NZ 5th on democracy index

April 6th, 2013 at 10:05 am by David Farrar

The Economist has published their 2012 democracy index.

Our score out of a maximum 10 is 9.26. Norway is top on 9.93. North Korea bottom on 1.08.

25 countries are classified as full democracies, 54 as flawed democracies, 36 as hybrid regimes and 52 states as authoritarian.

In terms of the global population only 11.3% live in a full democracy compared to 37.1% who live in authoritarian regimes.

NZ scores are:

  • Electoral process and pluralism 10.00
  • Functioning of Government 9.29
  • Political participation 8.89
  • Political culture 8.13
  • Civil liberties 10.00
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41 Responses to “NZ 5th on democracy index”

  1. Andrei (2,568 comments) says:

    What a load of hokum.

    When New Zealanders in our “democracy” vote 87.4% to overturn a bad law, drafted by a MP that nobody actually voted for (a list MP) we get told where to go.

    [DPF: You could vote for parties that vowed to change the law. If people were worked up enough about the law, those parties would have got more votes. Instead they got almost none]

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  2. Harriet (4,848 comments) says:

    Everyones happy then? :cool:

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  3. Harriet (4,848 comments) says:

    “…..Without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure….” -Ronald Reagan

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  4. Nookin (3,281 comments) says:

    Harriet

    Which God?

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  5. cha (3,943 comments) says:

    Ooh, I can cite ray gun ronnie too Harry-it.

    They remind us that where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost.

    -Ronald Reagan. ( 11 months before he sacked the air traffic controllers)

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  6. GJKiwi (175 comments) says:

    Harriet: who believes in God (a mythical entity created by middle-eastern bigots and mysogynists) anyway? Secular societies, e.g. Northern European states, work much better, because they tolerate all people.
    Andrei: in a non-binding referendum. And people vote for list MPs, as they vote for the entire party. Silly boy, your logic is seriously flawed. And if you don’t like the list that a party puts forward, vote for another party. Note the pattern that has happened since MMP was introduced: a succession of stable governments, Labour in power for 9 years, now National in for 6 years, and looking to be there possibly one more term. Inclusive, comprehensive, allows for minority representation without having extreme or very small minorities having overdue influence. Yes, National needs the Maori party to pass some legislation, and the Maori party have been able to influence policy, but National really has the final say, see the asset sales. You probably just don’t like sharing with other people.

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  7. mandk (968 comments) says:

    The best comment from Reagan:
    “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born”

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  8. mandk (968 comments) says:

    GJKiwi
    There may be a separation of church and state in the northern European countries you allude to, but the freedoms and strong welfare systems of those countries were founded, and still rest on, dearly held Christian principles. You would do better to look at how well avowedly atheist countries work.

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  9. Chuck Bird (4,847 comments) says:

    “Inclusive, comprehensive, allows for minority representation without having extreme or very small minorities having overdue influence.”

    Yeah right!! As Andrei pointed out a small group of fanatics had undue influence on the majority.

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  10. eszett (2,401 comments) says:

    Yeah right!! As Andrei pointed out a small group of fanatics had undue influence on the majority.

    I think your actual complaint is that the small group of fanatics consisting of the likes of yourself, Andrei, Harriet, et. has no influence whatsoever.

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  11. GJKiwi (175 comments) says:

    Oh, PS, Labour and National were already toughening up the laws. The real issue is that that of prior judgements. You can’t put someone in jail for a longer term than someone committing a similar crime previously, because that would be unjust as well. It comes down to how the Judiciary implements the law, and that is what the real issue is. Common Law principles. It was a knee-jerk referendum, and I personally voted against it on the principle that it was a completely ill thought-out proposition. Keeping people out of prison by educating them and providing them with a better life is the real answer. Putting people in prison for longer for the right reasons is fine, but putting people in jail for petty offences simply means that they get to learn how to commit worse crimes. Yes, hammer those who commit serious crimes, including large scale fraud and violent crimes, but it is up to the judiciary, not Parliament to implement it, and that the Judiciary and Parliament are separate is something that we can all be truly thankful for. Or would you prefer to live in North Korea with a 29 year old dictator who threatens Nuclear war? I bet the crime rate there is really low, shame about the fact they have no rights and lots of people die because they spend too much on the military and not enough on the production of food. Insane, really. And the fact that you are able to make comment on the Internet and being able to criticise the structure of our political system, without being put in jail, tortured or summarily executed is obviously something you are grateful for, but you knew that already, I guess. :)

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  12. bringbackdemocracy (425 comments) says:

    Over 20,000 submissions on the redefinition of marriage bill and only 220 get heard.
    Democracy? yeah right!!

