Philippines slips in 2011 global democracy index rankings

Posted on December 22, 2011

THE PHILIPPINES has slightly slipped in ranking in the 2011 global democracy index by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), even as it retained its score in terms of the level of democracy the country enjoys.

Entitled “Democracy Under Stress,” the EIU’s Democracy Index 2011 report -- which covered 165 independent states and two territories -- shows that the country fell to 75th place, one notch down from its ranking last year, though it maintained its democracy index score of 6.12.

The EIU’s media bureau in Asia said such change in ranking unaccompanied by a change in score is simply due to the index’s relativity. “The ranking reflects relative position -- the placing of any one country is affected by the assessment of all the others, not just itself,” the bureau stated in an e-mail yesterday.

The 10 countries that topped the ranking are still Norway (overall score 9.8), Iceland (9.65), Denmark (9.52), Sweden (9.50), New Zealand (9.26), Australia (9.22), Finland (9.19), Switzerland (9.09), Canada (9.08) and the Netherlands (8.99).

The countries at the bottom of the list, on the other hand, are Guinea-Bissau and Syria (1.99 each); Iran (1.98); Central African Republic (1.82); Saudi Arabia, Equatorial Guinea, Myanmar (1.77 each); Uzbekistan (1.74); Turkmenistan (1.72); Chad (1.62); and North Korea (1.08).

The democracy index was based on public opinion surveys as well as experts’ ratings for 60 indicators classified under five categories, namely, electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; government functioning; political participation; and political culture.

Countries that scored 8-10 were classified under full democracy, while countries rated six to 7.9 were tagged as flawed democracies. Countries with hybrid regimes have scores of four to 5.9, while authoritarian regimes have scores below four.

The Philippines falls under the flawed democracy category, in which 53 other countries, or the majority, are classified. -- AEB