New Leader of the Free World

Steerpike

Registered Member
#1
I had been considering a thread of this nature. This bit from Sim indicates that the subject is viable discussion material.

Also, we used to admire America as a shining example, when we built a new Germany after the war, America was the country of freedom and democracy. We want America to be a good example for us, since it is the strongest power in our alliance. America is the "leader of the free world", and thus we hold America to an especially high standard......

.....America no longer was a leader we could respect.
Based on the idea of leading by example, what country do you think deserves the title, "Leader of the Free World?"

Everyone may select their top two countries, the United States is disqualified from this thread, to be "Leader of the Free World" by their example. If there is participation in the thread, then a poll may be added. Any country getting two nominations (from 2 different people) can be included up to the maximum poll options.

You may also give your reasons why you think the countries you select deserve the title of "Leader of the Free World." Participants in the thread may also discuss the relative merits of different potential candidates.
 
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Sim

Registered Member
#2
It's a bit difficult to answer this question, since "leader of the free world" implies the country has to be strong enough, also militarily, to be considered leader -- but there is no other free country except the US that is strong enough to be "leader".

It's not a country, but I nominate the European Union (EU).

The EU may not (yet) have the necessary hard power, but it has immense soft power: So many countries around the EU want to join, because the EU is a zone of peace and prosperity. Due to its integration, former dictatorships could be transformed and were kept from falling to authoritarianism again when they were young, fragile democracies -- the EU first helped Greece, then Portugal and Spain to become democratic and to stabilize, and finally, the huge project of the integration of central European countries from the former Soviet Bloc was a success as well. EU know-how and financial transfers helped supporting democracy there, and helped building a new civil society.

Thanks to the EU, countries which used to be bitter enemies now are not just close allies, but even friends, and they solve all differences and disagreements in a peaceful manner, within the institutions of the EU.

The EU has not completed its way yet, further integration is likely to follow. But today already, its history is a true story of success and a shining example for other regions on this planet.
 

Steerpike

Registered Member
#3
It's a bit difficult to answer this question, since "leader of the free world" implies the country has to be strong enough, also militarily, to be considered leader -- but there is no other free country except the US that is strong enough to be "leader".
No. The perspective of this thread is one of the ethical character that a nation demonstrates in it's relations with other nations and how it governs itself. The "strongman" as leader is appeal to force.

It's not a country, but I nominate the European Union (EU).

The EU may not (yet) have the necessary hard power, but it has immense soft power: So many countries around the EU want to join, because the EU is a zone of peace and prosperity. Due to its integration, former dictatorships could be transformed and were kept from falling to authoritarianism again when they were young, fragile democracies -- the EU first helped Greece, then Portugal and Spain to become democratic and to stabilize, and finally, the huge project of the integration of central European countries from the former Soviet Bloc was a success as well. EU know-how and financial transfers helped supporting democracy there, and helped building a new civil society.

Thanks to the EU, countries which used to be bitter enemies now are not just close allies, but even friends, and they solve all differences and disagreements in a peaceful manner, within the institutions of the EU.

The EU has not completed its way yet, further integration is likely to follow. But today already, its history is a true story of success and a shining example for other regions on this planet.
A multi-national organization is not a country. Both of the nations that I would select out of top two are European Union members. :D

Can you narrow your choice down to countries based on the parameters given?
 

Sim

Registered Member
#4
Ok, then I pick Switzerland and Finland.

Switzerland is an example because it has a very old democratic tradition and a consensus-oriented political system, as well as many referendums. Also, Switzerland stayed neutral in all major conflicts.

Finland is a great example too. They are not just free and democratic, but also a shining example when it comes to equality of opportunities, their education and welfare systems are known to be very efficient and successful.
 

Steerpike

Registered Member
#5
Ok, then I pick Switzerland and Finland.

Switzerland is an example because it has a very old democratic tradition and a consensus-oriented political system, as well as many referendums. Also, Switzerland stayed neutral in all major conflicts.

Finland is a great example too. They are not just free and democratic, but also a shining example when it comes to equality of opportunities, their education and welfare systems are known to be very efficient and successful.
So long as you have placed in your two:

I would nominate:

The United Kingdom which not only claims its western values but also as a general rule actually honours those values in how they conduct themselves.

The Netherlands for its respect of civil liberties and civil rights and its tradition of international cooperation as a basis for its foreign policy.

Why do you think Switzerland's traditional neutrality in conflicts is an attribute that a "Leader of the Free World" should have?
 
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Bananas

Endangered Species
#6
Both my votes go to Asian countries(or do they):

Hong Kong and Singapore. Even with the USA in the mix these two are miles ahead of any other country when it comes to the idea of western freedom.

However when you break down and look at the effect and influence of what makes these countries free, one other nations name is frequently repeated; The UK.

So the idea of a leader of the free world would have to be the UK and again this takes us back onto the subject of multi-national organisations with the Commonwealth of Nations. Of course the irony of all this is it all derived from once Imperialist notions but the consequence is a large part of the globe is now democratic.

It is often forgotten that Queen Elizabeth II is still head of state to a figure close to 2 billion people. She may not have any executive or political power but the influence is unprecedented.
 

Steerpike

Registered Member
#7
Both my votes go to Asian countries(or do they):

Hong Kong and Singapore. Even with the USA in the mix these two are miles ahead of any other country when it comes to the idea of western freedom.

However when you break down and look at the effect and influence of what makes these countries free, one other nations name is frequently repeated; The UK.

So the idea of a leader of the free world would have to be the UK and again this takes us back onto the subject of multi-national organisations with the Commonwealth of Nations. Of course the irony of all this is it all derived from once Imperialist notions but the consequence is a large part of the globe is now democratic.

It is often forgotten that Queen Elizabeth II is still head of state to a figure close to 2 billion people. She may not have any executive or political power but the influence is unprecedented.
As the United Kingdom is united as a government, for the purposes of this thread it counts as one country. You have now seconded my nomination of the United Kingdom.


What is your second choice and why?
 

Bjarki

Registered Member
#8
1.Denmark: civilized, rational, humane, but tough as well.
2.Australia: same qualities I guess, civilized, but tough.

:cop:
 

Steerpike

Registered Member
#10
So far the following countries have been nominated:

Australia
Denmark
Finland
Netherlands
Switzerland
United Kindgom (which has been seconded)

If at least one more country is seconded, then a poll may be added to the thread. Those participating may also discuss the relative merits of the possible candidates.