The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
8 Points

Smaller Countries are Better than Larger Countries

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/12/2015 Category: Places-Travel
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,080 times Debate No: 68184
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)




Smaller countries like Iceland, Denmark, Holland and New Zealand are far more successful and enjoyable to live in than the world's leading corrupt-ridden nations of China, Russia and the United States of America.


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


For the sake of this argument, the definition of a small country can be defined as country that doesn't breach the population of twenty million.

Smaller countries are generally more astutely organised socially and economically than larger countries who are often found to be in momentous amounts of debts, corruption and other futile complexities, such as war. Nations such as Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Switzerland, Holland and New Zealand are the all among the most happy countries on the planet according to the World Happiness Report (1) published in 2013 which utilises factors such as real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption, and generosity. Larger nations such as the United States of America, Russia and China all fall below the top twenty spots. This proves that on average, smaller countries are socially more developed than larger countries and this results in a more pleased population as a whole.

Smaller countries also appear to be significantly less corrupt than larger nations. The Corruptions Perception Index (2) produced in 2014 again appears to deem smaller countries such as Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden and Norway, all less broken than larger (world leaders) namely mass producer China (100th) and the vast land mass that is Russia that meanders depressingly at 136th. Although there are an abundance of small nations lying deep near the bottom of the scale, there is still NOT a single country above a population of twenty million in the top five and the only large country that exists in the top ten is Canada, which runs on a similar political structure to that of Denmark, Finland and Iceland. The fact is, smaller countries are generally less corrupt than larger countries and this once again bolsters the fact that smaller nations are better than larger ones.

To top things off, it has been proven that smaller countries are more peaceful than larger ones, with the Global Peace Index (3) displaying Iceland, Denmark, New Zealand, Switzerland, Finland, Norway and Austria, all ranking in the top ten once again. The United States of America are ranked 101th, China 108th and Russia 152nd. Other large populations of Brazil and India are all under the 100th mark.

To summarise, countries with smaller populations are generally happier, less corrupt and more peaceful than larger countries and are therefore better in the most crucial aspects for the basis of any countries well-being.

(1) -
(2) -
(3) -


I would like to thank my opponent for creating this debate. Yet, as my position as Con, my duty is to show that the premise of this debate is not only incorrect, but illogical. I shall show how there is no direct correlation between the size of a nation and to the supposed 'quality' of that country. In order for me to show that, all I must do is provide several contradictions to the premise. I will split my contradictions into two sub-divisions which are:

D1: 'Bad' Smaller Countries
D2: 'Good Larger Countries

Lets begin!

D1: 'Bad Smaller Countries

D1.1 Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea is a smaller African nation that was a former Spanish colony. As of such, they have a Presidential Dictator named Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo who has been in office since 1979. Ever since the discovery of oil in the small African nation Mbasogo has exploited the lower classes to extract the 'liquid gold'. While on paper it seems that the country's situation has improved due to the huge boost in GDP, yet this is not the case [1]. Mbasogo has essentially taken the money gained from the oil extractions and distributed it amongst a very select few in the higher classes. Life expectancy is just 52 years and infant mortality is 124 deaths per 1,000. More than 35% of the population does not live past the age of 40, 19% of children are severely malnourished, and 43% of the population does not have access to safe drinking water. Finally, 77% of the population falls below the poverty line and according to the EU is on a par with Haiti in this regard (another 'bad' small country) [2].

D1.2 Cambodia
Cambodia is the smallest of the South-East Asian countries which is infamous for the massive genocide undertook by Pol Pot in the 1970's. Now, however, massive human rights violations are still the norm for the oppressed Cambodians. Prime Minister Hun Sen was a great supporter of Pol Pot, and today he still practices similar principles as the despised dictator. In the 1990's Sen essentially controlled the Cambodian police force and would use them in order to "Carry out, either personally or through intermediaries, the destruction and forestallment of the stratagems, plans, methodologies, tricks and activities of the opposition parties which aim at expanding their influence and their membership and to destroy us. They are also to achieve any of a number of goals, primarily those such as eliminating the influence, propaganda and psychological warfare of the opposition parties, and in particular to eliminating their influence among the popular masses" [3]. Corruption within the Cambodian government is blatantly obvious and Sen hardly even attempts to cover it up anymore. All political parties opposing Sen have been de facto banished or else they face trumped up charges by Sen's puppet police force [4][5].

