Well, as many of you know, the results of the recent election were as follows: Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate won a landslide victory with 52 percent of the overall vote. Jill Stein, the Green candidate, came a distant second, with 19 percent. Donald J. Trump, the Republic candidate, was hot on her heels with 14 percent, and the remainder of the vote were shared between abstainers and Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate.
Now, what parallel universe do you suppose I live in? Well, I don't live in a parallel universe. I live in the world, and that is how the world voted. So let me take you back and explain what I mean by that.
In June this year, I launched something called the Global Vote. And the Global Vote does exactly what it says on the tin. For the first time in history, it lets anybody, anywhere in the world, vote in the elections of other people's countries. Now, why would you do that? What's the point? Well, let me show you what it looks like. You go to a website, rather a beautiful website, and then you select an election. Here's a bunch that we've already covered. We do about one a month, or thereabouts. So you can see Bulgaria, the United States of America, Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Brexit referendum at the end there. You select the election that you're interested in, and you pick the candidates. These are the candidates from the recent presidential election in the tiny island nation of São Tome and Príncipe, 199,000 inhabitants, off the coast of West Africa. And then you can look at the brief summary of each of those candidates which I dearly hope is very neutral, very informative and very succinct. And when you've found the one you like, you vote. These were the candidates in the recent Icelandic presidential election, and that's the way it goes.
So why on earth would you want to vote in another country's election? Well, the reason that you wouldn't want to do it, let me reassure you, is in order to interfere in the democratic processes of another country. That's not the purpose at all. In fact, you can't, because usually what I do is I release the results after the electorate in each individual country has already voted, so there's no way that we could interfere in that process. But more importantly, I'm not particularly interested in the domestic issues of individual countries. That's not what we're voting on. So what Donald J. Trump or Hillary Clinton proposed to do for the Americans is frankly none of our business. That's something that only the Americans can vote on.
No, in the global vote, you're only considering one aspect of it, which is what are those leaders going to do for the rest of us? And that's so very important because we live, as no doubt you're sick of hearing people tell you, in a globalized, hyperconnected, massively interdependent world where the political decisions of people in other countries can and will have an impact on our lives no matter who we are, no matter where we live. Like the wings of the butterfly beating on one side of the Pacific that can apparently create a hurricane on the other side, so it is with the world that we live in today and the world of politics. There is no longer a dividing line between domestic and international affairs. Any country, no matter how small, even if it's São Tome and Príncipe, could produce the next Nelson Mandela or the next Stalin. They could pollute the atmosphere and the oceans, which belong to all of us, or they could be responsible and they could help all of us.
And yet, the system is so strange because the system hasn't caught up with this globalized reality. Only a small number of people are allowed to vote for those leaders, even though their impact is gigantic and almost universal. What number was it? 140 million Americans voted for the next president of the United States, and yet, as all of us knows, in a few weeks time, somebody is going to hand over the nuclear launch codes to Donald J. Trump. Now, if that isn't having a potential impact on all of us, I don't know what is. Similarly, the election for the referendum on the Brexit vote, a small number of millions of British people voted on that, but the outcome of the vote, whichever way it went, would have had a significant impact on the lives of tens, hundreds of millions of people around the world. And yet, only a tiny number could vote.
What kind of democracy is that? Huge decisions that affect all of us being decided by relatively very small numbers of people. And I don't know about you, but I don't think that sounds very democratic.
So I'm trying to clear it up. But as I say, we don't ask about domestic questions. In fact, I only ever ask two questions of all of the candidates. I send them the same two questions every single time. I say, one, if you get elected, what are you going to do for the rest of us, for the remainder of the seven billion who live on this planet? Second question: What is your vision for your country's future in the world? What role do you see it playing? Every candidate, I send them those questions. They don't all answer. Don't get me wrong. I reckon if you're standing to become the next president of the United States, you're probably pretty tied up most of the time, so I'm not altogether surprised that they don't all answer, but many do. More every time. And some of them do much more than answer. Some of them answer in the most enthusiastic and most exciting way you could imagine.
I just want to say a word here for Saviour Chishimba, who was one of the candidates in the recent Zambian presidential election. His answers to those two questions were basically an 18-page dissertation on his view of Zambia's potential role in the world and in the international community. I posted it on the website so anybody could read it. Now, Saviour won the global vote, but he didn't win the Zambian election.
So I found myself wondering, what am I going to do with this extraordinary group of people? I've got some wonderful people here who won the global vote. We always get it wrong, by the way. The one that we elect is never the person who's elected by the domestic electorate. That may be partly because we always seem to go for the woman. But I think it may also be a sign that the domestic electorate is still thinking very nationally. They're still thinking very inwardly. They're still asking themselves, "What's in it for me?" instead of what they should be asking today, which is, "What's in it for we?"
