Corrupted Processes

Small, robust and fair processes are the core of good democracy.

The problems concerning the quality of governments, can be traced directly to lax rules controlling the functional parts of democracy. Corruption and concentrated power act through the stacking of committees, exceeding reasonable campaign funding levels, stuffing ballot boxes, hiring friends, skimming funds or taking bribes.

There is no correlation between ideology or political affiliation and bad government. There is a strong correlation with corrupt human behaviour. Often the rules controlling the operation of many democracies were designed to count on the good intentions of the participants. A number of recent governments have shown the profoundly negative consequences of that misplaced confidence. Therefore the rules governing voting or committees or campaign funding, must always anticipate bad behaviour and place barriers to prevent it's harmful effects.

2500 years of democracy has provided ample data on the behaviours commonly associated with abuses of process. We know how to define those behaviours. We know how to include these definitions in regulations to prevent those behaviours. We must make sure regulations of this quality are always used in every level of government, everywhere and at all times.


There are many different expressions of democratic government in operation around the world. International standards of democratic process should not be a means of imposing homogeneity or ideology on any democracy. The GCHRD standards are directed to the common functional elements of democratic process. It is the small machinery that is vulnerable to abuse or neglect. These functional elements are common to all democracies and are policy neutral.

Quality of Outcomes

Consider for a moment the top 100 abusive and corrupt leaders in the world. Even a cursory analysis of their behaviour or election will show that implementation of just 5 certified standards would remove all of the worst actors from power.

• certified election process
• strict limits on campaign funding
• hard term limits
• regular elections
• conflict of interest laws

Under Review

The following are examples of democratic procedures and problems where we are writing new standards of process;

the right to vote - voter registration, voter intimidation, voter suppression, barrier free access to voting, vote privacy

elections - referenda, regularity of elections, optimizing electoral districts, gerrymandering, election advertising, ballot design and control, ballot stuffing, voting systems, vote security, vote counting & scrutineers, vote verification, mandate viability, recounts, penalties for fraud, election transparency

political activity - political party registration, barriers to new parties, candidate selection, campaign funding, campaign advertising, political action groups, recall of elected officials, term limits, truth in political party platforms, enforcement of and standards for campaign promises, fomenting as a high crime, banning from political office

governance structure - constitution design, constitution reform, constitution amendment, division of powers, independent judiciary

governing - cronyism, conflict of interest, recusal obligations, lobbying, ethical code of conduct, permanent suspension for unlawful activity, transparency, abuse of government resources, accounting and reporting standards, sustainable economics, operation of committees, representative public input, evidence based forward planning, protections and penalties against corruption

public discourse - responsibility of the press, delineation between fact based reporting, editorial and opinion, fact checking, application of libel, hate and fomenting speech limitations, attribution of advertising, funding disclosures for political activity, media ownership disclosure, media ownership concentration, damaging public trust