D1.3 Eritrea
Eritrea is a small African nation on the east coast along the Red Sea. Ever since its independence back in 1993 there has never been an election, no constitution or strict set of laws have been written, and political parties are still banned. President Isaias Afewerk has been in office for twenty years now and is appearing more like a King than a president. Torture is a major issue in Eritrea as it is a common practice by the immoral government. There is little to no freedom of speech, and no religious freedom. The ladder poses a major concern due to the fact that there is a fairly even split between Christianity (the state religion) and Sunni Islam of about 63% to 36% [6]. On top of all this, it is nearly impossible for outsiders to enter to country in order to help fix the problems or otherwise [7].

D2: 'Good Larger Countries

D2.1 Canada
Stereotypes aside, Canada has the international reputation of one of the most peaceful and accepting countries in the world. While there are obviously some exceptions to this rule, on par Canada is one of the most culturally advanced country that there is. This is partially due to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was signed after World War II in 1948. The Bill essentially states that the Canadian government is to make human rights their primary concern [8][9].

D2.2 Sweden/Norway
Despite remaining neutral in World War II, since then Sweden has adopted the policy of respecting and protecting human rights at every possible opportunity. In fact, they have been ranked as the #1 nation on the International Human Rights Rank Indicator. Similarly, the equally large Scandinavian nation of Norway has coincidentally ranked #2 on the same scale [10][11]. I rest my case.

While there certainly are more examples, I believe that I have provided a sufficient number of contradictions to my opponents premise. My final conclusion is that there is absolutely no correlation between the size of a nation and to their supposed quality. While I mainly focused on human rights issues and political corruption, I am sure that I could expand upon these contradictions in a multitude of fields.

Back over to you, Pro.




[3] Ministry of National Security, “Building Up A-92 Forces,” unpublished document on file with Human Rights Watch.








Debate Round No. 2


I strongly disagree with the credibility of con's argument. The examples presented by con are extraneous to the argument I produced in the first round and fail to contradict my points in every way possible.

Here's why:

1.) Just because con has pointed out a few unsuccessful smaller countries, does not take anything away from the fact that it's only smaller countries that exist at the top of the three most reliable sources for exacting a countries well-being; the peace index, the happiness index and the corruption index. It's only smaller countries that appear in the top five of every one of these scales and Canada are the only larger country to appear to come close when it comes down to these three crucial index's.

2.) All three of the countries listed by con are third-world countries run by ruthless dictators - and therefore have not had the chance of growth and success. This is not the case with a vast number of smaller countries in the world; namely Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Iceland to name a few.

3.) Con has not taken into consideration the points I presented in my previous argument before indulging in his own. For one, con uses Canada as an example of a large successful country to prove that there's no direct link between the success of larger countries and smaller countries. However, as I pointed out in my previous argument, Canada only just reaches the top 10 in ONE of the THREE index's listed and this therefore does not deem Canada to be as successful as an abundance of other smaller countries that are ranked higher in all three index's.

4.) Con farcically lists Sweden and Norway as large successful nations after I blatantly pointed out at the start of this argument that Sweden and Norway should be classified as smaller countries and not larger countries as their populations are under the twenty million mark. Consequently, this makes this specific fragment of con's argument completely void.

5.) I successfully managed to prove that smaller countries are better than larger countries and did so with a diverse array of arguments with a range of different perspectives that render a country successful - con has attempted to point out three larger countries that he thinks proves his point that larger countries are better than smaller countries, and two of these countries (Norway/Sweden) aren't even larger countries, hence making his argument a bluster of void altercations.

