Israel Rated More Democratic Than the U.S., Spain, Italy, and South Africa – Amnesty Int’l Hardest Hit
EIU Democracy Index also says highly-rated Canada’s score fell a bit as support increased there for non-democratic rule by experts, citizens chafe at pandemic-related restrictions on freedoms, and trust in gov’t falls.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released its 2021 Democracy Index last week. That’s a week after Amnesty International released its report condemning Israel as an “apartheid” state and about a week before the UN appointed a committee to probe apartheid claims.
The report scores 167 countries according to how democratic they are, based on five criteria: (i) electoral process and pluralism, (ii) functioning of government, (iii) political participation, (iv) political culture, and (v) civil liberties.
The top scorer was Norway, followed by New Zealand and Finland. They were rated the most democratic countries.
At the bottom was Afghanistan at 167th. Myanmar (166th) and North Korea (165th) were rated second- and third-worst, respectively. Iran tied for the 154th spot, China was ranked 148th, and Russia came in at a comparatively liberal 124th. All of these bottom-feeders are classified as having “authoritarian” regimes.
And where was the “apartheid” state? Well, it ranked as the world’s 23rd most democratic nation, just below France (22nd) and just above Spain (24th), followed by Chile (25th) and – yes – the United States (26th). Portugal was ranked 28th, Italy ranked 31st, Belgium 36th, and so on. All – including the United States and France – were classified as “flawed democracies.”
With an overall score of 7.97, Israel scored highest in political participation (10 out of 10) and electoral process and pluralism (9.58 out of a possible 10). It scored least well in civil liberties (5.88), political culture (6.88), and functioning of government (7.5).
It had the highest ranking of any nation in the Middle East/North Africa. EIU downgraded both Tunisia and Lebanon, “two of the higher scorers in the region – with both countries’ political systems in turmoil.” Tunisia was downgraded from “flawed democracy” to “hybrid regime”, Lebanon from “hybrid regime” to “authoritarian regime.”
Turkey squeaked by ranked 103rd, near the bottom of the hybrid regimes.
Oh, and how did South Africa rate? It’s also classified as a flawed democracy, ranked 44th, 21 spots below Israel. Yes, EIU found the supposed “apartheid” state of Israel more democratic than the formerly apartheid South Africa.
The U.S. ranked 26th with an overall score of 7.85. It scored best in electoral process and pluralism (9.17), political participation (8.89) – remember that when you hear “voter suppression” charges, and civil liberties (8.53). It did least well in political culture (6.25) and government functioning (6.43).
Canada ranked significantly higher than the U.S. In 12th place, it was rated as a “full democracy.” Its overall score was 8.87. It rated highest in electoral process and pluralism (10), civil liberties (9.12), and political participation (8.89). Its scores were slightly weaker in political culture (8.13) and government functioning (8.21). The report comments:
Is Canada becoming more like America?
The sharp decline in the North America average score in 2021 was driven mainly by a deterioration in Canada, whose score fell by 0.37 points to 8.87. New survey data show a worrying trend of disaffection among Canada’s citizens with traditional democratic institutions and increased levels of support for non-democratic alternatives, such as rule by experts or the military. Canada’s citizens feel that they have little control over their lives, a sentiment that has been compounded by pandemic-related restrictions on individual freedoms. Canada’s worsening score raises questions about whether it might begin to suffer from some of the same afflictions as its US neighbour, such as extremely low levels of public trust in political parties and government institutions.
Given recent events in Canada – covered prominently by LIF – EIU’s observations seem prescient.
- Trudeau Reprimanded for Accusing Jewish, Conservative Party MP of Standing ‘With People Who Wave Swastikas’
- Parliament Jeers Prime Minister Trudeau During Speech About “Emergencies Act”
- Ottawa Police Chief Resigns Day After Trudeau Invokes Emergencies Act to Handle Freedom Convoy
- Trudeau Unleashes Terrorist Financing Rules on Freedom Convoy’s Crowdfunding and Cryptocurrency Funds
- Canada PM Justin Trudeau Invokes ‘Emergencies Act’ To Fight Trucker Freedom Convoys
- Ontario Premier Declares State of Emergency Over Freedom Convoy on Ambassador Bridge
This isn’t to say the index’s conclusions should be accepted at face value. The British-based Economist Intelligence Unit Limited is the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, sister company to The Economist newspaper. It is what passes for conservative in the UK, although it is politically-correct enough to include the non-existent state of “Palestine” in the index. Nevertheless, many of the EIU’s conclusions are credible.
“Palestine”, by the way, was ranked 109th and classified as “authoritarian”. Its overall score was 3.94. It scored best in political participation (8.33) and worst in government functioning (0.14). It received in-between scores for political culture (4.38), civil liberties (3.53), and electoral process and pluralism (3.33).
The government-functioning score, in particular, seems pretty on-target, given the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to do anything constructive for its people. If it were serious about wanting to build a Palestinian state rather than simply destroy and ultimately take over the Jewish state, the PA would engage in state-building such as resettling so-called refugees located in the West Bank, educating children in “refugee” camps who are currently being taught in UN-run schools, educating the children it does school for peace instead of war, building an economy, and negotiating a comprehensive peace agreement with Israel (let alone Hamas’ absolute refusal to do any of the above while attacking Israel as it uses its people as human shields, and steals donations given to rebuild civilian infrastructure to build terrorist infrastructure instead).
So, here’s to the Economist Intelligence Unit for being unafraid to sing out of a different hymnal than the anti-Israel crowd, and for calling Canada as they saw it.DONATE
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