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Parliament Refuses To Extend The Right To Vote To Prisoners

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This is quite interesting. My personal opinion is that I broadly agree with prisoners not having a vote.

However! What of people who believe that their crime should not even exist, surely they have a right to vote for a government which believes in de-criminalising it? The obvious example is that of homosexuality. It used to be an offence to engage in homosexual activity yet now, few people would take that view as most believe that individuals should be allowed to do as they please in that regard. Indeed, it would be considered a gross interference with ones human rights to be criminalised for such things.

So should prisoners get the vote on these grounds?

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I'm in two minds about this. If you are only locked away for a few months then a prisoner probably should have the vote, as he or she will be expected to participate in society when they are released, even though they have not been able to influence who governs when they are released. However if they have been put away for 20 years, then they probably should not, as their crime was probably also more serious. Perhaps they should be able to vote up to 5 years before they are due to be released?

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One of the other basic human rights is

"Article 11 protects the right to freedom of assembly and association,"

So what next? A prisoner argues their right to freedom of assembly and association is damaged by being in prison?

70% of people leave prison and re-offend. I'd say whatever rehabilitation we use doesn't work and we should stop the carrot and stick method and save money by making prison something so awful they themselves decide not to go back.

When we're about to cut budgets for old people and the young, it seems morally sick to allow prisoners a high standard of life inside prison.

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Theft can be seen as a political statement, the thief is exerting his presumed right to steal. Thieves would vote for the legalisation of theft, by preventing them voting, we are suppressing a minority opinion. Consider the case of the political terrorist, a bad man perhaps, but not an ignorant one. Anyone who feels so passionate about political issues that one would perform such an act, shows they have considered the issues deeply. Lets not forget that for everyone like that, there will be thousands of ignorant voters swamping their vote.

Thus I am all in favour of giving prisoners the right to vote.

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One of the other basic human rights is

"Article 11 protects the right to freedom of assembly and association,"

So what next? A prisoner argues their right to freedom of assembly and association is damaged by being in prison?

70% of people leave prison and re-offend. I'd say whatever rehabilitation we use doesn't work and we should stop the carrot and stick method and save money by making prison something so awful they themselves decide not to go back.

When we're about to cut budgets for old people and the young, it seems morally sick to allow prisoners a high standard of life inside prison.

They should all sue and get millions in compo, you know its the right thing to do

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They should all sue and get millions in compo, you know its the right thing to do

The first to sue should have their prison costs deducted from any settlement.

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Theft can be seen as a political statement, the thief is exerting his presumed right to steal. Thieves would vote for the legalisation of theft, by preventing them voting, we are suppressing a minority opinion. Consider the case of the political terrorist, a bad man perhaps, but not an ignorant one. Anyone who feels so passionate about political issues that one would perform such an act, shows they have considered the issues deeply. Lets not forget that for everyone like that, there will be thousands of ignorant voters swamping their vote.

Thus I am all in favour of giving prisoners the right to vote.

And such a person shows that they are incapable of dealing with the issue in a decent, acceptable manner, so screw them. You can't argue that someone's got a right to vote without arguing that they've got a right not to be locked up, so you may as well scrap prisons if you're going to be consistent.

That said, I agree with an earlier poster who said that perhaps they should have the right to vote if they're not in prison for long; the idea that you may or may not get to vote simply depending upon timing doesn't seem right.

Incidentally, can people on bail vote at present?

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Prison is a form of punishment which means some freedoms, rights and privileges are withdrawn whilst the sentence is being served.

One of those rights that are withdrawn is the right to vote.

What could be simpler? Its part of the penalty.

On the issue of interfering with ones rights, at court the human rights acts can be argued then. Likewise some UK acts or law may not be legal and are just waiting to be challenged in court.

What about my example though? Where the crime its self is one whereby you break the law simply by exercising your human rights (as in being gay, as it was prior to 1967, or whenever) surely you have a right to try and have those rights recognised, the right to have your particular crim decriminalised? Also, what about the situation where you feel as though you have been unfairly convicted and a potential future government had pledged to review the rules of evidence or procedure use to convict you?

