The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index 2022 shows that the number of “full democracies” increased to 24 in 2022 from 21 in 2021, while the number of “flawed democracies” fell by five to 48 last year. Moreover, the number of “authoritarian regimes” remained the same as in 2021, although the number of “hybrid regimes” increased by two.
While the numbers do not indicate a dramatic post-pandemic democratic revival that many anticipated, they still show that democratic regression has come to a halt, at the very least.
Much work needs to be done, however, to bring the world back to the democratic path, and more importantly, to keep it there. To accomplish this, it is critical for Liberals and Democrats to remain vigilant and to protect democratic values, including freedom of speech, the rule of law, and the right to participate in free and fair elections. This need to defend democracy is reflected in CALD’s 2022 Annual Report.
“Last year, Liberals and Democrats faced seemingly insurmountable challenges, but our commitment to principles, values, institutions, and processes of liberal democracy remains unwavering,” said CALD Secretary General Francis “Blue” Abaya.
The report features CALD’s first in-person projects and activities since the pandemic started. It also includes an opinion piece on Disinformation by CALD Chair Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, and a feature article on the 3-year Smart Mobility Project of CALD. The report also promotes the book version of the Great Asian Pushback podcast, which was launched in 2021.
The keynote address of Taiwan president Tsai Ing-Wen during Liberal International’s 75th Anniversary Congress is also highlighted in the report, together with Thai Parliament Member Kiat Sittheeamorn’s “Getting Smart About Public Transport,” Former Philippine Senate President and Former CALD Chair Franklin Drilon’s “Building a Democratic Coalition Against Disinformation,” Former Philippine Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio’s “Time for the Great Unmasking,” Filipino Award-Winning Journalist Sheila Coronel’s “The Age of Reflection,” Former President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party Sir Graham Watson’s “Truth and Lies,” Former Philippine Budget Secretary and Former CALD Chairperson Butch Abad’s “Democratic Defense Against Disinformation,” and Philippine Senator Risa Hontiveros’ “Toward a United and Diverse Defense Against Disinformation.”
“We save democracy by fighting disinformation by living democracy. And that is what CALD did in 2022 and will continue to do in years to come,” said Pangilinan in his message in the Annual Report.
Defending democracy requires sustained effort and dedication, and CALD is committed to continuing our work to protect and promote democracy whenever and wherever we are.