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Longest Uninterrupted Democracies

Name the countries that have been under some form of elected government since 1950.
This means no coups, juntas, dictatorships, absolute monarchies, or foreign occupations
Even if some portion of the population was subjugated
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: June 12, 2016
First submittedJune 7, 2016
Times taken22,791
Rating3.98
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Year
Country
1688
United Kingdom / England
1781
United States
1809
Sweden
1848
Switzerland
1862
Liechtenstein
1866
Andorra
1867
Canada
1901
Australia
1907
New Zealand
Year
Country
1910
South Africa
1917
Finland
1922
Ireland
1934
Mexico
1945
Belgium
1945
Denmark
1945
France
1945
Italy
1945
Luxembourg
Year
Country
1945
Monaco
1945
Netherlands
1945
Norway
1945
San Marino
1946
Iceland
1947
Sri Lanka
1948
Costa Rica
1948
Israel
+4
level ∞
Jun 7, 2016
Obviously this quiz is going to be controversial. I hope to make it as accurate is possible, so let me know what you think.
+4
level 70
Jun 7, 2016
I think there are different points of view of what democraty is. I did not do any reaserches about this list, but obviously there was not democraty in countries like South Africa, USA and others until racial was canceled.
+7
level 68
Aug 5, 2016
Democracy = demo-cracy. Rule of the people. So I would say that South Africa wouldn't count (most people couldn't vote), but the US would (most people could).
+1
level 62
Aug 5, 2016
If that's the way you think democracy should be, then the US shouldn't count until it abolished slavery, so yes both should count.
+1
level 55
Jul 29, 2018
To Dudi JG, in fact Athens was not a real democracy. Only male citizens could be picked to have political duties, and citizens were a small part of the city's whole population. The rest were either slaves or foreigners (metoikos), both statuses that you and your children would keep forever. No way to become a citizen apart being born as one of them. So it was more an aristocratic city-state (like Venice) than a real democracy...
+1
level 58
Jan 11, 2019
@Gamer1162 -- while African American suffrage was an incredibly important issue, in terms of raw numbers the dropping of property qualifications in the early-mid 1800s and the 19th Amendment expanded the suffrage more. (When the 15th Amendment extended suffrage to black males that was at most 7% of the US population.)
+1
level ∞
Jun 11, 2016
Yeah that's why I had to put the caveat "even if some portion of the population was subjugated".
+1
level 71
Mar 30, 2017
If that is the case then South Africa should be here too.
+2
level 26
Jul 30, 2018
south africa's there.
+3
level 39
Aug 5, 2016
Well I think you did a pretty good job.
+2
level 31
Aug 9, 2016
Yes, me too. A good quiz.
+2
level 52
Jul 29, 2018
I think the term should be republics as democracy is a bit misleading and not really the type of government for most of these nations. In my opinion I would eliminate any nation that still has a monarch. The UK is still technically a Constitutional Monarchy under Elizabeth II. Australia, New Zealand and Canada would also fall under this as E II is their official head of state. I would still include them on this list as it is only their membership in the British Commonwealth that ties them to the UK. Countries like Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands all still have 'ruling' monarchs. An interesting idea for a quiz nonetheless.
+1
level 25
Jul 29, 2018
But the Queen doesn't get to say or do anything to our decisions as the Public. She was overthrown from that ages ago. Plus, a large majority of British Citizens don't want a Monarch in charge and agree that Politicians are somewhat the correct way. It still may be a "Constitutional Monarch" but the Queen is less important and has less say in what we public do now.
+3
level 64
Nov 28, 2018
Separation of state and government. The UK's government is democratically elected, and the state is a figurehead that basically looks pretty. In all but a very minor technicality, the UK is a parliamentary democracy.
+2
level 55
Jul 29, 2018
I'm a political science teacher among other subjects. I wouldn't define democracy like you do, based on the fact there is an elected government. You assume that even if a part of the population was subjugated, if there was a government elected by some other people, it was a democracy. So, South Africa during apartheid had a government elected by a small minority of its people (the whites), so according to you it was a democracy even if colored people didn't have almost any rights in that country. Democracy involves equality. Many of the countries listed didn't grant equality to all their people since the dates you gave.
+1
level 68
Jul 31, 2018
You can amend the USA until at least 1865 then (maybe even 1965 if you include voting for blacks everywhere). The UK would be 1918 for full male suffrage and 1928 for universal suffrage.
