Canada Ranks 13th on Democracy Index 2023

Key Points

• Canada ranks 13th on the EIU's Democracy Index 2023, among the highest of the world's top oil and gas exporters

• Democracies are better places for private investment than autocracies by all metrics

• Canada is a global leader in social and environmental initiatives and should be recognized for it

Canada Ranks 13th on Democracy Index 2023

Canada has ranked 13th on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) annual Democracy Index 2023, slipping down from 12th the previous year, but remaining one of the few top global energy exporters on the list classified as a “full democracy.”

First published in 2006, the EIU’s index sets out to measure the state of democracy in nearly 200 countries using 60 different indicators across five categories, including:

  • Electoral process and pluralism
  • Functioning of government
  • Political participation
  • Political culture
  • Civil liberties

While Canada's rank has dropped slightly over the past few years, our country maintains a high score of 8.69 out of a perfect 10. According to the EIU, just 7.8 per cent of the world's population lives in a country considered a “full democracy.”

Canadians should be proud!

Here are the top 15 most democratic nations on the EIU's Democracy Index 2023, along with their corresponding score.

Democracy Index 2023: Top 15 Nations

#1 – Norway – 9.81
#2 – New Zealand – 9.61
#3 – Iceland – 9.45
#4 – Sweden – 9.39
#5 – Finland – 9.30
#6 – Denmark – 9.28
#7 – Ireland – 9.19
#8 – Switzerland – 9.14
#9 – Netherlands – 9.00
#10 – Taiwan – 8.92
#11 – Luxembourg – 8.81
#12 – Germany – 8.80
#13 – Canada – 8.69
#14 – Australia – 8.66
#15 - Uruguay – 8.66

Why is Democracy Important?

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 individuals and enterprises 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's position as a world-class leader on social and environmental indicators like those shown in the Democracy Index 2023 indicates the opportunity we have to expand our global market share for critical commodities such as oil, natural gas and minerals. Canada can – and should – unleash its responsibly produced natural resources onto global markets to help displace supply from less stable and responsible producer nations, while continuing to promote democratic values, environmental protection and resource security abroad.

More sustainably produced Canadian resources on global markets is good for our families, good for human rights and social progress, AND good the climate.

Global Resource Demand is Growing

Canada is a leading global producer of a variety of natural resources. We are the:

  • top producer of potash
  • second-largest producer of uranium
  • third-largest producer of hydropower
  • third-largest producer of diamonds
  • fourth-largest producer of gold
  • fourth-largest producer of oil
  • fifth-largest producer of natural gas
  • seventh-largest producer of electricity
  • seventh-largest producer of renewable energy
  • one of the world’s largest producers of softwood lumber
  • a top global agriculture and agri-food producer

The list goes on. We also are home to the world's eighth-largest biofuel capacity and eighth-largest wind power generation capacity.

In 2021, Canada was the world's top electricity exporter, accounting for about 8 per cent of global exports. We generate 83 per cent of our electricity from non-emission sources such as hydro, nuclear, wind and solar, some of which are exported to displace higher GHG-intensive forms of electricity generation in the United States.

Canada is also a top 10 oil exporter that consistently ranks first among the top oil exporting nations and reserve holders on social and environmental indices.

With global demand for everything from oil and gas to renewables to minerals to food projected to grow over the next several years, Canada is ideally situated to be a go-to supplier. However, we still face some export capacity issues which are blocking responsibly produced Canadian energy from reaching global markets in dire need.

The World Needs More Canadian Resources – Not Less

Most investors today consider social and environmental criteria when choosing where to put their money. For example, in 2018, over 80% of the world's largest corporations adhered to standards closely aligned with ESG criteria in some way or another, taking four main factors very seriously:

  • treatment of workers
  • company image and innovation
  • supply chain management
  • climate change

Canadian resource companies take Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investor criteria to heart across the country. For example, more than 75 statistics show exactly how Canadian energy is already a leader in environmental protection, new innovation and clean technology.

As the 13th most democratic country on Earth – a supposed pre-requisite for a healthy business environment – Canadians need to start asking why so much capital investment and investor confidence has fled our country over the past several years. Canadians also must start to closely examine why we have difficulty building new natural resource projects like LNG export facilities when there is a clear business case for these projects and other countries in the world are full speed ahead.

It's time that all Canadians recognize we are one of the most stable, responsible and democratic natural resource producers on Earth, and understand the immense socio-economic benefits this industry creates for our families from coast to coast.

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Canada is one of the few remaining full democracies with an abundance of natural resources ranging from minerals and softwood to food and energy. We are also global leaders on ESG metrics and should be a destination of choice for new investment into the world's natural resource sectors.

We invite you to join us online to learn more about Canada's world-class ESG rankings on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook today!


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