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Prisoners Getting The Vote
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ForestHillier


Posts: 490
Joined: Jul 2010
Post: #1
10-02-2011 11:54 AM

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12409426

So what do we all feel about this proposal, myself, I think its a joke, commit a crime, get punished, yet still get to vote in elections, what next from the do-gooders, dont even imprison people who commit crimes

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michael


Posts: 3,200
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #2
10-02-2011 12:19 PM

ForestHillier Wrote:
what next from the do-gooders, dont even imprison people who commit crimes

That's correct. For some crimes a fine, a community service order, or other punishment may be appropriate. I don't think you are seriously arguing for the imprisonment of people parking illegally are you?

People on remand already have the right to vote (innocent until proven guilty) so it is not impossible for prisons to organise postal votes for prisoners who wish to vote, and participating in the country's democratic process may help rehabilitate some prisoners.

Of course some people are just scum and don't deserve the right to vote, not all of them in prison. But this does not excuse society taking away their right to vote which should be allowed as universal as practically possible (including for young people above the age of 16). I don't accept the argument that denying prisoners the right to vote will act as a deterrent or punishment, you might as well argue that they should lose their right to wear matching socks.

I would be happy for voting right to be taken away from prisoners who have taken away another person's right to vote - those convicted of murder and election fraud.

If it is good enough for Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Sweden and Zimbabwe, then it should be possible to achieve in the UK.

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #3
10-02-2011 12:32 PM

I agree with Michael. As I said on the 'criminal punishment' thread, the aim of imprisonment is to deprive people convicted of a crime of their freedom to live or travel to anywhere they want. It doesn't follow that they should be deprived of any other human rights.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #4
10-02-2011 06:27 PM

Michael . You seem to have included Zimbabwe as an example we ought to follow.
We should tell the so called court to jump in The Rhine. This has nothing to do with them at all.

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #5
10-02-2011 07:33 PM

Michael, I hope to hell we never get the judiciary from Zimbabwe or Kenya for that matter. I doubt Comrade Robert would pay to much attention to human rights legislation.

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michael


Posts: 3,200
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #6
10-02-2011 08:18 PM

I copied the complete list from Wikipedia, without editing out the examples where I felt their justice or electoral systems were less than perfect, it felt more honest to do so. My points still stand.

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roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #7
11-02-2011 01:05 AM

I don't see the problem. They are deprived of most liberties but I don't see why it should extend to the right to vote- that is a central human right. What would be clever would be to say yes but to provide compulsory classes/seminars on governance, society, and individual and collective responsibility and therefore encourage a bit of self reflection and philosophical discussion amongst prisoners. I bet a reasonabe percentage would find that challenging but interesting and who knows where it could lead. But of course that would be too clever and likely not to happen.

Its rich hearing MPs standing up and saying 'law breakers shouldnt be law makers' especially given the recent situation about MPs dipping their hands in the till.

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DerbyHillTop


Posts: 120
Joined: Aug 2008
Post: #8
11-02-2011 10:43 AM

I assume that everyone who complains about the 'prisoner' vote has voted themselves in all elections.

I can't see why incarceration should extend to loss of a vote. After all we are all (with few exceptions) equal in the law.

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ForestHillier


Posts: 490
Joined: Jul 2010
Post: #9
11-02-2011 10:52 AM

Surely if you commit a crime and are put behind bars, you should expect to lose all civil liberties and one of them is the right to vote

Yes of course they should be educated, so hopefully it leads them from the path of crime

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #10
11-02-2011 11:43 AM

'ForestHillier' said

Quote:
Surely if you commit a crime and are put behind bars, you should expect to lose all civil liberties

Not necessarily, though I agree some take that view. I don't; I believe it means a prisoner becomes in effect an outlaw, suffers 'civil death', is dehumanized. That seems to me to be both cruel and counter-productive (because it is discourages prisoners from thinking of themselves as potentially useful members of society - I agree with Roz's ideas about that.)

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michael


Posts: 3,200
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #11
11-02-2011 12:01 PM

foresthillier Wrote:
Surely if you commit a crime and are put behind bars, you should expect to lose all civil liberties


So if you drive above the speed limit you will accept that you will be imprisoned and lose ALL civil liberties - including right to life, freedom from torture, freedom from slavery and forced labour, freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, the right to due process, and to a trial. Those are your civil liberties.