+7
level 78
Jun 7, 2016
I wouldn't say South Africa was a democracy for a majority of the 20th century.
+3
level 71
Jan 30, 2017
It was for white people. So it does qualify as a democracy.
+2
level 68
Nov 28, 2018
says you.
+2
level 77
Jun 7, 2016
"no . . . foreign occupations"? Well, San Marino was occupied by the Germans for a period in 1944 and was occupied by the Allies for a short period after the German surrender. (Wikipedia) Also, the Sammarinese Fascist Party apparently banned all other parties in 1926; do you really want to call that a democracy?
+2
level ∞
Jun 11, 2016
I'm not sure the San Marino occupation was long enough to count. However, I didn't know about the fascist government. San Marino has been removed.
+1
level 71
Jun 12, 2016
i dont know details about the san marino fascist party but i guess san marino can be put back with 1945 or so, at least
+2
level ∞
Jun 12, 2016
D'oh. Fixed!
+1
level 73
Jun 7, 2016
I don't care about all of the nitpicking when it comes to "uninterrupted". I'm more bothered with the fact that Mexico is out of order.
+1
level ∞
Jun 11, 2016
Fixed. :)
+1
level 71
Jun 7, 2016
How is India considered? I guess its splitting doesnt make things easy
+2
level 78
Jun 8, 2016
I think India is considered to be a democracy since 1950 (the date of their Constitution). I was also wondering about Austria, but it has been occupied by the Allies until 1955. So, both are democracies, but not among the longest...
+1
level ∞
Jun 11, 2016
The occupation of Austria ended in 1955. India is not eligible because of this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emergency_(India)

+2
level 71
Jun 13, 2016
I'm no expert so I may well be wrong but looks to me like if India is excluded because of that then so should be South Africa, maybe Sri Lanka because of civil war etc. Either way I guess it's not easy to draw a line
+2
level ∞
Jun 13, 2016
You're right that it's hard to draw a line. But South Africa and Sri Lanka never had a coup or cancelled election, as far as I know. Even if the elections were restricted to a minority of voters, it is still "some form of democracy".
+4
level 65
Aug 6, 2016
Aat Quizmaster: if you think that having elections counts, no matter if the elections were restricted to minority of voters, than you should know that every communist country had elections, which were not restricted to minority of voters and some of those countries (like GDR, North Korea, China, Poland...) had more than one party running at those elections. So, my question is why are you ruling those countries out, but still leaving the country in which you were allowed to vote on the basis of your skin color!!!!! So, to put it as short as possible: SA WAS NOT A DEMOCRACY! (Yes, I'am shouting)
+2
level 62
Aug 7, 2016
@olafus The reason why those countries you mentioned are excluded is because they were dictatorships, and Poland did have a dictator in 1981-1990 (Wojciech Jaruzelski), so your examples don't really work. Now South Africa never had cancelled elections, coups, an actual dictator or any of the things said in the caveats of the quiz. As I've said before, so what you're basically saying is that the US shouldn't be at 1781, instead until after the abolishment of slavery. Where's the whining for the US being in 1781 and not until after the abolishment of slavery? I honestly think the rage at QM for including South Africa has been quite ridiculous
+2
level 57
Aug 8, 2016
The emergency was not a coup. Democracy, technically, was not interrupted.
+2
level 61
Apr 8, 2017
If South Africa is out, then US and Canada should be too. US didn't allow black people to vote until the 1960's and Canada didn't allow Aboriginals to vote until this time too. However, women weren't allowed to vote until the 20th century so if you set those restrictions then no country was democratic until then.
+1
level 41
Jul 29, 2018
It's a wrong assertion. Though Emergency is a dark period in the modern history of India, it was promulgated as per the Constitutional provisions as drafted by the Constituent Assembly. So, it was a legal feature of the Indian republic, declared by the President on the suggestion of the PM and her Cabinet.
+1
level 51
Aug 1, 2018
When it comes to the occupations of countries like Austria and Japan after World War II, I think it actually might make more sense to keep them on the list. The occupations acted more like transitions to democracy. The first Austrian elections occurred in 1945 and the Japanese had their first elections in 1947. As well, democratic processes like the protection of civil liberties were also re-instated; although both cases walk a thin line.
