The Economist’s Democracy Index 2010 ranks France as a “flawed democracy” with a score below South Africa and Italy.

“France — full democracy to flawed democracy

Various negative political trends in France in recent years have resulted in the country being downgraded to the flawed democracy category. Public confidence in political parties and the government is extremely low. Surveys also show that citizens’ engagement with politics has declined. The degree of popular support for democracy is among the lowest in the developed world. One in seven do not agree that democracy is better than any other form of government. The chasm between the country’s citizens and its political elites has widened. Outbreaks of violent rioting in recent years are another symptom of the country’s political malaise. Under the French political system, the president wields huge power. The autocratic and domineering style of the current president, Nicolas Sarkozy, threatens to undermine democratic traditions. There has been increasing anti-Muslim sentiment and emphasis on the country’s Christian roots during the Sarkozy presidency. Pressure on journalists and the electronic media have led to a decline in media freedoms”.

No need to comment – The Economist’s analysis speaks for itself and I believe it does reflect the situation of my country. What is a French citizen to do ?