Page last updated at 12:22 GMT, Friday, 29 August 2008 13:22 UK

Voters' Views: Antoine Delaforterie

Republicans are gathering for their party convention in St Paul, Minnesota as the election campaign shifts up a gear.

Here eight Republican voters from across the US look ahead to the convention and reflect on the state of the party and their presumptive nominee John McCain.

Antoine Delaforterie Automotive designer | Republican

I want the Republicans to be pro-business and work for smaller government

Antoine Delaforterie
Age: 47
Lives: Troy, Michigan
Occupation: Automotive designer
Last election voted:
In 10 words or fewer: Political misanthrope wishes the best of humanity but tempered by reality

"Neither candidate has impressed me this year.

The Democrats have been marching left since the 1960s and Obama is one of the most liberal candidates they have put forward. And I don't much like McCain either - there's something about him I don't entirely trust.

I am fiscal conservative and social libertarian. I want the Republicans to be pro-business and work for smaller government.

The party should also espouse individuals' rights and duties.

People should be more responsible for their own healthcare but the government should give us the tools to do so. Obama's healthcare scheme promises all things under the sun without mentioning the huge costs for taxpayers.

Many people mention McCain's age, but I think his greatest problem is the policies he supports.

On tobacco, his plan is to put even more taxes on top of the ludicrous ones that already exist. I like my vices and I'm getting tired of guys like McCain working towards prohibition through taxation. Is alcohol next?

That sort of thing makes him very much like a Democrat - a man who is willing to use legislation for social engineering.

My first thought on hearing about McCain's choice of running mate was: Sarah who? But she seems to have the fiscal conservative credentials we've been looking for."

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The readers' panel has been selected from as wide a cross-section of people as possible and may not be representative of wider US public opinion.

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