But there you go. So suggestions, please, not right now, but send me an email if you've got an idea about what we can do with this amazing team of glorious losers. We've got Saviour Chishimba, who I mentioned before. We've got Halla Tómasdóttir, who was the runner up in the Icelandic presidential election. Many of you may have seen her amazing talk at TEDWomen just a few weeks ago where she spoke about the need for more women to get into politics. We've got Maria das Neves from São Tome and Príncipe. We've got Hillary Clinton. I don't know if she's available. We've got Jill Stein. And we covered also the election for the next Secretary-General of the United Nations. We've got the ex-prime minister of New Zealand, who would be a wonderful member of the team. So I think maybe those people, the glorious loser's club, could travel around the world wherever there's an election and remind people of the necessity in our modern age of thinking a little bit outwards and thinking of the international consequences.
So what comes next for the global vote? Well, obviously, the Donald and Hillary show is a bit of a difficult one to follow, but there are some other really important elections coming up. In fact, they seem to be multiplying. There's something going on, I'm sure you've noticed, in the world. And the next row of elections are all critically important. In just a few day's time we've got the rerun of the Austrian presidential election, with the prospect of Norbert Hofer becoming what is commonly described as the first far-right head of state in Europe since the Second World War. Next year we've got Germany, we've got France, we've got presidential elections in Iran and a dozen others. It doesn't get less important. It gets more and more important.
Clearly, the global vote is not a stand-alone project. It's not just there on its own. It has some background. It's part of a project which I launched back in 2014, which I call the Good Country. The idea of the Good Country is basically very simple. It's my simple diagnosis of what's wrong with the world and how we can fix it. What's wrong with the world I've already hinted at. Basically, we face an enormous and growing number of gigantic, existential global challenges: climate change, human rights abuses, mass migration, terrorism, economic chaos, weapons proliferation. All of these problems which threaten to wipe us out are by their very nature globalized problems. No individual country has the capability of tackling them on its own.
And so very obviously we have to cooperate and we have to collaborate as nations if we're going to solve these problems. It's so obvious, and yet we don't. We don't do it nearly often enough. Most of the time, countries still persist in behaving as if they were warring, selfish tribes battling against each other, much as they have done since the nation-state was invented hundreds of years ago. And this has got to change. This is not a change in political systems or a change in ideology. This is a change in culture.
We, all of us, have to understand that thinking inwards is not the solution to the world's problems. We have to learn how to cooperate and collaborate a great deal more and compete just a tiny bit less. Otherwise things are going to carry on getting bad and they're going to get much worse, much sooner than we anticipate. This change will only happen if we ordinary people tell our politicians that things have changed. We have to tell them that the culture has changed. We have to tell them that they've got a new mandate. The old mandate was very simple and very single: if you're in a position of power or authority, you're responsible for your own people and your own tiny slice of territory, and that's it. And if in order to do the best thing for your own people, you screw over everybody else on the planet, that's even better. That's considered to be a bit macho. Today, I think everybody in a position of power and responsibility has got a dual mandate, which says if you're in a position of power and responsibility, you're responsible for your own people and for every single man, woman, child and animal on the planet. You're responsible for your own slice of territory and for every single square mile of the earth's surface and the atmosphere above it. And if you don't like that responsibility, you should not be in power. That for me is the rule of the modern age, and that's the message that we've got to get across to our politicians, and show them that that's the way things are done these days. Otherwise, we're all screwed.
I don't have a problem, actually, with Donald Trump's credo of "America first." It seems to me that that's a pretty banal statement of what politicians have always done and probably should always do. Of course they're elected to represent the interests of their own people. But what I find so boring and so old-fashioned and so unimaginative about his take on that is that America first means everyone else last, that making America great again means making everybody else small again, and it's just not true. In my job as a policy advisor over the last 20 years or so, I've seen so many hundreds of examples of policies that harmonize the international and the domestic needs, and they make better policy. I'm not asking nations to be altruistic or self-sacrificing. That would be ridiculous. No nation would ever do that. I'm asking them to wake up and understand that we need a new form of governance, which is possible and which harmonizes those two needs, those good for our own people and those good for everybody else. Since the US election and since Brexit it's become more and more obvious to me that those old distinctions of left wing and right wing no longer make sense. They really don't fit the pattern. What does seem to matter today is very simple, whether your view of the world is that you take comfort from looking inwards and backwards, or whether, like me, you find hope in looking forwards and outwards. That's the new politics. That's the new division that is splitting the world right down the middle. Now, that may sound judgmental, but it's not meant to be. I don't at all misunderstand why so many people find their comfort in looking inwards and backwards. When times are difficult, when you're short of money, when you're feeling insecure and vulnerable, it's almost a natural human tendency to turn inwards, to think of your own needs and to discard everybody else's, and perhaps to start to imagine that the past was somehow better than the present or the future could ever be. But I happen to believe that that's a dead end. History shows us that it's a dead end. When people turn inwards and turn backwards, human progress becomes reversed and things get worse for everybody very quickly indeed. If you're like me and you believe in forwards and outwards, and you believe that the best thing about humanity is its diversity, and the best thing about globalization is the way that it stirs up that diversity, that cultural mixture to make something more creative, more exciting, more productive than there's ever been before in human history, then, my friends, we've got a job on our hands, because the inwards and backwards brigade are uniting as never before, and that creed of inwards and backwards, that fear, that anxiety, playing on the simplest instincts, is sweeping across the world. Those of us who believe, as I believe, in forwards and outwards, we have to get ourselves organized, because time is running out very, very quickly.