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The Freedom House Annual Survey employs the Political Rights checklist to help determine the degree to which people can participate in the political process of their country. Each country is then rated on a seven-category scale, 1 representing the most free and 7 the least free. These 7 categories are laid out below. To purchase the Annual Survey print edition visit the store.
Is the head of state and/or head of government or other chief of authority elected through free and fair elections?
Are the legislative representatives elected through free and fair elections?
Are their fair electoral laws, equal campaigning opportunities, fair polling and honest tabulation of ballots?
Are the voters able to endow their freely elected representatives with real power?
Do the people have the right to organise in different political parties or other competitive political groupings of their choice, and is the system open to the rise and fall of these competing parties or groupings?
Is there a significant opposition vote, de facto opposition power, and a realistic possibility for the opposition to increase its support or gain power through elections?
Are the people free from domination by the military, foreign powers, totalitarian parties, religious hierarchies, economic oligarchies or any other powerful group?
Do cultural, ethnic and other minority groups have reasonable self-determination, self-government, autonomy or participation through informal consensus in the decision-making process?
Additional discretionary questions:
For traditional monarchies that have no parties or electoral process, does the system provide for consultation with the people, encourage discussion of policy, and allow the right to petition the ruler?
Is the government or occupying power deliberately changing the ethnic composition of a country or territory so as to destroy a culture or tip the political balance in favour of another group?
©2001 World Audit. All rights reserved.