+2
level 77
Jun 8, 2016
I realize that there are many levels of democratic freedom, but I would argue that the government in England that resulted from the Revolution of 1688 is a far cry from qualifying as democratic.
+4
level 45
Aug 5, 2016
That's looking at it from today's viewpoint, at the time though it can be argued that it was one of the most democratic country's in Europe. Although large portions of the population still could not vote the fact that some could and common men could enter parliament at a time of absolute monarchies means that it absolutely qualifies as democratic.
+4
level 67
Aug 5, 2016
I cannot go along with South Africa being a 'democracy' since 1910. Anyone who has lived and worked in South Africa during apartheid knows that for the majority of people it was not a 'democracy'. I find their inclusion ridiculous.
+5
level 59
Aug 5, 2016
"Democracy" and "universal suffrage" are not synonymous. It's a very recent idea (within the last century) that the democratic vote should be extended to all adults without qualification. The apartheid system was absolutely racist and authoritarian. Nevertheless, it was also a stable democracy where sovereignty rested with the electorate, even if that electorate was heavily restricted based on race.
+2
level 68
Aug 5, 2016
The Oxford Concise Dictionary defines democracy thus: " 1.a system of government by the whole population, usu. through elected representatives.2 a classless and tolerant form of government. The racist dictatorship in South Africa was not stable as it was under constant attack from organisations representing the oppressed majority as well as the international community.
+2
level 64
Aug 5, 2016
Frankly that's a lousy definition of democracy as an implemented form of government, as it would fail to describe the original state of democracy in Athens, or the fledgling democracies set up in the UK, USA or virtually anywhere that democracy takes root. All the "ancient" democracies restricted voting in some way until civil movements pushed to make suffrage more inclusive. Suffrage =/= democracy. Democracy simply states that the leadership is elected rather than hereditary, appointed or seized through force.
+1
level 75
Jul 1, 2018
The definition as "the whole population" means there are no democracies in the world. In what country can all children, criminals and illegal immigrants vote? Utterly horrible definition.
+2
level 77
Aug 5, 2016
The US Constitution is also the single oldest, living, surviving national constitution in the world.
+10
level 70
Aug 6, 2017
It may be the oldest surviving written constitution. It is a long long way from being the oldest surviving constitution.
+4
level 77
Feb 14, 2018
huh? so.... there are some countries in the world that have a Constitution that survives by oral tradition?? What are you talking about? How does this comment get 3 likes? People will like *anything* that helps assuage their inferiority complex by diminishing the source of said complex.
+2
level 77
Feb 14, 2018
The one word you should have honed in on, if you were going to pick one to be a pedant about, should have been "living." Not "written." The US Constitution is not the oldest in the world if you include ones that are no longer being updated and currently in use.
+5
level 58
Jul 29, 2018
The UK is often described as having "no written constitution", but what it actually means is that the elements of law that would usually be all in one place or one act (the "Constitution") is spread across different laws. The Magna Carta was effectively a constitution by another name and while the vast majority of it is now repealed there are still some parts of it that are part of British law. This makes it, by some definitions, a living national constitution older than the US one. However, most of what is in many countries' constitutions is spread through different laws in the UK such as the Human Rights Act. The reason why this is the case is that the UK wasn't created by a single revolution and so the constitution has come into place over time. The phrase "written constitution" is idiomatic in this instance and it is not meant to be opposed to a constitution passed down through the "oral tradition". This is nothing to do with anyone's inferiority complex, it is a valid description.
+3
level 70
Jul 30, 2018
As TWM says the English/British constitution is described as 'unwritten' because it comes from a range of written sources including Magna Carta, the Provisions of Oxford, the Bill of Rights - but also because it relies on more elusive provisions called 'conventions' to support it. If you want to know more, read a bit of Bagehot. It is a shame that some people trigger at any sort of perceived slight of their own country without finding out more first. Learning new things is what Jetpunk is all about.
+1
level 66
Aug 1, 2018
Actually, to be REALLY pedantic: the oldest Constitution still in effect today is the state Constitution of Massachusetts, which was enacted in 1780, making it 7 years older than the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. has the oldest NATIONAL Constitution that continues to be in effect.
+1
level 70
Aug 1, 2018
Which suggests that you haven't read the above. There are parts of the (fully effective) UK constitution which predate that by more than 560 years.
+1
level 77
Nov 28, 2018
I said national. What I wrote was accurate.
