• Baden
    5.3k


    It's all relative. It comes just outside the top 20 in overall score, which puts it in the "flawed democracies" list. But the important point is to notice the backward trend since 2006 (if you follow the link). It's not just about the U.S. If you credit the index as being accurate, it's got to be worrying that we've been, as a world, getting less not more democratic over the last decade.
  • raza
    105
    Down since 2006?

    Maybe, then, it could start to rise. Trump 2020, if he can drain that swamp.

    If the 2006 thing is accurate then what does that say about the Obama years?
  • FreeEmotion
    81
    Democracy is dying, then. But to paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the birth of Democracy have been greatly exaggerated.
  • angslan
    5


    I am interested to know, if you are suggesting that "technically" Canada is not a democracy, what definition of 'democracy' are you using? Because as far as my studies in political theory and political science treat it, constitutional monarchies are absolutely capable of being democracies, and Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and many other places are considered well-functioning democracies. Democracies are more than just checking if the person at the top is elected - technically Kim Jong-Un is voted in.
  • Akanthinos
    758
    Because as far as my studies in political theory and political science treat it, constitutional monarchies are absolutely capable of being democracies, and Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and many other places are considered well-functioning democracies.angslan

    This.
  • FreeEmotion
    81
    .
    .. and Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and many other places are considered well-functioning democraciesangslan

    Well yes, Canada is a democracy if you measure it according to accepted norms. However, I would feel it was different, on a personal level for example, taking my pledge of allegiance to a Queen of another country, and having that same monarch appointing government officials - well at least one.

    Also, there have been times when the monarch has intervened, made appeals etc in a political crisis. which carries some weight, as much weigh as maybe the swing voter population
  • ssu
    457
    For a democracy to work, there have to be a lot of things that work also:

    - The country has to be also justice state. Corruption cannot be a huge problem.

    - The country cannot be very poor. Extreme povetry creates problems. A poor state simply doesn't have the ability to create a functioning justice state and likely has problems even to fulfill the basic services that a government has to provide.

    - The country has to have social cohesion. If a country is very divided by ethnic, racial or class lines (or by some other divide), it's likely that even if the democratic institutions do work, the outcome can be very ugly. A functioning democracy needs the political actors to be able to cooperate and find a consensus from time to time.

    I don't think that Western democracy is dying. It's perilous moment was in the 30's, but not now.
  • angslan
    5


    You say
    Canada is a democracy if you measure according to accepted norms. — FreeEmotion

    But I was curious as to what definition or concept of democracy you were using, and you still haven't said. I have no way of knowing what you think accepted norms are, or why you might strongly disagree with them.

    Just so you know, Canada has a Queen known as the Queen of Canada. She is also the Queen of another country (for example, Australia!) but that doesn't mean she isn't the Queen of Canada. It is a separate political institution from Queen of England.

    It might be more informative to talk about what is democratic and how much of a role these factors play. Being able to vote, stand for office, have robust and fair electoral systems that are responsive to voter input and reflect voter preferences, communicate freely with office-holders, publish and discuss differing opinions, be educated in political matters, place constraints on unilateral power, encourage multi-faceted engagement and have some level of ownership and satisfaction without political decisions are democratic factors that countries such as Canada enact relatively well - moreso than, say, North Korea. I suggest that this makes Canada fairly democratic, and the existence of a hereditary monarch who rarely, if ever, intervenes, and especially not so in a particularly partisan way, does not negate these factors. Nor might it place Canada in a less democratic position than various US states such as Kansas where some of these norms are being challenged, such as who and how electoral districts are drawn and how office-holders are voted in, even though these states do not have monarchs.
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