Given all the political turmoil enveloping the Middle East, we thought that we’d better investigate. I mean, are these regimes really unjust? Or is it just a bunch of people who don’t appreciate the true merit of strong leadership having a whine?
- Data provider: Polity IV project
- Uploaded by: Gapminder
- Visualizations supplied by: DataMarket
- Complete reference: Polity IV Project: Political Regime Characteristics and Transitions, 1800-2007
- Defining the data – Definition of indicator: Overall polity score from the Polity IV dataset, calculated by subtracting an autocracy score from a democracy score. It is a summary measure of a country’s democratic and free nature. -10 is the lowest value, 10 the highest.
It turns out that, according to our data set, the irritability displayed by the various populaces is probably justified.
Democracy score: Egypt vs Libya (1800 – 2007)
Egypt, Libya and Tunisia have all been in the news lately, as popular rebellions attempt to, or have, overthrown grossly unpopular regimes.
The first line that stands out on the chart is the one representing Libya’s democracy score. It has flat-lined, without a hint of movement, since available data began being collected in July 1951. So, if you lived in a country with a permanent, seemingly immovable, democracy score of minus seven, come 2011, you’d probably be fairly irate. In February 2011, a mass anti-government protest was launched against Libya’s leader – Gaddafi. On February 18 protestors took control of the city of Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city. The conflict continues.
Following on from the end of World War II and the revolution of 1952, Egypt’s democracy score took a big hit, diving from one (ok, that’s not that flash) to minus seven. Although, it should be noted that Egypt’s democracy score was as high as four in 1923. Whilst under Mubarak Egypt’s democracy score did rise to minus three, such oppressive circumstances a clearly not tolerable in modern society. Mubarak was removed from power on 11 February 2011.
Democracy score: Egypt vs Libya vs Tunisia (1800 – 2007)
Tunisia’s political history has been recorded in this data set from July 1959. Tunisia achieved independence from France in 1957, but essentially remained one of the most inhospitable nations on earth (according to our democracy rating), until the mid 80s, where its democracy score soared to the dizzying heights of minus three.
This ‘spike’ followed the removal of Tunisia’s first President, Habib Bourguiba, in 1987. He was replaced by Prime Minister Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, until he and his family were accused of corruption, fleeing in 2011.
Democracy score: Egypt vs Libya vs Tunisia vs Australia (1800 – 2007)
There’s not much to say about Australia.
It was as undemocratic as an English boarding school, then, after Federation in 1901, went through an instantaneous transformation, becoming an aspirational perfect 10.