Well-informed voters and elected officials with a strong sense of accountability are key components of a healthy political system. Here are questions to ask ourselves and candidates:
U.S. soldiers, generals and others argue the occupation of Iraq fuels insurgency and helps recruit extremists. Will you vote for a timetable for the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops?
Ninety-five percent of U.S. spending overseas is allocated to military budgets. Will you vote to provide more money for non-military tools to solve international problems?
Hurricane Katrina reminded us that not all threats are military ones. How would you help keep us safe from the after-effects of natural disasters, environmental degradation and regional economic problems? How would you address the main cause of these problems, overpopulation?
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Will you support legislation that bans all U.S.-sponsored torture, and to direct our military agencies to abide by the Geneva Conventions?
Would you vote to halt domestic spying and require intelligence agencies to get warrants so that we have some assurance they're focusing only on suspected terrorists or criminals?
How would you promote energy-saving technologies and conservation measures, such as increasing the use of alternative energies like wind power? Will you vote for Proposition 87 supporting alternative energy?
Mike Starry, Fresno