Saturday, 18 December 2010

An Elegant Compromise..?

So, since we don't have anyone with the backbone to tell the ECHR to shove it, I guess this is the best we can hope for (and is a lot better than we could have had from Labour, or that worst of all possibilities, a Lab-Lib coalition):
Criminals sentenced to four years or more will be automatically excluded from the right to vote when it is extended to prisoners.
And in addition:
And sentencing judges will be given the discretion to stop those handed down a jail term of less than four years from casting a ballot while they are behind bars.
And to quell the fears of Inspector Gadget:
New legislation - due to be tabled in Parliament next year - will grant prisoners the right to vote only in elections to Westminster and the European Parliament, meaning that they will not have a voice in ballots for directly elected police chiefs.
Whoever said that 'politics was the art of the possible' wasn't wrong, and it remains to be seen whether this will mass muster with our real political overlords in Brussels (and it'll certainly be challenged by the hordes of do-gooders), but it's certainly better than it could have been.

If you doubt that, just take a look at the reaction of those pushing for it:
"I will criticise this when I get the full judgment. However, Chivers (solicitos) and Hugh Southey (Tooks Chambers) should never, ever, be allowed anywhere near a prisoners rights case again. They are both so incompetent they should be struck off! As for LLJs Law and Carnwath, and Lord Neuberger MR, you would be hard pressed to find 3 more corrupt judges in totalitarian regimes worse than the one we have in this country."
Awww, don't go away mad, Hirst, just... well, you get the picture.

And can I just add something?

7 comments:

ranter said...

I dunno, you rape and then murder your little niece (or was it the other way round); then the system lets you continue to breathe BUT you can't vote? What a disgrace. We really do have our value systems screwed up?

Bucko said...

Is the four year thing anything to do with the length of a term of Parliament?

If your sentance is less than four years then you could be voting for whoever will be in power when you get out.

If your sentance is over four years then whoever gets in, you will still be in prison so shouldnt have a say in the matter anyway.

Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

I quite agree that criminals should not be allowed to vote. Those who plunder decent people should suffer the consequences of their evil.

Since public-sector employees are likewise armed robbers they too should be forbidden from voting.

Ian F4 said...

Here's my solution to Prisoner Voting:

The prison population can constitute its own separate constituency, I think there is actually enough for two seats.

That way, having one or two pro-Prisoner MPs is going to achieve squat all, it is highly unlikely any of the main parties will field candidates and those that do wont get elected anyway.

Anonymous said...

I'll only be happy with the compromise if it really, and I mean really, upsets the leftoids at the Guardian.

allcoppedout said...

Prisoners voting rights is a tiny issue. The law-makers need shaking out of their tree.

JuliaM said...

"...then the system lets you continue to breathe BUT you can't vote?"

Terrible, isn't it?

"Is the four year thing anything to do with the length of a term of Parliament?"

It does make you wonder exactly how they arrived at that term, doesn't it?

"I'll only be happy with the compromise if it really, and I mean really, upsets the leftoids at the Guardian."

Since anything less than full and abject surrender will do that, let's hope you get your wish!

"Prisoners voting rights is a tiny issue."

But a very important one, as a symbol...