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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Prison votes verdict is up the poll

Prison votes verdict is up the poll

by Tony Parsons, Daily Mirror 12/02/2011

WHY shouldn’t prisoners have the vote? Tory MPs are getting their Y-fronts in a twist with the ­European Court of Human Rights, who insist that prisoners should not be disenfranchised.

“I don’t see any reason why prisoners should have the vote,” says Cameron.

Here is a reason. Prison is not just about punishment. It is also about rehabilitation. Prison is not about removing someone from society. Prison is – hopefully – teaching them a lesson so that they can start again when they get out.

I loathe European bossiness as much as the next man. In fact, I probably hate it far more than the next man. But Strasbourg is right on this one – prison inmates should have the vote. All of them. And if the rest of us can choose our MPs – or MEPs, lawmakers and local police chiefs – then prisoners should have that right too. Whatever they have done.

Democracy is not just about giving the vote to nice people. Democracy is about giving the vote to everyone.

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