Monday, 22 September 2008

Questions to ask election candidates -- Canada and USA

The first list was compiled by Nature Canada:

1. Will you complete Canada's system of National Parks, National Wildlife Areas, Marine Protected Areas, and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries?
2. Will you announce a strategy to protect and manage globally and nationally significant Important Bird Areas in Canada?
3. Will you work with the provinces to achieve a country-wide goal of protecting a minimum of 50 percent of Canada's boreal forest?
4. Are you committed to meeting the Kyoto Protocol on global warming?
5. Will you put a price on carbon that reflects its full social and environmental costs, and that applies broadly in Canada's economy as soon as possible?
6. What will your party do to ensure that the Arctic environment (including habitat for terrestrial and marine wildlife and migratory birds) is protected from the impacts of oil and gas development and shipping?
7. What will you do to develop healthy values towards nature in our young people, and address the crisis in Canadian society known as "nature deficit disorder"?"
8. Will you support a comprehensive Canada-wide water strategy to conserve water through such measures as national appliance water-efficiency standards and the protection and restoration of vulnerable waters such as the Great Lakes, Arctic Ocean and Bay of Fundy?
9. Will you commit Canada to becoming a world leader in the production of low-impact renewable sources of electricity, heat and fuels by 2020?
10. What will your party do to strengthen the Species at Risk Act, and its implementation, to ensure that all the critical habitat of at-risk species is effectively protected?

From the Inuit organization:

1. Does your Party agree that following the historic June 11th, 2008 Apology by the Prime Minister to Aboriginal Peoples in Canada that the next Government should embark on a bold new path in partnership with Inuit to close gaps in housing, health, economic development, and education needs by 2015?
2. Does your Party support expanding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission by adding an Inuk Commissioner to recognize the many Inuit who were impacted by the dark period in Canada of Aboriginal Residential Schools, and would your Party further support the inclusion of Inuit (for example in Labrador) who attended residential or day schools who were subject to abuse but have been excluded from the Indian Residential School Settlement?
3. Would a government formed by your party call a meeting of First Ministers
and national Aboriginal Leaders, within one year of its election, to agree on clear targets and commitments sufficient to overcome gaps between Aboriginal and other Canadians in basic measures of social and economic well being?
4. Does your party support the reform of federal policy in relation to the implementation of modern land claims agreements along the lines recommended in the May 2008 report of the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples?
5. Does your party support the development of a new Arctic Strategy to guide federal policy for the Canadian and international Arctic, and agree that such a policy must extend to all of the lands and marine areas of the Inuit Homeland in Canada (including Arctic portions of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador), and to engage Inuit as co-partners in the development of such a strategy?
6. Does your Party agree that asserting Canadian Arctic Sovereignty must by design include a human dimension that ensures a healthy, well educated economically viable Inuit majority population in the Arctic?
7. Does your party agree that any new federal policy aimed at combating carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases must contain a set of adaptation and adjustments factors for Inuit communities sufficient to ensure that implementation of the policy would not have a net negative effect on regional economies in the Arctic?
8. Does your party support the Government of Canada endorsing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2007 and endorsed in a resolution of the House of Commons during the last Parliament?
9. Does your party support additional federal funding to allow for the construction and operation of Mental Health Centre’s for the treatment of alcohol and drug abuse and other mental health issues for Inuit in the Arctic?
10. Does your party support the renewal, and expansion of the following federal initiatives vital to Inuit in the Arctic: a) Food Mail, and b) Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development Programs?

11. Does your party support the appointment of an Ombudsperson for Aboriginal Children?
12. Does your party support the goal of making the Inuit language the primary working language in the Arctic, and support providing federal funding support for the Inuit language at a level at least as generous as provided francophone and anglophone minorities in the Arctic?

US Election questions from FCNL (Friends Committee on National Legislation)

1. Promote Talk, Not War, with Iran

Congress has failed so far to endorse the type of non-partisan, comprehensive regional policy in the Middle East that is key to ending the war in Iraq and preventing a war with Iran.
Do you support the call by former Secretaries of State James Baker, Colin Powell, Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright, and Warren Christopher for the United States to begin a serious diplomatic dialogue with Iran?
See FCNL's view.

2. Time to Invest in Peace

A huge portion, about 94 percent, of what the United States spends to engage with the rest of the world is allocated to the military. A tiny amount, about 6 percent, is devoted to diplomacy, development, and supporting international institutions that can help solve problems before they turn into deadly conflict.
Will you support the United States’s paying its full share of U.N. dues and increasing funding for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development?
See FCNL's view.

3. Ban the Bombs That Keep on Killing

Cluster bombs send out smaller “bomblets” that can kill all living creatures within a target area often as large as several football fields. In the past 10 years, the United States used cluster bombs in civilian-populated areas in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the former Yugoslavia. More than half the world’s governments—including those of most NATO countries—have agreed on a new treaty banning cluster bombs. But the U.S. government did not take part in this process.
Will you support legislation that would ban the use of cluster bombs in civilian-populated areas?
See FCNL's view.

4. End the Word Games, Ban Torture

The U.S. Army has established firm policies—written into the Army Field Manual—that prohibit torture. Yet the Justice Department insists the CIA should be exempt from these Army requirements and should have the right to torture some prisoners.
Would you support legislation requiring all U.S. government personnel—including the CIA—to ban torture and abide by the definitions in the U.S. Army Field Manual?
See FCNL's view.

5. Reduce Risk of Nuclear Weapons

Do you support the call from former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, former Sen. Sam Nunn, and former Defense Secretary William Perry for the United States to make a priority of pursuing “a world free of nuclear weapons?” See FCNL's view.

6. Climate, Energy, and Human Security

One of the most effective strategies for addressing the energy crisis, bringing down energy costs for struggling workers, and protecting the planet would be for the United States to improve energy efficiency, increase renewable energy production, and provide assistance to other countries to do the same.
Would you support binding legislation that would require electric utilities to produce at least 20 percent of their electricity from renewable resources by 2020, mandate a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and provide assistance to help other countries adapt to the challenges of climate change?
See FCNL's view.

7. Investing in Children

A bipartisan majority in both chambers of Congress has supported expanding government programs that provide health care for poor children.
For $7 billion, the United States could provide health care through the State Children’s Health Insurance Program for an additional 4 million children in the United States who lack health insurance. Would you support this funding?
See FCNL's view.

See also:
CFSC recommendations for the 2008 Canadian election.
40 unanswered questions for the Harper government (previous post in this blog)
Margaret Atwood warns about Harper's secret SPP agenda
Ecoresearch US election guide.
Greenpeace questions to US presidential candidates.

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