August 4, 2008

US Presidential candidates converge as the economy becomes the lead issue

As the two lead candidates in the US Presidential election campaign struggle to forge a decisive lead (Obama is slightly in front at present), the reality of the compromises to get elected start to show themselves, just as the Simultaneous Policy campaign analysis suggests.

It is the economy, stupid. Regardless of climate change and dependence on the finite resource of oil (which many say is now past its peak), Obama has joined John McCain in suggesting that high oil prices be tackled with increased oil availability, from selling strategic reserves onto the market to contemplating drilling of reserves off the coast of California, previously thought to be too environmentally risky. See:

The problem is that an opinion poll "released on Thursday showed that petrol prices were the main election issue."

Obama is tempering his support for increased oil flows as a necessary evil to get support for a broader package built on renewables, but the change in his rhetoric is being seen as a reversal of policy, canny footwork to get elected.

Tough decisions are difficult to sell in the heated environment of an election campaign. Particularly when the US economy is stalling and the 7-year-long attempt to lever open developing country markets has just failed at the World Trade Organisation.

Politicians - and voters - operate in the real world of competition between nations and the threat of jobs and investment moving overseas.

The Simultaneous Policy offers a parallel market in ideas for tackling global problems, wherein US voters can reclaim their sovereignty from business and financial markets in deciding how their country is governed and how to make a transition to a more cooperative world.

Ideas being debated can be found in Simpol's discssion forum. Anyone can put forward their own proposals by signing up as an Simultaneous Policy Adopters on Simpol's website.

Voters can call on the candidates to pledge to implement the Simultaneous Policy alongside other governments, using this form:

While the lead candidates may inevitably converge on policies dictated by competition between nations for the shorter term, they can also demonstrate, by making the Simultaneous Policy pledge, that they will respect the sovereign right of the people to decide the policies necessary to ensure our survival on this planet and its long-term, sustainable future.

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