Sunday, 11 April 2010

Skeptical Voter

Dear Candidate,

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

PS – Further information about Skeptical Voter can be found in this article from the “Liberal Conspiracy” blog, and in this piece by New Humanist magazine.


Balding Nobhead said...

"2. Should schools be allowed to teach creationism as an equivalent theory to evolution? - I want all religion out of schools."

So thats it then. Evolution is proved. Debate over. The only aternative is creationism and that must be wrong because christians think it. Funny how this is acceptable to you when its evolution, but not when its Global Warming or Second Hand Smoke etc.

Old Holborn said...

Teach your kids whatever you want at home. It is not the role of the State to educate children about sky pixies at school.

Lurch said...

Balding Nobhead certainly is a Nobhead.
Evolution - lots of evidence.
Everything made by imaginary friend - absolutely fuck all evidence.

Manu said...

Interesting questionnaire... If the stated intention was indeed "to give every candidate the opportunity to tell voters, *in their own words*, where they stand" then perhaps a set of open - rather than closed (if not leading or downright biased) questions would have been preferable. Not impressed!

what's the science? said...

Here is the scientific argument - very educational and very funny.

Lord Blagger said...

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


What about ridculing a a belief that doesn't affect your life?

What is it about the lives of others that you want to affect?


Alternative legal systems.

So long as UK law is primary, what does it matter if people agree privately to any system of resolving arguments? You've attacked sharia, but here you want to affect others with your view point. What about ACAS?

Joe Public said...


How many suppressed, underprivileged Muslim women will voluntarily accept Sharia Law, if the outcome could be that they are stoned to death?

dbmaverick said...

must say I can't fault your answers on these questions

Bemused Wolf said...

Fuck Cambridge OH, come and stand in York, please!

Mark Hendy said...

Well it's clear that you'll never make a member of parliament whist you give unequivocal straight one word answers like "yes" or "no" :)

SadButMadLad said...

Re Alternative legal systems. The current situation is that Sharia, Beth Din, and others are allowed - but only for civil cases such as business and private matters. The UK legal system is still overrides all others. So OH is for maintaining the current system and not allowing others to gain prominence.

Anonymous said...

No questions about civil liberty infringements and the surveillance police state, I note.

Anonymous said...

Any idiot that believes in sky fairies of whatever colour should not be allowed to vote, let alone be an MP.

Stupid supersticious bollocks all of it.

caesars wife said...

In labours dumbed down society there may be an ignorant vote .Depends if you want your vote to stand for your manfesto (which should be the jury teams), be interesting how you handle your contenders manfesto OH .

Little Black Sambo said...

Nobody who uses such tired expressions as "sky fairy" is worth listening to.

JD said...

Only one l in diligence though.

Del said...

Do you think that performing painful, and ultimately useless and misleading, experiments on animals so that unscrupulous drug companies can cover their arses, is a necessary part of the development of medicines? - No.

Father Jack said...

I want to see Sherrier Law! Free sherry for all!

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

That would be an ecumenical matter.

Gobshite said...

Stuff like this should be compulsory for anyone standing for election.

Try and spin your way out of that, you troughing bastards!

Gobshite said...

Anyone that wants or desires Shariah law will be pleased to know that there are many nations practicing it right now!

That's right Mohammed! Don't spend anymore time dealing with the Infidel's evil laws. Jump on a plane, and in a few short hours you too can stone your wife to death, run over your child for stealing, and chop your next door neighbours head off for being a Gay.

And you can forget that nonsense about women being equal too. If you give your wife a good shoeing over there, the whole village will throw a street party in your honour. And if you kill her, they may sacrifice a goat too!

Nicer weather too. And you get to have your own AK-47. Maybe even an RPG for those special occasions.

Clive said...

That's rather an ineffectual way to ask your question, Del (11 April 2010 20:44).

You must have thought you were framing the question -- asserting that all animal testing is "ultimately useless and misleading, etc."

What you actually did was to qualify the question -- to restrict its scope just to testing that (in the answerer's opinion) is "ultimately useless and misleading, etc."

Anyone of whom you ask that question can truthfully give you the answer you want, for as many or as few types of animal tests as he likes. He can then go to the opening ceremony for a monkey cannon, whispering under his breath that "of course monkey cannons are useful, somehow."

It's essential to know how to word a question to make it harder for the Sir Humphreys to slither around it.

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