Best democracies in the world

Dec 2011
From another forum, where there was a discussion about democracy, I was thinking about good democracies and which were the best. And BTW what is a good democracy and even what is a democracy?
Take now for example the UK and Belgium. It are both kingdoms and everybody seems to say that they are good and well established democracies.
If I compare both, in my opinion there is no difference in democratic power between the two.

However when I made a quick search on the internet with the mighty "google" I found with each entry, for instance in:

The Economist Intelligence Unit with its Democracy Index

I am always a bit alerted when I only find one source in the internet and no alternative ones. As if it is the Bible and no other truth exists. Also am I a bit sceptical when I see a business group making surveys about democracies. I don't say the experts didn't their best, but are the criteria discussed in the wider academic world?

For instance from the 2019 list:
Democracy score: UK 8.53 Belgium 7.78
Electoral Process and Pluralism: UK: 9.58 Belgium: 9.58
Functioning of government: UK: 7.5 Belgium: 8:53
Political Participation: UK: 8.38 Belgium: 5
Political Culture: UK: 8.13 Belgium: 6.88
Civil Rights: UK: 9.12 Belgium: 8.53

Two remarks of perhaps the many:
How can the political participation in Belgium be a score of 5, while in Belgium there is compulsory voting, while in the UK not? Or is that compulsory to act as a responsible citizen not democratic?
And in "political culture" there is only a slight difference between the UK and Belgium, but what are the criteria? Is it the participation to political parties or the amount of political manifestations against the government?

As I said a bit sceptical if I see a business group involved in surveys about democracies...
What about the rights of minorities in democracies?
What about the freedom of each citizen to express independently and free one's opinion in a country?
What about freedom of an individual citizen to act in a democracy?
What about the differences between the rich and the poor?

Perhaps another view than the Economist Intelligence Unit:
and the "about us"

And another study:
Denmark, Finland and Belgium have best democracies experts say...
from the university of Zürich and the Social Science Research Center of Berlin

And is hapiness also a criterion for democracy? ;)
As then according to Eurostat the Benelux (the former Low Countries) are together with Austria and Finland the happiest people from the EU...😉
I see that some countries are lacking in the list as the UK, Latvia, Slovakia...???

Regards, Paul.