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Thread: Should prisoners have the vote?

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    Senior Member Mr Muckspreader's Avatar
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    Default Should prisoners have the vote?

    Seeing as Question Time was from 'The Scrubs' this evening, I thought it wouldn't take long before this question popped up.

    Personally I think this should be part of the deterence. If you commit a crime, then your right to vote should be taken away from you as it is at present. You should only get it back when you've done the time.

    As it is I don't think many of the people who commit enough crimes to land up in prison will really give a rats arse about voting anyway.
    To the bleeding heart who commented that it was "all about rehabilitation", I say it's something to look forward to when you get out and stay on the straight and narrow.

    As to the prison system, I've got lots of muck to spread and red diesel has just gone up again. Can anyone see where this is going!!

    Msr de Merde

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    Senior Member Stephen H's Avatar
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    Well I agree with you, up to a point. The problem I have is that there are lots of people who should not be in prison.
    People who have not paid their poll tax bill for example. Believe it or not, somepeople just cant afford to pay and for one reason or another they end up behind bars.
    That person, in my eyes, is not a criminal, in fact the poll tax is criminal. I see no reason why people who are incarcerated for such trivial things should lose their right to vote, in fact, the very point of the vote is to protest against what you see as unjust and I should imagine that many people see the poll tax as unjust.

    As for the rest, rapists, murderers, thieves etc etc, yes they do deserve to lose their voting rights.

  3. #3

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    I watched 'QT' also. The think that always irritates me is the rehabilitation discussion. If you take people who are out of work because their industry has gone -who retrains them - no one unless they can afford to pay for training -which cotss thousnads and thousands-and thousands particularly if you are considering a professional qualification.

    The reality is lose your job and part from the dole you are on your own. Yet if you murder someone or burgle someone's house and you get taught a skill or a trade for free...

    As for should prisoners have the vote- how can I put this NO.

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    Super Moderator eatmywords's Avatar
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    I suppose that opens up the question of the right of work and the privilege of work; does anyone owe you a living just for living. If you think about, it's not an easy question with all the government interference, such as hospitals, schools and universities.

    I don't think it a good idea to give prisoners a vote as it is associated with liberty. But also can you imagine MPs going to the prisons to canvas their vote, while their victim sits outside demanding tougher criminal reform? And what happens to the innocent presumed guilty? If you remove their vote for 18 years, how much will we have to pay for that?
    Faced with certain disaster, defiance is the only answer.

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    You lose a lot of your rights in prison, and not being able to vote is just one. Not having the missus in there with you is another, Where does it end? It won,t be long now and some bright lawyer will be argueing that it was your human right to commit a crime in the first place. All a bit far fetched?Well in my younger days, the proposal to allow prisoners to vote would have been far fetched, yet here we are talking about it, because it is a possibility. Off the subject, eatmywords, but an interesting thought, non the less, your right its not an easy question, could the answer be ,that you are not owed a living just for living, but you are owed a living for your allegiance.

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    Administrator Will's Avatar
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    Personally, I believe that any person who chooses to act outside of societies laws, has forfeited their right to be a part of that society. I agree that there are plenty of people who shouldn't be in prison, but that is a seperate issue.

    Not to detract from the thread too much, but I also believe that building more prisons is a mistake. It didn't work in America, and I can't see it working here.
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    Super Moderator eatmywords's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mack View Post
    ....Off the subject, eatmywords, but an interesting thought, non the less, your right its not an easy question, could the answer be ,that you are not owed a living just for living, but you are owed a living for your allegiance.
    That is an interesting perspective Mack, but unfortunately untrue in most post-war history. If we need to go back that far, William set England ablaze with victory. The Napoleonic Wars did not fiscally settle until the Corn Laws were repealed in the 40s. The government didn't even bother paying the passage home for some sick and wounded during the Crimea. WWI ran into the Depression of the 1930s. Interestingly though, the peace settled after WWII did provide a material increase in wealth. But the deterioration in community relations does not instil confidence in broad support in another time of crisis. Unless however massive unemployment occurs which would drive large numbers to support the Services. What a vicious circle.

    Is this the turning point? Where war-devastated countries improve their material existence only if the God of Capital's perversions are fully satisfied?
    Faced with certain disaster, defiance is the only answer.

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    The Friendly Ghost! Casper's Avatar
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    I don't just think that prisoners should have the right to vote, the prison population should even have their own political representation too in the form of an MP.

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    I feel sick.

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    The Friendly Ghost! Casper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ishouldberunningthecountr View Post
    I feel sick.
    So too would I, a few years ago. But I now realise that such a view is irrational.

    I think the purpose of imprisonment should be threefold: protection, deterrence, and rehabilitation. There is no logic to disenfranchisement. Allowing all prisoners the right to vote could even assist with rehabilitation (though of course I wouldn't overstate this). It is otherwise simply punitive to remove a prisoner’s right to vote, and nothing else.

    If it were a choice of either disenfranchising all prisoners or enfranchising all prisoners, I’d err on the side of caution and choose the latter. Leaving aside the legitimacy of democracy, it is against democratic principles for the state to dictate who can and cannot vote.

    The electorate chooses the government, not the other way around.

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