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In 2008, data collection included all democratic polities of at least two million inhabitants with a minimum recent experience of two rounds of national electoral competition under at least semi-democratic conditions. The latter were identified in terms of average civil and political rights scores of at least 4.0, as awarded by the annual Freedom House survey. Beyond this set of countries, a few prominent countries with multi-party electoral politics that does not quite meet this civil and political rights standard were included (Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia). Altogether, the survey covered 21 countries in the Americas, 13 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, 18 countries in post-communist Eastern and Central Europe, 16 countries in Western Europe, and 20 countries in Africa and the Middle East for a total of 88 countries. Expert surveys for most countries were conducted in 2008; while the surveys for a smaller subset of countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Italy, New Zealand, Sweden, United Kingdom, Albania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Dominican Rep., Jamaica, Mauritius, South Africa, Turkey, Morocco, Lebanon, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand were completed in early 2009.