The voice for global solutions in parliament

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.

Is Simpol a political party? Can I vote for you?

Simpol isn’t a political party - it's better than that! When you Opens internal link in current windowbecome a Simpol supporter, you agree to give strong preference in future national elections to candidates who have signed the Pledge to implement Simpol. That way, 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.

Prior to an election, we inform all the candidates standing in your electoral area that you're a supporter of Simpol, so encouraging them to sign the Simpol Pledge. As the number of Simpol supporters continues to grow, politicians have a strong incentive to sign it. Those that do are then published on our website so you know who to give preference to on election day. 

Does that mean I can't vote for my preferred candidate?

Not at all! By Opens internal link in current windowsigning 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.

We’ll use your support to encourage your MP or the political candidates standing in your area to sign the Pledge. If they want your vote at the next election, they know they’ll stand a better chance if they sign it. 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.

Can I get involved in shaping Simpol's policies?

Yes! Once we start the process of policy development, we’ll include steps to ensure citizens are consulted on their content. Simpol supporters can play a direct part in bringing that process together and have your say in what’s included. Get in touch if you’d like to know more. 

Politicians will sign anything - how can we be sure they really mean it?

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. 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, it will only be in their best interests to make it work. 

Does Simpol only work in democratic countries?

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. 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. It’s in their best interests to support a Simultaneous Policy approach. We imagine that many will get involved in Simpol once a number of democratic nations are on board and policy development begins. 

Who's involved in Simpol?

Presently, Simpol is run by volunteers in various countries around the world, lead by founder John Bunzl, and guided by Simpol's Founding Declaration. 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. 

Isn't it the job of the United Nations to solve global problems?

In an ideal world, wouldn’t that be great? However, although most (but not all) countries have a seat at the UN table, the power to make decisions falls mainly to the United Nations Security Council – a small group of countries who exercise their power and vested interests. Simpol offers an alternative yet complementary route to solving global problems, ensuring that decisions on global issues are negotiated effectively and in all nation’s interests. 

How is signing the Simpol Petition different from a normal petition?

Signing a normal petition is just your signature. By Opens internal link in current windowsigning the Simpol Petition 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, we’re a process for making sure they can be.

FAQs for MPs and parliamentary candidates

Why is Simpol necessary?

Simpol offers an alternative, yet complementary, approach to solving global problems. Current efforts at international treaty-making sponsored by the United Nations are revealing themselves to be inadequate and prone to failure. That's why Simpol is fast gathering increasing interest and support.

Moreover, in today's globalised economy where capital moves instantly across national borders and nations must compete to attract inward investment and jobs, the feasible parameters of government policy have become very restricted indeed. In practice, only market- and business-friendly policies are now permissible, so marginalising the interests of society and the environment. But it is becoming increasingly clear that this is a vicious circle that no nation can win, and all must ultimately lose.

Simpol is unique in offerring a transnational political process that allows everyone - citizens, MPs, political parties and governments - to participate in. Citizens in particular are signing on to the campaign, so making it in the growing electoral interests of politicians and parties to support the campaign.

To confirm YOUR support, please Opens internal link in current windowsign the Simpol Pledge online. If you would like your party to consider making Simpol a part of its official policy, please download a Party Resolution Form.


What advantages does Simpol offer over UN-sponsored negotiations?

UN-sponsored international negotiations, for example on carbon emissions, have two major and potentially fatal draw-backs:

  1. They deal with only one issue at a time. This is problematic because, on any particular issue (eg. carbon emissions), there will always be winners and losers. And because only one issue is on the table, there is no way for losers to be compensated, so virtually assuring their non-cooperation.
  2. When it comes to global policy, the people have no say and effectively no sway on their governments. There is consequently no electoral pressure on governments - no direct political incentive for them to cooperate with one another.

Simpol solves both these problems. Firstly, by offering a multi-issue policy framework where nations that may lose out on one issue can gain on another, Simpol uniquely offers a far better prospect of getting all nations to co-operate. Moreover, by allowing citizens to use their votes to incentivise politicians and governments, Simpol may ultimately offer a more likely means of solving today's global problems. But whether it does or not, Simpol can be supported without compromising your party's policy or the government's position in current international negotiations. Simpol works in parallel, and so is entirely complementary to those efforts.

