Skip to content

Democracy and civil liberties are not universal concepts

Canada performs well in latest Democracy Index report
Canada placed 12th in the latest Democracy Index report. The report, published annually, shows freedoms and civil liberties in 167 countries. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

An international democracy report, released in early February, shows Canada has a healthy democracy and rates well in its civil liberties.

Democracy Index 2022, released by the Economist Intelligence Unit, gave Canada a score of 8.88 out of 10, ranking the country 12th of 167 countries worldwide.

Canada was one of only 24 countries rated as a full democracy in this report. Other categories were flawed democracy, hybrid regime and authoritarian.

The United States, in 30th place, does not rate as a full democracy. Since 2016, that country has been ranked as a flawed democracy instead.

In the most recent Democracy Index report, Canada received perfect marks for its electoral process and pluralism, and high marks for functioning of its government, political participation, political culture and civil liberties.

Canada has also received high marks from other sources monitoring democracy and civil liberties.

In its report, Freedom in the World 2022, U.S.-based Freedom House gave Canada a score of 98 in its 2022 report, behind Norway, Finland, Sweden and New Zealand, but ahead of Denmark and the Netherlands. This annual study of 210 countries and territories examines people’s access to political rights and civil liberties.

Canada’s high rankings in these studies are not to be taken lightly.

Not everyone lives in a democratic society where civil liberties are highly valued.

A 2022 report from the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, based in Sweden, suggests there is a growing global trend towards authoritarianism. In addition, the report states that half the world’s democracies are in retreat and half of the world’s non-democracies are becoming more repressive.

The rights and freedoms we have in Canada today are not in place everywhere else.

It is important to monitor what is happening in this country by various levels of government and to speak out when one has concerns about decisions being made by those in leadership roles.

It is equally important to understand and appreciate the rights and freedoms we enjoy in this country.

Canada has a strong democracy and provides civil liberties. These things are not present in other parts of the world.

— Black Press