Are republics more democratic than monarchies?

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip sitting in the Senate Chamber along with Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau in October 1977 (Source: Canadian Press, via CBC)

Dystopian democratic data

Table 1. Democracy Index by region. Canada is ranked fifth in the world with a score of 9.24.

My approach

  • Absolute monarchy — a hereditary head of state is vested with all authority (ex. Eswatini)
  • Constitutional monarchy — a hereditary head of state exercises power (usually ceremonial) along with other institutions, such as a parliament (ex. Canada)
  • Presidential republic — a democratically elected head of state is also the head of government, independent of the legislature (ex. United States)
  • One-party state — a head of state is also the leader of the country’s sole legitimate political movement (ex. Cuba)
  • Parliamentary republic (ceremonial) — a ceremonial head of state oversees ministers subject to a confidence vote (ex. Germany)
  • Parliamentary republic (executive) — an executive head of state is appointed by the legislature (ex. South Africa)
  • Provisional government — transitional/military government (ex. Myanmar)
  • Semi-presidential republic — an elected head of state has some executive powers, independent of the legislature (ex. France)

What do the results show?

Table 2. Pearson’s correlation coefficients for the relationships between systems of government and overall democratic score. Relationships were statistically significant if greater than 0.199 or lower than -0.199.
Table 3. Pearson’s correlation coefficients for the relationships between systems of government and Democracy Index indicators. Relationships were statistically significant if greater than 0.199 or lower than -0.199.

What does this mean for Canada?

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Policy wonk and “Islander by accident” | Views are my own

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Matthew Pelletier

Matthew Pelletier

Policy wonk and “Islander by accident” | Views are my own

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