Should Spain accept refugees from Syria?

In September 2015, the Spanish government agreed with the European Commission to receive nearly 15,000 refugees. This is the largest amount of refugees accepted after Germany and France.

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Should every 18 year old citizen be required to provide at least one year of military service?

Military Service is currently not required in Spain. Spain abolished mandatory military service in 2001. Before 2001 mandatory military service required adult men to serve nine months.

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Should Spain withdraw from the European Union?

The European Union is a politico-economic union of 28 countries with a combined population of over 510 million. The purpose of the EU was to promote free trade and immigration within its internal market. Each member country would also enact similar laws regarding agriculture and development. Since 2007, public support for EU membership in Spain has fallen 50%. Many Spanish voters blame the great recession on strict economic rules that were imposed under EU membership. Proponents leaving the EU argue that membership undermines Spain's sovereignty and leaving would help Spain control immigration. Opponents of leaving the EU argue would damage trade, cause unemployment and harm foreign investment.

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Should the government increase or decrease military spending?

In 2015, Spain increased its military budget by 1.1 percent to €17 billion. The additional funds will pay for five Frigate F-110 anti-submarine warships, up to 400 armored 8x8 vehicles, three A330-MRTT tanker aircraft, four drones and two ground control centers and four S-80 Spanish-made submarines.

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Should the EU sanction member countries with authoritarian governments?

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Should the government prosecute the U.S. for the widespread surveillance of Spanish citizens' private phone calls and emails?

In 2013, Spain's Federal Government launched an investigation into the United State’s widespread surveillance of Spanish citizens' phone calls and emails. The surveillance was conducted by the US National Security Agency. The program came to light after the leaks of former U.S. intelligence analyst Edward Snowden.

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Should the EU evolve into the United States of Europe?

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Should intelligence agencies be merged to create a central EU agency?

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Do you support the creation of a European Army?

In November 2018 German chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron of France announced that they would support the creation of a European army. Ms. Merkel said that the EU should rely less on the U.S. for military support and that “Europeans should take our fate more into our own hands if we want to survive as a European community.” Ms. Merkley said the army would not oppose NATO. President Marcon said the army is needed to protect the EU against China, Russia and the United States. Proponents argue that the EU lacks a united defence force to handle sudden conflicts outside of NATO. Opponents question how the army would fund itself since many EU countries spend less than 2% of their GDP on defence.

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Should the UK be allowed to access European Markets once they leave the EU?

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Should the number of countries in the European Union be reduced to 15?

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Should the European Commission be dismantled?

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Should the U.K. and Northern Ireland remain in the EU’s customs area after Brexit?

The UK and Northern Ireland are scheduled to leave the EU on March 29, 2019. Under a transition agreement all trade and economic relations between the UK and the EU will remain the same until the end of 2022. In 2018 members of parliament and Prime Minister Theresa May proposed a “backstop” which would allow the UK and Northern Ireland to remain inside the EU’s single market for goods and farm products. Proponents argue that keeping the UK in the EU’s customers area will boost the economy by streamlining trade and tourism. Opponents, including anti-EU lawmakers, argue that the backstop would lock the UK inside the EU’s customs area permanently and prevent it from signing trade deals on its own.

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Should Spain increase or decrease foreign aid spending?

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Should Spain maintain a presence at the United Nations?

The UN. is an organization of governments founded in 1945 after World War II. The organization's objectives include promoting peace and security, protecting human rights and the environment and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict. Recent U.N. interventions include the Sri Lankan civil war in 2009 and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Spain joined the U.N. in 1955. In late 2015 Britain, France and Spain will propose a resolution to the UN Security Council which will restrict the Syrian government from using barrel bombs. Spain is the ninth largest financial contributor to the UN and contributes more than $80 million annually.

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Should Spain conduct military strikes against North Korea in order to destroy their long-range missile and nuclear weapons capabilities?

In January of 2016, North Korea announced that it detonated its first hydrogen bomb. CBS News reported that the U.S. intelligence community is skeptical that North Korea used a thermonuclear device. The blast was in single-digit kilotons, and a thermonuclear device is measured in megatons. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has been more ambitious than his father in the pursuit of long-range missiles and nuclear weapons, even in the face of warnings from China. Proponents of military strikes argue that North Korea crossed a line with its latest test and must be stopped at all costs. Opponents argue that North Korea repeatedly lies about its missile capabilities and that the we should let other countries in the region, such as China and South Korea, address this issue.

