The Democracy Index is an index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). It is based on 60 indicators grouped in five different categories:
I Electoral process and pluralism: coexistence of different interests, convictions, and lifestyles.
- Are elections for the national legislature and head of government free?
II Functioning of government
- Is there an effective system of checks and balances on the exercise of government authority?
- How pervasive is corruption?
III Political participation
- Extent to which adult population shows an interest in and follows politics in the news.
- The authorities make a serious effort to promote political participation.
IV Democratic political culture: common values and practices on the political system
- Perceptions of leadership; proportion of the population that desires a strong leader who bypasses parliament and elections.
V Civil liberties: freedom (speech, religion, press, ideas, right to a fair trial, right to life…)
- Is media coverage robust? Is there open and free discussion of public issues, with a reason able diversity of opinions?
- Are there political restrictions on access to the internet?
- There is no signifi cant discrimination on the basis of people’s race, colour or creed.
Questions that impact the score a lot:
- “Whether national elections are free and fair”;
- “The security of voters”;
- “The influence of foreign powers on government”;
- “The capability of the civil servants to implement policies”.
Degree of democratization:
- Full democracy: civil liberties and fundamental political freedoms respected and reinforced by a political culture; A system of governmental checks and balances; An independent judiciary.
- Flawed democracies: elections are fair and free and basic civil liberties may have issues (e.g. media freedom infringement); underdeveloped political culture; low levels of participation in politics
- Hybrid regimes: regular electoral frauds; governments that apply pressure on political opposition; non-independent judiciaries, corruption, pressure on the media;
- Authoritarian regimes: political pluralism is nonexistent or severely limited; absolute monarchies or dictatorship.