Skeptical Voter Questionnaire Response 2010
1. Do you support the use of NHS money to provide unproven health products such as homeopathy?
I don't think homeopathy works, but clearly some patients want it, just as some want a hospital chapel. I think we need to review all health spending, with more emphasis on prevention, and an end to privatisation. I am also suspicious of lobbying by pharmaceutical companies.
2. Should schools be allowed to teach creationism as an equivalent theory to evolution?
No. Only in religious studies.
3. Do you believe that religious belief should be legally protected from ridicule?
Its bad manners to ridicule any belief, I would use the law to prevent more serious offences.
4. Should an independent government adviser whose views in their area of expertise conflict with government policy be able to express those views publicly?
Yes, and be protected from those who want to silence dissenting views.
5. Should religious courts such as Sharia and Beth Din be recognised as alternative systems within UK law?
In the very limited way that they already are used, where people do so voluntarily, like dispute resolution. So not an alternative, which would imply that is can replace UK law.
6. Do you agree that testing on animals (within strict criteria) is a necessary part of the development of medicines?
I am against cruelty to animals. Everything should be done to reduce animal experimentation.
7. Should policy-makers trust scientific evidence even when it appears counter-intuitive?
Always trust the peer reviewed science.
8. Do you think that abortion time limits should always be determined by the current scientific and medical consensus?
I back the removal of the rule that requires two doctors to approve a woman's decision to have an abortion, to allow abortions to be carried out by appropriately trained nurses and midwives up to three months of pregnancy, and to remove restrictions on where abortions can be carried out. Green Party policy is concerned with the rising number of abortions in England and Wales. Our policy calls for effective sex education in all schools, adequate financial support for all parents, and adequate provision of effective family planning advice.
9. Should religious leaders be entitled to vote in the House of Lords?
Reform the Lords altogether, so no religious leaders, so no hereditary peers, have people based on merit and democracy.
10. Do you support the reform of English and Welsh libel law to allow a stronger 'public interest' defence?
This sounds like a good idea, but I would want to know more about it.