+2
level 58
Nov 29, 2018
No it wasn't.
+1
level 58
Nov 29, 2018
It is the constitution of the UK. The UK is a nation (and a sovereign state). Even if you count the union between England and Scotland as a point of discontinuity (which it really isn't, as some of the English constitution became the UK constitution), the British constitution has been around since 1706. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_the_United_Kingdom

Just because it isn't all written down in one place, and just because it is easier to change than the US consitution, that doesn't mean it isn't a constitution. I would be interested to know whether you think the UK has a constitution, and if so, how old it is.
+1
level 77
Mar 16, 2019
Politifact weighs in on my side. I think the case they lay out is pretty clear. The Magna Carta doesn't count, and the UK does not have a Constitution the way most would define it. But okay, fine, oldest surviving *written* Constitution. Pardon me for not being aware of the ethereal ones that nobody bothered to write down. I wasn't aware of the claim, and I believe they're spurious. But, my mistake.
+1
level 58
Mar 26, 2019
It depends on how you define a constitution. I think the argument that the UK doesn't have a constitution is potentially valid, but I was just trying to point out that it is frequently described as having one. I think the reason the UK doesn't have what would be described in modern times as a constitution is that when the country was being constituted (i.e. what defined it was being established) the idea hasn't arisen yet. The effects of this to this day are that it is easier than in other countries to change the fundamental basis on which the country's political system runs, for example the Fixed Term Parliament Act and the Succession to the Throne Act, both passed within the last fifteen years.
+1
level 77
Jul 17, 2019
Yeah I see the point you were making and thanks for bringing it to my attention, while still disagreeing. It would be like if I said I had written a book 20 years ago and then when asked to present it claimed that it was all in my head and still undergoing revision.
+3
level 58
Aug 5, 2016
South Africa under apartheid!? You're joking, right?
+1
level 62
Aug 5, 2016
No, he's not joking
+2
level 68
Aug 6, 2016
Either he's joking, or he's a racist who's invented a new definition of democracy to give some justification for the horrific dictatorship that was apartheid South Africa
+2
level 62
Aug 6, 2016
Racist?! I think that's a little extreme, don't you think? Sure apartheid South Africa was very horrible and what not, but it was a democracy, just not for everyone. According to what you're saying, the US should be moved until after they abolished slavery. Now that seems a little ridiculous. Heck, to make it more ridiculous, the US should be put in 1920 when they gave women the right to vote. And every country should be put when they gave women the right to vote and abolished slavery. Which then makes this quiz quite ridiculous.
+2
level 70
Aug 6, 2017
if S Africa goes, presumably so does the USA until the Voting Rights Act 1965?
+3
level 68
Aug 5, 2016
Outrageous that South Africa is called a "democracy". Even in 1910 the ruling white elite were less than 20% of the population. "Even if some portion of the population was subjugated" is a pathetic attempt to cover yourself. No definitition of democracy can accept that the majority has no political voice. Apartheid South Africa was one of the worst horrors od the 20the century. Shame on you!
+2
level 62
Aug 5, 2016
It was still a democracy, it was limited to just a portion of the population, but it was still a democracy nevertheless.
+1
level 64
Aug 5, 2016
There is a difference between "democracy" and "Democracy". It is possible to have "democracy" and still be "un-Democratic".
+3
level 77
Aug 5, 2016
what a ridiculous (and incorrect) rant. Athenian democracy began by only enfranchising *male* land owners. The majority of the population in Athens (including many slaves) did not own land.
+3
level 68
Aug 6, 2016
Oxford concise dictionary's definition of democracy: 1 a system of governmentby the whole population usu; through elected representatives.2 A classless and tolerant form of society. 3 US The priniciples of the Democratic party. Lincoln defined it as government "Of the people, by the people and for the people.
+1
level 68
Aug 6, 2016
Most people who lived under apartheid would agree with me.
+4
level 77
Aug 6, 2016
Most people who lived under apartheid are not members of the English Academy of Policing Word Definitions.
+3
level 77
Aug 6, 2016
Definition number 1 when you just google the word:

a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.

keywords here: OR all *ELIGIBLE* members of a state.

So can you guys get off your high horse and shut up already?
+1
level 75
Jul 1, 2018
The majority (women, children, criminals, immigrants and racial groups) didn't have the vote anywhere until the 20th Century.