    [DPF: The vast vast majority did not ask to be heard, so your use of figures is misleading]

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  13. SGA (990 comments) says:

    Idle, quirky, observation – seven of the top ten are constitutional monarchies.

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  14. wat dabney (3,724 comments) says:

    Over 20,000 submissions on the redefinition of marriage bill and only 220 get heard. Democracy? yeah right!!

    What additional arguments do you think would have been delivered by the remaining 19780+ submissions that did not get made by the 220 which were heard?

    I suspect that 220 submissions is more than enough to totally exhaust the argument.

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  15. GJKiwi (175 comments) says:

    Christian principles? No, northern European countries political systems are based mainly on humanist principles, which took the best bits of Christianity about treating people well (love thy neighbour, turn the other cheek) , and left out the mythical bits, such as the belief in God, the fear and nastiness (e.g. an eye for an eye). Holland has a better society than England for instance, pretty much because the people in Holland are much more tolerant, and don’t suffocate under the yoke of religion. Note that Norway ranks above everyone else, and that is because they have a highly tolerant, secular society, with, and I must emphasise this, a proportional representational system of Government, as do most North European countries, in fact the majority of European countries, and though religion does play a part in people’s lives, and informs their choices of representatives, no one is bound by their religion to vote for certain people. Also, many principles of law pre-date Christianity, so I wouldn’t blow that trumpet too loudly. As with most things like fairy-tales, once people realise that there are more rational explanations of the world, they let go of myths and legends, which is basically what Christianity and Islam are. More and more people are realising that you don’t need to live in fear to be good, you just need to be good and look after your fellow humans so that everybody lives a better life. I realise that New Zealand could be better, but living here I have a better chance of influencing what happens than in other countries. National have implemented some pretty facist legislation over the last few years (e.g. CERA, and removing eCan representatives but not allowing us to vote for new representatives at the next election date), but it is our choice to either say, hey, that is ok, or to remove them by the majority of people voting against them a the next election. However, at least we have a say in the matter. As David commented above:
    “[DPF: You could vote for parties that vowed to change the law. If people were worked up enough about the law, those parties would have got more votes. Instead they got almost none]“

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  16. GJKiwi (175 comments) says:

    SGA: yes, but the monarchies in most cases don’t have any influence as such, and hence are really more in the style of the German Presidency, which is mostly ceremonial. Only in England does the monarchy have such a high-profile. In fact, many of the world’s democracies are constitutional monarchies, but only because the monarchies had the sense to pull their heads in, as it were, or were forced to, e.g. the Magna Carta and their influence has been diminishing ever since.

    BringBackDemocracy: Actually heard, but a lot more were read, some were tossed out on the basis of how nasty and vicious they were, but a lot of them were read. Wat dabney is probably quite correct. And at least our politicians take the time to hear submissions at all. If you feel hard done by on that one, what about the people who want to marry someone but aren’t allowed to, simply because they want someone other than whom the state currently specifies as acceptable? You can always move to Norway, of course, but then you’d have to learn Norwegian. :)

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  17. SGA (990 comments) says:

    @GJKiwi
    I’m aware of all that – I just thought it rather quaint and quirky.

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  18. Chuck Bird (4,847 comments) says:

    [DPF: You could vote for parties that vowed to change the law. If people were worked up enough about the law, those parties would have got more votes. Instead they got almost none]

    This will happen in 2014. I and many others who fill in this pledge will not be voting for any party whose leader supports the redefinition of marriage bill. John Key’s contempt for the majority of good parents might bite him on the bum and help increase Winston’s share of the vote.

    http://www.mymarriagepledge.org.nz/

    Winston may be dishonest but so is John Key like the majority of politicians so I will be voting on a party’s policy related to direct democracy or a voter’s veto on moral issues.

    Winston has more motivation to stick to word on policy than John Key has. Winston wants NZF to last after him. All as Key really cares about is himself. If he loses he will do what Helen Clark did and ignore his electorate as he is already doing over the redefinition of marriage bill. He does not care what his electorate thinks.

