Thursday, 1 February 2018

Australian democracy improved due to marriage equality, whilst the US slipped


According to The Economist's Global Democracy Index released findings, they show that Australia'd democracy has improved with the advent of marriage equality and binning of the discriminatory marriage laws that it replaced. (So there Lyle!)

We've gone from 10th best to 8th best in the world, after performing terribly for the two years that Abbott was prime minister. Australia is classed as a "full democracy" along with New Zealand, being the only two full democracies in the Asia Pacific region.
Democracy went backwards across the world in 2017, but advanced in Australia. This appears attributable to the successful democratic rejection of the old marriage laws.  
The Economist Intelligence Unit revealed yesterday that Australia has moved to eighth place on its Global Democracy Index, up from tenth last year.  
The Index “provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide for 165 independent states … based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture.”  
Australia has now snuck ahead of Finland and Switzerland. Its eighth ranking is behind (in order) Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland and Canada.  
This is a welcome turnaround for Australia which has tumbled on virtually all global rankings since 2013.  
Australia is now one of only 19 “full democracies”. These are the countries with secure basic political freedoms, respect for civil liberties, diverse and independent media, and an incorruptible judiciary whose decisions are enforced. Crikey
On the other hand, the US has failed for the second year in a row to qualify as a full democracy, instead being a "flawed democracy".
For the second year, the US did not make to the list of “full democracies”, but was classed as a “flawed democracy”, due mainly to “a serious decline in public trust in US institutions in 2016”.

The US has “a disjuncture between still generally high levels of public support for democracy across the globe and deep popular disappointment with the functioning of democracy and systems of political representation”. Crikey