Measuring Freedom And Liberty

The previous post got me furiously pounding the commmmpewter in search of the elusive freest society on the planet. There are many think-tanks and organizations that monitor "human freedom" and "liberty" index, each with their own criteria.

It's tough to gauge and quantify something like "freedom" but I think they all do a fair job of giving us an indication of where we (as in the world; the human species) stand. By most studies, freedom is measured according to freedom of the press, democracy, economy, polity and individual.

Canada, for its part, as a whole, though not the "freest" on any list, does well overall. Though I still maintain we're over regulated and the impulse to regulate more is ever present.

We're essentially, thankfully, a top 10 country and do consistently better than our neighbors to the south. I often invoke the founding fathers more as a reminder of what we should aspire to on a liberty level and the irony is that Canada fares better than the USA on average - according to the sources linked.

Although the Heritage Foundation begs to differ. Of all the lists I've seen, they have the U.S. ranked the highest in 6th spot while Canada sits in 7th. Singapore is second. Singapore? Really?

The Fraser Institute, another conservative think-tank has similar rankings.

Another list can be found here - not sure about when it was published but it gives you a neat list of libertarian parties around the world. Freedom House also monitors, you guessed it, freedom.

I know The Economist publishes its own rankings but I was not able to find an online version of its Pocket World In Figures. The closest I could come to is this and this.


On a slightly off tangent, global competitiveness (which I imagine discounts freedom in its calculations) is also measured. Here, the United States rules. Canada is 10th.

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