Do You Know What Kind of Government These Countries Have?

By: Olivia Cantor

Which communist state produces great cigars?

Fidel Castro’s long reign in Cuba made it a communist state for decades. That's how it's still known today, even with him gone.

Which land down under is a constitutional monarchy, and at the same time has a federal parliamentary government?

Australia gained independence from the U.K. in 1901, but it remains under a constitutional monarchy where they recognize Queen Elizabeth II as their monarch. But their government is run by a prime minister, in consultation with a governor-general that represents the queen.

Which huge country operates a representative democracy by having a federal constitutional republic?

The United States manages its government by following a constitution, therefore making it a constitutional republic. At the same time, it also functions in a federal way, meaning individual states have their own regional governing functions.

It’s essentially a socialist republic, but which Asian country is seen as a dictatorship because it’s strictly ruled by one family?

Due to the rule of the Kim dynasty, starting with Kim Il-sung, North Korea has always been strictly governed by the so-called iron fist of this generation of leaders. The international world sees North Korea as a communist state due to this fact.

Because of the pope, which theocratic state has an absolute monarchy?

The Vatican is technically the smallest independent country in the world, so it also has a government somewhere in it. Their head is the sovereign, which is the current pope. They also have a secretary of state and a president of the governorate.

Which country was identified as the original “banana republic” in the early 1900s?

The Central American country of Honduras was what American writer O. Henry termed as a “banana republic” back in 1901. While it really has a presidential republic, the pejorative term of banana republic meant that economic hardships from international pressures burden an impoverished society dependent on the export of selected crops such as bananas, and the working class people are exploited by the oligarchy elites ruling the country.

Which European country is perhaps the most well-known monarchy in the world?

The United Kingdom actually has a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as their monarch. They also have a prime minister who runs government dealings, and their legislative body is that of a parliamentary structure.

Bet you didn’t know that this country is also a constitutional monarchy with a federal parliamentary government, eh? Which U.S. neighbor is this?

While the Canadian prime minister is the one we usually see representing the country’s federal parliamentary government, Canada also functions as a constitutional monarchy. So that means they, too, are under the U.K.’s Queen Elizabeth II’s monarchic reign.

France, Egypt and Ecuador are diverse countries, but they share which form of government?

France, Egypt and Ecuador all have a republic kind of government. That simply means their government leaders are elected into power, and the government positions are not inherited like in a monarchy, since these governance dealings are always a matter of public interest.

Which country celebrates Koningsdag, which means King’s Day?

Yes, Netherlands is under a constitutional monarchy. That’s why they have a King’s Day holiday, commemorating the birth of their current king. The official name of the country is the Kingdom of Netherlands, and the Dutch have their own royal family lineage.

Which huge developed nation has an Islamic absolute monarchy?

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is ruled by a king and a crown prince. Their absolute monarchy style of leadership means their royal family has hands-on involvement in running their government.

They now have a unified federal parliamentary republic form of government, but which country used to be split into two, with a stricter communist side and a freer democratic side?

Ever since 1990, when the Berlin Wall collapsed with communist rule in Europe, Germany reunified and formed one sole state. They have a president, which is the head of state, but they also have a chancellor, which is the head of the government and the one we always see at work in international political affairs.

Which Asian country has a good mix of traditional and modern culture, in a way reflective of their constitutional monarchy?

Japan has a constitutional monarchy and a unitary parliamentary system of government. Instead of a royal family, they have an Imperial Family that manages political affairs, led by their emperor, the crown prince and their prime minister.

Which socialist republic state is often referred to as communist, since it’s run by their Communist Party?

The Communist Party of China is essentially the only party that rules their government. While they have many advances in their economy and technology, they also have suppressed rights in certain sectors.

This Southeast Asian country runs an Islamic absolute monarchy kind of government, and is also one of the richest countries in the world, according to "Forbes" magazine. What country is this?

Brunei is indeed rich in natural resources, such as petroleum and natural gas. Their absolute monarch is referred to as the sultan, who acts as their head of state.

This huge federation has a federal semi-presidential kind of republic, after being a stricter socialist state for decades. What country is this?

The Russian Federation is what’s left of the former Soviet Union, after a dozen of its former states became independent republics on their own and a handful gained back their independence. Russia is now warming up to become a democratic state, despite several controversies.

Kenya and Tanzania are said to have what kind of governance?

Tanzania has a presidential constitutional socialist republic while Kenya has a unitary kind of presidential constitutional republic. That might explain why they belong to the 2017 Democracy Index list of hybrid regimes, since having democratic elections is not tantamount to having genuine democracy in a given society run by a strict government.

This Asian kingdom was known as Siam before. What is it called now?

Thailand operates now on a constitutional monarchy since 1932, but it was a land formed by different smaller kingdoms that date as far back as the 1200s. However, a military junta took over in 2014; while their presence is immediately felt in governance, their declaration of Martial Law doesn’t seem to affect their commerce and tourism that much.

Which South Asian country is considered as a large democracy, simply because of its huge population?

India officially has a parliamentary republic kind of government. Like Russia, it’s also a federation that runs a parliamentary system, since the country is subdivided into different states and union territories.

