July 11

Constitutional Monarchies are more democratic

In a comment here on 6 May 2011, Evidence overwhelming – constitutional monarchies are better,   I referred to   objective measures which can be used in comparing constitutional monarchies with republics.

This comparison was of relevance in ACM’s campaign in the years leading up to the referendum in 1999. For a number of years, a series of reports about this have been published on this site which are all accessible in the section, Constitutional Monarchies and Republics Compared.The first useful measure is the number of constitutional monarchies in the best ten countries in any objective of the various indices which measure the performance of different countries.

As constitutional monarchies make up around 15% of the countries in the world, if there is more than 1 country in the top five or even top ten, then clearly constitutional monarchies are over represented.

Similarly if there are more than three in the top 20, constitutional monarchies are again over represented.And if constitutional monarchies are over represented, republics (that is politicians' republics) are therefore under represented.

One of the indices I referred to in the comment on on 6 May was The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Index of Democracy.

This was the third edition of The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index. It reflects the situation as of November 2010.   

…the Democracy Index…


“The first edition, published in The Economist’s The World in 2007, measured the state of democracy in September 2006 and the second edition covered the situation towards the end of 2008,“  the introduction to the index explains.

The index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture.Countries are placed within one of four types of regimes: full democracies; flawed democracies; hybrid regimes; and authoritarian regimes.

“Free and fair elections and civil liberties are necessary conditions for democracy,” the introduction says “but they are unlikely to be sufficient for a full and consolidated democracy if unaccompanied by transparent and at least minimally efficient government, sufficient political participation and a supportive democratic political culture.”

“It is not easy to build a sturdy democracy. Even in long-established ones, if not nurtured and protected, democracy can corrode.”

It warns that the “decades-long global trend in democratisation had previously come to a halt in what Larry Diamond (2008) called a “democratic recession”.

Now democracy, it says, is in retreat. "The dominant pattern in all regions over the past two years has been backsliding on previously attained progress in democratisation. The global financial crisis that started in 2008 accentuated some existing negative trends in political development.”

… how do they compare ?…

(Continued below)


Taking the top 10 there should be no more than oneor at the most two constitutional monarchies there. There are in fact six. (Indeed in the top five there should be no constitutional monarchies or at most one – there are in fact three.)

 In the top 20 there should only be three – there are nine.

Among the top group of 26 “Full Democracies”, there should be no more than three or four constitutional monarchies. There are in fact ten.

Once again, constitutional monarchies outperform republics. The evidence from a large number of sources is overwhelming.

Incidentally, Morocco is listed among the authoritarian states in this index , although I would have put it in at least the third or second groups. In any event, the recent changes approved by the people in a referendum should propel Morocco into the top group. 

Constitutional monarchies are going against the trend towards authoritarianism which this index reveals.



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