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  19. mandk (968 comments) says:

    GJKiwi @11.33
    You shifted your original emphasis from the working of societies to political systems, but to deny that northern European countries’ political systems are based mainly on humanist, not Christian principles is a bit like denying that the Soviet Union had nothing really to do with Marx.
    Isn’t it curious though that such large proportions of the populations in northern European countries still belong to Christian churches, if the people are humanist? Why would they bother, unless they supported Christian principles?

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  20. GJKiwi (175 comments) says:

    mandk: founded on Christian principles? Not really, many principles of law and the laws themselves are founded on common law or Roman law principles, and revised by those nasty French revolutionaries, who thought to rationalise things by implementing the metric system and such things. :) And as more and more people realise that Christianity has many fundamental flaws and contradictions, and more rational means exist, so those old values are being tossed aside. Not many democracies, if any, are actually run according to the Christian principles, that is by misogynist and bigots and child molesters. If you didn’t happen to believe in Christianity, then you were ruled by different laws, e.g. Jews weren’t allowed to own property. Nice. I think that one has now fallen out of favour. Extreme atheism isn’t that pleasant either, note mid-20th century, but pogroms against the Jews weren’t the exclusive right of modern atheists either, and, nice people that the Catholics are, they fought and killed people who decided to go it alone or had different belief systems, and imprisoned people for thinking such outlandish thoughts as the fact that the earth orbits the sun (Galileo Galilei).

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  21. wat dabney (3,724 comments) says:

    Why would they bother, unless they supported Christian principles?

    Clearly they don’t support Christian principles. They follow humanist principles.

    The same as all the fake “Christians” who post here.

    They no more take their morals from the Bible than I do; if they did we wouldn’t be able to visit the dairy without stepping over the bodies of those who had been stoned to death for infractions against loony prohibitions.

    The real question is why do these people feel the need to try to convince themselves that they take their morals from the Bible, when very obviously they simply ignore everything inconsistent with modern secular priors.

    Put another way, in their daily lives these “Christians” are indistinguishable from the rest of us. Outside of a Sunday morning sing-song in church there is absolutely nothing in their actions, behaviour or observances which is different from anyone else, including atheists.

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  22. GJKiwi (175 comments) says:

    mandk: many pay lip service to religion. Not so many actually belong to churches, and many do so because it is best to keep up appearances. :) As my German girlfriend said, so why should I be a Catholic just because I was born into a Catholic family? It will be interesting to see just how many Christians there are in New Zealand. The trend has been downward and also, relatively, not many people profess to attending church services, except at Easter and Christmas, or for weddings and funerals, so eventually “Christians” will become a minority.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_New_Zealand

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  23. Lance (2,634 comments) says:

    Methinks wat has some childhood trauma associated with Christianity and keeps himself warm at night with deep seated hatred of all things Christian.

    He has repeatedly had his logical errors pointed out to him but this is never acknowledged but rather he repeats the same old tired drivel over and over and over again. “All Christians here are fake”… that’s a nice easy label, rolls off the tongue and the moment one defends it one loses.

    wat is not interested in discussion on this, he stamps his little feet of rage and uses insults.

    Class act.

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  24. kowtow (8,315 comments) says:

    Nookin asks Which God? Definitley not the Allah of the koran.

    SGA and constitutional monarchies; Great point.

    GJ Kiwi .And Protestants and atheists didn’t fight and kill people of different belief systems?

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  25. mandk (968 comments) says:

    GJKiwi @12.23
    “Not many democracies, if any, are actually run according to the Christian principles, that is by misogynist and bigots and child molesters.”
    Now you really are talking nonsense.
    Please cite the verses where Christ advocated misogyny, bigotry and child molestation.
    And I’m still waiting to hear from you about how avowedly atheist countries fare, or have ever fared, in terms of democracy.

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  26. wat dabney (3,724 comments) says:

    Please cite the verses where Christ advocated misogyny, bigotry and child molestation.

    The Bible is fully of such vileness and atrocities perpetrated by the evil magic pixie.

    The pixie also appears in part of the book as a hippy sock-puppet character called “Jesus.”

    What’s the logic which says that, therefore, the magic pixie is not evil and barbaric?

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  27. Lance (2,634 comments) says:

    wat spits forth his bile…

    Bra ha ha ha ha ha ha

    He sounds like a spokesperson from North Korea

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  28. mandk (968 comments) says:

    Wat dabney
    I was responding to GJK’s implicit argument that these things are Christian principles.
    Perhaps you could help him find the verses, rather than spewing bile.

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  29. mandk (968 comments) says:

    Thanks Lance, you beat me to it.