It seems that you believe that the routine torture of prisioners for minor crimes is perfectly reasonable as you think they no longer have any rights or civil liberties.

Clearly some civil liberties are lost by prisoners who have committed serious offences (freedom of movement primarily), but that does not necessarily mean they should lose the right to vote or wear matching socks.

Roz's ideas for classes on governance makes sense, but I don't see why prisioners need to learn this any more than the 30% of the population who don't vote or those who think that voting for the winner of Strictly Big Brother is more important than for their MP.

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sandy


Posts: 189
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #12
11-02-2011 12:17 PM

I think people sometimes really underestimate the punishing effects of the lack of freedom of movement. Perhaps we take it for granted. Just listen to the accounts of people who are subject to control orders. Surely voting, at least in principle, begins to offer people a stake in the society most will rejoin.

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ForestHillier


Posts: 490
Joined: Jul 2010
Post: #13
11-02-2011 03:14 PM

yes a society they chose to p*** all over by commiting crimes against the good citizens who abide by the rules

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #14
11-02-2011 04:07 PM

Trying to see the other side here but cannot understand why our British Parliament is not able to write the laws for our UK . I understand the so called judges are of dubious vintage.

I am inclined to agree control orders are a waste of time.
If the party is not British they should be deported , simple as that. Not our business what their governments chose to do. We should not keep interfering with other countries business.

If there are and British citizens on control orders they should be charges or released.

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roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #15
11-02-2011 08:51 PM

By ' good citizens' do we include MP's and even several members of the police force themselves, as they have proved even very recently that they are not exactly squeaky clean. Then of course there are those members of the aristocracy and business leaders who from time to time end up in jail.

I do still think there is scope for imaginatively working in the concept of voting and democracy and wider society issues into prisoner rehab.

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bensonby


Posts: 32
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #16
11-02-2011 11:38 PM

Roz Wrote:
By ' good citizens' do we include MP's and even several members of the police force themselves, as they have proved even very recently that they are not exactly squeaky clean. Then of course there are those members of the aristocracy and business leaders who from time to time end up in jail.


What has that got to do with anything? Has anyone made a distinction between criminals of different ilks - arguing for and against different classes of crminals being given distinct voting rights?

Why attempt to turn quite a simple issue into some kind of class struggle?

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #17
12-02-2011 11:02 AM

Brian wrote:

Quote:
Trying to see the other side here but cannot understand why our British Parliament is not able to write the laws for our UK

Probably really a topic for a different thread. But I personally do not see why the power of the UK Parliament to do what it wants should not be limited by international agreements we have freely entered into, e.g. the European Convention on Human Rights, the UN Charter and the various treaties constituting the European Union. Pooled sovereignty can often produce better results than go-it-alone nationalism.

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DerbyHillTop


Posts: 120
Joined: Aug 2008
Post: #18
12-02-2011 11:18 AM

Robin I agree with you and to add my own thinking:

Surely the issue for some prisoners is a matter of timing if they will or not be able to vote. I imagine that there may be a considerable delay from someone committing a crime to that person being incarcerated. If the term is less than 5 years, then we just have a timing issue and I don't think that is good enough reason to prevent someone from having a vote. For those on longer sentences they are almost sure to have an election of some sort during their term, and I would still argue that sowing a little respect by allowing someone to contribute in a positive manner in a democracy should not be withdrawn. Criminals are being punished by being imprisoned (and let us not forget that sometimes an innocent person can spend time behind bars while their appeal is waiting to be heard)

It is interesting that opposition to prisoners having a vote is larger than the proportion of people who do vote. To me that is the problem with our democracy.

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ForestHillier


Posts: 490
Joined: Jul 2010
Post: #19
14-02-2011 03:07 PM

http://www.se23.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=4093

Still think scum who commit crimes like this should be allowed to vote

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michael


Posts: 3,200
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #20
14-02-2011 03:38 PM

It reinforces my belief that finding the culpits, understanding the situation that led to the death, and a fair trial, are all vital prior to sentencing.

There have been too many miscarriages of justice in this country to introduce a system that results in the death of more innocent people (who have been wrongly convicted). In your system not only will we see 'all criminals' going to prision even for petty offences, we will also see the execution of many innocent people.

Should the death penalty ever be reintroduce, all those who support it in any way will have the blood of innocent people on their hands.

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