So please Opens internal link in current windowsign the Simpol Pledge online now and lend YOUR support to Simpol.

How is Simpol's policy content developed, and by whom?

Simpol's policy content will, when the time comes, be developed by citizens via processes to be hosted by each national Simpol organisation, and overseen by the International Simultaneous Policy Organisation. These processes would be launched only once sufficient support in principle for Simpol is first forthcoming from politicians around the world.

Should that point be reached, these policy development processes will allow supporters in each country to design, propose and refine Simpol's policies. For this, they may draw on proposals from NGOs, politicians, think-tanks or on those provided by their own chosen experts.

This would be followed by an international negotiation to arrive at a final set of measures to be implemented by nations globally and simultaneously. Prior to implementation, citizens in democratic countries would be invited to confirm their agreement.

In that way Simpol's policy content remains

  • Flexible: The policies would remain open to revision at all times until the point of implementation so ensuring they are fully appropriate for then-prevailing world conditions
  • Democratic: Supporters joining the campaign after the launch of the policy development process would still have the opportunity to contribute until final policies had been internationally negotiated and agreed.

Simpol is also globally inclusive. Not only will it allow citizens in democratic countries to participate in developing policy, the governments of non-democratic nations would, at the appropriate point, be invited to participate in international negotiations to reach a final agreement.

Because policy development would only commence if sufficient support from politicians were forthcoming, politicians who sign the Simpol Pledge at this stage only offer their support to the campaign in principle. Should the process for developing Simpol's policy content eventually commence and result in any international agreement, and had you decided to sign the Pledge now, you as a politician would be asked to re-confirm your support prior to voting in parliament to implement those policies.

Thus, not only is your support for Simpol given only in principle at this stage, Simpol's policy development, when it occurs, would remain open, democratic and flexible at all times until implementation and you would be asked, at that point, to re-confirm your support. This means you can Opens internal link in current windowsign the Pledge without risk, and without coming into any conflict with your party's present policies.

How does Simpol ensure that national sovereignty is protected?

To ensure Simpol only includes policies that genuinely require simultaneous implementation, the process incorporates a unique criterion for excluding policies which nations can implement unilaterally. In this way, Simpol achieves a healthy subsidiarity between the global level and the national level, so safe-guarding national sovereignty. This criterion is expressed in the following question:

Would the unilateral implementation of the policy by a single nation (or by a restricted group of nations) be likely to cause it a significant competitive disadvantage?

If the answer is:

  • No: the policy does not qualify for inclusion in Simpol because it could be implemented by any nation (or restricted group of nations) alone.
  • Yes: the policy qualifies for inclusion in Simpol.

In this way, only appropriate policies are included while the national sovereignty of all nations is maintained. By signing the Opens internal link in current windowSimpol Pledge you are therefore promoting your nation's interest to cooperate to solve global problems while still protecting its right to self-determination on all issues that do not require a global approach.

To top

Wouldn't signing the Pledge be risky or put me in conflict with my party's policy?

No, for several reasons:

  1. The development of Simpol's global policies does not commence unless and until there is sufficient support in principle for Simpol from politicians around the world. Your support for the campaign at this stage represents only support in principle for Simpol as a process for potentially achieving global cooperation. If sufficient political support around the world were to emerge, and if any policies were developed and negotiated at the international level such that implementation could proceed, a re-confirmation of your Pledge would at that point be sought. By signing the Pledge now, therefore, there is no risk to you, and no conflict with your party's existing policies.
  2. Simpol's condition of simultaneous international implementation allows politicians to support a process by which desirable policies can be advocated on an appropriate basis. In our globalised world, many policies may be desirable in principle, yet impractical or harmful if implemented by any nation unilaterally. Supporting Simpol allows you to resolve that dilemma. It permits you to support a process of reform without any risk to national economic competitiveness. You can thus be seen to advocate far-reaching reforms while making clear the condition for your support; that condition being, that the policies are to be implemented simultaneously, only when all or sufficient nations also do so. If all nations move together, we all win.

