Skeptical Voter Questionnaire Response 2010
Also available at: http://wellsocialists.org.uk/skepticalvoter.asp
1. Do you support the use of NHS money to provide unproven health products such as homeopathy?
2. Should schools be allowed to teach creationism as an equivalent theory to evolution?
3. Do you believe that religious belief should be legally protected from ridicule?
- I believe all belief systems (including religious beliefs) should be protected in law from words or behaviour intended to stir up hatred; and likewise people of all faiths and beliefs should be protected from (unreasonable/unjustifiable) discrimination, hatred or hostility.
4. Should an independent government adviser whose views in their area of expertise conflict with government policy be able to express those views publicly?
5. Should religious courts such as Sharia and Beth Din be recognised as alternative systems within UK law?
- Yes, so long as all the parties involved are choosing (based on informed consent and legal independent representation) to use these systems to resolve private, personal or family disputes only; that non-religious (civil) alternatives are clearly available and all the parties are fully aware that these civil (non-religious) alternatives are available and can be used.
6. Do you agree that testing on animals (within strict criteria) is a necessary part of the development of medicines?
- As things stand at present, YES. In the future I would hope we may be able to eliminate animal testing but this is unlikely in the foreseeable future.
7. Should policy-makers trust scientific evidence even when it appears counter-intuitive?
8. Do you think that abortion time limits should always be determined by the current scientific and medical consensus?
- NO. There are sound medical and social reasons to allow abortion limits to be fixed - particularly to protect the health of the mother and to encourage and support abortions at the earliest possible stage in pregnancy.
9. Should religious leaders be entitled to vote in the House of Lords?
- In a reformed House of Lords there may be a role for religious leaders to have a place/voice alongside may other diverse "voices" alongside elected representatives. But these representatives must be appointed only if they are respectful of all faith and belief systems, and is not dominated by any one faith or tradition (as the HoL is at present by the CoE)!
10. Do you support the reform of English and Welsh libel law to allow a stronger 'public interest' defence?
- Yes - Definately.