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A journey of 1000 miles (actually my journey of 1414 miles) begins with me driving my car, from the Pacific Northwest to the American Southwest. While I enjoy the road, the scenery, for two or third days, I will be understandably preoccupied with reestablishing my life in New Mexico, after 3 and half years in Oregon. Outside of the regular logistics of setting up a home, settling into a new job, getting new car license plates, and new drivers’ license, I am keen to register to vote with the local county clerk’s office – in time for the November mid-term elections.

Among the 1000s of state and local election contests and issues, there are elections for many US House of Representatives seats and about 1/3 of the seats in the US Senate. Nearly 40 gubernatorial elections, in US states and territories, will be voted on, as well as numerous elections for city mayor – including significant mayoral contests in San Francisco, Washington DC, Phoenix, and Newark.

Obviously, some amount of effort is required to research and investigate information about any specific election, or elections, which are pertinent to your community or region or nation. Nevertheless, the privileged aim of civic duty, whether through jury duty service, or by voting, is a demonstration of our personal commitment to good governance.

Good governance, which seeks to reasonably provide the optimal benefits for the members of its society by wisely utilizing its available resources, usually adheres to at least four basic principles connected to the Rule of Law: 1) Open government – governmental administration is efficient, accessible, and fair (a citizen’s civic duty falls under this accessibility criteria; 2) Accountability – governmental actions and administration are accountable; 3) Fair laws – laws are clear, just, and applied fairly, and basic rights are protected; and 4) Dispute Resolution – the court system is competent and ethical.

The World Justice Project, an independent organization which researches and promotes the principles of the Rule of Law throughout the world, has developed a statistical index for measuring good governance. It’s index is based upon eight factors or variables: 1) Governmental checks and balances, 2) Lack of corruption, 3) Open government, 4) Human rights, 5) Order and security, 6) Regulatory environment, 7) Civil Justice, and 8) Criminal Justice.

The top ten rankings, for nations with good governance, 2017-2018, as researched by the World Justice Project are:
1. Denmark
2. Norway
3. Finland
4. Sweden
5. Netherlands
6. Germany
7. New Zealand
8. Austria
9. Canada
10. Australia

The top ten rankings, for nations with good governance, 2013-2014, 4 years ago, as researched by the World Justice Project:
1. Denmark
2. Norway
3. Sweden
4. New Zealand
5. Finland
6. Austria
7. Netherlands
8. Australia
9. Germany
10. United Kingdom
The United States was ranked 20th and 19th, in the world, in the respective governmental years of 2013-2014 and 2017-2018.