Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Euro election: turn out for global justice

Global justice campaigners call for voters to turn out in the European Parliament elections

Press release 3 June 2009

Supporters of the Simultaneous Policy (Simpol) campaign for global justice are calling for people to use their votes in the forthcoming European Parliament election (4 June 2009) to help to solve the pressing problems the world is facing. The campaign is not aligned to any party and seeks support from all candidates. Lead candidates for parties in several constituencies, as well as other candidates, have already pledged support for the campaign.

Simpol brings people together around the world to propose, develop and approve the policies they wish to see introduced to address global problems. In the last annual vote, the top problems were identified as: climate change, the power of transnational corporations, environment, international financial markets and other financial issues (fuller list below). Simpol campaign supporters, known as Simpol Adopters, give a preference to candidates who pledge to implement the Simultaneous Policy alongside other governments or, if they have a party preference, to encourage their prefered party to make this pledge. Simultaneous implementation is intended to remove the fear politicians have that their national economy will suffer if they act unilaterally. It is not intended as an alternative to other ways of working for change, but as a parallel strategy to overcome the obstacle of competition between nations.

Voters in most constituencies already have the choice of a candidate (many of them lead candidates on party lists) who has signed the Simpol pledge, and the pressure is on for other candidates to make the same pledge.

Barnaby Flynn, National Enabler for Simpol-UK, said:

"The Simpol campaign is a way for people to reclaim democracy. Our leaders are currently failing to deal with global problems such as climate change. Anyone can sign up as a Simpol Adopter free of charge and shape the policies they want to see implemented. With Simpol the European elections are critically important: the more MEPs elected who have pledged to introduce these policies, the sooner they will become reality. Voters in many regions are fortunate to already have candidates who have signed the Simpol pledge.”

For an updated list of candidates who are backing the Simpol campaign, see

http://simpoleuroelection2009.blogspot.com

Politicians from all parts of the political spectrum in the UK Parliament have signed the Simpol pledge and there is growing support in other countries. MPs are listed on the Simpol-UK website: http://www.simpol.org.uk/

When the Simultaneous Policy was first proposed in John Bunzl's book with that title, veteran campaigner and author Noam Chomsky commented: "It's ambitious and provocative. Can it work? Certainly worth a serious try."

For further information contact Mike Brady on 07986 736179.

Notes:

  1. The campaign is coordinated by the International Simultaneous Policy Organisation (ISPO) - see http://www.simpol.org/. Simpol-UK is a not-for profit company formed in 2004 – see http://www.simpol.org.uk/
  2. Simpol's starting point is that we live in pseudo-democracies because governments are limited in the action they can take as they fear disinvestment and loss of jobs if they introduce policies which are distasteful to transnational corporations and financial markets. Human rights and the environment take second place to what is best for 'the economy' and voters become increasingly apathetic, it is argued. Simpol puts 'we, the people' in charge of deciding the global rules which shape our world and the campaign strategy compels politicians to implement that package of policies when all, or sufficient, other governments have also pledged to do so. Simultaneous implementation removes the threat of disinvestment.
  3. Any Adopter can put forward a proposal after gathering the required number of seconders. The top policies in the last annual vote are given in the policy zone of www.simpol.org.uk. Policy titles are
  • Contraction and Convergence (for addressing climate change): 78%
  • World Transnational Corporation Regulatory Authority: 69%
  • Beyond GDP: 64%
  • International Clearing Union: 63%
  • The Oil Depletion Protocol: 63%
  • A Defensive Defence Policy: 61%
  • Nuclear Disarmament: 60%
  • The Tobin Tax: 57%
  • Remodelling Companies to Become Stakeholder-Governed Organisations: 53%


Adopters were also asked to vote on issues, giving the top tem as:


1. Climate change

2. The power of transnational corporations

3. Environment

4. International financial markets and other

financial issues

5. Governance (global and national)

6. The system of international trade

7. Human Rights

8. Understanding between peoples

9. Disarmament

10. Conflict resolution


4. Cambridge Simultaneous Policy Adopters’ Group (CAMSPAG) has contacted all parties known to be fielding candidates in the Eastern Region for the European Parliament election and will issue updates as additional candidates sign the candidate's pledge.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

European Election 2009 - UK Candidates

Latest update 2 June 2009.

On 4 June 2009 each electoral region will MEPs in accordance with the number of votes for each party list.