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Should the government attempt to influence foreign elections?

Foreign electoral interventions are attempts by governments, covertly or overtly, to influence elections in another country. A 2016 study by Dov H. Levin concluded that the country intervening in most foreign elections was the United States with 81 interventions, followed by Russia (including the former Soviet Union) with 36 interventions from 1946 to 2000. In July 2018 U.S. Representative Ro Khanna introduced an amendment that would have prevented U.S. intelligence agencies from receiving funding that could be used to interfere in the elections of foreign governments. The amendment would ban U.S. agencies from “hacking foreign political parties; engaging in the hacking or manipulation of foreign electoral systems; or sponsoring or promoting media outside the United States that favors one candidate or party over another.” Proponents of election interference helps keep hostile leaders and political parties out of power. Opponents argue that the amendment would send a message to other foreign countries that the U.S. does not interfere in election and set a global gold standard for preventing election interference. Opponents argue that election interference helps keep hostile leaders and political parties out of power.

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Should Spain assassinate suspected terrorists in foreign countries?

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Should the government ban cultural ceremonies that involve the killing of animals for entertainment?

Every year about 60,000 animals are killed during religious festivals in Spain. In one example, the the Andalusian government banned the throwing of a live turkey from a church tower. The practice continues every year after the villagers collectively pay a €2,000 fine. Proponents argue that the festivals should continue to have legal protection because they are an integral part of Spanish culture and are a big draw for international tourists. Opponents argue that the killing of animals should be banned since the ceremonies often involve the torturing of animals.

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What is your stance on abortion?

Abortion is currently legal in Spain. In 2014, prime minister Mariano Rajoy said his government would try to repeal a 2010 law which allowed 16 and 17 year-olds to seek abortion without their parent’s consent. Later that year he dropped plans to repeal the law.

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Do you support the legalization of same sex marriage?

Spain legalized same sex marriage in 2003. In 2012, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the ruling People's Party in 2005.

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Should businesses be required to have women on their board of directors?

In 2007 the Spanish government passed a diversity law requiring boards to fill 40% of their directorships with women. Since the law passed many analysts have observed that the percentage of women on board of directors has actually declined. Critics of the law argue this is because it did not contain any enforcement mechanisms and companies are not served penalties for failing to meet the quotas. In Norway 35.5% of boards contain women directors which is the highest percentage in the world.

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Should gay couples have the same adoption rights as straight couples?

LGBT adoption is the adoption of children by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons. This may be in the form of a joint adoption by a same-sex couple, adoption by one partner of a same-sex couple of the other's biological child (step-child adoption) and adoption by a single LGBT person. Joint adoption by same-sex couples is legal in 25 countries. Opponents of LGBT adoption question whether same-sex couples have the ability to be adequate parents while other opponents question whether natural law implies that children of adoption possess a natural right to be raised by heterosexual parents. Since constitutions and statutes usually fail to address the adoption rights of LGBT persons, judicial decisions often determine whether they can serve as parents either individually or as couples.

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Should transgender athletes be allowed to compete in athletic events?

In 2016 the International Olympic committee ruled that transgender athletes can compete in the Olympics without undergoing sex reassignment surgery. In 2018 the International Association of Athletics Federations, track’s governing body, ruled that women who have more than 5 nano-mols per liter of testosterone in their blood—like South African sprinter and Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya—must either compete against men, or take medication to reduce their natural testosterone levels. The IAAF stated that women in the five-plus category have a “difference of sexual development.” The ruling cited a 2017 study by French researchers as proof that female athletes with testosterone closer to men do better in certain events: 400 meters, 800 meters, 1,500 meters, and the mile. "Our evidence and data show that testosterone, either naturally produced or artificially inserted into the body, provides significant performance advantages in female athletes," said IAAF President Sebastian Coe in a statement.

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Do you support the death penalty?

