Saturday, October 13, 2007

Facts Counter Conventional Wisdom

The Center for Global Development has released its Commitment to Development Index ranking "21 rich countries on how much they help poor countries build prosperity, good government, and security." Canada's scorecard is somewhat surprising - you might even say it goes against conventional wisdom. To wit:

* Among the G8, Canada ranks 1st overall. Among all 21 industrialized countries, it is tied for 5th.
* Among the G8, Canada ranks 1st in aid.
* Overall, Canada ranks 1st in positive trade policies with developing countries.

Things that run against the grain are not limited to the positive:

* Canada's immigration record is not so hot (it's ranked 9th of 21).
* Canada is ranked 18th of 21 on the environment.
* Canada is ranked 12th of 21 on global security (which includes peacekeeping).

There is nothing surprising about the highest-ranked countries (Holland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway) - they always top indexes of enlightened governance. But I was surprised by the last-place country (and it was not even close to the next-to-last): Japan.


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