Eleventh International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns - Woltersdorf near Berlin, Germany 2006

Workshop 4: Arguments pro and contra a Peace Tax Law

[pdf version]

Moderation: Gertie Brammer 

Minutes: Gertie Brammer and Klaus Martin Voigt

10 Participants: Irene Auerbach, Sarah Barnett, Douglas Draper, Wolfgang Janisch, Günther Lott, Hilder Mariên, Henriette Naehring, Werner Neumann, Pedro Otaduy, Klausmartin Voigt (John and Nana Randall during the last 10 minutes).

Objective of the workshop

  1. The creation of a basic stock of objections and questions concerning a Peace Tax-Legislation and possible answers, and if necessary, for each nation group a collection of arguments related to its specific situation.
  2. Discussion about how to make these arguments accessible on internet.

What is the purpose?

In lobby work it is not only important to let one's  own conscience speak, but also

A first basic stock of questions and answers had been compiled by Gertie Brammer out of the “pro and cons” of Belgium, Canada and Germany. For this purpose the questions had been divided into the following sections:

  1. Conscience (impossible to be invalidated by law)
  2. Democracy (our claim is according to the constitution)
  3. Administration (Peace Tax Law is feasible and costs are extensively neutral)
  4. History (Pacifism = no fire brigade, it's a basic attitude)
  5. Present and future (Pacifism = dealing with conflicts in a non-violent way)
  6. Economy (main cause of all wars)
  7. Churches (what they say about “righteous” wars and actually existing wars?)

This first basic stock was discussed and supplemented with some more questions.

Gertie brought with her the German “pro and cons”, formulated by Klaus Martin Voigt.

From Alan Gamble we obtained the “pro and cons” of the USA (National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund), a more elaborated version of the “pro and cons” of Conscience Canada, and a presentation from the Mennonite view-point USA).

Sarah Barnett had brought with her a list with “pro and cons” from QCEA / Quaker Council for European Affairs.

All these papers were handed out; further copies can be ordered by email (Gertie).

Decisions

We decided to continue working as follows: