Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Nice list of questions for Democratic presidential candidates

Many of these, from Radley Balko at The Agitator, are also appropriate for Republicans. A few I especially liked:
  • A recent study found that over half the country now derives part or all of its income from the federal government. Three of the richest counties in the country are in the D.C. suburbs, a telling indicator of just how bloated with taxpayer dollars Washington has become. The federal government is today pervasive in our day-to-day lives, from cradle to grave, from the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep. Do you think these trends are healthy? Looking at the premise of this question, would you agree or disagree federal government is getting too large, too influential, and too pervasive?
  • Do you think it's appropriate for drug cops to be making medical policy?
  • What is your philosophical approach to federalism? What issues do you feel are best decided at the national level? What issues should be left to the states? Is there any underlying principle you use in separating one from the other, or would you make such decisions ad hoc?
  • Do you believe the U.S. military should be deployed for humanitarian missions?
  • Do you think an atheist could be president? Do you think an atheist should be? Assuming you generally agreed with an atheist on more issues than the alternatives in a given election, would you vote for one?
  • Name five things you think are none of the federal government's business.
  • What is your view of the pardon power and executive clemency? Should it be used frequently? Should it be use to show mercy and forgiveness or to correct injustices that slip through the cracks? Neither? Both?
  • Is there any type of speech you believe should be criminalized?
  • Do you promise not to claim for yourself any of the executive powers you've criticized the Bush administration for claiming?
  • What is your position on Kelo vs. New London? Under what circumstances would it be appropriate for a government to seize land from one private party and give it to another?
  • What federal crimes will you instruct the Justice Department to make a priority during your administration?
  • Are there any currently private industries that you believe are "too important" to be left to the private sector? Oil and gas? Health care? Google?
  • America by far and away has the highest prison population in the world. Does this concern you? Are there any federal crimes you feel should be repealed from the books, or devolved to the states?
  • What's your philosophical approach to risk assessment and the precautionary principle? Do you think government should ban products, treatments, and procedures until they're proven safe, or permit them until they show signs of being unsafe?
  • Do you think it's a legitimate function of government to protect people from making bad decisions or prevent them from developing bad habits? Even if those habit or decisions don't directly affect anyone else? How far should the government in preventing bad habits and bad decisions? In other words, should the government's role be merely advisory, or should it criminalize things like gambling, pornography, drug use, or trans fats?
  • Should members of Congress be required to follow all of the laws that they pass?
  • Should members be required to read each bill before voting on it?
  • Would you support a sunset provision requiring Congress to revisit and re-pass each law after five years?
  • The complete list is here.


    Einzige said...

    The list should really be titled "Questions Politicians Will Never Answer".

    Chuckbo said...

    I like your list!
    I have my own list at but it's not restricted to Democrats or Republicans -- I've got questions there that neither side wants to hear and asks for real answers, not just the "I'm for making our schools stronger," as if there was ever a candidate who wanted to make schools weaker.