Democracy is good for us…

Mark over at Global Dashboard notes that the top five countries in the development table (including the Republic) “have had 44 changes of government following peaceful democratic elections” since 1960. The bottom five? Just 2 each!

, , ,

  • Incredible!! Amazing!!

  • Greenflag

    Adjust the start date for the survey to 1980 and Zimbabwe could have made the bottom 5 list .

    Adjust the start date to 1920 , restrict the survey to Western Europe and Northern Ireland would have topped/bottomed ? (take your pick) the bottom list in respect of at least the number of change of Government having achieved a world beating 0 changes 🙁

    A little known country which Mark at Global Dashboard missed out on is Equatorial Guinea in West Africa . It was recently (a few years back ) in the news when a son of a former British Prime Minister had himself declared persona non grata in the USA following alleged attempts to stage a coup d’etat against the ‘lawfully ‘ elected Government of President Teodoro Obiang etc .

    Some noteworthy facts on EG . Equatorial Guinea gained independence in 1968 after 190 years of Spanish rule. This tiny country, composed of a mainland portion plus five inhabited islands, is one of the smallest on the African continent. President Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO has ruled the country since 1979 when he seized power in a coup.(how else ?) Although nominally a constitutional democracy since 1991, the 1996 and 2002 presidential elections – as well as the 1999 and 2004 legislative elections – were widely seen as flawed. The president exerts almost total control over the political system and has discouraged political opposition. Equatorial Guinea has experienced rapid economic growth due to the discovery of large offshore oil reserves, and in the last decade has become Sub-Saharan Africa’s third largest oil exporter. Despite the country’s economic windfall from oil production resulting in a massive increase in government revenue in recent years, there have been few improvements in the population’s living standards.

    The country’s population is a little over 600,000 and it’s national budget income is some 5 billion dollars whereas it’s ‘expenditure’ on it’s citizens is 2.5 billion . Nobody knows where the other 2.5 billion goes.

    Even Zimbabwean President Mugabe would envy President Teodoro’s grasp of the nuances of ensuring a ‘democratic ‘ mandate . With a 97.1 % vote – Teodoro is up there with Stalin and other despots in his ‘overwhelming ‘ popularity with the people .

    Before we all rush out to condemn this banana sorry democtaric oil republic in West Africa please note that it’s GDP per capita is 12,000 US dollars and life expectancy for females is 62 years which is just a year less than that for Scottish males in the Glasgow East constituency where today they will at least have an election where none of the parties will get 97.1% of the vote .

    No prizes for guessing which major oil consuming country gets most of the oil from Equatorial Guinea this ‘jewel of democracy’ on Africa’s west coast. No prizes for guessing which major oil consuming country is not pushing for ‘democratic ‘ reforms in a country which has reached Tier 2 level in UN rankings in it’s tolerance of child abduction from neighbouring countries for labour and sexual exploitation .

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    Why, it’s almost as if some countries are more democratic than others!

    And I’ll wager that some political systems have lots of elections due to the inherent constitutional contradictions which lead to political instability and coalition governments. GYAC Italy.

    This just in, the earth isn’t flat.

  • abucs

    Some democratic Asian countries look to the incredible development of Singapore over the last couple of generations and would wish for a leader like Lee Kuan Yew to run their country as a ‘one man show’ for a period of over thirty years.