Most Democratic Countries with Exceptions

Most of the democratic countries are in Europe. Name the countries outside of Europe that score the highest in terms of democracy by the magazine "The Economist".
According to this Wikipedia page
The right column show their progress and regress from 2019 to 2020
Quiz by Aaron197
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Last updated: February 7, 2021
First submittedJuly 10, 2019
Times taken13,508
Rating4.10
2:00
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Score
Country
Growth
9.25
New Zealand
0.01
9.24
Canada
0.02
8.96
Australia
0.13
8.94
Taiwan
1.21
8.61
Uruguay
0.23
8.28
Chile
0.20
8.16
Costa Rica
0.03
8.14
Mauritius
0.08
Score
Country
Growth
8.13
Japan
0.14
8.01
South Korea
0.01
7.92
United States
0.04
7.84
Israel
0.02
7.65
Cape Verde
0.13
7.62
Botswana
0.19
7.56
Cyprus
0.03
7.19
Malaysia
0.03
+2
Level 73
Jul 16, 2019
Interesting.
+5
Level 72
Jul 16, 2019
Great to see NZ that high and Botswana, but somehow I was expecting Mongolia as well
+3
Level 73
Jul 20, 2019
I'd expected Mongolia to appear on the list as well.
+4
Level 82
Jul 16, 2019
how do you score democracy?
+46
Level 83
Jul 17, 2019
You vote on it.
+3
Level 81
Sep 3, 2019
this was probably meant as a joke but it's actually more or less true if you look at the EIU's methodology.
+10
Level 69
Jul 16, 2019
According to the Wikipedia page, "In 2016, the United States was downgraded from a full democracy to a flawed democracy; its score, which had been declining for some years, crossed the threshold from 8.05 in 2015 to 7.98 in 2016. The report states that this was caused by a myriad of factors dating back to at least the late 1960s which have eroded Americans' trust in governmental institutions." So, according to the Economist, the U.S. had a higher ranking during the era of Jim Crow than it does now based on "eroded trust in governmental institutions." Curious, especially given that I think a lack of trust in government is the wisest of stance to take. "Every decent man," quipped Mencken, "is ashamed of the government he lives under."
+4
Level 90
Jul 17, 2019
I think the "lack of trust" isn't simply questioning in the case of the US, it's a negative stance. Rather than say "I don't know" the general stance is that Americans consider that their politicians are always telling half or non-truths. Or a very common viewpoint that voting doesn't really matter and that the government will never accomplish anything other than what is already in place.
+7
Level 83
Jul 17, 2019
The U.S. certainly hit a threshold in 2016-17.
+4
Level 65
Jul 27, 2019
Sad to see how low the US government has gotten on this ranking. I'm guessing the "decline" that started in the 1970s was exacerbated by Watergate, but a lot of it also depends on the events of the past 3 years. This administration has certainly moved us farther down the list.
+6
Level 42
Sep 3, 2019
What has Trump done that is so bad for you to say that ?
+17
Level 65
Sep 3, 2019
Well, his relentless attacks on the free press aren't a great start. His insistence that anyone who disagrees with him is an "enemy of the people" doesn't help either. His exploitation of loopholes to grant him power that he is not intended to have (abuse of the emergency powers privilege for his wall, for example) is undemocratic. Last week, he promised to pardon anyone who breaks the law on his behalf in pursuit of the wall. What else? Ah, yes. He threatened retaliation against the Ninth Circuit court for ruling against him (which recalls that before the election, he also threatened a specific judge for not taking his side in one the many lawsuits against him). The guy basically throws a tantrum any time he is reminded that this is a democracy and there are checks on his power. Couple with that with his devotion to building a cult of personality, which in turns means that his followers embrace all of his anti-democratic impulses, and yeah, I'd say the US has hit a threshold.
+1
Level 60
May 27, 2020
He tried to perform collusion with Russia. I think that is enough to put a country right where the US is, maybe even lower.
+1
Level 49
Sep 13, 2020
Add that on top of the Transgender ban on the military, and the fact the he has been downplaying Covid basically the entire time. I can understand withholding the truth to prevent panic for a different kind of crisis, but in this case doing so would make the crisis even worse because people aren't aware of it. And guess what happened next: The U.S.'s cases skyrocketed. Trump still hasn't said if he will accept the results of the next election. On top of that there is still the involvement in Ukraine... like seriously man what the hell.
+1
Level 44
Nov 2, 2020
Add to that the US has a system has allows someone who lost the popular vote by 3 million to become President and then that party to dominate both houses. It does not remotely reflect the makeup of how its citizens voted and shows the electoral college system badly needs reform before America can feature in lists about being the most democratic..
+4
Level 81
Sep 3, 2019
Though 2016 was obviously a banner year for the decline of American democracy... the downward trend since the 60s can be explained away by the EIU's flawed and subjective methodology which relies almost entirely upon perception, as measured by polling both "experts" and the general public in each country. So if a Klan member in Jim Crow-era Alabama *feels* like the democracy of the country is strong, moreso than the absurdly privileged Yale student of 2016 who feels oppressed by offensive Halloween costumes and differently colored Band-Aids, and each are part of the polls conducted that year, then you might end up with some screwy results.
+1
Level 47
Sep 3, 2019
I think the biggest thing about America is its kinda hard for laws to be passed because a lot of emphasis is placed on not completely counting out the minority.

