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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Prisoners should have voting rights

Prisoners should have voting rights

From Prisoners should have voting rights (sic)

The EU court say prisoners should have the right to vote but the British government is taking no notice. But why? Is it because prisoners have committed a crime? Or just because they are in prison? I wrote to Nigel Farage, of UKIP (the United Kingdom Independence Party, of which I am a member) asking why prisoners shouldn’t have the vote? He replied with – ‘Should Eric Illsley, the late MP for Barnsley, be allowed to vote in the upcoming by-election? I think not!!!’
But this begs the question, why not?

Eric Illsley fiddled his expenses whilst an MP, a criminal offence for which he is now serving a term of imprisonment. Let us suppose that instead of imprisonment he was given a large fine, community sentence, or even a suspended prison sentence. He would then have been able to vote in the by-election on the 3rd of March, even though he is no longer an MP. Let’s go a bit further – suppose that he was given bail pending an appeal. He would still be free to vote whilst on bail. So we can conclude that it is not the fact that he has committed a crime that bars him from voting, but the fact that he is in prison.

Is this because he cannot physically attend a polling station? But neither can service personnel, but they are allowed to vote. I pointed out to Mr Farage that the party that promises to give the vote to prisoners would have thousands of new members overnight! Every year thousands of people are sent to prison, and thousands are released. All have family, friends and even sympathisers, and yet no party seems willing to back prisoners voting rights and harvest the extra votes. The tabloids stir the pot by screaming ‘Murderers, Rapists, and Paedophiles!!!’ at every opportunity, as if these were the only people in prison, but I think the political parties are missing a golden opportunity here.

Source: Inside Time, Letters page, April 2011

Comment: The fucking knobheads have put the title twice rather than the name of the author of the letter!

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