Monday, August 18, 2008

Georgia, Russia, and Democracy

Democracy in Russia is very publicly flawed, at best, most Americans are aware of the wink-wink election they had to elect Medvedev. This is not a secret, but where does a former expert on Russian and Soviet Politics (Condolezza Rice) get off extolling the virtues of Democracy in Georgia? It's misleading at best to make the claim that Georgia is a well-functioning democracy. Check out the Economist "Intelligence Unit's" 2007 Democracy Index:

Rank Overall Elections Function Particip. Culture Civ. Liberty

Full democracies
Sweden 1 9.88 10.00 10.00 10.00 9.38 10.00
Flawed democracies
S. Afr. 29 7.91 8.75 7.86 7.22 6.88 8.82
Hybrid regimes
Albania 83 5.91 7.33 5.07 4.44 5.63 7.06
Kenya 101 5.08 4.33 4.29 5.56 6.25 5.00
Russia 102 5.02 7.00 3.21 5.56 3.75 5.59
Malawi 103 4.97 6.00 5.00 3.89 4.38 5.59
Georgia 104 4.90 7.92 1.79 3.33 5.00 6.47
Cambodia 105 4.77 5.58 6.07 2.78 5.00 4.41

So, uh, yeah. Georgia is a "hybrid regime" meaning that it is NOT a democracy, it is not even a FLAWED democracy, it is a mix of some democratic elements and some distinctly authoritarian elements, kind of like Cambodia, or Kenya. But funnier still, even with the publicized political shenanigans taking place in Russia, it's still more democratic than Georgia. And oh yeah, does everyone remember from all the biased reporting that Georgia attacked first? Thought not.

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