Most People Can’t Guess the Names of These Countries Right. It’s a Bet!
Welcome back Aluxers. Covid-19 has really highlighted the stark differences between countries; and how effectively they have or have not handled the crisis. The pandemic has further cemented performing governments that have strong leaders at the hull, and those that don’t.
Even before Covid, certain governments have led the way in their leadership, transparency, desire to implement social, economic, and scientific progress and serving all citizens, not just the elite.
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In no particular order Aluxers, here are 15 of the best performing governments in the world.
If you prefer the article to be narrated and played with the faces behind these successes, here’s all of the content tucked into a video just for you:
With this out of the way, let’s dive straight into the article and learn about the 15 governments that are winning at it.
We can thank Austria for postcards, Swarovski crystals and the collectable sweet tubes known as PEZ. This German-speaking country has also received accolades for having a government that performs very well.
The current president is Alexander Van der Bellen and Austria is a democratic republic. The Austrian constitution states that all citizens enjoy fundamental rights and are equal before the law. “No one may be discriminated against or favoured on the basis of birth, sex, origin, class or religion.”
Austria’s economic freedom score is higher than the regional and world average, scoring particularly high in Property Rights, Judicial Effectiveness, Government Integrity, and fiscal health.
And Aluxers, Vienna – the capital of Austria – regularly tops the list of having the highest quality of life in the world!
It’s not just the luck of the Irish that sees them featured on this list – the Irish government works damn hard to ensure they run as effectively and efficiently as possible. This parliamentary democracy has a President, voted in by the public, who leads for 7 years under council of parliament referred to as Oireachtas.
Ireland’s economic freedom score is 80.9% and GDP growth has been phenomenal over the past few years.
Areas that really pushed Ireland up the rankings included property rights, government integrity, trade freedom, labour freedom, and fiscal health. Current president, Michael Daniel Higgins, has addressed issues of social inequality, justice, social inclusion, anti-sectarianism, anti-racism, and reconciliation.
O, and a little fun fact, the O in Irish surnames means, “grandson of.”
Famous author, Bill Bryson, wrote a book about Australia called Down Under. In it, he writes, “the people are immensely likable— cheerful, extrovert, quick-witted, and unfailingly obliging. Their cities are safe and clean and nearly always built on water. They have a society that is prosperous, well ordered, and instinctively egalitarian. The food is excellent. The beer is cold. The sun nearly always shines. There is coffee on every corner. Life doesn’t get much better than this.”
Aluxers, we feel like we hardly need to expand, because Bryson is a man of his word. Be sure to listen to the book on Audible!
Suffice to say, it’s a well-run country. Kudos to prime minister, Scott Morrison, as currently government integrity scores 89.3% on the economic freedom score and Australia has one of the most transparent and efficient regulatory environments in the world.
Arguably the world’s oldest assembly democracy, the Althingi or parliament, was established in 930. The current president is Guðni Th. Jóhannesson who was re-elected in 2020 with 92.2% of the votes!
Aside from gaining a lot of international attention in 2017 for saying that pineapple should be banned on pizza, the president, a former history professor, believes a head of state needs to be “a unifying force, positive and inspiring,” as mentioned in an address at the University of Helsinki. He is all that and more.
Iceland is currently struggling a little economically. 2019 saw a poor fishing season and the bankruptcy of Wow Air, the country’s low-cost carrier, and of course Covid-19. However, under the leadership of Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, Iceland will no doubt come through even stronger.
We understand that currently, it may look like the UK is in a state of disarray, but underneath it all, something is working. The government of the UK is called Her Majesty’s Government and is also one of the oldest in the world.
The government is led by Boris Johnson, ministers that he gets to choose and then a cabinet. According to heritage.org, the UK have performed better in government integrity and fiscal health and the economy continues to slowly climb.
There is uncertainty now with Brexit, Covid and the divisive character of their current PM, Boris Johnson. However, the UK always manage to work through their issues, so do what the Brits do – make a cup of tea and wait for the problems to just disappear!
It’s famous for castles, beer, and sausages – welcome to Germany! We go into more depth about Germany in our article, 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Germany!
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the current president, took some time out from politics in 2010 to donate a kidney to his ill wife – which says a lot about his character. He became president in 2017 and Germany are high ranking in economic quality and environment.
Some pros of this efficient government include a low unemployment rate, a firm stance on climate change and rare cases of public corruption… and prosecuting and punishing those that do it.
We’ll drink to that – Prost!
Former Prime Minister of Canada, John Diefenbaker once said, “I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.”
Canada is one of the top performing governments. It’s a great place to live and work and always scores high on overall sustainability, economic and cultural influence, entrepreneurship, and quality of life.
The current PM is Justin Trudeau who is building a Covid-19 recovery plan he hopes will “change the future.”
Aluxers, among the performing governments, Luxembourg’s administration is doing something right! This little tax haven scores high on the governance index, exceeds expectations for personal freedom and health and has the highest nominal GDP per Capita! To find out more about why Luxembourg is so rich, watch our video: How Rich Is Luxembourg?
The grand duke of Luxembourg is the head of state and the country has been a grand duchy since 1815. A grand duchy is a state of territory ruled by a grand duke or duchess, and currently the man in question is Henri – Grand Duke of Luxembourg.
