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So anecdotally it appears to me that Liberal Democratic countries/Governments are dealing well with the current pandemic.

Looking at the numbers (R0, deaths etc), New Zealand, Norway and Germany, seem to be dealing well with the pandemic.

Where as Brazil, the UK and the USA, with more Right wing leadership; at this stage, seem to be dealing with it poorly.

However I feel my perception may be biased (I am a fan of the Leadership of NZ and Germany, but not a fan of the other countries I listed!)

So am I just biased or does my conjecture seem plausible when objectively looking at the more country stats†?


†Presumably the countries wealth also needs to be taken into consideration/normalized

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    I don't understand how do you divide liberal democracies from less liberal(I do not want to think, that just by death rate). This is a first time I hear, that US is NOT a liberal democracy. Downvote not mine, but I just do not understand your criteria. – user2501323 May 20 at 7:58
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    @user2501323 agreed, I'm very surprised to see the UK characterised as not being a liberal democracy, and its government lumped in with Bolsanaro. The Conservative party is ideologically very similar to the German CDU, minus the Euroscepticism. – CDJB May 20 at 8:07
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    People have debated a lot about why some countries are so much better at dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic than others. Differences in the ideology of the political leaderships are certainly one factor, but simplifying this into the usual left-wing/right-wing divide is quite an oversimplification and IMO invites confirmation bias. I think this question might be too broad to answer. – Philipp May 20 at 9:13
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    An approach to properly answering the question which political factors allow for good pandemic response would be to 1. see which countries are actually affected by COVID-19 and how much,2. how politics reacted to it, 3. the effect of these measures on the spread of the disease (which might in fact still be too early to tell in many cases) and 4. then look at the political reasons why some countries neglected some important measures. But that's something you could write a whole PhD thesis about (and I expect will be a popular topic for those in the next years). – Philipp May 20 at 9:49
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    Any answer to this question will depend a lot on how much faith you put in the official figures given for the impact of the pandemic in China and Russia. – Evargalo May 20 at 9:57
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I believe that the German success -- such as it is -- is due to two factors:

You might note the Swedish policy as a counterexample for your hypothesis.

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    Germany is just one country of many. But if you want to cherry-pick Germany in particular, then you could also mention that Germany mitigated economic consequences early by 1. providing targeted compensation to industries affected by restrictions with a focus on small businesses and 2. has an unemployment welfare system which alleviates the personal impact on people who suddenly became unemployed. That made them able to be far less concerned about the economic impact of their restrictions. Both would not have been politically viable for a government with a "small state" neoliberal agenda. – Philipp May 20 at 11:15
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    Also relevant could be the law which provided protection for tennants against evictions if they had trouble paying rent due to pandemic restrictions. You could also mention personal factors of the political leadership with Trump taking an approach driven by political considerations while Merkel used an evidence-based and data-driven approach. Or how the parliament didn't waste time with unproductive infighting like the Democrats and Republicans in the US Congress. Or... well I am writing a PhD thesis here. That's what I meant with this question being too broad to answer. – Philipp May 20 at 11:21
  • If I may play the advocatus diaboli: I don't think the German "success" should be discussed without acknowledging a whole bunch of "lucky" factors that don't have much to do with more or less liberal politics but that tremendously influence mortality per capita. Starting from old people often living more separate (compared to, say, Italy), a more distanced greeting culture (how often do you see German grandparents and great-grandparents hugging a mere acquaintance as greeting), the main spreading events (skiing holidays, night clubs) being mostly attended by young people (carnival maybe a bit – cbeleites unhappy with SX May 22 at 23:39
  • case, accident/good or bad luck plays a major role, and we may just be plain lucky that we didn't have twice as many caring homes affected: RKI numbers indicate that among those cases where numbers are available whether they were living or working in nursing homes, refugee homes, or similar, almost half of all deaths were in such homes. A bit of bad luck and a few more such outbreaks, and Germany may not look that well any more... – cbeleites unhappy with SX May 22 at 23:57

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