Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo

Running for President and Vice President for the Independence Party

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Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo support equal rights for gays and lesbians, including equal rights for same-sex couples. They oppose President George W. Bush’s proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages as adults should be treated equally under the law on this matter. Nader/Camejo believe that by attempting to mandate inequality, Mr. Bush is leading the country in the wrong direction.

Nader/Camejo supports full equal rights for gays and lesbians. While civil unions are a step in the right direction under current federal and state law, they do not afford equal rights. There are 1,049 federal rights that pertain only to marriage. In addition, at the state level, a civil union is only recognized in the state where it occurs, while marriage, and all the rights that go with it, is recognized in all the states. Thus, the only way to ensure full equal rights is to recognize same-sex marriage.

What is your position on abortion?

National Organization for Women affirms that these are issues of life and death for women, not mere matters of choice. NOW supports access to safe and legal abortion, to effective birth control, to reproductive health and education. We oppose attempts to restrict these rights through legislation, regulation (like the gag rule) or Constitutional amendment.

NOW supports the right of women to have children, including appropriate pre-natal care and quality child care. We oppose government efforts to limit or discourage childbearing, such as family caps and involuntary sterilization.

What is your position on stem cell research? Should the federal government fund stem cell research?

No information available.

How would you address the rising costs of health care?

The state of health care in the United States is a disgrace. For millions of Americans, it is a struggle between life, health and money. The Nader/Camejo campaign supports a single-payer health-care plan that replaces for-profit, investor-owned health care and removes the private health insurance industry (full Medicare for all). This approach is supported by Physicians for a National Health Program; the American Nurses Association; the U.S. Labor Party; the California Nurses Association; the National Association of Social Workers; the Associations of Physicians Assistants; and the National Association of Midwives, among others.

The Nader/Camejo campaign favors replacing our fragmented, market-based system with a single-payer health plan – where the government finances health care but keeps the delivery of health care to private non-profits and allows free choice of doctors and hospitals for patients.

Would you change the current tax policy? If so, how?

A fundamental reappraisal of our tax laws should start with a principle that taxes should apply first to behavior and conditions we favor least and pinch basic necessities least such as the clearly addictive industries (alcohol and tobacco), pollution, speculation, gambling, extreme luxuries, taxing work or instead of the 5 percent to 7 percent sales tax food, furniture, clothing or books.

Mr. Nader does not believe that “unearned income” (dividends, interest, capital gains) should be taxed lower than earned income, or work, inasmuch as one involves passive income, including inheritances and windfalls, while the latter involves active effort with a higher proportion of middle and lower income workers relying on and working each day, some under unsafe conditions, for these earnings.

What is your position on funding for higher education and financial aid?

Four years of free public college and university tuition for all students could be covered for $155 billion.

How should we proceed with military operations in Iraq?

Nader/Camejo put forward a three-step approach to rapidly remove U.S. military forces, civilian military contractors and U.S. corporate interests from Iraq: development of an appropriate international peace-keeping force; support Iraqi self rule and free and fair elections; and the United States should provide humanitarian aid to Iraq to rebuild its infrastructure.

The quagmire of the Iraq war and occupation could have been averted and needs to be ended expeditiously, replacing U.S. forces with a U.N. peacekeeping force, prompt supervised elections and humanitarian assistance before we sink deeper into this occupation, with more U.S. casualties, huge financial costs and diminished U.S. security around and from the Islamic world.

The faulty and fabricated rationale for war has the United States in a quagmire. Already more than $155 billion has been spent, adding to huge Bush deficits, when critical needs are not being met at home. We should not be mired in the occupation of Iraq risking further upheavals when our infrastructure, schools and health care are deteriorating.

What is your plan to improve the economy and stimulate job growth?

Since January 2001, 2.7 million jobs have been lost and more than 75 percent of those jobs have been high wage, high productivity manufacturing jobs. Overall 5.6 percent of Americans are unemployed while 10.5 percent of African-Americans are unemployed. Unemployment among Latinos is nearly 30 percent higher than January 20, 2001.

By requiring equitable trade, investing in urgently needed local labor-intensive public works (infrastructure improvements), creating a new renewable energy efficiency policy and fully funding education and redirecting large bureaucratic and fraudulent health expenditures toward preventive health care we can reverse this trend and create millions of new jobs.

How would you handle the threat of terrorism?

Our foreign policy must redefine the elements of global security, peace, arms control, an end to nuclear weapons and expand the many assets of our country to launch, with other nations, major initiatives against global infections diseases (such as AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and virulent flu epidemics), which have entered, and are coming to, our country in increasingly drug-resistant strains.

Other low cost-high yield initiatives (compared to massive costs of redundant weapons) that extend the best of our country abroad include public health measures for drinking water, safety abroad, tobacco control, stemming soil erosion, deforestation and misuse of chemicals, international labor standards, stimulating democratic institutions, agrarian cooperatives and demonstrating appropriate technologies dealing with agriculture, transportation, housing and efficient, renewable energy.

The U.N. Development Program and many nongovernmental organizations working abroad provide essential experience and directions in this regard including ending the specter of hunger, malnutrition and resultant diseases with known and proven remedies and practices. With these foreign policy orientation overhauls we will discover and facilitate the indigenous genius of the Third World, recalling Brazilian Paulo Freire (literacy), Egyptian Hasan Fathi (agrarian housing) and Bangladeshi Mohammed Yunis (microcredit).

Information provided by www.votenader.org