So, carry on supporting your party, but support Simpol too. Doing so is a risk-free, win-win proposition! Please confirm your support today by Opens internal link in current windowsigning the Simpol Pledge online now.

What are the electoral advantages of signing the Simpol Pledge?

There are many advantages:

  1. Credibility: By supporting Simpol, you are identifying yourself as a politician who supports a practical solution to global problems. Supporting Simpol allows you to go beyond the confines of party policy to reach out to the growing body of voters who increasingly care about global issues but who have become disillusioned with party politics.
  2. Extra Votes: By supporting Simpol, you make yourself eligible to receive the votes of citizens who support the campaign. They are committed to giving strong preference to candidates who have signed the Pledge, to the probable exclusion of those who haven't. At the 2015 UK General Election, 630 candidates from all parties signed the Pledge. With support for Simpol growing, it makes sense to make sure you're amongst them.
  3. Leading the Way: By supporting Simpol, you are joining a growing body of parliamentarians, statesmen, economists and thought leaders who realise that the world needs a way out of its present dilemma and that neither the UN nor traditional party politics, important though they are, can deliver on global challenges. You came into politics to make a positive difference to the world. Supporting Simpol offers you a complementary way to do that.

So please Opens internal link in current windowsign the Simpol Pledge online now.


If I sign the Pledge, am I free to revoke it later?

Yes. But why would you want to?

  1. Since Simpol's policies remain to be developed and wouldn't be implemented until all or sufficient nations support the campaign, they remain only a potential. Your, or your party's support for Simpol at this stage therefore represents support only in principle. So there is no risk and there can be no conflict between Simpol and your party's policies. 
  2. If you sign the Pledge, your national Simpol organisation will normally publicise that Pledge to all its supporters, so indicating who they should give strong voting preference to at the next election. But if you decided to cancel your Pledge, we would, of course, publicise that too. So, to cancel your Pledge makes no sense. It would only invite our growing block of supporters not to vote for you.
  3. Bear in mind, too, that one or more of your political competitors in your constituency may sign the Pledge. So, if you were to cancel your Pledge, you would only be putting yourself at a competitive disadvantage.

In short, you can of course revoke your Pledge at any time if you wish, but there's really no reason to, and every reason not to. So please show yourself to be part of the global political solution by Opens internal link in current windowsigning the Simpol Pledge online now. Show yourself to be more than just a national politician, but a global one too.

How will non-democratic governments be included?

The process of Simpol's policy development would only commence once there is sufficient political support for Simpol around the world. The process, if and when it starts, will occur in two stages; the first to include the differing perspectives and priorities of supporters in each nation; the second, the international negotiation of a final set of policies which supporters and all governments can agree to, and implement.

  • Stage 1 would commence only once Simpol had gathered sufficient in principle support from politicians around the world to make policy-making worthwhile. At that point, national Simpol organisations would launch their own national policy development processes. In this way, national perspectives and priorities can be taken into account.
  • Stage 2 would only commence once international support for Simpol had become widespread and the possibility of implementation was approaching. The details of this international negotiation cannot be fully predicted at this stage. But it is anticipated that, for democratic countries, representatives from both national governments and their respective national Simpol organisations would be involved, side-by-side. Also involved would be the governments of non-democratic nations.

The details of these stages will become clearer as the process evolves and grows. In the meantime, Simpol needs Opens internal link in current windowYOUR Pledge to move the process forward! 

To top

How can my party officially support Simpol?

Political parties may officially support Simpol by passing a resolution at their annual party conference (or in whatever forum is legally charged with policy making). Please download the template resolution in support of Simpol for consideration by your party.

For more background on why supporting Simpol makes political sense for your party, please contact us requesting our Political Parties Prospectus.

To top

If you have any further questions about Simpol, please e-mail us.

Politicians' FAQ

If you are a national politician with questions about Simpol, please see our dedicated Opens internal link in current windowPoliticians' FAQ.