There is a simple, democratic way to make the world a better place and it is open to all of us. Before 2021 is over, Canadians will vote in a federal election. Global issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change have threatened our future and hurt us at home. 6 out of every 10 of Canadians who did not vote in the last federal election said that they “did not trust the candidate”, that “nothing ever changed” or that they had other motivational issues. Despite their good intentions, our leaders (and their peers) have failed to address our crises while citizens feel powerless. We want to effect global change with our votes, but how? The answer: SIMPOL.
The SIMPOL System
The portmanteau “SIM-POL’’ stands for Simultaneous Policy. As a Canadian I pronounce it “sigh-multaneous”, but as British founder John Bunzl explains on the Jim Rutt show, SIMPOL is a “pledge process based on simultaneous implementation of whatever we agree together.” SIMPOL solves global problems by addressing destructive global competition. Adopting SIMPOL means citizens in democratic countries strongly influence multi-issue policy packages while also giving strong preference at future national elections to politicians or parties that sign the Pledge to implement SIMPOL, simultaneously, alongside all or sufficient other governments. By signing on to SIMPOL, we citizens are driving our politicians and governments towards the urgent global cooperation we all need.
Isn’t that just a treaty? Doesn’t someone always lose? How will everyone agree? As explained in this 4-minute video, SIMPOL’s multi-issue policy packages offer the opportunity to leverage trade-offs to deliver win-win outcomes for all nations, where traditional treaties like the Paris Climate agreement which deal with only one single issue have failed. Armed with an effective strategy for tackling global issues, we can change our thinking from nation-centric to world-centric and implement SIMPOL using our existing democratic systems. Meanwhile, non-democratic nations need solutions to global problems too. They will be invited to join the SIMPOL process once sufficient democratic nations are on board.
SIMPOL for Climate Change and Global Pandemics
Canadians want to solve climate change but feel powerless to do so. Polls show that climate change ranks as our number one extremely serious issue. While 89% support our 2030 emission targets, only 17% think we will achieve them. Even though national initiatives such as a carbon tax rising from $30 to $170 per tonne by 2030 are encouraging, and necessary, destructive global competition can quickly reverse our best efforts. The IMF explains the obvious: countries worry about the competitiveness of their industries, and Canada could easily change its plans with a change in leadership, just as Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement even though a strong majority of American’s overall want to tackle climate change.
It’s a similar story for the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite our government’s best efforts, including heroic spending on 240 million vaccine doses, Canadians are in the midst of a devastating third-wave. As every country scrambles to protect its own citizens, little is being done to coordinate a global response. Is every-nation-for-itself really the best way to protect 7.6 billion from a common threat? The COVID-19 pandemic reveals our fragility: no one is safe until everyone is safe. That’s why more than 20 world leaders, including Merkel, Johnson and Macron, are calling for a new global settlement on pandemics.
SIMPOL proposes we address global coordination problems such as climate change and pandemics with politically realistic, win-win solutions. So how can we adopt SIMPOL in Canada? That is the easy part!
How to enact SIMPOL
By signing on to SIMPOL, we citizens commit to giving strong preference at all future national elections to political candidates that have signed the pledge to implement SIMPOL alongside other governments. With enough support from voters, representatives will sign the SIMPOL pledge in order to gain votes or to avoid losing to their competitors who may have already signed the Pledge. This has been demonstrated to work in the UK where over 100 Members of Parliament (MPs) have signed the SIMPOL pledge. MPs in other national parliaments have also signed it. This SIMPOL tactic leverages our existing democratic systems to give us an effective voice on the world stage. This year, as we prepare to vote for our representatives, we can empower our leaders with SIMPOL and effect the global change that we desperately need.
You can effect change by signing the SIMPOL pledge.