America has been demoted to “flawed democracy” from “full democracy” by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), CNBC reports.
The EIU’s Democracy Index provides ranks countries in five categories annually: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. They are then put into one of four categories: full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime and authoritarian regime.
America’s score fell to 7.98 in 2016 from 8.05 in 2015. A clean 8.00 is needed for a full democracy rank. We join the esteemed ranks of countries like Italy, France, Japan, South Korean and India.
A flawed democracy is one with free elections that’s nonetheless crippled by, “weak governance, an underdeveloped political culture and low levels of political participation,” according to the EIU.
This was happening before Trump’s ascension.
“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 explained.
It blamed distrust of government, elected representatives and political parties for some of the issues.
“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,” the report found.
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