Democracy Index Calculator

Source: Kekić, Laža. "The Economist Intelligence Unit’s index of democracy" (2006)

I · Electoral process and pluralism

1 · Are elections for the national legislature and head of government free? Consider whether elections are competitive in that electors are free to vote and are offered a range of choices.

2 · Are elections for the national legislature and head of government fair?

3 · Are municipal elections both free and fair?

4 · Is there universal suffrage for all adults? Bar generally accepted exclusions (for example, non-nationals; criminals; members of armed forces in some countries).

5 · Can citizens cast their vote free of significant threats to their security from state or non-state bodies?

6 · Do laws provide for broadly equal campaigning opportunities?

7 · Is the process of financing political parties transparent and generally accepted?

8 · Following elections, are the constitutional mechanisms for the orderly transfer of power from one government to another clear, established and accepted?

9 · Are citizens free to form political parties that are independent of the government?

10 · Do opposition parties have a realistic prospect of achieving government?

11 · Is potential access to public office open to all citizens?

12 · Are citizens free to form political and civic organisations, free of state interference and surveillance?

II · Functioning of government

13 · Do freely elected representatives determine government policy?

14 · Is the legislature the supreme political body, with a clear supremacy over other branches of government?

15 · Is there an effective system of checks and balances on the exercise of government authority?

16 · Government is free of undue influence by the military or the security services.

17 · Foreign powers do not determine important government functions or policies.

18 · Special economic, religious or other powerful domestic groups do not exercise significant political power, parallel to democratic institutions?

19 · Are sufficient mechanisms and institutions in place for assuring government accountability to the electorate in between elections?

20 · Does the government’s authority extend over the full territory of the country?

21 · Is the functioning of government open and transparent, with sufficient public access to information?

22 · How pervasive is corruption?

23 · Is the civil service willing and capable of implementing government policy?

24 · Popular perceptions of the extent to which they have free choice and control over their lives

25 · Public confidence in government

26 · Public confidence in political parties

III · Political participation

27 · Voter participation/turnout for national elections. (average turnout in parliamentary and/or presidential elections since 2000. Turnout as proportion of population of voting age)

28 · Do ethnic, religious and other minorities have a reasonable degree of autonomy and voice in the political process?

29 · Women in parliament. % of members of parliament who are women

30 · Extent of political participation. Membership of political parties and political non-governmental organisations

31 · Citizens’ engagement with politics

32 · The preparedness of population to take part in lawful demonstrations.

33 · Adult literacy.

34 · Extent to which adult population shows an interest in and follows politics in the news.

35 · The authorities make a serious effort to promote political participation. Consider the role of the education system, and other promotional efforts. Consider measures to facilitate voting by members of the diaspora.

IV · Democratic political culture

36 · Is there a sufficient degree of societal consensus and cohesion to underpin a stable, functioning democracy?

37 · Perceptions of leadership; proportion of the population that desires a strong leader who bypasses parliament and elections.

38 · Perceptions of military rule; proportion of the population that would prefer military.

39 · Perceptions of rule by experts or technocratic government; proportion of the population that would prefer rule by experts or technocrats.

40 · Perception of democracy and public order; proportion of the population that believes that democracies are not good at maintaining public order.

41 · Perception of democracy and the economic system; proportion of the population that believes that democracy benefits economic performance.

42 · Degree of popular support for democracy.

43 · There is a strong tradition of the separation of church and state.

V · Civil liberties

44 · Is there a free electronic media?

45 · Is there a free print media?

46 · Is there freedom of expression and protest? (bar only generally accepted restrictions such as banning advocacy of violence)

47 · Is media coverage robust? Is there open and free discussion of public issues, with a reasonable diversity of opinions?

48 · Are there political restrictions on access to the internet?

49 · Are citizens free to form professional organisations and trade unions?

50 · Do institutions provide citizens with the opportunity to successfully petition government to redress grievances?

51 · The use of torture by the state

52 · The degree to which the judiciary is independent of government influence. Consider the views of international legal and judicial watchdogs. Have the courts ever issued an important judgment against the government, or a senior government official?

53 · The degree of religious tolerance and freedom of religious expression. Are all religions permitted to operate freely, or are some restricted? Is the right to worship permitted both publicly and privately? Do some religious groups feel intimidated by others, even if the law requires equality and protection?

54 · The degree to which citizens are treated equally under the law. Consider whether favoured members of groups are spared prosecution under the law.

55 · Do citizens enjoy basic security?

56 · Extent to which private property rights protected and private business is free from undue government influence.

57 · Extent to which citizens enjoy personal freedoms. Consider gender equality, right to travel, choice of work and study.

58 · Popular perceptions on human rights protection; proportion of the population that think that basic human rights are well-protected.

59 · There is no significant discrimination on the basis of people’s race, colour or creed.

60 · Extent to which the government invokes new risks and threats as an excuse for curbing civil liberties.