Hot on the heels of the Good Country Index comes another novel idea from Simon Anholt – the Good Country Party.
In an in-depth Guardian interview, Anholt outlines his plan to change the world. He talks about the Good Country Party’s ‘natural constituency’, which potentially consists of around 700 million ‘new cosmopolitans’ (global citizens who transcend national identities) all over the world. Unconstrained by national or political boundaries – that’s a lot of voters.
Anholt believes that what really counts is the public opinion of 7 billion people. If harnessed for the greater good, this is a powerful force, which could be used to help combat climate change or poverty, or to encourage peace. Anholt points out that instead of ‘fragmented’ efforts by individuals, organisations or even countries, the whole human race should work together to find solutions for problems that affect us all. He’s staunchly pro-EU and a strong supporter of immigration, convinced – quite rightly – that the latter makes it much easier to find imaginative solutions to problems, as people from diverse backgrounds can offer a valuable mix of experiences and perspectives.
The Good Country Party is an ambitious yet appealing idea. No doubt there are many people who would try to shoot it down. But this kind of idealism is a refreshing shift away from the relentless grind of increasing nationalism and competition between countries. Even if it takes a long time for the Good Country Party to achieve its lofty vision, Anholt has already opened up a new way of thinking that may well inspire others to take the idea and run with it in different directions.