I shall recap my main stand point in this debate: smaller countries are better than larger countries because they are by far more socially and economically organised. My examples are bold with Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland, who all appear in the top ten on the peace index, corruption index and happiness index.

All three index's:
Peace index:
Corruption index:
Happiness index:


Sorry for the late reply, I have been quite busy with family matters as of late. Apologies in advance. While I am aware that my opponent has quite viciously rebutted my original argument, I will not reply to any of his claims this round and will solely rebut his own argument, per the rules of the debate. So let’s get started!

While I am sure that my opponent could find several economically and socially content smaller countries, a portion does not designate that smaller countries are always better than larger countries. While I do admit that there are many large nations which suffer economically and as a result are less “happy”, smaller countries do not escape unscathed. For example, Syria ranked as the fifth most unhappy nation. Similarly, our favorite Gold Coast nation of Sierra Leone ranked as the sixth most unhappy country. Cyprus and the de facto nation of Northern Cyprus ranked seventh and eighth, respectively Cambodia ranked ninth and Lebanon 10th. Therefore if we are not counting Iraq or Greece as a small country (which is debateable), six of the top ten most unhappy nations can qualify as “small” [1]. As for the next point regarding GDP, the average wages of a nation does not in any means determine that one nation is more “socially developed” than the other. Also, the USA, China, and Russia are not the only “large” countries in the world. If we are deciding the supposed superiority of a country based on GDP, your argument has many flaws due to the fact that many large nations have superb GDP’s. For example Norway ranked as the 2nd GDP per International Monetary Fund in 2013. Australia ranked 5th, Sweden ranked 7th, the USA ranked 9th, Canada ranked 10th, Finland 12th, etc [2].

This argument, I must profess, is utterly absurd. While it may be true that some smaller nations, primarily the European ones, may have less corruption, this does not derail the fact that many smaller nations are not as pristine. If we look at your very own source, we find that North Korea ranks 174th (of 175), South Sudan 171, Eritrea 166, Yemen, Guinea-Bissau, Syria, Burundi, and Haiti all 161, etc [3]. Therefore there is absolutely no correlation between size and level of corruption. Also note that the not all of the countries in the world are westernized ones, as those are the only nations which my opponent has utilizes thus far in this debate.

Again my opponent makes the fatal error of not recognizing non-westernized “small” nations. Using your own source I can find that many small nations are classified as non peaceful. Such as Guinea-Bissau (145 out of 162), Rwanda (137), North Korea (153), Yemen (147), etc [4]. I let the numbers represent themselves.

I would like to reiterate the fact that my opponent has intentionally left out a huge percentage of data which can be all found in his own sources. While it may be true that European nations are more peaceful, and by extension smaller European nations as all European nations are small. However, this ignores the fact that many small countries outside of Europe are struggling tremendously, such as Sierra Leone, Burundi, Rwanda, North Korea, Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, and others. Therefore I must conclude that the size of a nation has absolutely no relation to the superiority of that nation.





Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by TheTragicLifeofFrank 1 year ago
Before voting, please take into account that I stated at the beginning of this debate that any country over the population of twenty million can not be classified as a 'smaller nations'. Con has used many examples of countries with a population exceeding the population of twenty million to shun the idea that smaller countries are not better than large ones.
Posted by TheTragicLifeofFrank 1 year ago
The USA is easier to gain accessibility than other countries like Denmark and New Zealand who have strict immigration policies.
Posted by Maemel 1 year ago
The United States of America has one of the highest immigration rates of any country in the world despite being a large, "unhappy" country.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Paleophyte 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con aptly demonstrated that, while some small countries are "good" many others are not.
Vote Placed by Lexus 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con proved that there are many smaller countries that are not better than larger counties, by providing counterexamples such as: North Korea and Cambodia. Pro is correct in saying that Iceland is very good, but this is an on balance debate, so con wins arguments. Con refuted pro's sources by explaining that NK was 174/175, so I'm going to give con better sources, since pro had some pretty shaky ones.