Edda Mueller, chairwoman of Transparency International Germany e.V. poses for the media with the Corruption Perceptions Index 2018, prior to the presentation of the yearly report at a news conference in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. The flyer reading: ‘Corruption Perceptions Index 2018’. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Corruption levels linked to health of democracies

Denmark led the survey as the least corrupt nation, followed by New Zealand, Finland and Singapore while Canada squeaked into the top 10

Countries like Hungary and Turkey are growing more corrupt as they become more autocratic, and threats to the American system of checks and balances have knocked the United States out of the top 20 “cleanest” countries, according to a closely watched annual survey released Tuesday.

Watchdog group Transparency International said its Corruption Perceptions Index for 2018 showed more than two-thirds of countries scoring below 50, on its scale where 100 is very clean and zero is very corrupt.

READ ALSO: IOC marketing chair from Japan investigated for corruption

With a score of 71, the U.S. lost four points over 2017 and dropped out of the top 20 nations for the first time since 2011.

“A four point drop in the CPI score is a red flag and comes at a time when the U.S. is experiencing threats to its system of checks and balance, as well as an erosion of ethical norms at the highest levels of power,” the Berlin-based organization said.

“If this trend continues, it would indicate a serious corruption problem in a country that has taken a lead on the issue globally —this is a bipartisan issue that requires a bipartisan solution.”

In a cross-analysis of its survey with global democracy data, Transparency said a link could be drawn between corruption and the health of a democracy.

Full democracies scored an average of 75 on the corruption index, flawed democracies averaged 49, and autocratic regimes averaged 30, the organization said.

It noted that Hungary dropped eight points and Turkey nine over the past five years, to scores of 46 and 41, respectively.

At the same time, the report cited Freedom House’s annual democracy survey, noting Turkey was downgraded from “partly free” to “not free,” while Hungary registered its lowest score for political rights since the fall of communism in 1989.

READ ALSO: Canadian military drawning up plans for extending Iraq military mission

The ratings reflect the “deterioration of rule of law and democratic institutions, as well as a rapidly shrinking space for civil society and independent media,” the organization said.

“Our research makes a clear link between having a healthy democracy and successfully fighting public sector corruption,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, the head of Transparency. “Corruption is much more likely to flourish where democratic foundations are weak and, as we have seen in many countries, where undemocratic and populist politicians can use it to their advantage.”

Overall, Denmark led the survey as the least corrupt nation, with a score of 88, followed by New Zealand, Finland, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland. Rounding out the top group were Norway, Netherlands, Canada, Luxembourg, Germany and Britain.

Somalia was rated the most corrupt with a score of 10, followed by Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, North Korea, Sudan, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Afghanistan and Libya.

Since 2012, only 20 nations had significantly improved their scores, including Argentina and Ivory Coast, which scored 40 and 35 respectively, up from 35 and 29.

At the same time, 16 have declined significantly in that time, including Australia, which slipped from a score of 85 to 77, and Chile, which dropped from 72 to 67.

The index is calculated using 13 different data sources that provide perceptions of public sector corruption from business people and country experts. These include the African Development Bank Country Policy and Institutional Assessment, the World Bank Country Policy and Institutional Assessment, the World Economic Forum Executive Opinion Survey and the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index Expert Survey.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kootenay-Columbia incumbent MP responds to Trudeau brownface scandal

Stetski proud of NDP leader Singh’s reaction, which focused on people not power

Liberals’ Kootenay-Columbia candidate stands by Trudeau despite scandal

Robin Goldsbury says the prime minister’s racist photo is a learning opportunity

Canal Flats pavilion gets a financial boost

Trust provides over $1.9 million for 12 community projects

Windermere carnival this Sunday

Fundraiser event features bouncy castles, games, reptile room, laser tag, food and fun

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Woman stabbed in downtown Nelson

Victim is in hospital, suspect is in police custody

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Most Read