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

BREAKING: Body of missing man recovered from Sylvan Lake

Palwinder Singh disappeared underwater after his inflatable flipped

Red Deer Reads winning title revealed

The winning title for this year’s Red Deer Reads describes a doctor’s… Continue reading

Central Alberta farm family has been community-building since 1882

Kemp family of Innisfail receives 2019 Golden Furrow Award

Search on for missing man after tubing fun takes tragic turn on Sylvan lake

SYLVAN LAKE, Alta. — A young man is missing and presumed drowned… Continue reading

WATCH: Trailer stolen from Red Deer deli

A Red Deer business has contacted police after a trailer was stolen… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Thursday The Red Deer and District Garden Club hosts its annual Flower… Continue reading

Local Sports: Paige Simpson is a tenacious softball player

Paige Simpson isn’t about to let a bump in the road affect… Continue reading

Raiders beat Packers in Winnipeg on reconfigured 80-yard field

Raiders 22 Packers 21 WINNIPEG — Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson booted a… Continue reading

Best in the West: Eskimos host Bombers in showcase of top CFL teams

EDMONTON — From the moment they broke training camp facing a season… Continue reading

Canadians Auger-Aliassime, Shapovalov to meet again in U.S. Open first round

Felix Auger-Aliassime didn’t have much time to savour his first career appearance… Continue reading

Thomas loses cushion, shares lead in Tour Championship

ATLANTA — Xander Schauffele was six shots behind before he ever hit… Continue reading

China’s rust belt looks abroad as growth slows, tariffs bite

YINGKOU, China — From Thailand to Kenya, trains run on tracks from… Continue reading

Estate planning for Fido: How to make sure pets live the good life if you go

If four-year-old Gracie’s parents die, a trusted family member receives $10,000 from… Continue reading

Most Read