CANZUK On The International Stage – Democracy, Corruption & Education

The CANZUK nations dominate the international rankings for democracy, corruption and education, and lead the way for a brighter and better future for its citizens. Developing closer relations between these countries would only further our opportunities and prosperity in the years ahead.

The latest research has shown the CANZUK countries to rank highly in education, democracy and corruption indexes.

    Written by Kaide Seager

Kaide is a history and politics undergraduate at Manchester Metropolitan University in England


The CANZUK nations are well-known for their great vibrant economies and high living standards. However, the CANZUK nations are also highly regarded in other ways too.

Our four great countries lead the way when it comes to education, democracy and low levels of corruption, meaning the CANZUK movement can become a real force for global peace and stability that can create a platform for other countries to emulate.

According to the Economist Democracy Index of 2018, only twenty countries in the world are considered “full democracies”. The four CANZUK nations are all included and dominate the top tier of this table. New Zealand, Canada, and Australia are within the top ten most democratic nations on earth, and the UK places 14th. Even the great democratic nations of the United States, France, Italy, and the EU principal capital, Belgium, are not considered to be fully functioning democracies, but fall into a separate category named “flawed democracies”.

Why do the CANZUK countries dominate the Democracy Index?

The common law (often called English law) is the basis of the legal framework for the CANZUK countries. Along with their parliamentary systems, the CANZUK countries share four similar principles: representation, fair justice, individual freedoms and property rights. The legacy of the former British Empire and Commonwealth has created a unique system of governance that allows many English speaking peoples to enjoy such freedoms. The former British territories of Ireland and Malta also follow the common law system and are ranked within the world’s 20 most democratic nations.

Fairness and lack of corruption

According to the Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International, the CANZUK countries are considered to be the most corruption-free nations on earth. According to the data, New Zealand is believed to be the second most corruption-free nation, with Denmark just edging first place. All four CANZUK nations are amongst the 15th least corrupt nations in the world which allows them to offer fantastic opportunities for reasonable political discourse and fair business practices. With relatively low levels of corruption, many people consider the CANZUK nations to be the bastions of freedom that embrace innovation, hard work and creativity.

The 2018 CPI draws on 13 surveys and expert assessments to measure public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories, giving each a score from zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (not corrupt).

High levels of education

According to the OCED, citizens of CANZUK countries are amongst the most educated people in the world, as Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK contain excellent educational facilities and long-standing institutions that have enabled them to have a large number of educated citizens. Canadians are considered to be the most knowledgeable people in the world, followed by the UK in 6th and Australia in 8th. The OECD defines a country’s adult education level as the percentage of people between the ages of 25 and 64 who have completed some kind of tertiary education in the form of a two-year degree, four-year degree or vocational program.

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According to a study by the QS Best Student Cities Index, the CANZUK countries also contain the best urban destinations for international students; with London ranked 1st, Melbourne 3rd and Montreal 4th. Out of the top twenty global cities for students, ten are within the four CANZUK countries. Students are attracted to the CANZUK cities because of their diverse range of universities, educational quality and affordability, and importantly because of the English language and job prospects. The English language is considered by many to be the language of business, commerce and education.

The CANZUK countries are united by a common culture and historical ties. The Anglosphere has long been a place for strength, peace, innovation, education and democracy, and Brexit has granted us the chance to re-write the historical wrong of our nations drifting apart since the 1970’s.

There are many reasons why our four countries deserve greater unity (those mentioned to name a few), so by popular demand, the time has come to formalise our alliances and develop our close cultural, political, educational and military affiliations that are the envy of the world.

The relations between our countries must develop and strengthen to further the cause of all our peoples. We should value the strength and integrity of our shared political systems and remember that to be born within a CANZUK country is to win the lottery of life.

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