We are writing to ask for your views on 10 key questions that voters with an interest in science and rationalism have told us are important to them at this election.
Skeptical Voter is a non-partisan project aimed at helping UK voters make an informed choice by documenting where each candidate stands on science, secularism and evidence-based policy.
Over the past few months we have been gathering information about the issues which skeptically-minded voters see as key priorities. Based on this feedback we have settled on the following 10 questions:
1. Do you support the use of NHS money to provide unproven health products such as homeopathy? - No
2. Should schools be allowed to teach creationism as an equivalent theory to evolution? - I want all religion out of schools.
3. Do you believe that religious belief should be legally protected from ridicule? - I don't believe any belief should be protected from ridicule if it affects the lives of others
4. Should an independent government adviser whose views in their area of expertise conflict with government policy be able to express those views publicly? - of course
5. Should religious courts such as Sharia and Beth Din be recognised as alternative systems within UK law?- No. One law for all, preferably common law.
6. Do you agree that testing on animals (within strict criteria) is a necessary part of the development of medicines? - Yes
7. Should policy-makers trust scientific evidence even when it appears counter-intuitive?- After rigorous due dilligence, yes
8. Do you think that abortion time limits should always be determined by the current scientific and medical consensus?- Yes
9. Should religious leaders be entitled to vote in the House of Lords? - No
10. Do you support the reform of English and Welsh libel law to allow a stronger 'public interest' defence?- Yes
We know that these are controversial issues, with complex arguments on both sides. For this reason we want to give every candidate in this election the opportunity to tell voters, in their own words, where they stand on these important public policy questions.
Subject to the constraints of the law, our intention is to publish in full every candidate response that we receive. We would also be very interested in any further comments you wish to share with us about your views on this area of policy.
The results of our survey will be published in the Skeptical Voter Wiki, which is an information resource run along similar lines to Wikipedia.
Many thanks in advance, and best wishes,
Craig Lucas, Matt Lewis, Richard Wilson and James O' Malley