Also the electoral college is somewhat obsolete.

But I believe I how they grade it, and I don't fully agree with some of what they consider democracy. Like healthcare, standards or living has nothing to do with democracy.

+1
Level 69
Sep 4, 2019
There are for sure some issues with American democracy. Gerrymandering is an obvious example, as is a President who repeatedly questioned the official election results. Still, I'd say that the USA is undeniably among the most democratic countries worldwide - even sheriffs and judges are subject to elections, and a lot of other officials are elected as well. You could argue whether it's wise to make people vote on judges, but it *is* democratic.
+1
Level 51
Nov 9, 2019
Lots of Americans don't vote. Not every vote is counted. You have to register with a political party, not an independent arbitrator. Politicians can choose the electoral boundaries. Voting is on one day only and there are limited places where you can vote. The US could do a lot more to appear democratic.
+1
Level 60
May 27, 2020
Also the filibuster disables most laws from getting passed, even if they have the majority of votes in the senate...I would call that apart from extremely stupid also pretty undemocratic.
+6
Level 82
Jul 17, 2019
Okay I probably should have gotten Israel, but there was no way I was coming up with that specific collection of African countries without guessing them all.
+9
Level 69
Jul 17, 2019
Good things are happening in Botswana. It's a bright spot amid the darkness of sub-saharan Africa.
+6
Level 78
Jul 18, 2019
Botswana is I think the only African country with regular elections and peaceful change of power since independence.
+4
Level 61
Sep 3, 2019
Yeah Botswana has worked extremely hard to maintain a functioning democracy. Full respect to them.
+1
Level 48
Apr 17, 2020
Yes - quite famously, I thought. Or perhaps I just read too much No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

What is slightly worrying is that South Africa is on this list at all! Just goes to show how far the world still has to go.

