These nations are the core of the UN Security Council:
* United States is a federal presidential constitutional republic.
* United Kingdom is a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy.
* France is a unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic.
* Russia is a federal semi-presidential constitutional republic.
* China is a nominally Marxist-Leninist single-party system nation.
Excluding China, how are these nations liberal democracies?
The phrase "liberal democracy"
is a general term in political science to describe a political system which combines democratic rule (usually as expressed via representative democracy) with a system that enumerates and protects certain rights (individual rights and, often, minority group rights). So, for instance, a society whose government is chosen by free and fair elections but whose government is constitutionally prohibited from suppressing free speech, free exercise of religion, from engaging in arbitrary arrests and detentions, from denying those accused of crimes access to courts, and which is obligated to provide universal health care, would generally be considered a "liberal democracy."
(The term "liberal" is being used in the sense of classical liberalism
, not in the modern sense of a political faction occurring along a right-left ideological divide within a democracy.)
A liberal democracy may also be a federal presidential constitutional republic, or it may also be a federal semi-presidential constitutional republic, or it may be a unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic, or it may be a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy, or it may be a unitary parliamentary republic, or it may be a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, or it may be a unitary presidential constitutional republic. Etc. The status of "liberal democracy" is not mutually exclusive with any of these other constitutional arrangements.
Of the P-5 members of the United Nations Security Council, the United States, United Kingdom, and French Republic are generally considered to be liberal democracies. The Russian Federation was sometimes considered a liberal democracy in the 1990s, but the rise of Vladimir Putin -- leading to violence against his political opponents and journalists, and, this past year, a seemingly rigged presidential election, plus his former status as the de facto
ruler of Russia while nominally serving as the de jure
Russian President's prime minister -- has led many to remove Russia from the list of liberal democracies. (Some argue that Russia still qualifies as an illiberal democracy