Monday, December 27, 2010

Democracy Ranking 2010

Democracy Ranking 2010 released on December 13, 2010 by Vienna-based Democracy Ranking Association showed Nepal in 90th position among 100 countries of the world.

The Association explained it considered indicators such as politics, gender issues and economic aspects for its study. The NGO spoke with more than 91,000 people in 86 countries for its study.

The think tank said Nepal did best when it comes to improving the situation between 2005 and 2006 and from 2008 to 2009.

Norway, which came second in 2009, toppled last year’s leader Sweden to grab first place in the ranking.

Finland takes third place ahead of Switzerland and Denmark. New Zealand makes sixth place followed by the Netherlands, Ireland and Germany. The United Kingdom comes 10th ahead of Austria which reached ninth place in last year’s ranking.

The United States of America takes 15th place, up one spot year on year, while the Philippines, the Central African Republic and Niger come last among the 100 investigated countries.

Serbia takes second place in the 2010 Democracy Improvement Ranking ahead of Poland.

The NGO spoke with more than 91,000 people in 86 countries for its study.

State of Democracy 2010

Nepal has ranked 108 in the prestigious 'Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) Index of Democracy 2010'.

The EIU, a special arm of the leading international financial magazine "The Economist", released the index on December 20, 2010, providing a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide for 167 independent states.

Among SAARC countries India became 40, Sri Lanka 55, Bangladesh 83, Bhutan 102, Pakistan 104 and Afghanistan 150. Maldives is not included in the list.

Besides the number one Norway, the top five include Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and New Zealand.

Among big democratic countries, Australia got sixth, Canada ninth, the USA got 17th and UK 19th position.

North Korea was put at the bottom of 167 countries when it scored on 1.04. Chad, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Myanmar are the four other countries at the bottom.

This is the third edition of the Economist Intelligence Unit's democracy index. It reflects the situation as of November 2010. The first edition, published in The Economist's The World in 2007, measured the state of democracy in September 2006 and the second edition covered the situation towards the end of 2008.

Countries are placed within one of four types of regimes: full democracies; flawed democracies; hybrid regimes; and authoritarian regimes.

Free and fair elections and civil liberties are necessary conditions for democracy, but they are unlikely to be sufficient for a full and consolidated democracy if unaccompanied by transparent and at least minimally efficient government, sufficient political participation and a supportive democratic political culture. It is not easy to build a sturdy democracy.

Even in long-established ones, if not nurtured and protected, democracy can corrode.

According to the EIU's measure of democracy, one-half of the world's population now lives in a democracy of some sort.

However, there has been a decline in democracy across the world since 2008.

Authoritarian trends have become even more entrenched in the Middle East and much of the former Soviet Union. Democratisation in Sub-Saharan Africa is grinding to a halt, and in some cases is being reversed.

A political malaise in east-central Europe has led to disappointment and questioning of the strength of the region's democratic transition.

Media freedoms are being eroded across Latin America and populist forces with dubious democratic credentials have come to the fore in a few countries in the region.

In the developed West, a precipitous decline in political participation, weaknesses in the functioning of government and security-related curbs on civil liberties are having a corrosive effect on some long-established democracies.