Peace in the World

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.

World Peace index

Here’s what it says about Canada:

Canada: 8th position
Score: 1.481

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.

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Author: guerson

Born and raised in Brazil, a Canadian stole my heart and took me to Canada in 1999. After seven years between Montreal and Toronto, we then moved to Barcelona, Spain, where I did research for my PhD thesis. This blog began as a chronicle of our adventures while living in Barcelona and exploring the old world and has acquired a life of its own after we moved back to Canada.

13 thoughts on “Peace in the World”

  1. This ranking doesn´t make any sense to me. UE needs a red color… This rank could be about life quality, better places to live…but peace ?! Canada is a NATO member…where is the peace? peacekeeping…UE are doing this in Iraq, at least they try to put this in our minds…and hearts…

    and history…doesn´t counts.. ?

    two different point of views…

    http://www.zmag.org/ZMag/articles/dec94austin.htm

    http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=6865

    not right or wrong…just different.

  2. and…this is not Global..there are some missing african nations. And the big red country…What is this ? Soviet Union ? there are a lot of countries in that big red thing.

  3. Hi Daniel,

    The rankings are indeed a bit weird. Like I said, I can’t really understand why Portugal is that far ahead from Spain and why is Spain that much better than France. I do agree though that we can’t analyze the EU as a block; the differences between one country and another in things such as crime, police, judicial systems, are too glaring.

    I read zmag too from time to time… very interesting site!

    Thanks for the links

  4. “Today in Quebec, nationalists sentiments are arguably at the highest point it has been since the beginning of the “Quiet Revolution” in the 1960s as French-speaking Quebecois assert their peculiar Canadian identity which they perceive to be drowning in the sea of Anglo-Canadian culture. With Quebec elections coming up on September 12, it is not far fetched to say that this French-speaking province may become an independent country sometime in the near future.

    David Austin, the writer of the first piece from zmag you sent, is definitely wrong about this one. Nationalism in Quebec is waning. The newer generations are not quite as interested in independence. One needs only to see the result of the last elections, only a couple of months ago, in which the Parti Quebecois came out third for probably the first time in its history. People in Quebec are sick and tired of hearing about referenda. And even if they had one, it wouldn’t get anywhere.

  5. It’s true about PQ third place, but nationalism here in Quebec province is still alive and among young people. The official opposition at the National Assembly, Action démocratique du Québec (ADQ), right wing, is a nationalist party, they are not “separatists” but nationalists, that are different things. Unfortunately, I am really tired of turning on the tv and hear about how worried they are about a jewish group who bought a land near Montreal, and the fact that Jews can park their cars near the sinagogas in Montreal with no restrictions….Canada is stable and a wonderful place to live, but with this participation in Afeganistan…I am not sure how long it will last. But concerning human rights I don’t have any doubt about the Canada’s position. Beijos.

  6. Oi Ana Lucia,

    I guess when I mentioned nationalism, I really meant separatism…

    Funny you should mention the Jews – I have a good friend here in Toronto who left Quebec because of that. He is Jewish, was born in Montreal, but didn’t feel welcome there…

  7. I can’t help anymore, you couldn’t believe it’s everyday on TVA and others, and they are talking about hasidic jews a community of maybe 1000 people…Some weeks ago they had about 5 or 6 houses burnt in Mont Tremblant…and it’s their own fault, it’s not anti-semitism. When it’s not hasidic is Haitians (all criminals and drug dealers) and Italians (also criminals and gangsters but better accepted). Enfin…
    Beijos.

  8. “and it’s their own fault, it’s not anti-semitism”

    Ana Lucia, I’m interested to hear what you mean by that… You mean the Quebecois are just being racist in general and that it’s not just an anti-jewish thing?

  9. They are not explicitly racists, but…there is a common discourse circulating here (even in Montreal) against the right to be different.

    The medias don’t qualify this actions against the houses of hasidic community near Mont Tremblant as antisemit, but they suggest that this is their own fault…They interviewed a woman who used to work in their homes and she said they used to throw garbage in the river ha ha ha, this means that people burn their houses because they are throwing garbage in the river. And I am not talking about Quebec City, because here I could give one hundred examples about this kind of discouse we see in the medias, and after they don’t understand why immigrants don’t want to stay in Quebec City.

    Do you know they created a commission to study the reasonable accommodations…Charles Taylor is member of this commission called “Taylor-Bouchard”. I am not sure, but I think this kind of “problem” is seen as “problem” only here not in rest of Canada, where people live the way they want, by keeping their language, their culture, etc. A long and tiring discussion…

    Bjos

  10. Ana Lucia,

    I do feel that the French have a bit of a racist streak to them… maybe it’s part of the whole focus on “purity” – the purity of the French language, the “pure laine” quebecois, etc… it makes it less possible to mix and I think that’s true both in Quebec and in France.

    But I do think there are problems in other parts of the country too. I often hear westerners complaining about the chinese, for example. I confess that here in TO I haven’t heard any complaints… not even on the news…

    it’s interesting to see that the media doesn’t qualify the attacks in Mt Tremblant as antisemitic and that they try to blame the victims… wonder what that says about the media…

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