+1
level 80
Aug 5, 2016
How on earth does France qualify? They (very briefly) ousted their president in 1968.
+1
level 62
Aug 5, 2016
You just said it, briefly
+1
level 28
Aug 5, 2016
Shouldn't South Korea count?
+1
level 58
Jan 11, 2019
The 1961 coup definitely rules them out.
+6
level 70
Aug 5, 2016
Israel? Being occupied is a disqualifier, but being an occupier is OK? (Fill in "South Africa" from previous comments for essentially the same argument.)
+2
level 66
Aug 6, 2016
Fill in 'Israel' for 'South Africa' in the answers to those questions to get your reply. ;)
+3
level 77
Jun 12, 2018
Israel is a nation state like any other that declared its independence in 1948. That Muslims believe all Israeli land rightly belongs to them and only them doesn't change this. There was no Muslim state in existence there to occupy. Israel was founded on British Mandatory Palestine, which in turn was carved out of the Ottoman Empire. Neither the British nor the Ottomans have any claim or connection to the land at this point.
+1
level 45
Sep 7, 2019
Well being an occupier may not be OK, but no one is arguing for the removal of the other countries on there that have been occupiers (some of which still are), such as France, UK, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, USA, etc. Israel is a democratic nation, and has been since 1948. Just because it has committed wrongdoings doesn't change this.
+2
level 37
Aug 5, 2016
Good Quiz. Maybe a bit nit-picky here, but the United States is not a Democracy. Although it is a "form of elected government" our Constitution "guarantees to every state a Republican form of government". But, good quiz.
+2
level 54
Aug 5, 2016
All of those republican governments, as well as the federal government, are democratic as well.
+1
level 30
Aug 5, 2016
Correct JDWI
+2
level 77
Aug 6, 2016
Incorrect JDWI.

Democracy definition 1: a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.

Representatives are democratically elected. Then those people who participated in the election have representation in government via their elected representatives. This is a form of democracy. What you are thinking of is direct democracy with universal suffrage, which is a different thing.
+2
level 69
Aug 9, 2016
Sigh. The number of times I've seen this whole, "Well, technically the US isn't a democracy because--" "Technically, you're wrong. Be quiet."
+1
level 37
Aug 12, 2016
"Swing and a miss" for Kalbahamut! Not to get political on Jetpunk, but the United States FEDERAL GOVERNMENT is NOT a Democracy. The stuff you are referring to is state government level stuff AND the representatives of the States. Need Proof Kal? Article 4 Section 4 of the Constitution..."The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a REPUBLICAN form of government..." Pledge of Allegiance of the United States..."And to the REPUBLIC for which it stands..." When Mrs. Powell asked Benjamin Franklin what type of government they had created for the people, he replied, "A REPUBLIC Madam, if you can keep it." Want more? I have a lot more! But, like I said, Good Quiz!
+1
level 62
Aug 14, 2016
In reality, there is no true democratic country in the world. Heck, no communist country has been an actual communist country. If we go the way JDWI is saying, no country in this list is supposed to be on here. Which means this quiz wouldn't even exist. The belief of democracy is what exists.
+2
level 77
Aug 15, 2016
I don't make up the definitions of words, JDWI. And I'm sorry to bring this fact to your attention, but neither do you.
+1
level 37
Aug 29, 2016
Hey Kal, I know we don't make up definitions, that is what makes them facts and makes me FACTUALLY correct. Thank you.
+2
level 77
Feb 14, 2018
JDWI: I'm sorry that you are unable to understand this.
+2
level 46
Dec 4, 2017
I find the debate over whether the US is a democracy is like describing a banana without mentioning the colour. The US is without a doubt a republic, so is China, but rather than being a nasty shade of authoritarian brown it is a democratic yellow. A republic describes a system in which power is not hereditary, what Jefferson described as a 'republic' would now be considered a representative democracy.
+2
level 77
Feb 14, 2018
It's a democracy. It's not ambiguous.
+1
level 45
Oct 3, 2019
Certainly the USA is a democracy, but it is worth noting that non-republics can also be democracies, while republics can be dictatorships. All this obviously makes it very hard to decide where to draw the line, what counts as a democracy, and what does not. Personally, I think QM did a pretty good job of deciding with this quiz.
