Mr. Christopher Muro
American National Government
15 January 2018
Intro to Political Science
1. a. Due to force from populists and nationalists, there has been an eleven year continuous decline of freedom in the world.
b. Many countries who were rated as free have reported setbacks in civil liberties and political rights.
c. When the one hundred and ninety seven countries were assessed the percent with the greatest number of counties, were rated as free making up forty five percent. Following at thirty percent are mostly free countries and the percentage of countries who are not free is twenty five percent.
d. Overall the regions with the worst ratings were the Middle East and North Africa.
2. I chose to review the Americas and Eurasia regions.
a. Throughout the Americas, many countries face the problems, threats and challenges their leaders place on freedom. Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro rules with a strong arm. He has created fear in his people and taken their rights to freedom of speech and expression. The people of Venezuela are unable to voice their opinions about their leader without facing torture, imprisonment or even death. Close by in Nicaragua, the President Daniel Ortega has a similar mindset to Maduro. President Ortega has stripped the people of independent media, along with their freedom of the press. He also pushed the judiciary in his favor and ruined the economy giving him even more control and power over the people. These actions have placed fear in everyone and taken away their jobs and money leaving them helpless. In both countries, fear is a threat to their freedom and is a major challenge faced by the people in Nicaragua and Venezuela who are already countries deemed not free. Another country in the Americas who is free faces similar obstacles. In Brazil, even after President Dilma Rousseff was impeached and removed from power more problems arose. Due to the impeachment, the Legislative and Executive parts of the government have been so tied up, nothing has been done to solve the problems of bribery embezzlement and peddling in the country. This left the general populace, still with no improvement in their lives of fear, poverty, and unemployment. In these countries, the people face the most threats toward their freedom of speech and expression due to the cruel decisions made by their leaders.
b. In the region of Eurasia, the focus of the leaders is power, but for the civilians in those countries power is the enemy and threatens their freedom. Although states in Central Asia and Azerbaijan experienced a long decline in oil prices ultimately ruining their economy, their main focus was extending their rule. They used a constitutional referendum to change the length of their rule. In Azerbaijan, due to the referendum, the President Ilham Aliyev will rule till the year 2020 without reelection. In Tajikistan they also used a referendum which changed the laws allowing President Emomali Rahomon to run for an unlimited number of terms. He also lowered the age for someone to be eligible for president, likely preparing for his son to be his successor. Another country that altered the rules to extend the countries power is Kyrgyz. They used a plebiscite to change the constitution, the outcome was shifting power to the prime minister. After President Almazbek Atambyer’s term expires he is expected to become prime minister. Due to the extended rule in these countries, the peoples right to vote is being taken away. By extending the presidents rule in Azerbijan and Tajikstan people in those countries are no longer able to vote either at this point in time or for forever. In Kyrgyz, if the President becomes prime minister he will be elected by members of parliament which take away the votes of the people. By taking away voting rights, it also takes their voice and opinion or in other words their freedom of speech.