Robert Jones [rjones745]
How do you define your political position? What is the ideology that inspires it?
Green liberal. This is a hybrid of environmentalism and liberalism, one which seeks to achieve an ecologically sustainable and free society which embraces free market capitalism. Traditional greens reject market capitalism, favouring an eco-socialist position. I believe that it is not only possible, but practical and profitable to consolidate the fragility of the planet and our total dependence on its life giving eco-systems with our dominant economic model. The result will be an sustainable and prosperous economy.
What matters more in deciding your vote: the party, the candidate, or the ideas?
The ideas. Only in extreme circumstances would I consider voting against my own point view.
Do you think religion has a place in politics?
Religious organisations may have a role to play in representing the religious views and values of their members and supporters as a part of society. But I strongly oppose direct political influences or control by religious groups beyond that point. I consider myself to be a Christian, and I take my faith very seriously. But it is not my view that this should play any role in politics. For example, on an issue such as abortion, I can say that my personal views, from the point of view of my faith, are very much against it. I consider abortion to be a sin. That said, I do not believe that it is the place of the state to make laws based on religious values, but on the basis tangible and observable evidence.
Are high abstention levels a serious problem for democracies?
I do not think so. Abstention is a reflection of many issues, or the lack of them. When people are engaged in the ongoing political process, they will participate. Although it is disappointing to see low voter turnouts, I consider the issue to be an innate part of democratic life. I am certainly against compulsory voting.
Should parties that want to eliminate democracy be allowed to participate in democratic elections?
Yes. Only parties which directly and specifically incite violence or hatred should face prohibition.
Are Right and Left obsolete concepts?
They may seem to be, especially at times when the majority of parties and voters mingle around the centre. But there remain differences between the right and the left, and these differences do have consequences for society and the economy. They are not obsolete.
Why does hunger continue to exist in the world? Is this the result of a deliberate policy?
Not deliberate insomuch as someone is deliberately seeking to starve the hungry. But hunger, in most cases, is caused by problems not in food production, but in distribution and access.
What political figures in recent history do you admire most?
Al Gore, Joschka Fischer, Caroline Lucas.
Two-party systems are on the rise: is this good for politics?
No. Two-party systems substantially reduce democratic choice, and only lead to rises in disenchantment with the whole system. A pluralistic democracy which sees many different groups in society have their different voices heard, even if two main parties still dominate, produces a far healthier democracy.
Should any territory have the right of self-determination if a majority of the population votes in favour of doing so?
I believe so, yes. If sovereignty derives from the people, be it in practice or theory, then the people must have the right to determine their own destiny.
Does a state have the right to attack or intervene in another country that has not attacked said state, if the country has committed grave injustices or crimes against humanity?
Absolutely. The clear case in point is Libya. The atrocities of the Libyan regime against its own people betrayed the regime's own responsibilities. The world has a moral obligation to do what it can when such action is practical and viable.
Do you actively or economically collaborate with any social organization, NGO, etc.?
I am a member of the New Apostolic Church. I believe strongly however in separating my religious and political views as far as is possible. This is as consistent with my faith as it is with my politics.
Are there too many taxes?
Yes. The tax system should be simplified. Another problem with taxes is the overwhelming tendency to tax those things we should seek to encourage. Namely emmployment and personal earnings, and the profits of small and medium businesses. The burden of tax should be moved from these areas and focused on things we should seek to discourage, pollution, environmental damage, overexploitation of natural resources, and unsustainable consumption.
Does globalisation help in the development of the world's poorest countries, or does it perpetuate conditions of exploitation?
Globalisation has the power to bring about far greater social and economic equity around the world, but when trade rules are either drawn up or implemented unfairly, then it is little surprise that today we seem to be further than ever from such goals. Reform of globalisation and its central institutions such as the IMF and the WTO, and a far greater application of free and fair trade by all nations is a path to mutual success and prosperity for all nations and peoples.
Should a maximum limit of permissible personal fortune exist; and thereby, place limits on individual wealth?
No, but I do believe in progressive taxation where wealthier people pay a greater proportion of their income.
Do you defend the ecotaxes?
Absolutely. Ecotaxes are the taxes of the future. They are a means to achieve a sustainable society and economy with minimum regulations or state intervention. I strongly advocate a shift from conventional taxation to ecotaxes.
Are you in favor of or against the death penalty?
Completely against. In the 21st century, it achieves nothing.
Should homosexual couples have the same right to adopt as heterosexual couples?
I see no reason why not. I believe that a homosexual couple are just as capable of providing a loving and caring home for a child as any other family.