+1
level 48
Aug 5, 2016
Hi world
+1
level 62
Aug 5, 2016
Hello TheNewPotato
+4
level 30
Aug 5, 2016
The EU is a dictatorship and is undemocratic. Countries belonging to it should be removed
+4
level 59
Aug 6, 2016
And let me guess, Russia and China are democratic?
+7
level 77
Aug 6, 2016
There have been a lot of silly comments made here but this one is a strong contender for silliest.
+5
level 68
Aug 6, 2016
Members of EU countries elect their representatives. Opponents of the EU such UKIP's Nigel Farage and Front National's Marine Le Pen, have taken advantage of this institution's supposed undemocratic nature by becoming elected representatives themselves.
+1
level 35
Apr 9, 2018
Only for the EuroParl. There are many unelected positions. I'm not really anti-EU and its certainly not a dictatorship but it is rather undemocratic. It is known as the Democratic Deficit.
+2
level 45
Jul 31, 2018
But there are unelected positions in most democracies.
+1
level 49
Nov 23, 2017
do you get worried that immigrants are going to steal your job?
+1
level 45
Jul 30, 2018
The EU a dictatorship? This just might be one of the stupidest comments I have ever seen. The EU is also not undemocratic. In fact I would consider it to be one of the most democratic entities in the world.
+2
level 58
Jun 26, 2019
You must be joking! :D
+2
level 46
Aug 6, 2016
Any acceptable definition of democracy must include the idea of universal adult suffrage by secret ballot. Of course that is not enough in itself. A junta could fulfill that requirement but only allow it's own placemen on the ballot. Freedom of speech and of assembly and of the press must also be present. On these criteria, many countries on this list aught not to be there. Switzerland for example denied half it's population the vote until 1972 when women were belatedly enfranchised. This caveat can be applied to others on the list. Sexism. Including South Africa on this list is simply offensive. The world's first democracy was New Zealand not Athens.
+2
level 77
Aug 8, 2016
these comments are getting more ridiculous all the time.

For a democracy to function perfectly and actually be the wonderful form of government that we are often brainwashed into believing it should be, it must have ALL of the below: 1. a strong and binding but adaptive and flexible secular Constitution that includes safeguards for the rights of minorities. 2. a strong, independent, uncorruptible judiciary. 3. rule of law. 4. a free, independent, uncorruptible press. 5. freedom of speech, expression, assembley et cetera. 6. an educated, informed, engaged electorate.

By these standards, there have been roughly ZERO true democracies in human history.

except that... in order to be defined as a democracy you do not have to be the perfect idealized form of democracy that is impossible to achieve. Because that would be incredibly stupid. No, to be a democracy simply means enfranchised people vote either on legislation directly or on representatives. That's. It.
+2
level 60
Jan 6, 2017
even people in North Korea or other communist countries can vote. I am from the Czech Republic and we could vote as well during the communist era, only there was only one option and if you didn't vote you were in trouble. Democracy is a little more than that, I believe. I think that women's suffrage, apartheid etc. are quite good points, too
+2
level 77
Feb 14, 2018
I think people would argue that those elections are inconsequential or just a sham. If you go to the polls, and you have only one option, you're not really participating in government you are participating in political theater.
+1
level 55
Aug 6, 2016
Forgetting about South Africa for a moment; are there no long-standing democracies in Africa at all?
+1
level 62
Aug 7, 2016
No, most of them are or had dictatorships, one of them is an absolute monarchy, so pretty much none
+2
level 74
Dec 3, 2016
I think Botswana is the longest, having regular elections ever since independence in 1966.
+1
level 67
Jul 29, 2018
Not to mention large portions of Africa were occupied by European powers for a long time.
+2
level 45
Jul 30, 2018
Most of Africa was still under European colonisation before 1950.
+1
level 58
Jun 26, 2019
In fact before 1960.
+3
level 65
Aug 6, 2016
1) South Africa WAS NOT a democracy during apartheid!!!! 2) In Monaco the Prince APPOINTS The Council of Government at the proposal of the French Government - as far as I understand democracy, this is not quite democratic... 3) Since 2003 Liechtenstein amended its Constitution to allow the Prince to veto any legislation (at his will) how appoints the government, all of the judges etc. - again not quite democratic, if you ask me... So, I think you should change those entries, and this is without raising any questions about Israel, or Sri Lanka...
