The US Falls From Full To Flawed Democracy For First Time
For the first time ever the United States has been downgraded from a "full democracy" to "flawed democracy," according to a recent study.
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index, the "erosion of public trust in political institutions" has contributed to a gradual decline for the country's democracy, with America's score falling to 7.98 last year from 8.05 in 2015, which is below the 8.00 marker for a full democracy.
Countries are given scores based on the following five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture
Although the United States has free elections, "weak governance, an underdeveloped political culture and low levels of political participation," are all part of the reason for the demotion (and not just Donald Trump, although what he has done since being in the White House will surely add to that).
"The U.S. has been teetering on the brink of becoming a flawed democracy for several years, and even if there had been no presidential election in 2016, its score would have slipped below 8.00," the report stated. "Trust in political institutions is an essential component of well-functioning democracies. Yet surveys by Pew, Gallup and other polling agencies have confirmed that public confidence in government has slumped to historic lows in the U.S. This has had a corrosive effect on the quality of democracy."
"Democracy is in trouble in the West, in the mature democracies of western Europe and the U.S., which are no longer obvious beacons for those striving for democracy in the nondemocratic world," the study concluded.
However, the United States is not the only country that has been classified as a flawed democracy: Japan, France, Singapore, South Korea and India have also received the label from the study.
On the opposite end of the flawed democracy spectrum is Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, Denmark, Canada and Ireland, all of which are categorized as full democracies.