Frequently Asked Questions
Want to know more about Simpol? If you're a citizen, please read the FAQ below. If you're a politician, please see our Politicians' FAQ. If you don't see your question answered here, please email us.
Simpol isn’t a political party - it's better than that! When you become a Simpol supporter, you agree to give strong preference in future national elections to candidates of the existing political parties who have signed the Pledge to implement Simpol. That way, we don't need a party. Instead, existing politicians know they have to sign the Pledge if they want the best chance of receiving your vote and the votes of the growing number of other supporters.
And it works! These politicians already support the campaign.
Not at all! By signing on as a supporter, you’re stating that you’ll give “strong preference” to candidates who’ve signed our Pledge “to the probable exclusion” of those who haven’t. So you still retain the ultimate right to vote as you please.
Whoever you decide to vote for in the end, your support for Simpol still shows politicians that they'll be more likely to get your vote if they sign the Pledge and less likely to get it if they don't. That way, you can still vote as you please but you encourage ALL the candidates to support Simpol, so making it more likely that your preferred candidate will be one of them.
Yes! Once we start the process of policy development, we’ll include steps to ensure that all Simpol supporters have an opportunity contribute to Simpol's policies. Download our Information Pack if you’d like to know more.
Some politicians sign the Simpol Pledge because they think Simpol is a good idea. Others may do so because it could gain them more votes. So you might think they'll sign the Pledge only to cancel it after the election.
But remember! Simpol doesn't get implemented until all or sufficient nations are on board. So until that point arrives, there is nothing for a politician to go back on. Cancelling his/her Pledge therefore makes no sense and would only risk them losing the votes they hoped to gain. And by the time enough international support for Simpol has been achieved so that implementation can proceed, the severity of global problems will mean that it will only be in their best interests to implement it.
Only citizens with the right to vote can support Simpol via democratic means. However, the governments of non-democratic nations can still sign their support for Simpol. But why would they?
Global issues affect all nations – including non-democracies - and many of them are feeling the effects of issues like climate change and tax competition even more than their democratic counterparts. That's why it will increasingly be in their best interests to support a Simultaneous Policy approach.
We imagine that once a number of democratic nations have pledged their support for Simpol, non-democratic nations will want to join the process.
Presently, Simpol is run by volunteers in various countries around the world, lead by founder John Bunzl, and guided by Simpol's Founding Declaration. You can see a list of those involved in Simpol-NZ here.
We take guidance and support from citizens, academics, behavioural scientists, NGOs and anyone with a deep interest in solving global problems. To maintain its independence and objectivity, Simpol accepts no donations from for-profit organisations.
In an ideal world, wouldn’t that be great? However, there are a number of problems with UN processes which Simpol would resolve:
1. UN agreements, for example on reducing carbon emissions, only contain broad targets and a vague timetable for their implementation. Simpol, by contrast, would contain specific policies and a precise date for their simultaneous implementation.
2. UN agreements typically deal only with single issues, such as carbon emissions. But take any single issue and you'll almost always find that some nations win while others lose. So there is no real incentive for the losers to cooperate. Simpol, by contrast, would contain multiple issues, so that what nations may lose on one issue, they can gain on another, so making action in everyone's immediate interests.
3. There is no electoral cost to national politicians if they fail to implement UN agreements. With Simpol, by contrast, not only does simultaneous action make cooperation in all nation's interests, politicians know that if they fail to do what is required, they risk losing the votes of Simpol supporters to their competitors and as our numbers grow, that could cost them the election.
Signing a petition is easy because it's just your signature.
By supporting Simpol you're engaging something much more powerful which politicians ultimately cannot ignore: your vote!
Simpol isn't just a campaign that hopes global problems might get solved, it's a process for making sure they are.
On the really large strides that governments need to take, for example the 60-80% cuts in carbon emissions, these cannot be taken by any nation alone. That's why you should be supporting Simpol anyway!
On the smaller actions that individual governments can and do sometimes take alone, would their support for Simpol mean they'd use that as an excuse to delay implementing them?
Highly unlikely! Because, remember that a national government would only have signed the Pledge as a result of large numbers of voters supporting the campaign. Given that level of citizen-support it's highly likely that not just the party in government would have signed the Pledge, but its main competitor-parties would have too. And in that circumstance any party indicating that it might delay taking even relatively small actions would only be inviting Simpol supporters to vote for its competitor-parties.