Until March 2019 (sample date) Argentina had been on an uninterrupted six-year rise in the Institutional Quality Index developed by Fundación Libertad y Progreso for Red Liberal para América Latina.
Argentina improves in the ICI compared to the previous year’s index, rising 6 positions (from 112 to 106) and continuing a trend that began in 2016, when it reached its worst position in 142th place. For this edition, Dr. Martín Krause, Academic Advisor of the Freedom and Progress Foundation, author of the index, developed a special chapter on the dangers to freedom involved in fake news.
“It is necessary, given the lag of the data, the ICI takes into account a situation that would correspond to March 2019 approximately. It is therefore important to note that the economic crisis that triggered thereafter involved a series of measures that led to impaired institutional quality” detailed Krause and warned that “Argentina has a very dissimilar performance in the sub-indexes that make up the ICI”, referring to the relative good performance on the quality of political institutions (66 out of 190 countries), as opposed to market institutions (ranked 133).
As far as the continent is concerned, the ICI’s first position ranks Canada at No. 8 worldwide, followed by the United States at 14. Continuing on the list of American countries is Chile at number 24; Uruguay at 36 and Costa Rica at 38.
Faced with the consultation on how are last year’s incidents in Chile contemplated? Our analysis understands that these situations are frustration regarding expectations. Obviously the expectations are different in Chile than they are in Bolivia.” He also stated that in the Chilean case “politicians have often stated that they were already a developed country, although its inhabitants do not consider this to be the case. And when you look at Chile’s GDP data, you quickly notice that you are far from countries like Portugal or Spain. In the case of Bolivia, these frustrations are due to more basic issues, about democracy and the election of a new government. The process that was overwhelmed by Evo Morales”.
More than 20 years in the top 4
Overall, there are four countries that have held the top four positions for more than twenty years (when the indicator is born): 1st New Zealand; 2. Denmark; 3rd Switzerland and 4th Finland. “They are highlighted by position, constancy; all small countries and, remarkably, because their rulers are not massively known. And in this sense, we understand Institutional Quality as limits to power. And these countries hold institutions with rules so clear that they endure no matter who is in government at the time,” he said.
Every year the ICI prepares a special section. This year’s index presented a section on fake news. To this end, it was taken as a more relevant indicator of press freedom. Krause said: “What we are seeing is that the impact is not so strong on the opinions of voters, who already have formed opinions and look for news that confirms them. What we see is that gradually the market is finding mechanisms that control the veracity of the news. A number of organizations have been generated that are dedicated to the veracity of the news” and warned some essays in the Mexican government headed by López Obrador, which raises a state information-checking agency: “From our point of view, this is tremendously dangerous because the news is a control of the government,” he concluded.