Published: Fri, January 27, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Index dubs United States of America a 'flawed democracy'

The U.S. -memorably described by Ronald Reagan as a "shining city upon a hill" inspiring the rest of the world-is now a "flawed democracy", according to an influential think tank.

For the first time, the United States has officially slipped in the Economist Intelligence Unit's rankings of global democracy - from "full democracy" to "flawed democracy" - putting us at the same level as countries like Singapore, Italy and India, CNBC reported on Wednesday. But the 2016 Democracy Index found the USA came up just short of its former title, relegating it to the likes of other "flawed democracies" such as Italy, France and Costa Rica among others.

The study goes on to say Trump "was not responsible" for a problem that had "a long gestation".

The Economist downgraded USA democracy in 2017, citing further erosion of trust in government and elected officials.

The US, the report says, has been downgraded due to the fall in public confidence in public institutions, leading to the election of President Donald Trump.

The Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture.

The index classifies countries in one of four ways: full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime, and authoritarian regime.

The downgrade was not a outcome of Donald Trump.

"Trust in political institutions is an essential component of well-functioning democracies", the report added.

President-elect Donald Trump arrives for the inauguration ceremonies swearing him in as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.

"On the contrary, the election of Mr. Trump as US president was in large part a effect of the longstanding problems of democracy in the USA", she said.

The index tracks the governments of 167 countries.

On the opposite end of the flawed democracy spectrum is Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, Denmark, Canada and Ireland, all of which are categorized as full democracies. The worst democracies in the world are North Korea, Syria, and Chad.

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