Greetings from Taichung, Taiwan, and from the 2019 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy.

We, more than 300 people from six continents, have met here to discuss direct democracy at a forum that was free and open to anyone in the world who wished to attend. Our conversations were inspired by Taiwan’s strong commitment to direct democracy, as expressed in the 2018 revamping of the Taiwan Referendum Act, and by the global growth of direct democracy, which is now legal in 115 countries.

We have many differences of opinion. But we also have a strong shared sense that modern direct democracy—and tools like the initiative and referendum—should have a greater role in the world, and thus must be better designed.

So we issue this “Taichung Declaration on Modern Direct Democracy” to offer ten basic ideas for people working at all levels—transnational, national, provincial, local, and community—for better direct democracy. 

We see this declaration as a first draft of global guidelines for free and fair initiative and referendum processes. We welcome the suggestions, corrections, and contributions of the world.

Adopted—in love and solidarity with people in Hong Kong and all those fighting for their rights everywhere—on October 5, 2019 by the participants of the 2019 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy