Monday, November 13, 2006

Democracy Tables

An interesting idea has been to pool the results of surveys of different aspects of democracy- transparency, press freedom, corruption etc. to create a table ranking the level of democracy in different states.

Some very interesting results: Finland is number one, Myanmar (Burma) is bottom.

Inside the European Union Greece does not even make it into the first division and Italy only just makes it. Perhaps even more worryingly - Bulgaria is also in the second division, whereas Romania ranks in the third division even below Serbia.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The UK is still in the top ten despite our current government - is this because the system and culture has been strong enough to resist their repressive tendencies, they aren't actually that repressive after all, or that everyone else is getting more authoritarian as well?

rjdbham@aol.com said...

I'm a bit dubious. The UK is so high in terms of "democracy" yet we have an unelected upper chamber and a lower chamber elected by a bizarre First Past The Post that seriously distorts the relationship between votes and seats.

rk said...

I'm surprised rjbham that you consider the House of Lords and FPTP as compromising our democratic credentials when elsewhere on this blog you appear to argue that the quite good health service and alleged openness of the public in criticising their government are reasons to overlook Cuba’s appalling record on democracy.

Cicero said...

Notwithstanding the problems of our constitution, I think it is clear that there is still a basic fair play, but "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance".

However what bothers me is that we are *always* behind Scandinavia and New Zealand- I would hope we had a bit more ambition for our freedom.

rjdbham@aol.com said...

>>you appear to argue that the quite good health service and alleged openness of the public in criticising their government are reasons to overlook Cuba’s appalling record on democracy<<

I appear to you, RK, as doing that. My argument was, in fact, rather different to that.

I'd like PR in both the UK and Cuba.

rjdbham@aol.com said...

Maybe I can use this as an opportunity to plug some content on the Make Votes Count website. They have posted material from their fringe meetings at the party conferences.

Lib Dem: www.makemyvotecount.org.uk/opus25257.html
Labour: www.makemyvotecount.org.uk/opus25259.html
+ full audio (mp3) and transcript www.makemyvotecount.org.uk/opus25246.html
Conservative: www.makemyvotecount.org.uk/opus25277.html - including full
audio and transcript

rk said...

All I ask rjbham is that you retain a sense of perspective. Your support for the USSR and your refusal to label Cuba as a dictatorship are not entirely without logic in themselves but they sit uneasily with your purist attitude to democracy in the UK. To hold both views simultaneously requires you to overlook the enormous failings and democratic deficits of both communist systems, either that or a pathological bias against the British system.