As our good friend Albert (Einstein) used to say, “Peace is not merely the absence of war but the presence of justice, of law, of order – in short, of government.”
I came across this interesting map recently, analyzing the state of peace throughout the world. Canada ranks eight, behind Norway, New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Finland, and Sweden. It scores the highest in the defense of human rights within its borders and also scores points to do its involvements in peace missions throughout the world.
Here’s what it says about Canada:
Canada: 8th position
Canada is politically stable and free of civil unrest. The level of violent crime is very low and violent demonstrations are highly unlikely to occur. Respect for human rights is accorded the highest possible score in Dalton and Gibney’s index, in line with all the countries ranked above Canada in the Global Peace Index. The number of jailed population per 100,000 people is very low compared with that of neighbouring US, but higher than the Nordic countries and Japan.
Militarily, Canada has a relatively high percentage of its total forces (2.37%) involved in non-UN deployments in 2006-07. This largely reflects its presence in Afghanistan as part of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Canadian troops are also involved in peacekeeping activities in the Balkans and Haiti. Military expenditure as a percentage of GDP (1.42% according to IISS) is low by the standards of NATO members, and very low compared with the US (2.45%). Canada declined to contribute military forces to the US-led attack on Iraq in March 2003 in the absence of a UN mandate, and in 2005 Canada refused to join the US in its anti-ballistic missile shield initiative.
It was interesting to see that Portugal scored better than Spain, and I was not surprised to see Brazil ranked at 83 out of the 121 countries listed.