Seeking Solutions
by Diana Jewell

The Problem? The destruction of the environment; the growing gap between rich and poor within and between nations; the growing power of transnational corporations (TNCs) and financial markets. The list could be longer, but whatever can be accomplished by consensus can be accomplished by using the Simultaneous Policy tool.

The Solution: Re-regulate and tax global capital markets and TNCs. Re-distribute tax to the poor within and between nations, thereby also allowing for convergence to higher environmental standards. Raise global environmental standards for TNCs. Impose resource taxes. Institute monetary reform. Any solutions you deemed possible, but could not find the political will to institute, might be attained through the tool of Simultaneous Policy (SP).

The Barriers to Implementing these Solutions: Any nation or group of nations trying to implement solutions would suffer capital and corporate flight because these policies would increase the costs of business and lower their profits. The result would be devaluation, inflation and unemployment. Such unilateral action would, in short, render any nation uncompetitive in the global market.

The global free movement of capital/TNCs is therefore a vicious circle which cannot be broken by any single nation or single group of nations. Until it's broken, world problems can only get worse.

Simultaneous Policy is a tool that can get the job done, but it will take some work to spread the idea and build the consensus.

The Effects of these barriers on politicians and NGOs: No political party would ever adopt any of the above "solutions"; or, if they did, they would be mild and ineffectual. The one exception is the Canadian Action Party (CAP), fairly new on the scene, and led by experienced parlamentarian, the Honourable Paul Hellyer. CAP is the first Canadian party to adopt SP.

Citizens' support for the measures of SP typically evaporates when they find it means job losses. NGOs find they cannot greatly influence policy because their "solutions" would harm competitiveness and cost jobs.

This is why, in the current system, all political parties, NGOs and electorates effectively submit to the narrow parameters of international competitiveness. All parties, when in power, end up following much the same market- and corporate-friendly policies.

This is pseudo-democracy. Unless we remove these barriers, the implementation of meaningful solutions is impossible.

How can we remove the barriers?

We need two things. First, we need a secure basis for international co-operation. Second, we need a process for achieving it.

The basis is the implementation of the above solutions by all nations, simultaneously. That is, the necessary solutions -- together known as the "Simultaneous Policy" -- is first adopted in principle, but is only implemented when all (or a sufficient number) of nations do likewise. On that basis, no one -- politicians, corporations or citizens -- has anything to lose or to fear. TNCs need not fear uncompetitiveness. Politicians need not fear losing votes. Citizens need not fear for their jobs.

The process for achieving success is to educate yourself and others. You are personally invited to join with other citizens, in this country and around the world, to adopt Simultaneous Policy. Urge others, including groups and organizations, to become aware of and to adopt SP. In adopting SP, you will pledge to support, within reason, those politicians and political parties who also adopt SP. Your adoption of SP will also give you a voice in formulating the precise policy measures to be supported by SP.

Elections are being decided on ever-fewer numbers of votes. As more and more of us adopt SP, politicians who fail to do so will come to realise that their seats will be lost to those who do adopt SP.

Join us in turning pseudo-democracy into genuine democracy by adopting SP today. There is no cost, you may cancel at any time, and it's complementary to any other campaign or action in which you are involved. What better use could you make of your vote?

Visit the website http://www.simpol.org and connect with other SP adopters around the world. Then pass this message to your friends, fellow campaigners, trade unions, etc. At the very least, visit the site and see what others are saying about SP. Address questions to info@simpol.org .

Editor's note: We strongly believe in SP and have therefore adopted it. We recommend that you give strong consideration to doing likewise - and to being instrumental in helping it grow.

Diana Jewell is Co-ordinator for the Canadian chapter of SP. She can be reached at peoplepower@shaw.ca .