+21
Level 67
Jul 17, 2019
Israel, an apartheid state, is listed as most democratic? That's a good joke for today
+16
Level 65
Jul 17, 2019
Israel is the most democratic country in the Middle East, what's weird about that?
+17
Level 67
Jul 18, 2019
In context with the rest of the world, a country that has subjected Arabs and Palestinians to secondary class citizenship comparable to the Jim Crow South doesn't really constitute democracy. Even if your claim that it is "the most democratic in the Middle East" were true, I doubt that, when taking the Israeli apartheid into consideration, it would be more democratic than many countries not listed.
+6
Level 65
Sep 3, 2019
As a southern African and an Israeli, I have to question if you have any concept of the notion of Apartheid? Because if you did, you would realise that that more acurately describes most of the Arab nations that ban Jews (not just Israelis) from living in their countries. Egypt is persecuting Christian Copts, Berbers in Morocco have been living under an Arab occupation for centuries, Lebanon has a terrorist organisation that effectively controls government and Syria has been at war for 8 years. I am not saying that Israel is perfect, but Apartheid it is not. Arab Israelis have full civil and political rights, ergo not Apartheid. There is an occupation, one which needs serious peace talks, and not lobbing gratuitous accusations around, to solve, with compromises from both sides. One of the compromises we as Jews will not accept, despite Palestinians wishing it, is the destruction of Jews or the Jewish state.
+1
Level 65
Sep 3, 2019
One last thing, when, after a terrorist attack from Temple Mount killed 2 Druze (Arab speaking minority in Israel) Israeli Police Officers, and it was determined that the perps were from a collection of Arab villages known as the Triangle. Netanyahu advocated a territorial swap, where an area in the West Bank with a large Jewish population (and where there were historicaly Jewish communities before they were ethnically cleansed by the Jordanian Army in 1948) would come under complete Israeli sovereignity, whilst the Triangle would come under PA control. One could think that they would have liked that idea that now they would be under Palestinian control, instead of the "evil Israelis". However, far from welcoming this idea, the residents of the Triangle (who call themselves Palestinians) fought to maintain their Israeli citizenship.
+1
Level 49
Sep 13, 2020
Israel, maybe not recently but still israel in the sense that they still embody the same ideas, Tried to negotiate peace in most of its territorial disputes by saying basically that you guys can have this and this and this, but this part is still ours. It completely dropped its disputes with Lebanon, Egypt (and Jordan I think), and gave up most territorial claims on Syria, then proceeded to stop fighting and not attempt a negotiation that would take 5 years to say "Hey, let's just stop now". Yet SOMEHOW, this is viewed as a scandal... It's just baffling.
+13
Level 76
Jul 20, 2019
If you were to actually visit Israel, you would change your opinion. Most of the Arabs who live in Israel much prefer to live there than under Palestinian rule.
+3
Level 58
Sep 6, 2019
Israel is a democracy with full civil rights for non-Jewish citizens, that is also engaged in a military occupation of Palestinian territories. The occupation is a result of legitimate wars of self-defense, and there are many legitimate reasons why Israel has not yet withdrawn from the territories.

The United States did not give all Iraqis rights in the US during its occupation of Iraq; that didn't make the US an apartheid state.

+2
Level 43
May 14, 2020
> The United States did not give all Iraqis rights in the US during its occupation of Iraq; that didn't make the US an apartheid state.

It does in fact make the idea of calling the US a democracy ridiculous

+1
Level 49
Sep 13, 2020
It is a terrible thing but doesn't change the fact that the US was a democracy, just reaffirms the fact for many people that the U.S. isn't the paradise it's commonly told as, even if it is much safer than a lot of the world to live in.
+3
Level 65
Jul 17, 2019
My brain refuses to accept that Cyprus is a part of Asia. As far as I'm concerned, people who support its inclusion in Asia are no better than Flat Earthers or those who try to justify the name "eSports".
+6
Level 83
Jul 17, 2019
Your brain refuses to admit that the majority of the population of Turkey isn't in Europe?

Cyprus lies south and east of most of Turkey's people.

Cyprus lies about 50 or 60 miles off the coast of Syria, which is absolutely not Europe in any way, shape or form. How many 100s and 100s of miles off the coast of Europe is Cyprus? Nevermind, the continent of Asia is in the way.

+6
Level 42
Jul 17, 2019
Europe and Asia aren't different continents anyway geographically speaking. It's a cultural differenciation. In that way, Cyprus is more European than Asian and Turkey is more Asian than European.
+4
Level 44
Jul 20, 2019
Yeah Cyprus is geographically Asian but culturally european to make the story short
+2
Level 81
Sep 3, 2019
The island of Kos is part of Greece. It's also very near the coast of Anatolia. Much closer than 50 miles. Does that mean that Greece is part of Asia?
+1
Level 66
Sep 6, 2019
...and because Cyprus is culturally European it sticks out like a sore thumb on quizzes such as this.
+1
Level 49
Sep 13, 2020
@Kalbahamut, It doesn't mean Greece is Asian, it means that the border between Europe and Asia is approximately there, in that archapeligo, it can be harder to define ocean borders but it probably would include a few Greek islands as Asian or a few Turkish islands as European, or both.

I do agree that Cyprus is very culturally European and so it would makes sense to group it with Europe, but for the sake of this quiz it should belong in Asia where it geographically is located.

+1
Level 81
Sep 24, 2020
The point is that the argument that Cyprus is in Asia because it's so many miles away from the coastline is nonsense. There are other European islands that are closer. Continental borders are arbitrary and artificial. I don't have a problem with placing Cyprus in Asia. I have a problem with stupid arguments. Or acting condescending toward those who don't hold your position on an issue that is clearly up for debate, based on poor reasoning.

