VoteSecular Response: Nladine Bailey, NDP, AB - Edmonton- Mill Woods - Beaumont
Thank you for sending me your questions related to the separation of church and state, and science. These are fabulous questions. I have sent these off to the central NDP policy office because I am, quite honestly, not sure what the official position of the NDP is on all of these matters. I can assure you, however, that the NDP makes no bones about being a secular party. Worship as you will, the government represents everyone.
I would rather wait and respond to your questions after I receive the official party response. I apologise if this sounds a bit lame, but these are serious questions and have, most likely, been discussed at conventions and policy conferences. I haven’t been part of those discussions, and I don’t want to mislead or “softball” the responses.
I’ll get back to you with the NDP position on all this, supplemented by my own. If the party doesn’t get back to me before the weekend, I’ll respond on my own.
All the best,
Nadine Bailey, NDP Candidate
Edmonton-Mill Woods- Beaumont
Hello again, Justin
I have not heard from the central party office that there are official answers to your questions, so I thought I should let you know what I know, or think I know, about my position, and the NDP's.
Thanks again for sending these thought provoking questions. I think my campaign manager is thinking about joining your association. She was very, very intrigued! I've inserted my answers below your questions and highlighted them in yellow.
Nadine Bailey, NDP Candidate
1. Do you support the separation of religion and state, and government neutrality in all matters
between believers, and atheists/agnostics?
Freedom of Speech
2. Do you believe there should be any legal limits on the criticism of religious opinion in the public
No, as long as the criticism does not drift into hatred or call on people to move beyond civil discussion.
3. Would you support repealing the law against blasphemy in the Criminal Code of Canada?
Yes. (I didn't even know there was one.)
4. What is your position on granting people exemptions from neutral, generally applicable laws and
policies based on their religious beliefs (e.g. "religious accommodations")?
I don't believe there should be two kinds of laws. One kind for "most" people and another for "religious" reasons. The polygamy laws being tested in BC comes to mind. I do not believe that people should be able to marry children, or have more than one wife simply because of an obscure interpretation of religious text.
5. Do you support granting an organization tax-exempt charitable status for the sole purpose of the
"advancement of religion", if such an organization undertakes no other charitable activity (e.g.
feeding the poor)?
No. The time has come to take a long, hard look at the charitable status of large and profitable congregations.
6. Would you support an amendment to the National Anthem Act to remove the reference to God in
the lyrics of O Canada?
I would not; my campaign manager would. I think I would need to think about this, especially given how divisive it is in the larger community.
Charter of Rights and Freedoms
7. Would you support an amendment to the preamble of the Canadian Charter of Rights and
Freedoms to remove the reference to the “Supremacy of God”?
Same answer as for #6.
8. What position do you hold concerning the legally-binding use by religious communities of
separate religious courts (eg. in family law)?
Aside from First Nations people, I don't think people should be able to tailor the legal system to suit their needs.
Medicine and Health
9. Do you support the requirement that all products labeled "medicine", including homeopathic or
naturopathic remedies, be required to pass the same rigorous testing as pharmaceuticals?
Yes, so people can know that their dosages are correct and consistent and to prevent people from making unsubstantiated claims about the effects or effectiveness of medicine in any form.
10. Do you support vaccination as a good public health measure?