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

Delta police arrest four in focus on property crime hot spots

The DPD is using the arrests to highlight the work of its patrol support team

VAISAKHI EXPLAINED: Founding of the Khalsa was a seminal event in Sikh history

There are five K’s – articles of faith – worn by baptized Sikhs

Setting the stage for emerging performers

Variety fundraiser and ongoing open-mics showcase local talent

North Delta robotics team set to take on the best in the world

Seaquam Secondary’s robotics team is headed to Kentucky for the Vex Robotics World Championships

Four Surrey students head to New Brunswick for Canada-wide science fair

Three projects move to nationals following regional fair at KPU

Parliament Hill 4-20 organizers predict record crowd after legalization

A celebration? Yes, but organizers say concerns remain about the government’s decisions on legalization rollout

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

VIDEO: Giants draw first blood in Western Conference championships

In Game 1 of the best-of-seven series between Vancouver and Spokane, the G-Men emerged triumphant

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, multiple people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Most Read