Report: Only 19 Countries Are ‘Full Democracies’: The US Is Not Among Them

January 29th, 2017 - by admin

Vice News & The Economist Intelligence Unit – 2017-01-29 01:04:04

US Downgraded to “Flawed Democracy” Status
Rex Santus / Vice News

(January 26, 2017) — The number of “full democracies” in the world has decreased from 20 in 2015 to 19 in 2016 — and the one missing is the United States of America.

That’s according to the 2016 Democracy Index, which is managed by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The group said the US was downgraded due to “a further erosion of trust in government and elected officials there.”

Donald Trump’s rise to power was not the cause of the downgrade; rather, he benefitted from broad distrust in political institutions among US voters.

“By tapping a deep strain of political disaffection with the functioning of democracy, Mr. Trump became a beneficiary of the low esteem in which US voters hold their government, elected representatives and political parties, but he was not responsible for a problem that has had a long gestation,” the report reads.

The index tracks the governments of 167 countries. The US is currently slotted at spot 21. Other countries considered “flawed” democracies include France, Greece, and Japan. The list is topped by Norway — which maintains a near-perfect score of 9.93 out of 10 for measures of democracy the group tracks — and North Korea gets the dubious crown of the least democratic nation in the world.

Congress is widely detested in the United States, with an approval rating of just 19 percent, according to Gallup. President Trump entered office with the lowest approval rating of any president in at least 70 years: 45 percent. The average president enters office with an approval rating of about 66 percent.

Democracy Index 2016
The Economist Intelligence Unit

According to the 2016 Democracy Index, almost one-half of the world’s countries can be considered to be democracies of some sort, but the number of “full democracies” has declined from 20 in 2015 to 19 in 2016.

The US has been downgraded from a “full democracy” to a “flawed democracy” because of a further erosion of trust in government and elected officials there.

The “democratic recession” worsened in 2016, when no region experienced an improvement in its average score and almost twice as many countries (72) recorded a decline in their total score as recorded an improvement (38). Eastern Europe experienced the most severe regression.

The 2016 Democracy Index report, Revenge of the “Deplorables,” examines the deep roots of today’s crisis of democracy in the developed world, and looks at how democracy fared in every region.

Trump’s Source on Three Million People
Voting “Illegally” Has Yet to Supply Evidence

Vice News

(January 17, 2017) — Donald Trump made it clear at the beginning of his campaign that he wasn’t going to follow the normal rules or tone of politics. And almost daily since winning the election in November, the businessman and former reality-TV star has continued to defy precedents set by the 44 Oval Office occupants who came before him.

We’re keeping track of all the ways Trump’s presidency veers from the norm, both in policy and in rhetoric, starting from Nov. 9, the day he became president-elect. We’re also highlighting the ways in which policymakers and pundits normalize Trump’s abnormal actions, words, and policies.

(Day 8 — January 27, 2017) President Donald Trump for the first time revealed a source for his dubious, unfounded claim that 3 million to 5 million people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election.

Donald J. Trump ‏‪@realDonaldTrump

Look forward to seeing final results of VoteStand. Gregg Phillips and crew say at least 3,000,000 votes were illegal. We must do better!

Gregg Phillips is the self-described founder of the voting-fraud reporting app VoteStand. Despite his claim in November that he has “verified more than 3 million votes cast by non-citizens,” Phillips has yet to produce any evidence of what would be the greatest incidence of voting fraud in American history. Trump has since repeatedly trumpeted the claim to explain his near 3 million popular vote loss to Hillary Clinton.

Right-wing conspiracy website InfoWars notably cited Phillips’ tweets as a source for its claims of voter fraud.

Phillips told The Daily Beast this week that evidence is forthcoming but refused to give a timeline for public disclosure. VoteStand is applying an “enormous amount of analytic capacity to” 184 million records, he explained.

It’s unclear where those millions of records came from, however, since the VoteStand app has never ranked higher than than 374 among US lifestyle apps in the iTunes app store, according to the mobile analytics service App Annie.

Why it’s not normal:
A new president wouldn’t publicly allege that millions of people voted illegally in an election he won, especially based on such a sketchy source.

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