Did you know that Canada, one of the world’s top 10 oil exporters, ranked 6th out of 167 countries on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index 2018?
First published in 2006, this index has set out each year since to measure the “state of democracy” in these countries using 60 different indicators across five categories, including:
- Electoral process and pluralism
- Functioning of government
- Political participation
- Democratic political culture
- Civil liberties
The EIU found Canada to be one of 20 nations evaluated as a “full democracy” with a score of 9.15 out of 10.00, and that just 4.5% of the world’s population live in a country categorized as such.
Who ranked above Canada? Here’s the top 10 most democratic nations on the EIU’s Democracy Index 2018:
Democracy Index 2018: Top 10 Nations
> #1 – Norway – Score – 9.87
> #2 – Iceland – Score – 9.58
> #3 – Sweden – Score – 9.39
> #4 – New Zealand – Score – 9.26
> #5 – Denmark – Score – 9.22
> #6 – Canada – Score – 9.15
> #6 – Ireland – Score – 9.15
> #8 – Finland – Score - 9.14
> #9 – Australia – Score – 9.09
> #10 – Switzerland – Score – 9.03
Why is the Democracy Index Important?
In general, stable and transparent governments are built on a strong foundation of civil rights and rule of law conducive to the creation and unrestricted operation of private businesses.
On the other hand, authoritarian regimes that suppress the rights and liberties of their population tend to have the opposite effect, limiting business opportunities for both individuals and enterprises which are not owned by the state.
While democracy isn’t the only factor in determining good economic performance, it is integral in providing individuals and companies with the political stability and business environment required to build a foundation for steady growth and investment over the long-term.
Canada is the sixth most democratic nation in the world. We should be seen as a great place to do business for energy companies, right? Currently, not so much.
Global Energy Demand is Growing
Canada is a global leader of energy production. We are ranked third in the world for hydro power, fourth for crude oil, sixth for natural gas and ninth for wind power, and when we produce energy we do so to some of the highest environmental, regulatory and labour standards in the world.
We are also a top 10 oil exporter who consistently ranks 1st among these nations for environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria.
With global energy demand for both fossil fuels and renewables projected to grow over the next few decades, the responsible producer and exporter of energy that Canada is should be the one to take up as much market share as possible.
Currently our country cannot get its oil to world markets other than the United States, allowing our closest ally (but also our largest competitor on the global oil and gas market) to buy Canadian crude at rates that are lower than what the standard world barrel is traded for.
The World Needs More Canadian Energy, Not Less
Most investors today consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria when making decisions on where to invest their money. As a matter of fact, in 2018 over 80% of the world’s largest corporations adhered to GRI standards (closely aligned with ESG criteria) in some way or another, taking very seriously four main factors:
- treatment of workers
- company image and innovation
- supply chain management
- climate change
Canada takes ESG investor criteria to heart not just in the oil and gas sector, but in all industries across the country. Here’s more than 60 statistics showing exactly how Canada is already a leader in labour standards, environmental protection, clean technology and innovation and regulation.
As the sixth most “democratic” nation on the planet, Canadians need to start asking why so much capital investment and investor confidence has fled our country. Why is Canada one of the only top global oil exporters introducing strangulating regulations which are choking the remaining life out of one of our nation’s most economically vital industries?
It’s time Canadians from coast-to-coast recognize Canada’s natural resource sector as world-class, and understanding the socio-economic benefits this industry creates for our country. Four of Canada’s five major bank CEOs are urging support for our oil and gas sector, it’s time we followed their example and did as well!
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