I think you can tell the great countries of the world by how leadership administrations succeed each other . Nobody wants to let go of power, especially when they are worried the successor could possibly really screw things up even worse. But the great Democracies of the world can supercede what an individual can accomplish for better or for worse. These great Democracies can withstand radical shifts in policy if the populace knows both sides are committed to the actual success of the whole Nation. Some countries gain Democracy but lose
their way when elected leaders can't relinquish control to the next caretaker. The leaders use their position to ingratiate themselves and entrench in the power of the collective National position. Venezuela, and maybe the fledgeling Iraq, come directly to mind. Other countries really need a belligerant face, to put on a tough persona, because weakness signifies vulnerability and vulnerability invites aggression. Iran and North Korea come first to my mind here. Some countries play weak and venomless but are really just waiting for the most opportune time to strike the unsuspecting. Russia's recent actions set off all my early warning devices. Other countries may hate US but need US right now so cannot be considered a direct threat. Like China ,Saudi-Arabia, Pakistan, and Africa.
Most European and North American countries have learned how to settle differences at the ballot boxing Arena of Ideas. Sometimes there's a sore loser, like in America (Florida)in 2000, but losers concede and the business of the country gets done. So maybe the more antagonistic and vitriolic we get toward each other (conservatives vs. liberals) the stronger our country really is. The more passion we feel against who we feel will ruin our country, manifest as anger, is actually a sign of caring deeply about the direction we are heading. Who knows whose worries will really come true.
So living with the results is what makes a great country. Overcoming whatever obstacle happens to land in your path. Working together. All for one and one for all.