The World Happiness Report affirmed that those living in Luxembourg were pretty happy, and that’s because the country spends about 1/3rd of its revenue on free health care and social services. Maternity leave has been increased, citizens can take leave for personal reasons, and corruption is rare.
Let’s take a road trip to Denmark, next!
A 9-hour drive takes us to another well governed spot, and that’s Denmark. Here, government is called the Folketing – meaning “the people’s thing.”
It may be true that Denmark provides no inspiration for memes, but what do they care? They’ve got free education, a renowned healthcare system, and are ranked some of the happiest people in the world!
Denmark is a nation state and politics takes place under a large umbrella – a parliamentary representative democracy, a constitutional monarchy, and a decentralised unitary state – where Queen Margrethe II is currently head of state. The reason is that since 1909, not a single party has accumulated enough votes to rule on its own – so multiple parties formed a ruling coalition, which work quite well.
One rule that you might not like about the government, is that they have put together a list of around 7,000 names. If you choose a name for your baby that is not on the list, you won’t be able to call your child that. The naming law is there to protect the child, so they don’t grow up being called Corona, Anice Bottom or X Æ A-12 Musk.
Switzerland’s economic freedom score is 82.0 and it achieved that accolade by inching upwards in the property rights and government integrity sectors.
In Switzerland, parliament has two chambers – the National Council and the Council of States and they hold the legislative power. The position of President rotates among the seven councillors every year, and the current incumbent officeholder is Simonetta Sommaruga.
She recently did the official opening for the Ceneri tunnel – a tunnel that connects Northern Europe to the Mediterranean – will reduce carbon and increase cargo!
Sweden has been in all the press lately, with their unique way in which they dealt with Covid-19, and that unique way was to not deal with it at all. This method has seen citizen’s confidence in the government’s ability wane, but despite that, is still one of the best performing governments in the world.
Sweden has a parliamentary democracy and the Swedish government guarantees include the right to obtain information, the right to practice any religion, the right to form political parties and the right to freely hold demonstrations.
The Freedom of the Press Act means that anybody can access official documents, making the government extremely transparent. The current Prime Minister of Sweden is Stefan Löfven. His government saw a 2% growth in GDP, low inflation and saw unemployment fall from 7.9% to 6.3 %!
Let’s go Dutch – next!
Former Queen of the Netherlands, Beatrix of the Netherlands said, “to fight evil one must also recognize one’s own responsibility. The values for which we stand must be expressed in the way we think of, and how we deal with, our fellow humans.”
The Dutch are great at accepting responsibility, fixing a problem, and moving forward and that’s evident when you hear that unlike most performing governments, this Dutch Government’s integrity scores an impressive 90.1% on the economic freedom score.
Similar to Denmark, the Netherlands is a parliamentary representative democracy, a constitutional monarchy, and a decentralised unitary state. Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand is the current monarch, the oldest son of Princess Beatrix.
Right Aluxers, let’s hop on our bicycle and cycle to Norway!
She’s been dubbed Norway’s Angela Merkel, Erna Solberg has outdone herself as Prime Minister of Norway. Her council is called ‘the Stortinget,’ which means ‘the great thing’ or ‘the great council.’
She has managed to steer her country through an oil crisis and avoid a recession.
In 2017, Norway was voted as having the ‘World’s Best Democracy’ by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a London-based consultancy.
Political advisor, Torkil Vederhus, says the reason that it’s so successful is that there is a healthy relationship between its people and those making the laws. The people of Norway feel like they’re part of the decision-making process.
Taxes are high, but government doesn’t refrain from spending it on where it needs to go – schooling, healthcare and unemployment benefits.
The lifestyles of politicians is modest compared to many countries, with Norwegian senators and representatives bringing home on average $108,000 whereas U.S. senators and representatives can earn in the region of $174,000 plus.
From one female led country to another, here’s number 14…
We cannot sing the praises enough of this island country in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean, as evident in our recent video: 15 Things New Zealand Got Right That Other Countries Haven’t.
Jacinda Ardern is an incredible Prime Minister who has introduced many changes, and all for the right reasons.
It’s continually ranked high due to the freedom the country offers its citizens, the open market and a strong sense of society.
In Jacinda Arden’s own words, we can sum up why New Zealand has one of the best performing governments in the world, “I really rebel against this idea that politics has to be a place full of ego and where you’re constantly focused on scoring hits against each one another. Yes, we need a robust democracy, but you can be strong, and you can be kind.”
The Finish government is young and is led by women… and here’s what makes the government in this Nordic country so successful.
For many years, Finland has ranked high on the World Economic Forum’s Annual Gender Gap Report Index. Gender-equal achievements are also high, with health and education at the forefront.
Finland’s cabinet is represented by 12 women and 7 men and their current Prime Minister is 34-year old, Sanna Marin. She is the youngest PM in the world and was brought up by her two mums.
After she was elected as Prime Minister, she said, “We have a lot of work ahead to rebuild trust,” and she’s been working towards that since December 2019. Government Integrity currently scores 96.1% and they’re ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world!
If you’re planning to pack your bags (for a vacation at least), check out “The Ultimate Place to Stay: Eagles View Suite in Finland”
Aluxers, do you live in any of these incredible countries? If so – how do you think the government could improve and what do you think the government is doing right? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!