|Wednesday, 19 December 2012|
|The Democracy Index 2011, compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, listed Norway as the most democratic nation in the world. The top 10 spots in this year’s index were occupied mostly by European countries. Following Norway were: Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Canada, Finland and the Netherlands.
The United States ranked 19th, down two spots from the 2010 listing. The United States’ 2011 ranking is below Canada (8th) and the United Kingdom (18th).
The United States also ranked below the Czech Republic (16th), a former Soviet communist satellite that did not become a democracy until 1989, and the South American nation of Uruguay (17th), a former right-wing dictatorship that did not return to democracy until 1984.
“In the US there has been continuing erosion of civil liberties in recent years related to the fight against terrorism,” the authors of the report stated.
France, Italy, Greece and Slovenia dropped from the “full democracies” category and are now considered “flawed democracies.”
The Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, how government functions, political participation by the public, and political culture. The analysts measured the level of democracy in 165 nations and two territories, “which account for almost the entire population of the world,” the Economist Intelligence Unit said in a release.
Read Time:1 Minute, 10 Second