Another point may be that if you are due to comple a sentence during the next Parliamentary term is there an argument that you should be allowed to vote as you will have completed your sentence and then will be living under a government you haven't had the opportunity to vote for? If you can't vote then, in effect it means that the sentence (the detriment to your freedoms that you have to suffer) actually extends beyond what the Court has handed down.

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They should all sue and get millions in compo, you know its the right thing to do

I actually agree with Jack Straw on this one - and that's something I don't like having to say! He's right when he pointed out that the PM is wrong that it will costs the country hundreds of millions in compensation pay-outs because it won't. People can only be awarded damages to compensate for their loss and I fail to see how you can quantify your loss in financial terms due to not being allowed to vote. Someone denied the vote hasn't actually lost out financially because of it.

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And such a person shows that they are incapable of dealing with the issue in a decent, acceptable manner, so screw them. You can't argue that someone's got a right to vote without arguing that they've got a right not to be locked up, so you may as well scrap prisons if you're going to be consistent.

That said, I agree with an earlier poster who said that perhaps they should have the right to vote if they're not in prison for long; the idea that you may or may not get to vote simply depending upon timing doesn't seem right.

Incidentally, can people on bail vote at present?

Yes you can because it's well established that certain judicial penalties which remove peoples human rights to a certain extent are compatible with the law. Human rights are not absolute and can be abrogated if it's reasonable to do so. You can, for instance kill or injure someone in self defence and the ECHR doesn't even prohibit capital punishment.

It comes down to what is reasonable and proportunate.

Yes, people on remand, imprisoned for non-payment of fines or contempt can currently vote.

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I reckon most prisoners would be Labour voters ( :D:D ) so I wonder if they will jump on this one

I notice that most Labour MP's abtsained. Surely you are either for or against something like this?

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I notice that most Labour MP's abtsained. Surely you are either for or against something like this?

I am a free man ( I think).

I am AGAINST them getting the vote!!

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However! What of people who believe that their crime should not even exist, surely they have a right to vote for a government which believes in de-criminalising it? The obvious example is that of homosexuality. It used to be an offence to engage in homosexual activity yet now, few people would take that view as most believe that individuals should be allowed to do as they please in that regard. Indeed, it would be considered a gross interference with ones human rights to be criminalised for such things.

So should prisoners get the vote on these grounds?

Yes, that is precisely the reason why prisoners should generally be permitted to vote. The law is not fixed in stone, but reflects our society's current consensus on what is right or wrong.

If prisoners cannot vote, you could end up with situation in which the majority of the population do not agree that a particular act should be a crime, but cannot achieve a majority to change the law criminalising it because so many offenders against that law are not permitted to vote! This is clearly undemocratic.

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So the Eu says 'everyone should have the right to vote" does it???

And remind me again, how many Europeans got to have their say on the Lisbon treaty???

...and of those (few) who did, how many said "no" and then were offered a second go at it later on?

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So the Eu says 'everyone should have the right to vote" does it???

And remind me again, how many Europeans got to have their say on the Lisbon treaty???

...and of those (few) who did, how many said "no" and then were offered a second go at it later on?

Now now back in your corner, under the carpet it all goes.

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So the Eu says 'everyone should have the right to vote" does it???

And remind me again, how many Europeans got to have their say on the Lisbon treaty???

...and of those (few) who did, how many said "no" and then were offered a second go at it later on?

Actually the European Court of Human Rights is a body of the Council of Europe, which is a separate entity to the EU. This has nothing to do with the EU.

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I'm in two minds about this. If you are only locked away for a few months then a prisoner probably should have the vote, as he or she will be expected to participate in society when they are released, even though they have not been able to influence who governs when they are released. However if they have been put away for 20 years, then they probably should not, as their crime was probably also more serious. Perhaps they should be able to vote up to 5 years before they are due to be released?

