The following are links to information designed to be informative and to stimulate debate.
We Treat Democracy Like Air – we are so distracted by political issues, we fail to see their simple root causes.
The Wisdom of the Voter - many of our wisest politicians have talked about the “wisdom of the voter”.
I Don’t Vote – well if you don’t vote, then you have time to read this.
Standards of Democracy
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – adopted in 1966 by the United Nations General Assembly this document sets out the minimum standards for democratic processes
United Nations Treaty Collection – links to all UN treaties ratified since 1948
the Inter-Parliamentary Union – since 1889 the Geneva based the Inter-Parliamentary Union, has been a point of cooperation between democracies to develop and promote best practices.
Declaration on Criteria for Free and Fair Elections – unanimously adopted by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (above) in 1994.
Universal Declaration on Democracy – as a step toward Standards of Democracy, this document was passed by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (above) in 1997.
National Democratic Inst. Discussion Paper – a link to PDF(400k) Discussion of International Standards of Democracy, useful as a snapshot of the current state of thought on the subject up to 2012. The document inadvertently highlights it’s own shortcomings with statements such as,”shall meet international standards for genuine and transparent elections”. The author’s call for a ‘genuine’ outcome is notable for failing to define the procedures that would guarantee one. Instead the document is a high level tour of the obvious principle elements of a democracy.
The Carter Center – Web page about President Carter lobbying for international election standards.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights – adopted by the General Assembly on 10 December 1948 by a vote of 48 in favour, 0 against, with eight abstentions.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms – enacted in 1982, it is now the most copied charter of rights in the world.
Arab Charter on Human Rights – ratified into force by the League of Arab States in 2008.
Crime and Punishment – a Nature podcast where Dr. Eagleman discusses Human Rights and the justice system
Access to Knowledge – the Khan Academy delivers free education to anyone
History & Reference
Global Governance – an overview by Adrian Jones of McMaster University Canada
Global Governance Institute – an independent, non-profit think tank focused on Peace & Security, Global Justice, Environment & Sustainable Development, Economic Policy, Forward Studies & Innovation
The International Criminal Court – A brief summary of a long road to a great global civil institution.
Constitution of the Athenians – Just in case you think you’re so smart. Have a look at this organizational diagram of the 4th century BC.
Ancient Greek Kleroterion – We must learn to anticipate bad behaviour and build democratic processes to counteract it. Even the Ancient Greeks knew this and found simple ways to do it.
Inverted Totalitarianism – on the leading edge of political science, this definition of the western politico-economic complex describes the concentration of power that arises in the absence of Standards of Democratic Process.
In their time some of the following people had significant privilege and status. If you are reading this right now, so do you. These links show what they were motivated to do with their preferment. After reading about them, please consider what you may be able to contribute to your fellow citizens.
Thomas Jefferson – Some people sit around and complain. Others, like Jefferson, think of ways to make it better.
Louise Arbour – working to keep us safe.
Alexis de Tocqueville – A fellow who decided examine the new experiment in government called the United States of America.
John Peters Humphrey – the author of the Universal Declaration of human Rights.
Don Tapscott – TED talk video, Four Principles for the Open World
Rob Stewart – a recent film that is one of many indicators of public discontent Revolution.
James Balog – James has produced an irrefutable film about the loss of polar ice Extreme Ice Survey.
Eric Posner – research describing the erosion of international human rights protections
Michael Sandel – gives a four part lecture series relating morals and ethics to government and civics