Skeptical Voter questions 2010
Dave Raval was e-mailed the Skeptical Voter questions, plus some additional ones on 7th April 2010. He replied on 15th April with this rather disappointing response:
- Thanks for your email. I have answered a lot of these questions on my website, www.daveraval.com.
However, at a meeting later, he spent time and went through every question.
Dave Raval answered the Skeptical Voter questions at a meeting on 15th April;
1/ Will you be working to ensure electoral reform is put in place to ensure that every vote counts through proportional representation?
- Strongly committed to the Lib Dem policy of introducing the single transferable vote
2/ Will you ensure that political, personal, social and economic interests are secondary to any decision that seeks to halt climate change?
- This issue is the reason why I joined the Liberal Democrats, being central to my priorities. I see the Lib Dems as the only mainstream party to genuinely take this issue on and give it the absolute priority it needs.
3/ Do you agree that whaling, in any form - whether controlled or otherwise, should never be re-introduced and that in addition, the law should be fully enforced?
- Opposed to all whaling
4/ Do you think that government should fund faith schools?
- Yes, but with safeguards. These safeguards would include the teaching of the National curriculum (or the Lib Dems’ proposed Minimum Curriculum) and ensuring that the school is inclusive and does not draw only from its faith group but serves the local community.
5/ Should publicly funded faith schools be allowed to discriminate in their admissions and employment?
- Absolutely not.
6/ Should schools be allowed to teach creationism as an equivalent theory to evolution?
7/ How would you vote on assisted dying for the terminally ill?
- I would vote to support assisted dying for the terminally ill but ensure that safeguards were in place, such as more than one medical opinion, and a period of reflection between each of these opinions, so no ‘snap’ decisions can be made.
8/ Should anti-discrimination and equality legislation make religious groups exempt from regulations that other organisations would have to follow?
- No - equality legislation is there for a reason and there should be no exceptions.
9/ Should religious leaders have privileged access to decision makers?
- Access yes, but privileged - no.
10/ Would you vote to retain or remove bishops from the house of Lords?
- So long as they were fully elected and other faiths were also represented, I have no objections.
11/ Do you support the use of public funds to provide unproven alternative ‘treatments’ such as homeopathy?
- Personally, I have no problems with this, even when the treatments are shown to be no better than placebo, these bring comfort and relief to people, so yes, NHS funding is justified
12/ Should Sharia Law be allowed as an alternative system within UK law?
- We already have two systems of law - civil and criminal. As such, I see no reason why another form of law might not be useful in certain civil circumstances such as matrimonial law that a community can feel is meaningful to them. I do not however see this as being a substitute for our criminal law.
13/ Do you support the reform of English and Welsh libel law to allow a stronger ’public interest’ defence?
- Absolutely – and this is core Lib Dem policy
14/ Would you do everything in your power to ensure the BBC maintains its position as the world leader in public broadcasting, including ensuring that BBC6Music and the Asian Network are maintained?
- I wrote my support of both 6Music and Asian Network on my website, www.daveraval.com, and urged all my friends and contacts to sign the petition
15/ Do you agree that all decisions taken concerning British, European and Worldwide fishing should ensure the recovery of fish populations and more importantly, the ocean environments, before any political, social or economic interests?
- We have to do everything possible to conserve the ocean environments and fish stocks, and indeed, ensure the growing world population can be fed. Fishing communities could be reinvigorated through new industries such as offshore wind farms.
16/ Would you support the members of the Drugs advisory committee and act on their advice, as is their role?
- This is a ‘no brainer’ - yes! We employ scientists to give scientific views, so we should respect them, not fire the messenger!
17/ What would you do to ensure the Hackney Empire is re-opened urgently and again provides a rich variety of live entertainment for the residents of Hackney and beyond?
- I am not quite as up to speed with this as I would like, as I had to miss a recent public meeting, owing to my mother’s sudden illness. However, the Empire is a fantastic local resource. Management failures need to be rectified and public funding is necessary to ensure success. A colleague of mine, Julia Slay, attended in my absence and wrote about this here: http://daveraval.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=56&Itemid=1
18/ Your views on the current digital economy bill would be appreciated
- Strongly opposed! Why are we trying to use 20th century laws for a 21st century industry? The Lib Dems voted against this in Parliament at its final reading and I would vote to overturn this law as soon as the opportunity arises.
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