The Freedom House organization conducts research on democracy, human rights, and political freedom around the world. The Freedom in the World Reports are most notable because of their contribution to the knowledge about the state of civil and political liberties in different countries, ranking them from 1 (the most free) to 7 (the least free). In this paper, Canada was chosen as the focus for exploration, looking specifically at its rating in the Freedom House research. As Canada is a diverse country with a rich history, its status in the Freedom House rating will reveal much about the quality of life enjoyed by its citizens.
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For political rights, Canada received overall 40 out of 40 in the Freedom House rating. Such a high score suggests that the current heads of government are designated fairly, the national legislative representatives were chosen credibly, and that the existing electoral frameworks were fair (electoral process gained a score of 12 out of 12). Highest possible ratings (16 out of 16) were assigned to Canada in terms of political participation and pluralism, which means that Canadian citizens are free to organize themselves in different political parties, oppose the existing rule, are free from military domination, and those in minority groups (LGBT, ethnic, religious, and other groups) are able to exercise their political rights.
In the functioning of government, Canada also received the highest rating (12 out of 12). This is because the population is free to elect legislative representatives and feel protected against official corruption. As such, they expect openness and transparency from their government. All of these individual categories achieved a score of 4 out of 4, which makes the Canadian government functioning at the highest possible level.
In terms of civil liberties, the country recorded a rating of 59 out of 60, which is also a very high indicator. In the category of freedom of expression and belief, Canada received 16 out of 16, which means the media are free and independent, citizens are free to practice their religious beliefs, enjoy academic freedom, and are able to express their personal views without surveillance and retribution.
In terms of associational and organizational rights (12 out of 12), Canadians are free to assemble, non-governmental organizations can operate freely, and trade unions are free. For the rule of law, the country got 15 out of 16, showing that there is an independent judiciary, that due process prevails in legal matters, and that the use of illegitimate force is forbidden. However, in regards to equal treatment, the rating was one point less than the highest possible due to the rising number of minorities in prisons, issues with the indigenous population, and overall discrimination. Lastly, for personal autonomy and individual rights, Canada received the highest rating because its citizens have total freedom of movement, exercise the right to own property, and enjoy social freedoms (“Freedom in the World 2018 Canada”).
Overall, Canada was ranked as the freest country in the world, with a score of 1 according to the Freedom House’s rating. With regard to discussions of democracy, the freedom that the population of Canada exercises points to the fact that the country values the rights of its citizens, and guarantees their freedoms. Despite the fact that such issues as the treatment of minorities remain to be addressed, on a global scale, Canada is among those countries that can boast of a high quality of life for the general population.
“Freedom in the World 2018 Canada.” Freedom House, 2018. Web.