(If using solid reasoning and good arguments, or taking a position on something that is not so moot, then by all means be condescending)

+6
Level 67
Sep 3, 2019
I know a woman from Texas, who would just say this was fake. But she also believes that Europe is one country and that we teach sex ed in Kindergarten, where we show the kids porn!!?! And she has compared Denmark to Iran, because she didn't understand the GDPR law. She also believed that crime was very high her in Denmark, as in much higher than in the US.. Needless to say, she doesn't really care for facts. She would probably still be on level 1 here after taking a thousands quizzes..
+2
Level 81
Sep 12, 2020
Your Kindergartens sound like fun.
+1
Level 78
Sep 3, 2019
I expected UK to make the list
+3
Level 61
Sep 3, 2019
Why? UK is in Europe, just leaving the EU.
+8
Level 71
Sep 3, 2019
We also voted to move our island to the middle of the Atlantic to create our own microcontinent called Britope
+2
Level 60
Sep 3, 2019
Also Boris Johnson is a dictator so it wouldn't count anyway.
+1
Level 78
Sep 16, 2019
Yea, this was just a Brexit joke ... I thought that was obvious, but surely you never know.
+2
Level 67
Sep 3, 2019
Why no North Korea?
+5
Level 65
Sep 3, 2019
What about the Democratic Republic of Korea?
+2
Level 66
Sep 6, 2019
Dont forget the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
+1
Level 60
Aug 17, 2020
Usually, when a country calls itself "democratic", it is actually a dictatorship with no respect for human rights. Truly democratic countries don't feel the need to do that. For example, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) was in fact far less democratic than the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) is far less democratic than the Republic of Korea (South Korea). The People's Republic of China (China) is far less democratic than the Republic of China (Taiwan).

However, the most ridiculous official name for a country is probably the full name of Brunei, in my opinion. It is "Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace". Quite ironic when you know that Brunei is an absolute monarchy that persecutes homosexuals and political opponents.

+1
Level 49
Sep 13, 2020
I think it was a joke.
+1
Level 64
Sep 3, 2019
I always forget to try "Cyprus" in those "outside of Europe" quizes. :(
+1
Level 30
Sep 3, 2019
Panama?
+1
Level 80
Sep 3, 2019
Ain't nothin' like it, it's a shining machine.
+2
Level 67
Sep 3, 2019
Greetings from Mauritius.
+1
Level 67
Sep 4, 2019
Hello from Israel.

Watch your country on the Israeli version of "The Amazing Race", it looks lovely!

+2
Level 43
May 14, 2020
Israel and USA should not be here
+3
Level 81
Sep 12, 2020
why? Because you don't like the countries? You people are absurd.
+1
Level 60
Jul 10, 2020
Well... if such a trustworthy source as The Economist says so, then it must be true! XD
+1
Level 81
Sep 24, 2020
There's nothing controversial about these results and the methodology is published. I commented on the weaknesses in said methodology above, but it is what it is, and I'm sure that they are accurately reporting the results based on that methodology, flawed or not. Can't imagine what sort of incredibly biased sources you get your information from, based on your many comments around the site calling all Americans war criminals, etc.
+1
Level 81
Feb 26, 2021
Not to mention your many other comments praising the USSR, Mao's China, North Korea and the Khmer Rouge, among others.
+1
Level 44
Nov 2, 2020
This really needs to say what the criteria is to be on this list? Seems pretty subjective. If its no more than personal opinion, then India should be on the list - its the largest democracy in the world with a billion people! Yes, it has flaws and some politicians are shamefully corrupt. However with all its challenges, it returns an election result where the popular vote has always won (unlike the US).
+1
Level 71
Feb 3, 2021
There's a new 2020 report out, so this quiz can be updated.
+1
Level 83
Feb 17, 2021
"The Democracy Index has been criticised for lacking transparency and accountability beyond the numbers. To generate the index, the Economist Intelligence Unit has a scoring system in which various experts are asked to answer 60 questions and assign each reply a number, with the weighted average deciding the ranking. However, the final report does not indicate what kinds of experts, nor their number, nor whether the experts are employees of the Economist Intelligence Unit or independent scholars, nor the nationalities of the experts."
+1
Level 83
Feb 17, 2021
I would imagine it takes some subjective adjusting to make sure the US is labeled a "flawed democracy".

Give me a break. We have elections for positions from school board members up to President and our democratic participation is at an all time high. Out of literally thousands of elections every year, basically zero are in dispute. If they are, it gets resolved within days.

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