Thursday, October 20, 2005

Democracy and Corruption In The World

The excellent Transparency International just published its 2005 league table of corruption, with this map of the world, in which the light colored nations are honest, and increasing darker colors are increasingly corrupt.


Copyright Transparency International:
Corruption Perceptions Index 2005 world map

Democratic nations tend to be honest, and the good news is that as democracy spreads, so corruption decreases:

...a number of countries and territories show noteworthy improvements – a decline in perceptions of corruption – over the past year, including Estonia, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Qatar, Taiwan and Turkey.

Glad to see that France is putting in an effort...

Corruption is the hallmark of the kleptocracies, fear states and dictatorships that make up the bulk of the UN, and the bad news is that some are getting worse, with an:

...increase in perceived corruption from 2004 to 2005...in countries such as Costa Rica, Gabon, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Uruguay.

So which nations do you trust? It's a personal judgment - I only trust ones less corrupt than France:

Iceland
Finland
New Zealand
Denmark
Singapore
Sweden
Switzerland
Norway
Australia
Austria
Netherlands
United Kingdom
Luxembourg
Canada
Hong Kong
Germany
USA

I'm guessing that the USA is low in this list because of its pockets of corrupt pols elected by felons and the deceased, and it may also reflect the Enron-type scandals.

If you take a more relaxed view and take the list down as far as Taiwan, you add the following not-too-corrupt nations, in order

France
Belgium
Ireland
Chile
Japan
Spain
Barbados
Malta
Portugal
Estonia
Israel
Oman
United Arab Emirates
Slovenia
Botswana
Qatar
Taiwan

Finally, Transparency International confirms the previously noted bad news - our aid money feeds corrupt dictators:

Nineteen of the world’s poorest countries have been granted debt service relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, testifying to their economic reform achievements.

Not one of these countries, however, scored above 4 on the CPI, indicating serious to severe levels of corruption. These countries still face the grave risk that money freed from debt payments now entering national budgets will be forfeited to greed, waste or mismanagement.

The honest nations of the world will only help the suffering when they send their own troops along to change the regimes and administer their aid, as we have in Iraq. Which I'm pleased to note is currently engaged in the very un-corrupt task of checking out claimed anomalies in its constitution vote.