Similar Governments, but Different Countries

There are some unique pairs of countries that may have a similar politics and laws, but have little else in common. A list of these countries was developed by analyzing the data from the Country Similarity Index, that weighs equally five major aspects of countries: their demographics, culture, politics, infrastructure, and geography. The following six pairs of countries were found to have a biggest difference between their government and their other aspects, including demographics, culture, geography, and infrastructure.

BOTSWANA-SOUTH KOREA

Botswana and South Korea are both democracies. Their presidents are both the head of state and the head of the government. In addition, they have unicameral legislatures and their representatives are elected by district. Neither same sex marriage nor polygamy is allowed in these countries. Both have strict laws restricting illicit drugs, but they allow alcohol. In addition, due to their friendly relations, their people enjoy visa-free access to each other.

However, Botswana’s geography is especially different from South Korea’s. It is landlocked and relatively flat. Furthermore, a low percentage of its land is forested and it is sparsely populated, unlike South Korea. Botswana’s climate is also much drier and hotter. They also share especially little culturally. South Korea’s language and writing system is completely unrelated to Setswana. Their technology standards are also different, since Botswana drives on the left and uses Type D, G electrical outlets.

NIGER-UKRAINE

Niger and Ukraine both have had coups d’etat in their recent history. Both states use the semi-presidential form of government. They also have unicameral legislatures and their lawmakers are elected by proportional representation. Both countries have many different political parties in their legislatures. Niger and Ukraine also have little rule of law. In addition, these countries have tuition free college. Neither country allows same sex marriage, polygamy, or prostitution.

However, Niger is located in the Sahara Desert and its climate is much hotter and drier than Ukraine’s. While Niger is predominately Muslim, Ukraine is mostly Christian, but also far less religious. Their languages are unrelated and they also use different writing systems. While Niger has the youngest average population in the world, Ukraine has a high percentage of elderly people. In addition, Ukraine’s infrastructure is more developed than Niger’s.

CHINA-ERITREA

China and Eritrea are autocracies, where only one political party has power. They often censor journalists and the internet. Both have unicameral legislatures and their lawmakers are chosen by district governments. Their judges are appointed by their president. Furthermore, these countries have little rule of law. Both countries do not allow same sex marriage and polygamy. They also heavily restrict access to guns. Most people need visas in advance to enter these countries.

However, China is located in Asia, while Eritrea is in Africa. Their languages and writing systems are completely unrelated. Moreover, Eritrea has a mix of Christians and Muslims, whereas China has many people that follow Buddhism and traditional Chinese religions. China’s infrastructure is much more developed than Eritrea’s. Another difference is that on average, Eritrea’s climate is far hotter. Despite having a smaller land area, it is less densely populated than China.

CZECH REPUBLIC-MADAGASCAR

The Czech Republic and Madagascar are both democracies. They tend to have little censorship. Both countries have bicameral legislatures. Their congresses have many different political parties. In addition, these countries have outlawed the death penalty. Both countries provide tuition-free college to its citizens. They do not allow polygamy, but they do allow gambling and alcohol. Another similarity is that both do not have strict gun control laws.

However, Madagascar is an island in the Indian Ocean, while the Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Europe. The Czech Republic is also far less religious than Madagascar. Its infrastructure is significantly more advanced too. Czechs tend to drink far more alcohol and smoke more cigarettes than Malagasy people. While Madagascar relies on hydropower for electricity, coal is the Czech Republic’s biggest power source.

BURKINA FASO-CYPRUS

Burkina Faso and Cyprus are both democracies, but they tend to have little rule of law. Still, their governments do little censorship of the media or the internet. They both have presidents elected by popular vote. They also have unicameral legislatures with many different political parties. They both have few restrictions on alcohol and allow unorganized prostitution. They also have low rates of incarceration.

However, Burkina Faso is landlocked country in Africa, while Cyprus is an island in the Mediterranean Sea. Their infrastructure is far different as well. Not only is Cyprus significantly more developed, it also has different technology standards since it was colonized by the British. It drives on the left and uses Type G electrical outlets, unlike Burkina Faso. Furthermore, most of the native languages in Burkina Faso are from the Niger-Congo language family, while Greek is from the Indo-European family. They also use different alphabets as well.

BENIN-MONGOLIA

Benin and Mongolia are both democracies, but they tend to have little rule of law. They both have presidents elected by popular vote. They also have unicameral legislatures and their representatives are elected by multi-member districts. Neither country allows the death penalty. Both countries do not allow same sex marriage or polygamy. They also have constitutional courts that follow the European model.

However, Mongolia is a landlocked country in Asia, while Benin in Africa, located along the Atlantic Coast. Most Mongolians are Buddhists, while Christianity and Islam are more popular in Benin. Furthermore, their languages are completely unrelated and they also use different writing systems. Mongolia’s climate is far colder than Benin’s. It is also the most sparsely populated country in contrast to Benin.

DATA TABLE

COUNTRIESDEMO.CULT.GOV.INFRA.GEO.AVG. – GOV.DIFF.
BOTSWANA SOUTH KOREA7.55.9012.908.54.98.056.20
BOTSWANA JAPAN6.55.0012.509.64.37.856.15
NIGER UKRAINE4.36.4013.1098.39.206.10
CHINA ERITREA6.14.2013.009.19.79.005.73
GHANA SOUTH KOREA6.74.8012.607.88.28.355.73
CZECHIA MADAGASCAR7.17.4013.208.38.29.285.45
BURKINA FASO CYPRUS 5.78.3012.708.17.39.105.35
BENIN MONGOLIA6.46.2013.3011.97.79.775.25

(Minimum 63% Government Similarity)

Please see the complimentary article, that lists countries with a lot of overall similarity, except for their government.

Do you agree with this list? Any other pairs of countries that you would add?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s