If you were locked away for 20 years for the crime of being a supporter of the Labour Party, would you still agree?

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Another example may be drugs laws. Our drugs legislation is probably harsher than the majority of the population would like, precisely because so many offenders against the relevant laws are not permitted to vote for politicians in favour of changing them. This is not democratic.

More ominously, the disenfranchisement of prisoners could, in principle, be used by an authoritarian government to cement itself in power by criminalising its opponents. Allowing prisoners to vote strengthens democracy by closing this route to dictatorship. The Germans, who have had recent experience with the subversion of democracy, recognise this and actively encourage prisoners to vote.

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Actually the European Court of Human Rights is a body of the Council of Europe, which is a separate entity to the EU. This has nothing to do with the EU.

Bzzt, fail. From the commandments of HPC, thou shalt not debunk anti-EU propaganda.

As for the Lisbon treaty, erm, well, how many people had the vote on [any piece of legislation you care to name]? Voting directly on Lisbon would've been the most stupid exercise you could devise, given how many people have read it vs how many only know anything about it through VI propaganda. If any referendum on the EU makes sense, it would have to be on a much clearer question, like the one we voted on in the only UK-wide referendum in our history.

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If you were locked away for 20 years for the crime of being a supporter of the Labour Party, would you still agree?

The labour party did this. They declared that those who state opinions different from their own were guilty of 'hate crimes'. If someone of a conservative mind set states their deeply held opinion, its off to prison with them. It raises the question of who is the liberal and who the conservative, nothing liberal about locking up dissenters. A convenient way of gerrymandering by declaring all the opposition criminals, because of their views, just like the third world dictators.

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This is quite interesting. My personal opinion is that I broadly agree with prisoners not having a vote.

However! What of people who believe that their crime should not even exist, surely they have a right to vote for a government which believes in de-criminalising it? The obvious example is that of homosexuality. It used to be an offence to engage in homosexual activity yet now, few people would take that view as most believe that individuals should be allowed to do as they please in that regard. Indeed, it would be considered a gross interference with ones human rights to be criminalised for such things.

So should prisoners get the vote on these grounds?

If they were to give the vote to prisoners, some other folks might start getting uppity about it.

Lower than a convict

Today’s news: convicted prisoners are to get the vote.

It’s one more tiny token of just how marginalised you can be by the economic exclusion of being stuck in the private rental market. As in, when I moved here I lost the opportunity to vote, by being ineligible to get onto the electoral register in time for the election. I even asked the council about it, and they confirmed that I couldn’t vote.

It’s not even as if I had a choice about when to move house. Private tenants have no security, and my former landlady gave me notice to quit because she was selling up and returning to her native Switzerland after divorcing her English ex-husband. Unlike the rich (homeowners) or indeed the rich-by-proxy (social tenants), we are completely at the mercy of a total stranger. And now, just to rub it in, convicts in prison are elevated above us.

FWIW, I first had the vote in a UK general election in 1983, when I was a postgraduate student at Cambridge. We’ve had six further elections since then, but I’ve had the vote in exactly one of those. Lifetime track record of the universal franchise: two of seven!

Still, it’s all pretty symbolic. The real kick in the teeth is the living conditions we endure. No security, arbitrary rules and restrictions (like not putting a picture up on the walls), and above all paying rents in a market massively inflated by taxpayer-funded housing benefit.

But here’s the rub. Maybe if we’d had the vote over the years, governments would have noticed. Maybe we’d've been spared decades of paying three times over[1] for property pimps to get obscenely rich exploiting us.

[1] First through taxes, some of which are channeled into housing, both in ‘affordable’ and ‘social’ housing, and in housing benefit. Second through rent, which is inflated by having to compete with housing benefit recipients who have no incentive to seek a good deal. And third, if I get rich enough to buy, by prices inflated by all that public money, including not least the inflated yields (rents) for property pimps.

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  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


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