Pontus: I will give you some examples of how Americans are more free.
There is no principle of the "primacy of Parliament" for the legislature.
We have an independent judiciary that can check excesses of other branches.
Our definition of free speech is broader then virtually any other country. For instance Europe's anti-trolling laws and their threshold for defamation would both be unconstitutional here.
We have an adversarial, and not inquisitional format for our criminal courts as some western European countries do.
Our freedom of religion also has a much broader definition. There are several religions in the US that are outright banned in some European countries such as Scientology.
The right to bear arms is almost non-existent in other free countries.
Primacy of parliament: this isn't about freedom. It's about systems of government. The US has a strong executive, most European countries have a strong legislative branch. I'd say the European system is probably more "democratic" in the sense that you have a much wider of choice of who to vote for in most cases (as opposed to 2 candidates). That and European countries regularly hold referendums on important issues which is unheard of in the US.
Independent judiciary: granted... but once again not really sure how this relates to freedom?
Freedom of speech: Yes, that's true.
Court system: Don't know enough to comment.
Freedom of religion: Ehhh, this really depends. Scientology is not banned in any European country, it's merely banned from operating as a religion with the same benefits religious organisations get. Then there are issues such as headscarves in France and circumcision in Germany... but it's contentious in the sense that a lot of these religions infringe upon other freedoms so it's not a clear cut question of "freedom" in this case. I'd also add that anti-religious sentiment such as Islamophobia, while common in groups within Western Europe, seems to be a VERY pervasive attitude throughout the entire United States (including quite a few posters from old AT topics).. The US isn't going to allow Shariah courts for instance whereas many European countries allow them on a "voluntary" basis
Right to bear arms: yes, granted.
But for all these freedoms the Americans have, Europeans enjoy:
- shorter prison sentences for most offences (far smaller percentage of population incarcerated)
- more direct democracy (addressed earlier)
- more liberal drug laws
- stricter data privacy laws, less widespread government invasion of data privacy
- all the aspects of freedom listed in the wikipedia page I posted - western europe does very well compared to the US in most
Anyway, the point of my original post wasn't to show that "Europe is more free than the US" but that freedom can't be measured and that statements by Americans that they live in the "most free" country in the world are not true because in many aspects of freedom the lag behind Europeans. I mean if you choose to think America is more free than European countries because you have a powerful president... erm, fine I guess, but you'll be flat out wrong in many aspects.