stayed at our daughter Susan's house, which she recently purchased in Lawrence. It is located on a series of green hills next to a natural terrain with a walking path which we walked every morning of our stay.
In our conversation with Susan and her friends, there was no mention of national and worldly problems. We felt that we were living in the promised land where all could share in its abundance and happiness.
JE comments: Richard, wonderful to hear from you, and glad you've been blessed with good health and happy travels.
Several days ago our colleague José Ignacio Soler also discussed the Democracy Index. It serves up much food for thought--especially the Canada Factor. How can a nation so diverse and large, at least geographically, have achieved such a successful democracy? Another question/riddle: are nations "fully democratic" because they're rich, or are they rich because they're democratic?