Clare Cooney

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Clare Cooney was the Scottish Green Party Candidate for Edinburgh South West in the 2010 General Election

Skeptical Voter Questionnaire Response

Health

1. Do you support the use of public funds to provide unproven health products such as homeopathy?

No - homeopathy is nothing more than an effective administration tool for the placebo effect.

2. Do you think that abortion time limits should always be determined by the current scientific and medical consensus?

Yes.

3. Do you believe the UK should move to an opt out, rather than an opt in, organ donation system?

I am in favour of changing to an opt out system.

Science

1. Do you agree that testing on animals (within strict criteria) is a necessary part of the development of medicines?

I am opposed to unnecessary testing for what I view to be frivolous products such as cosmetics. I understand that some degree of testing is sometimes necessary for medicines and I would not be in favour of removing the ability of scientists to make medical advances. However, I also believe that animals are sentient beings who feel pain and distress and who are worthy of respect. I would like to see much stricter regulation of testing and I would want licence for it to be agreed only when a clear case was made for what the experiments were expected to achieve.

Religion

1. Should schools be allowed to teach creationism as an equivalent theory to evolution?

Absolutely not.

2. Should religious courts such as Sharia and Beth Din be recognised as alternative systems within UK law?

No - there can only be one set of laws and rights and they cannot be allowed to contradict each other.

3. Do you believe that religious belief should be legally protected from ridicule?

No - nobody's opinions should be protected from criticism.

4. Should religious leaders be entitled to vote in the House of Lords?

No - I would be in favour of a fully elected upper house.

Evidence-based Policy-making

1. Should an independent government adviser whose views in their area of expertise conflict with government policy be able to express those views publicly without fear of being sacked?

Yes - we should be making policy based on evidence, not what tabloid newspapers are getting shouty about

2. Should policy-makers trust scientific evidence even when it appears counter-intuitive?

yes - but they probably ought to seek out additional research, to ensure the cause and effect that is being suggested is not a false 'post hoc ergo propter hoc' effect.

Libel Law

1. Do you support the reform of English and Welsh libel law to allow a stronger 'public interest' defence?

Yes - the current libel law in this country is a source of national shame.


External Links