The Canadian federal election is tentatively scheduled for October 19, 2015, and at least one candidate is setting up her campaign headquarters, so this is a good time to start making a list of questions to ask the federal candidates in your riding.
Here is a partial list:
Do you support abolishing Canada’s Blasphemy Law?
Do you support closing Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom?
Do you support the right to freedom from religion as well as the right to freedom of religion?
Do you support removing the “supremacy of God” clause from the preamble to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?
Do you support removing God from the national anthem?
Please use the comments to add your questions to the list; an updated list will be posted on Thursday, June 25.
Do you accept the theory of evolution by natural selection as fact using the scientific definition of theory?
The Central Ontario Humanists (Barrie & Area) have a draft questionnaire for election to send to all candidates in the riding:
The link has been fixed.
Do you support removing the exception of the Canadian criminal code, section 319 (3) b, allowing hate speech to be expressed in a religious context?
Do you support removing all government finances for pastoral interventions within Canada Corrections and the National Parole System?
First of all, I suggest that all questions be formulated so that the answer “Yes” is what we want. For example, instead of asking “Do you support more religious influence in government?” it would be better to ask “Do you support secular governance, i.e. separation between religion and state?”
Here are a some suggested questions:
— Do you support secular governance, i.e. separation between religion and state?
— Do you support removing the phrase “the supremacy of God” from the preamble to the 1982 Canadian constitution?
— Do you support repealing Section 296 of the Criminal Code which makes “blasphemy” a crime?
— Do you support repealing paragraph 319(3)(b) of the Hate Propaganda provisions of the Criminal Code because it exempts religious discourse from prosecution, thus granting a dangerous privilege to religions, permitting them to make hateful statements with impunity?
— Do you oppose atheophobia, the anti-atheist prejudice that atheists have no morals or flawed morals or are morally inferior to those who believe in a god?
— Do you think that public servants, while on duty, have a duty to avoid promoting or favouring partisan political or religious views, both in their behaviour and in their appearance?
— Do you think that face-coverings should be banned for all public servants while on duty and for all persons while they are receiving a public service, including citizenship hearings?
— (This is provincial jurisdiction, but we can ask anyway:) Do you think that theology faculties should be banned in all public universities and that no taxpayer funding should be provided to support any sectarian religious instruction?
I agree that the affirmative should clearly be what we want. But it lets the ‘agenda’ be seen more easily, which may make them hesitate to answer the survey. But that’s what I do despite some people saying it should look random.
More importantly, the local group sends out questionnaires to candidates, and previously they used multiple choice with options clearly covered and explained. The candidates didn’t like that.
It should be ‘Do you agree’ not yes/no questions. I think candidates would be more willing to use scale going from strongly agree to strongly disagree.
Here is another question for candidates:
— Do you support banning any and all mutilation of the human body without valid medical reason and without the informed consent of the person? Two examples of this are male circumcision and female genital mutilation, especially when practiced on children too young to consent.
Do you support removing the “advancement of religion” organizations from charitable status?
Do you support allowing atheist organizations to qualify for the “advancement of religion” charitable tax category?
Do you support removing the parsonage tax exemption from the income tax act?