The death penalty or capital punishment is the punishment by death for a crime. Currently 58 countries worldwide allow the death penalty (including the U.S.) while 97 countries have outlawed it.

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Should women be allowed to wear a Niqāb, or face veil, to civic ceremonies?

In 2013 Spain's Supreme Court overturned a ban on wearing face-covering Islamic veils in council buildings brought in by city authorities in Catalonia, ruling that it "limits religious freedom". The ban was considered symbolic since a small percentage only of the town's 120,000 population are Muslims.

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Should the government limit the number of Muslim businesses that can operate in the town center?

The city of Tarragona has proposed a limit to the number of kebab shops and Internet cafes in the town center. The ordinance ruled that each of those business must be 500 yards apart.

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Should terminally ill patients be allowed to end their lives via assisted suicide?

Assisted suicide is currently illegal in Spain. In 2011, the Spanish government introduced a “death with dignity law” which did not pass. The bill regulated the rights of patients, family members, and their doctors during the end-of-life period. The law also provided rights for terminally ill patients facing death to end their lives prematurely if they were suffering from pain.

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Should the military allow women to serve in combat roles?

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Should hate speech be protected by freedom of speech laws?

Hate speech is defined as public speech that expresses hate or encourages violence towards a person or group based on something such as race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.

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Should Spain raise taxes on the rich?

Australia currently has a progressive tax system whereby high income earners pay a higher percentage of tax than low income tax. A more progressive income tax system has been proposed as a tool towards reducing wealth inequality.

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Should the government make cuts to public spending in order to reduce the national debt?

Proponents of deficit reduction argue that governments who do not control budget deficits and debt are at risk of losing their ability to borrow money at affordable rates. Opponents of deficit reduction argue that government spending would increase demand for goods and services and help avert a dangerous fall into deflation, a downward spiral in wages and prices that can cripple an economy for years.

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Should the government raise the minimum wage?

The minimum wage in Spain is currently €756.70 per month in 12 payments, €648.60 per month in 14 payments. In early 2015 the Council of Europe said the minimum wage in Spain was too low since the European Social Charter recommends a minimum wage of 60 percent of the average wage.

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Should Spain raise or lower the tax rate for corporations?

Spain's corporate income tax rate is currently 30% and is currently one of the highest in Europe. It 2015 it will be reduced to 28% and will fall to 25% in taxable years starting from 2016.

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Should bankers be criminally charged for their roles in the financial crisis?

Executives of major Spanish banks, including the Board of Members, remain in their jobs after the financial crisis. Those who were fired often received large severances. To this date no bankers have been legally charged for having roles in this process.

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Should the government provide tax incentives to private companies to keep jobs within the country?

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Do you support the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)?

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed trade agreement between the European Union and the United States, with the aim of promoting trade and multilateral economic growth. The agreement is opposed by unions, charities, NGOs, and environmentalists in Europe who criticize the agreement for reducing regulations on food safety and environmental legislation.

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Do you support a universal basic income program?

A Universal Basic Income program is social security program where all citizens of a country receive a regular, unconditional sum of money from the government. The funding for Universal Basic Income comes from taxation and government owned entities including income from endowments, real estate and natural resources. Several countries, including Finland, India and Brazil, have experimented with a UBI system but have not implemented a permanent program. The longest running UBI system in the world is the Alaska Permanent Fund in the U.S. state of Alaska. In the Alaska Permanent Fund each individual and family receives a monthly sum that is funded by dividends from the state’s oil revenues. Proponents of UBI argue that it will reduce or eliminate poverty by providing everyone with a basic income to cover housing and food. Opponents argue that a UBI would be detrimental to economies by encouraging people to either work less or drop out of the workforce entirely.

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Should the government acquire equity stakes in companies it bails out during a recession?

A state-owned enterprise is a business enterprise where the government or state has significant control through full, majority, or significant minority ownership. During the 2020 Coronavirus outbreak Larry Kudlow, the White House’s top economic advisor, said the Trump administration would consider asking for an equity stake in corporations that needed taxpayer aid. “One of the ideas is, if we provide assistance, we might take an equity position,” Kudlow said Wednesday at the White House, adding that the 2008 bailout of [the automaker General Motors] had been a good deal for the federal government. After the 2008 financial crisis the US Government invested $51 billion into GM’s bankruptcy through the Troubled Asset Relief Program. In 2013 the Government sold its stake in GM for $39 billion. The Center for Automotive Research found that the bailout saved 1.2 million jobs and preserved 34.9 billion in tax revenue. Proponents argue that US taxpayers deserve a return on their investments if private companies need capital. Opponents argue that governments should never own shares of private companies.

