Singapore remains the second freest economy in the world, second only to Hong Kong, according to the Heritage Foundation’s 2012 Index of Economic Freedom. But why does it call Singapore a nominal democracy?
The government is increasingly consulting the people on policy making. That’s certainly not typical of a nominal democracy.
The report says:
Singapore is a nominally democratic state that has been ruled by the People’s Action Party (PAP) since 1965, when the country became independent. The May 7, 2010, election left the PAP in power but put six opposition members into Parliament with the PAP winning its lowest percentage of the popular vote since independence. Certain rights, such as freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, remain restricted, but the PAP has also embraced economic liberalization and international trade. Singapore is one of the world’s most prosperous nations. Its economy is dominated by services, but the country is also a major manufacturer of electronics and chemicals.
The top 10 free economies are
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- United States
India is 123rd and China 138th on the list of 184 countries.