Since Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, what kind of government do they have?

Puerto Rico is a commonwealth, meaning a dependent territory of the U.S., essentially making Puerto Ricans automatic U.S. citizens but without voting privileges. Therefore, whoever the U.S. president is, that’s their president, too. Plus they have their own governor that takes care of things in their land.

Which Asian Tiger is a parliamentary republic, but some observers say the rule is rather authoritarian?

As a republic, Singapore has a parliamentary government with a president and a prime minister. However, their strict rule of governance is sometimes characterized as authoritarian in nature – but it gets the job done.

Which Asian constitutional monarchy is of the elected kind – meaning they elect their king?

Malaysia came from various Malay kingdoms in the past, which today comprise the nine Malay states that make up the country. Their head of state, their king, is elected from one of the hereditary rulers of these states, while their parliamentary system of governance is ruled by a prime minister.

Italy, Liberia and South Korea all share a similar form of government. Which is it?

The official names of these countries are Italian Republic, Republic of Liberia, and Republic of Korea. So yes, some countries that have “republic” in their official names have a republic form of government as well.

While Syria is officially a parliamentary republic, what is it likened to lately, in the wake of their civil war crisis?

Syria has been having a long, drawn-out civil war that was ignited in the early 2010s. Its parliamentary republic system is now described as being autocratic by the international community, since their president is seen to be enacting a dictatorship.

This Asian land used to be ruled by the British Empire, but was returned to China in 1997. What territory is this?

Hong Kong now operates as a special administrative region of China. This means they are under China’s rule, but they have autonomous and decentralized governance, led by their chief executive with the help of the chief secretary, financial secretary, and secretary for justice.

Liechtenstein is governed by a monarchy, but of which kind?

Hereditary monarchy is when a royal family inherits their ruling position throughout generations. But Liechtenstein, like other hereditary monarchies, has a constitution that the monarchy follows, thus they can also be termed as a constitutional monarchy.

Jamaica, the land of reggae, also bows down to Queen Elizabeth II. Why is that?

Jamaica has a constitutional monarchy, being part of the U.K.’s Commonwealth realm. So that means they also have a governor-general that represents the queen in their government system, plus they have a prime minister that leads their parliamentary system of governance.

What do you call the head of state of Kuwait?

An emir in Kuwait is the head of state of the country that runs under a unitary constitutional monarchy. So that is like a king, and they also have a crown prince that rules them.

Kazakhstan is technically a constitutional republic, but its strict president is classified as what?

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International chronicled how Kazakhstan has had several crackdowns in their democratic practices since gaining independence from being part of the Soviet Union. While they’re a presidential constitutional republic, observers say that the country is under strict authoritarian rule.

Much like India and the U.S., this country has several states governed by a federal republic government. Which Spanish-speaking country is this?

Mexico is a federal presidential constitutional republic, much like the USA. Its official name is actually United Mexican States, because they have 31 states forming their union.

Which country suffered in being a “banana republic” in the early 1900s?

Guatemala is officially a presidential republic that experienced an uneven development in the 1900s. Their economic imbalances led to national poverty and even rebellions back then.

This former Taliban-ruled country is now said to have an Islamic republic type of system. Which country is this?

Afghanistan is an Islamic republic. That means their form of republic government has the Islamic laws as their bedrock in governance.

Sudan is said to have what kind of regime, characterized with social conservatism?

While the African country is called Republic of Sudan, it is totally under totalitarianism. This means their president is running a dictatorship that prohibits opposition and progress in society.

Russell Crowe’s country of origin is said to be practicing full democracy, according to the Democracy Index of 2017. Which country is this?

While New Zealand is under a constitutional monarchy that runs a parliamentary form of government, it ranked high in the Democracy Index of 2017 conducted by "The Economist"'s Intelligence Unit. Having a string of great Prime Minister leaderships makes things work over there.

While this very ancient country has a unitary parliamentary system, it finds itself in some controversial political events from time to time. Which country is this?

Israel has been in several controversial political tangents with Palestine for decades. Both their president and prime minister work hard to address issues and face critics while running their very historically and culturally colorful country.

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Image: Sir Francis Canker Photography/Moment/Getty Images

About This Quiz

There are more than a hundred countries in the whole world, with many different kinds of cultures and traditions. However, some of these countries might share something with each other: the kind of government they have.

The human race has already evolved in its way of doing things, and it also has matured in the way of running things. With the creation of systems of government, we can very well see how humankind has progressed into a more systematic kind of existence. While there have been major kinks and troubles to tinker with from time to time or from era to era, that is still part of development in general. Every generation experiences some form of growing pains and baptism-by-fire type of event. What's more important to focus on is not the failure or loss, but the gains and the lessons culled from such events.

And one huge lesson here is how countries have been establishing and progressing, regarding their culture, traditions and governance. Even if we still see a few bad trends here and there, it's best to remain hopeful that all kinds of government structures will benefit their respective constituents eventually.

But let's see which among today's governments have been happily serving their countries, and which have some brushing up to do. Take the quiz and see how far you'll go in terms of global political discourse!

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