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  30. wat dabney (3,724 comments) says:

    There you go mate

    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/women/long.html

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  31. mandk (968 comments) says:

    GjKiwi “Not so many actually belong to churches”
    Actually, large majorities in the Nordic countries do belong to churches.
    However, not many people actually attend.
    And this was my original point – it is adherence to Christian principles, rather than necessarily strict observance, that has made these countries socially strong.

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  32. wat dabney (3,724 comments) says:

    And this was my original point – it is adherence to Christian principles…

    Of course “Christian principles” is a complete meaningless term, like “Waitangi principles.”

    Using exactly the same “logic” we find, for example, that these countries adhere to fascist principles (they do want the trains to run on time, don’t they?)

    The fact that they ignore and reject the other 99% of the fascist creed is irrelevant apparently, just as they ignore 99% of the Bible.

    Who knew?

    And with exactly the same argument we find that they adhere to Islamic principles, and who knows what else.

    Your confusion, of course, stems from the fact that you can find a few bits in the Bible which correspond to modern secularism; just as we can find similar correspondence with any other creed.

    When we starting stoning people to death for trivial breaches of senseless moral codes you’ll know that things are changing in your direction.

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  33. Graeme2 (102 comments) says:

    Our democracy is slowly being eroded with more and more power devolving to unelected Maori radicals. If the so called Constitutional review implemented by the Maori party manages to get a written constitution incorporating the treaty then the process will be complete. We will have to all ask Maori permission to do anything. Hardly democratic.

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  34. GJM (62 comments) says:

    Civil Liberties = 10
    I wonder what Kim Dotcom (and Arthur Allen Thomas) would have to say about that?

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  35. Chuck Bird (4,847 comments) says:

    Civil Liberties = 10

    I wonder what men sentenced to double the penalty if they assault their wife as if it were the other way around would have to say?

    I wonder what a man would think when he is told he cannot sit next to an unaccompanied child on an Air NZ aircraft?

    I wonder what a child removed forcibly from his or her parents because some busybody reported the parents for reasonable physical discipline would have to say?

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  36. mandk (968 comments) says:

    wat dabney @1.49
    Where in the New Testament (i.e. the bit that describes Christ’s life, times and teachings) will you find anything that condones stoning?
    But it does record that Christ himself intervened to save the woman caught in adultery from being stoned.
    And btw, exactly where did that link you posted highlight examples of Christ advocating misogyny, bigotry and child molestation? If you care to look at the original source, you will find precisely the opposite.

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  37. Lance (2,634 comments) says:

    @mandk
    You make good points but don’t waste your time on (t)wat

    A vast array of logic and examples have been presented to him in the past as proof that he is wrong. But every single time he will ignore them and continue on with his abuse unabated.

    Lost cause I am afraid.

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  38. GJKiwi (175 comments) says:

    mandk: it isn’t what is written in the bible that is the concern here, but how so-called Christians practice their faith. For example, Cortez was a Christian. The only real requirement is that you believe in Jesus and God. Many of the German generals were Christians, yet they fought on the side of a racist who wanted to exterminate a whole race. And it is cited in the bible, judge not, lest thee be judged, yet, most Christians are very judgemental people. Also, considering that many humanist principles were developed from Christian principles, you can argue whichever way you wish. What humanism rejects is the idea of an all-seeing, all-knowing being who created the Universe with humans at the pinnacle of creation. Yes, a lot of modern society’s ideas were based on Christian principles, but just as many, if not more, are based on principles from Roman and Greek culture. Interesting that the language of Christianity is Latin and not Hebrew or Aramaic. :) I like it when I get the thumbs down by the way, it means there are a lot of people who are reading my posts. Interesting that it doesn’t display who is giving the thumbs down. :)

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  39. wat dabney (3,724 comments) says:

    Where in the New Testament (i.e. the bit that describes Christ’s life, times and teachings) will you find anything that condones stoning?

    Eh?

    Yahweh/Jesus, it’s the same magic pixie, just wearing a different hat.

    Every evil, barbaric atrocity and act of cruelty and intolerance in the Bible comes from the Jesus character, because he is one and the same as the Yahweh character.

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  40. hemihua (31 comments) says:

    10 for civil liberties? HA. Try smoking a bit of green in the presence of the five-oh and see just how civil your liberties are…

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  41. kowtow (8,315 comments) says:

    Different hat rhymes with,
    same old (t)wat.

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