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Do you believe labor unions help or hurt the economy?

There are around 2.9 million union members in Spain (18.9% of the workforce). Their role is to bargain over wages, benefits, working conditions for their membership. Larger unions also typically engage in lobbying activities and electioneering at the state and federal level.

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Should Spanish citizens be allowed to save or invest their money in offshore bank accounts?

An offshore (or foreign) bank account is a bank account you have outside of your country of residence. The benefits of an offshore bank account include tax reduction, privacy, currency diversification, asset protection from lawsuits, and reducing your political risk. In April 2016, Wikileaks released 11.5 million confidential documents, known as the Panama Papers, which provided detailed information on 214,000 offshore companies serviced by the Panamanian Law Firm, Mossack Fonesca. The document exposed how world leaders and wealthy individuals hide money in secret offshore tax shelters. The release of the documents renewed proposals for laws banning the use of offshore accounts and tax havens. Proponents of the of the ban argue they should be outlawed because they have a long history of being vehicles for tax evasion, money laundering, illicit arms dealing and funding terrorism. Opponents of the ban argue that punitive regulations will make it harder for American companies to compete and will further discourage businesses from locating and investing in the United States.

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Should welfare recipients be tested for drugs?

5 U.S. states have passed laws requiring welfare recipients to be tested for drugs. Spain does not currently test welfare recipients for drugs. Proponents argue that testing will prevent public funds from being used to subsidize drugs habits and help get treatment for those that are addicted to drugs. Opponents argue that it is a waste of money since the tests will cost more money than they save.

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Should there be fewer or more restrictions on current welfare benefits?

In 2011 the level of public spending on the welfare state by the British Government accounted for £113.1 billion, or 16% of government. By 2020 welfare spending will rise to 1/3rd of all spending making it the largest expense followed by housing benefit, council tax benefit, benefits to the unemployed, and benefits to people with low incomes.

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Should the government add or increase tariffs on products imported into the country?

A tariff is a tax on imports or exports between countries.

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Should the government classify Bitcoin as a legal currency?

Bitcoin is a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank. Bitcoins are stored in a digital wallet, which is like a virtual bank account that allows users to send or receive bitcoins and pay for goods or services. Bitcoin is anonymous, meaning that, while transactions are recorded in a public log, the names of buyers and sellers are never revealed.

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Should pension payments be increased for retired government workers?

A government pension is a fund into which a sum of money is added during the period in which a person is employed by the government. When the government employee retires they are able to receive periodic payments from the fund in order to support themselves. As the birth rate continues to fall and the life expectancy rises governments worldwide are predicting funding shortfalls for pensioners. Beginning in 2019 pensions in Spain will be calculated with the help of a new "sustainability factor" that links payments to life expectancy – and ensures that pensions will actually fall as the average lifespan increases.

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Should bankers’ bonuses be capped at 100% of their pay?

In 2014, the EU passed legislation that capped bankers' bonuses at 100% of their pay or 200% with shareholder approval. Proponents of the cap say that it will reduce incentives for bankers to take excessive risk similar to what led to the 2008 financial crisis. Opponents say that any cap on bankers' pay will push up non-bonus pay and cause bank's costs to rise.

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Should the government subsidize Spanish farmers?

Farmers in Spain share a £50 billion subsidy from the European Union. Supporters of subsides believe that the majority of the subsidies should go to smaller farmers who need them the most.

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Do you support the use of nuclear energy?

Nuclear power is the use of nuclear reactions that release energy to generate heat, which most frequently is then used in steam turbines to produce electricity in a nuclear power station. Proponents argue that nuclear energy is now safe and emits much less carbon emissions than coal plants. Opponents argue that recent nuclear disasters in Japan prove that nuclear power is far from safe.

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