+2
level 62
Aug 7, 2016
1) South Africa was a democracy, just not for everyone. For 2 and 3, As long as they don't have cancelled elections, coups, or become absolute monarchies, then they fit the quiz. Democracy on this quiz just means that people are able to vote, no matter if some weren't allowed
+1
level 55
Aug 6, 2016
Sri Lanka but no India?
+1
level 62
Aug 7, 2016
Remember India's State of Emergency by Indira Gandhi, yeah that's why it's not in here
+2
level 68
Aug 6, 2016
Calling this quiz "longest uninterrupted democracies" was a terrible idea. Though the quiz master stated at the beginning that it was obviously going to be controversial so I guess s/he wanted to start arguments. Everyone knows democracy is good, and conveniently everyone can find a way of defining it to suit their own political view. East Germany was the German Democratic Republic; Margaret Thatcher called Pinochet a champion of democracy... I haven't stayed out of the debate, but it's probably better if quizzes avoid obvious controversy and stick to generally accepted and verifiable facts.
+1
level 62
Aug 7, 2016
There have been so many controversal quizzes on this site, yet for this quiz, it was a terrible idea and that probably better if quizzes avoid obvious controversy and stick to generally accepted and verifiable facts. QM knew from the beginning there was going to be controversy due to some countries, but hey, you can't please everyone. And so what that East Germany was called the 'German Democratic Republic', North Korea is called the 'Democratic People's Republic of Korea, yet they are the least democratic country in the world. And Thatcher calling Pinochet a champion of democracy is hilarious, where did she come up with that joke. But no seriously, Pinochet wasn't a 'champion of democracy', he was a dictator, heck the Wikipedia page for the history of Chile , says "In 1990, Chile made a peaceful transition to democracy" suggesting that Chile wasn't democratic. This has been one of the most ridiculous rants I've ever seen.
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level 44
Aug 7, 2016
Whats the reason for India not being in the list?
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level 62
Aug 7, 2016
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level 68
Aug 9, 2016
Solid quiz.
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level 57
Aug 10, 2016
Theresa May is a Dictator so UK should be taken off.
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level 76
May 29, 2017
Much as I hate Theresa May, I really hope you're not serious.
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level 45
Jul 30, 2018
I hate her too.
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level 58
Jun 26, 2019
Very funny, Warren-boy.
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level 54
Aug 13, 2016
Umm, what do you mean by "uninterrupted" ? Because, in my opinion, having one's president assassinated definitely counts as an interruption...
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level 62
Aug 14, 2016
Read the caveats. And no, having a country's assasinated or die due to natural causes doesn't mean democracy has been interrupted. It just means they don't have a head of state. If your definition of 'uninterrupted democracy' includes assasinated presidents, then I suggest to change that definition ASAP.
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level 46
Nov 17, 2016
I don't have too much with South Africa on this list, yes apartheid was terrible but as someone else mentioned if we go by everything there would be no list and most countries would be by when women could vote, which in some cases they still can't.
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level 46
Nov 17, 2016
Lots of countries have uninterrupted democracy since 1945, I wonder what happened in 1945 to make most of Europe do this?.... Hmm....
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level 62
Dec 26, 2016
Hint: Nazi Germany
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level 74
Dec 3, 2016
So much protesting about South African apartheid (and a bit about USA), but not much about women suffrage ... e.g. Switzerland 1971 / 1991
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level 58
Jan 11, 2019
I mean I understand why most commenters are focusing on the 15th Amendment and the Civil Rights era changes because they figure so large in both our history classes and modern political fights. But you're right that women's suffrage (especially the 19th Amendment, but also later expansions to nonwhite women) expanded suffrage to a greater percent of the population. Other overlooked expansions in the US: reduction of property qualifications for white men in the first half of the 19th century, Native American citizenship in the 1920s, the 26th Amendment in 1971. (The last two were smaller expansions than black suffrage though.)
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level 66
Jan 27, 2017
First election after Fascism/WWII in Italy were in 1946 (not 1945) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_general_election,_1946
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level 47
Apr 7, 2017
South Africa is one i wouldnt include as up to 1994 the majority didnt have the vote
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level 76
Apr 8, 2018
Technically at least half of the population (women, plus several minorities) of many of these countries didn't have the vote until the last century.
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level 64
Apr 10, 2017
(West) Germany's first democratic election after WWII was held in 1949, so I think it should make the list.
