Followup to: How much democracy in your democracy?.
I find the very concept of monarchy obscene - its premise is that some woman has a magical vagina, and whatever first comes out of said vagina is blessed with magic powers that somehow make it most well suited to rule a country. Alternatively, some man has a magical penis - but monarchies are older than DNA testing so while the theory often emphasized penises, the practice was mostly vaginal.
In either case, this is just so ridiculous, I cannot imagine how fucked up must someone brain be before they start treating it seriously, and yet they did! Some still do. But as Karl Marx said, being determines consciousness - and nobody ever came up with an idea so ridiculous, that some privileged people couldn't use it as an excuse for existence of their privileges. Cosmic Jewish Zombie? Magical Vaginas? Social Darwinism? Efficient Market Hypothesis? Anything goes, as long as it implies the privileged stay privileged of course.
Anyway, in spite of my repulsion with the concept of monarchy, I decided to run some data analysis on effects different systems of governments have on levels of freedom and democracy.
Data comes from Wikipedia - government systems, Democracy Index (by The Economist), and Freedom in the World Index (Freedom House, essentially CIA).
Monarchies are more free than republicsIt doesn't take a sophisticated statistical analysis to see that monarchies are more free than republics. Here's Democracy Index, higher is better:
- All countries: 5.6 +- 2.22 [n=163]
- Monarchies: 6.37 +- 2.63 [n=28]
- Republics: 5.44 +- 2.08 [n=135]
Just to verify, let's check Freedom in the World Civil Liberties and Political Right indexes (for both lower is better). Here's Civil Liberties:
- All countries: 3.19 +- 1.81 [n=192]
- Monarchies: 2.56 +- 1.7 [n=43]
- Republics: 3.38 +- 1.8 [n=149]
- All countries: 3.35 +- 2.13 [n=192]
- Monarchies: 2.88 +- 2.15 [n=43]
- Republics: 3.49 +- 2.1 [n=149]
It gets betterThe results so far were not terribly interesting, so I tried something else - how important is having ceremonial head of state versus one with actual executive power? It's rather shocking (higher better):
- Ceremonial: 7.47 +- 1.42 [n=54]
- Executive: 4.67 +- 1.93 [n=109]
- Ceremonial: 2.01 +- 1.28 [n=70]
- Executive: 3.87 +- 1.72 [n=122]
- Ceremonial: 1.96 +- 1.37 [n=70]
- Executive: 4.16 +- 2.07 [n=122]
That's 1.25 σ for democracy, and a bit over 1 σ for the other two indices!
Combining two criteria gets expected results - figurehead kings > figurehead presidents > executive presidents > executive kings. Democracy Index (higher better):
- Ceremonial Monarchies: 8.12 +- 1.41 [n=18]
- Ceremonial Republics: 7.15 +- 1.32 [n=36]
- Executive Republics: 4.82 +- 1.96 [n=99]
- Executive Monarchies: 3.23 +- 0.67 [n=10]
- Ceremonial Monarchies: 1.76 +- 1.13 [n=29]
- Ceremonial Republics: 2.2 +- 1.35 [n=41]
- Executive Republics: 3.82 +- 1.75 [n=108]
- Executive Monarchies: 4.21 +- 1.47 [n=14]
- Ceremonial Monarchies: 1.83 +- 1.42 [n=29]
- Ceremonial Republics: 2.05 +- 1.32 [n=41]
- Executive Republics: 4.04 +- 2.09 [n=108]
- Executive Monarchies: 5.07 +- 1.71 [n=14]
Correlation and Causation
What does it mean? If correlation equaled causation then replacement of Prime Minister Gordon Brown with President Gordon Brown would turn UK into Russia or Pakistan, on average. Now we all know that correlation doesn't equal causation, but do you really want to risk that? So how about not fixing what's not broken, and fix what is broken - first past the post election system - first?
Cats would work as such kings and queens just fine - data clearly shows that the head of state should be a figurehead, so why not a cat? Is Cat King much sillier than Magical Vaginas, really? And even if it is, silliness is no excuse not to do science.
If someone thinks this post is a serious argument for monarchy, they might be interested in this kind of science too, just saying...