Frequently Asked Questions

This is too ambitious. I don't see how this can be done.

In the past, broad agreement of nations was seen as the only way to achieve international standards and some limited treaties of standardization do exist. However, a number of academic institutions, researchers and NGO's see the need for improvement and have already been working in this area for years. The Internet, social media, the Arab Spring and increasing civic engagement around the world have now demonstrated an opportunity to move forward. Without the endorsement or involvement of any government, the will start by simply compiling existing research on robust democratic processes and publishing them. International Standards begin to have force when everyone understands what they are, when everyone has access to them and anyone can demand that their government respond to them.

How will the GCHRD get started?

We are performing outreach both to citizens and the experts required to staff the GCHRD. The more people who support the GCHRD , the more powerful it is. There is already a great deal of research available from academic institutions and non-governmental organizations around the world. We will be reaching out to all of these organizations to share their input and expertise.

I don't trust institutions. How will you maintain the integrity of the GCHRD?

There is much work to be done here to completely define these processes, but in principle there will be many levels of structure designed to preserve the integrity of the GCHRD.

There will be no government input from any country.

We are designing a process for citizens to elect the governance of the organization directly, which must be reelected on a regular basis to prevent corruption. A key difference here is the promotion of electing the most trusted citizens to be representatives to the GCHRD. In initial testing in Canada, this resulted in the thoughtful nomination of outstanding and highly qualified citizens, rather than politicians.

The management's power will then be limited by a clear constitution that will define their responsibility to protect the fairness and equality of democracy.

A Research Division will have the responsibility to amend the standards to counteract new forms of abuse and will be staffed by an alternate selection process to ensure independence and integrity.

Ultimately we would like to see the International Criminal Court define egregious tampering with a democratic process as a crime against humanity. Governments must be accountable to an independent judiciary just as citizens are.

How can the GCHRD reflect the rights and needs of all cultures?

The GCHRD will only be in force where citizens choose to have their government adopt the rights and standards. The standards themselves will define the procedures and processes of democracy, not the form of democracy, the policies or the resulting laws, and will be designed to be policy neutral and non-partisan. It will be the choice of the people of each country to enshrine the rights they choose in their own constitution.

How will the GCHRD help me with my problems?

Using research based on evidence, rather than political or economic ideology, the will publish a set of democratic rules and processes that are demonstrated to be fair and representative. If they are fully adopted by your government, democracy will be representative in your country. It is then up to you and your fellow citizens, to use this functional democratic process to make the changes you need.

How can the GCHRD be effective in every country?

By only focusing on the functionality of democracy, the GCHRD will publish rules to support the small machinery and processes of government. In this way the changes are politically neutral by design. Only those who feel their government is not working, will call for the implementation of standards. Once the GCHRD standards are adopted by a government, the citizens of that country can then use the effective and representative democratic processes to suit their needs. Through ongoing research, the GCHRD will also study democratic activity in all countries to learn from the best practices, react to new forms of abuse and improve the standards to ensure that democracy is effective for all cultures.

What if my government doesn't recognize the GCHRD?

The GCHRD will function independent of any government. It will not get involved in local politics. It will only produce and publish a set of operating standards. It's up to the citizens of the country to recognize the GCHRD. Our researchers will publish reports assessing the quality of national democratic processes, to give citizens an impartial understanding of where they fit on the scale of international democracy.

How can we trust the GCHRD?

The GCHRD will set a new standard for transparent operation as part of it's normal function. All activities will be open for all to view and the administrators will be directly elected by a novel process to ensure they are trustworthy. Concentrated economic power will be blocked by using small citizen donations for funding. Political or ideological agendas will be blocked by focusing only on the functional, small processes of democracy that are ideologically neutral. The standards will take on the flavour and will of the culture that operates them.

How will the GCHRD stop powerful or bad people from abusing democracy?

Democracy requires constant vigilance. The GCHRD will not only issue standards, it will also monitor the implementation of those standards. As new forms of abuse or flaws appear, the standards will be constantly updated to address them. It is ultimately up to the people to demand high standards and compliance from their government.

Shouldn't this be done by the United Nations?

The United Nations is designed to facilitate the intra governmental relations of nation states. The GCHRD is designed to improve the fairness and equality of democracy for the citizens of a country. The United Nations would be in a conflict of interest, just as individual governments currently are.