There are 12 Regions - The candidates who have made the Simpol pledge are listed alongside each region with their party. Simpol Adopters are encouraged to contact their preferred candidate(s) to ask them to sign the pledge (download by clicking http://www.simpol.org.uk/Pages/PDF/candidatesform0108.pdf) or all candidates if they have no preference. You can find a full list of candidates at:

http://www.europarl.org.uk/section/european-elections/candidates

  • East Midlands: Sue Blount (lead candidate - Green Party), Matthew Follett (4th candidate - Green Party)

  • South East: Jason Kitkat (5th candidate - Green Party), Caroline Lucas (lead candidate - Green Party), Peter Skinner (lead candidate - Labour Party), Keith Taylor (2nd candidate - Green Party),

  • London: Claude Moraes (lead candidate - Labour Party), Shasha Khan (6th candidate - Green Party).

  • West Midlands: Ian Davison (4th candidate - Green Party), Felicity Norman (lead candidate - Green Party), Chris Williams (3rd candidate - Green Party).

  • Wales:

  • Scotland: Paul Hencke (UK Independence Party)

  • North East:

  • North West: Peter Hirst (8th candidate - Liberal Democrat Party)

  • South West: Richard Lawson (6th candidate - Green Party), David Taylor (3rd candidate - Green Party)

  • Eastern region: Rupert Read (lead candidate - Green Party)

  • Northern Ireland:

  • Yorkshire and the Humber:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Draft letter asking European Parliament election candidates to sign the Simpol pledge

The election of the European Parliament will take place from 4 - 7 June 2009. These are the biggest trans-national elections in history as elected candidates will represent 500 million Europeans.

It is also an ideal opportunity to encourage election candidates to sign the pledge to implement the Simultaneous Policy alongside other governments. If you are unfamiliar with the Simultaneous Policy campaign, read the description below and visit the Simpol website to sign up as a Simultaneous Policy Adopter:
http://www.simpol.org/

Nominations for Parliamentary candidates closes on 7 May, shortly after which a full list will be available and the link will be posted here.

In the meantime, it is possible to find the list of election candidates on party websites. You might like to use the following draft message as a starting point.

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I am contacting you as you are standing in my region for election to the European Parliament.

Before I decide how to vote, I would like to know your position on the Simultaneous Policy campaign. I am also sending you the pledge form for supporting the Simultaneous Policy campaign in case you have not signed this already.

As Gordon Brown and other leaders have been heard to say repeatedly in recent weeks and months: “Global problems require global solutions”.

The Simultaneous Policy or Simpol campaign brings people together around the world to discuss, develop and approve the policies they wish to see implemented to address global problems. Anyone can take part in this process by signing up as a Simpol Adopter, which is free to do. This democratic and transparent process is ongoing. In the last annual vote conducted in October 2008, the top five issues identified by Adopters were: Climate change, The power of transnational corporations, Environment, International financial markets and other financial issues, Governance (global and national).

You can find further details in the policy section of http://www.simpol.org.uk/

Politicians are asked to sign a pledge agreeing in principle to implement the policies chosen at the end of this democratic process alongside other governments when all, or sufficient, other governments have made the same pledge.

Until such time that implementation can be triggered, it is business as usual: doing as much as we can unilaterally, while trying to address these pressing issues through attempting to forge international deals and facing down powerful vested interests that play governments off against each other, threatening disinvestment if their agenda is not followed.

If you add your pledge to those already received from other politicians at both national and European level it will move us closer to being able to implement policies that have the backing of the people of the world. The Simultaneous Policy is to be coherent package that can break through the obstacle of destructive competition between nations to move the world into a new era of constructive cooperation. The pledge is provisional as the policies can only be finalised when there is sufficient global support as they need to address the situation faced at that time and all people of voting age will be given a chance to approve or reject the package.

The campaign is undeniably ambitious, but conventional policy making has failed to address global problems adequately and may be unable to do so. By signing and returning the attached pledge you are indicating you are prepared to give the Simultaneous Policy approach a try as a parallel strategy. The pledge can also be downloaded from:
http://www.simpol.org.uk/Pages/PDF/candidatesform0108.pdf

Adopters undertake to encourage their preferred party to support the campaign. Those without a party preference undertake to give a preference to any candidates at elections (within reason) who have signed the pledge. Hence the campaign makes addressing global problems an election issue and signing the pledge can provide an advantage to those candidates that have done so. In the run up to the election, Simpol’s website will indicate which candidates have signed the pledge.

Please let me know if you will sign the pledge and if so, any statement of support you would like to communicate to voters in our region. If you do not wish to sign the pledge, I would be interested to know why as I can see no disadvantage from signing. As global problems threaten to run out of control, it is surely worth a try.

Global problems require global solutions. It will be wonderful if those are introduced in the immediate future. But if that does not happen it will be good to know that the Simultaneous Policy approach has your support as a parallel strategy.