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Prisoners to have the vote because of European Court

8 replies

longfingernails · 02/11/2010 08:29

An appalling judgement by the European Court of Human Rights. Further evidence that we pulled out of this unaccountable system, and have these decisions made in Britain, by British politicians.

Even if you are diehard liberal, and want prisoners to have the right to vote - why should this decision rest in the hand of the Eurocrats?

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trailledog · 02/11/2010 08:35

The European Court for Human Rights isn't part of the EU

longfingernails · 02/11/2010 08:51

I know that - I didn't say it was.

What is your point?

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Chil1234 · 02/11/2010 09:10

The agreement to abide by the ruling of the ECHR was made by British politicians. The last government tried to kick it into the long grass. This government can't stall any longer. I don't think it is an 'appalling judgment' to treat prisoners like other members of the community and let them participate in the democratic process. Better than treating them like animals, surely?

longfingernails · 02/11/2010 11:49

Separate out the two issues.

Do you think prisoners should have the right to vote? I don't - you might.

Much more important is: who should decide whether prisoners have the right to vote? British politicians, or European judges? Allowing them to trample all over our sovereignty like this is yet another cowardly decision on European matters by this government. Withdrawing from the ECHR would be a far more appropriate response than cravenly giving in.

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Chil1234 · 02/11/2010 12:05

Withdrawing from the ECHR would be a retrograde step and would indicate to the rest of the world that we don't value human rights as much as we claim. The government still has scope to decide that some crimes result in forfeiting the vote even within this ruling. About time an 1870 piece of legislation was brought up to date.

I think 'trampling all over our sovereignty' and words like 'cowardly' and 'cravenly' are just your usual Daily-Mail-esque hyperbole lfn, sorry.

AppleTreeWick · 02/11/2010 12:20

Well I'll admit my total lack of knowledge in this area as a starting point.

I was actually surprised that prisoners didn't have the right to vote. The removal of that right is obviously a huge step for a society to take and obviously reflects a desire to emphasise how far beyond the bounds of that society the person has gone. (And obviously people will agree or disagree that that step is appropriate).

Anyway: My surprise puts me in favour of returning that right just as a matter of base principle. Namely that prisoners are still people, still subjects, still protected by laws and obviously still held to them. And I've always thought that universal suffrage is the baseline for that contract with the state (even though by being convicted of a crime they have clearly been held to have broken it).

I can't remember who said it but there is a saying along the lines of: the basic test of a civilisation is how it treats it's prisoners.

Anyway: One vote in favour here.

longfingernails · 02/11/2010 12:21

I would welcome the repeal of the Human Rights Act.

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AppleTreeWick · 02/11/2010 12:22

I'm not sure how often one can use "obviously" in a paragraph without looking like an idiot but I am clearly testing the bounds on that one. Sorry (obviously)

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