Friday, September 28, 2007

How democratic are we?

The Economist, together with the Economist Intelligence Unit, published today the Democracy Index by countries 2006.
Of the bloggers on this blog, the Netherlands ranks 3, Australia ranks 8, Greece ranks 22 (all so called 'full democracies'), Italy ranks 34 (a so called 'flawed democracy'), Turkey ranks 88, Armenia ranks 110 (both so called 'Hybrid regimes') and UAE-Dubai ranks 150 (so called 'authoritarian regime'). The last on the list is North Korea which ranks 167.
Interesting to see that all the 'old EU countries' (before 2004) are full democracies except Italy, which is considered as a flawed democracy like Cyprus and some other newcomers in the EU.
Also, a country, the USA, which calls itself the oldest democracy (wrong, that is Iceland) ranks only 17. Turkey ranks regarding 'Economical freedom' badly, and regarding 'press freedom' it got the stamp: 'difficult situation'. Armenia ranks overall bad.
Read the report here, scroll down the page where you can download the ranking.


Murat Hayri said...

Well, the Economist has been wrong about Turkey on so many other occasions, I wonder how serious we should take it. Economist's Turkey correspondent has been Amberin Zaman for the last decade and so. Zaman's sympathies sided with PKK for long. Before Zaman, Economist's Turkey correspondent was Hugh Pope, who was a much more balanced and informed journalist.

Regarding to this "hybrid democracy" business, a lot scores were a very vague, for example Turkey scores particularly low at "Political Culture" at 3.75, while Thailand which is currently governed by a military junta scores 5.63. Well, I could find so many other examples.

That is the problem with this omniscient and august surveys. Many times they fail as the surveys are skewed by the propensities of the publication.

Still, they are useful tools for propaganda for the parties who paid for the survey.

Hans said...

Of course this is only an indication. An independent one.
Thailand is under military rule since end of last year. This survey is over 2006.
Hugh Pope is indeed a more balanced journalist.

Anonymous said...

Maybe that's the reason why Milliyet yesterday was questioning Turkish prime minister's inclusion in the rountable of the 'Democracy in Action' conference of nations which have 'recently' embraced democracy.

I am not sure if Turkey is a democratic country in the 'true' sense of the word, or a republic. Can't be both!

Maybe 'hybrid' is the correct label in this case.

Anonymous said...

As for the USA, it is very much acknowledged and established that it is not a fully democratic country.

In a true democracy, the 51% majority has the right to rule over the 49% minority. In a republic, it is intended that even the 1% minority have civil and individual rights. Hence we (in the USA) have a collaboration of both.

And those who are trying to eradicate freedoms from the masses due to fear (created via terrorism, etc.) are using democracy (where we have a choice as to who 'we' elect as our servants, i mean leaders - is this really the case???) as a tool for totalitarianism and the ultimate goal of one world government and a super socialist state, where 'we' become enslaved.

Murat Hayri said...

Two points:
1) Nobody would lose his or her job for putting the Netherlands in the third place of such a survey. Like it or not, it is an inconsequential country in the larger scheme of things, while Turkey has a "reputation", which any journalist in the European press who wants to keep his job has to reckon with.

2) Such surveys are usually not all scientific. Scores for different factors are an expression of subjective judgments of those who prepare them.