Canada is the 6th best democracy in the world, but the United States has some work to do, according to the new Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index.
Canada scored 9.15 out of 10 when accounting for 60 indicators in five categories: electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture and civil liberties.
Its annual snapshot of worldwide democracy found declining average worldwide scores in 2017, largely driven by social, political and cultural division, which “raise troubling questions about the future direction of our democracies.”
Canada is among 19 nations classified as “full democracies,” but is outranked by Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, and Denmark and tied with Ireland.
Canada has incrementally increased its score since the index was launched in 2006. Its lowest score, 7.78 on political participation, is due to poor voter turnout, low membership in political parties and a general lack of political engagement, says the report.
Its highest score was a 10 on civil liberties.
A special focus of this year’s report, entitled “Free speech under attack,” is the state of free expression and freedom of the press worldwide. Its Media Freedom Index found only 30 countries out of the 167 covered by the Democracy Index are “fully free.”
Canada earned a perfect 10 on that score, along with nine other nations, including the U.S. Another 40 countries are classified as “partly free” and 97 countries are rated as “unfree” or “largely unfree.”