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level 58
Jan 11, 2019
I think it's discounted because West Germany doesn't exist anymore. You could argue that the West German democracy continued uninterrupted when it re-united with the GDR -- I'm not familiar enough with reunification to say whether that holds water.
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level 59
Oct 8, 2017
usa is still not a democracy
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level 77
Feb 14, 2018
Then no country is.
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level 45
Jan 13, 2018
I think India should make the list...liberated in 1947
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level 58
Jan 11, 2019
Quizmaster is counting The Emergency as an interruption (@AbhishekNS too).
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level 68
Mar 29, 2018
New Zealand should be counted from either 1852, when the New Zealand Parliament dates from, or 1856, when it got most of its powers. The 1907 date is the date when it was relabelled as a 'Dominion', but nothing actually changed on that date other than the label.
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level 44
Jul 31, 2018
Why is India not on the list ??? It was liberated in 1947 and continues to be a democracy uninterrupted...(as of 31st July 2018)
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level 63
Jul 31, 2018
I just want to say, chill out people. Political scientists simply do not have consensus on the definition of democracy (look up on Robert Dahl's vs. Joseph Schumpeter's definition). So you can pretty much argue any country as democratic or not, depending on your definition.
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level 52
Jul 31, 2018
WELL ! It clearly WAS a good quiz because it ha made people think carefully about words and definitions, rather than simply regurgitate learned facts. So ... well done !! Many of the comments are of course based on points of view, much as the answers are, so this quiz doesn't have the normal rigid correct answers, but never mind having said that ..... HOW ON EARTH HAVE YOU INCLUDED LIECHTENSTEIN? Now I think judged to be the most absolute MONARCHY in the world with the possible exception of Swaziland (sorry - I can never remember the new correct name). Also i believe that ICELAND has been a representative democratic republic since 1944, or possibly 1946 - and can arguably have the oldest representative elected authority in the world - except of course one can argue that the althing was suspended in the 18th & 19th centuries (possibly) Dave
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level 58
Jan 11, 2019
>I can never remember the new correct name Eswatini. Google is your friend :P >HOW ON EARTH HAVE YOU INCLUDED LIECHTENSTEIN Well are you said at the beginning of your comment, the answers are based on points of view. Wikipedia calls Liechtenstein's goverment a direct democracy, despite the prince's expanded powers granted by the 2003 constitution. I'm not a political scientist or motivated enough to read up on Leichtensteinian politics in order to make an informed opinion, so instead I'll just I think the Crown Prince threatening to move to Austria if he didn't get expanded veto powers is pretty funny. Edit: also on Iceland -- from briefly skimming Wikipedia, I'm with you that it should count from 1945 or 46.
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level 57
Aug 1, 2018
I was going to type in Mexico, but then I was reminded of the fact that over 100 political candidates were murdered during their recent election. Also, those bringing up the Apartheid of South Africa should be aware that that was more of a democracy than what is there now, which is just a 1 party state (wins every election), openly racist parties + persecution of whites (homicide rate 4x that of El-Salvador's).
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level 57
Aug 1, 2018
With Theresa May in power I wouldn't be surprised to see us off this list soon :( Coup here we come!
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level 58
Sep 4, 2018
It's not that type of coup. In this sense coup means the overthrow of government by military force.
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level 77
Jul 17, 2019
I think that was probably a typo and the man was excited to learn his soup was ready.
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level 55
Sep 20, 2018
I'd argue that Mexico, South Africa and Sri Lanka had some dictatorial elements or at least undemocratic characteristics afterwards although they are all democracies today.
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level 41
Nov 28, 2018
andorra luxembourg and Israel left only. and I typed liechtenstein monaco sweden and switzerland at last ten seconds
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level 39
Dec 9, 2018
Israel probably shouldn't be included.
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level 58
Dec 12, 2018
It should.
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level 35
Dec 11, 2018
Several of these are either republics or monarchies rather than democracies. USA is a republic because we elect representatives to speak for us.
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level 58
Dec 12, 2018
They are all democracies. A democracy just means the government is elected in a democratic process.
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level 58
Jan 11, 2019
The title "longest uninterrupted" got me wondering if there are any no long extant democracies that would make the list. Someone mentioned West Germany up thread, but that was only 45 years (unless you count modern Germany as a continuation of it, which it seems most people don't). The French Third Republic (assuming there were no interruptions between 1870 and 1940) would fall off the list this year. Are there any others that lasted longer?