Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Performance Appraisal - Democracy & Human Rights

This is the final post in the series regarding the Communist government's performance over the past 8 years. This time I look at the progress they have made in strengthening Moldova's democracy and protecting the rights of her citizens. Fortunately in this area there is a wealth of statistics available.

Freedom House publishes indicators dealing with the degree of political freedom and civil liberty in countries all over the world. In their view Moldova is a partly free society, just as it was in 2000. FH also publishes a press-freedom index; unfortunately on this measure Moldova has moved from 'partly free' to 'not free', a serious indictment of the government's failure to permit an active, independent press.

Moving to measures of economic freedom, we observe that Moldova's ranking in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index has fallen from 2.6 to 2.9, and her international ranking has fallen from 74 to 109, i.e. the country is perceived as being significantly more corrupt. The Heritage Foundation measures Moldova's economy as being 58.4% free, or a world ranking of 89. In 2000, Moldova enjoyed a similar degree of freedom, but was ranked more highly - economic freedom has increased in many countries over the last eight years.

In summary, it appears that some freedoms have been maintained while others have been eroded. The situtation with respect to press freedom is particularly worrying, as this is an essential pillar of freedom in any democracy.

This one is a clear fail.

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