Results are out! Find what you need...fast. Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey there Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Prisoners voting

Announcements Posted on
  • View Poll Results: Should prisoners be allowed to vote?
    Yes
    93
    32.63%
    No
    192
    67.37%

    • 39 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Beebumble)
    I'm for Europe, for human rights, left wing but this is just too far. If they want the right to vote they should have thought about that before they committed a crime. It's part of their punishment as well as imprisonment and it should stay that way.
    Going to be honest and say I thought you would be in favour of this.
    • 6 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by meenu89)
    Going to be honest and say I thought you would be in favour of this.
    I thought people would think that. It's just so many other laws in European countries (here and abroad)that aren't really in line with the human rights act which I think should be dealt with over this one. Also not being allowed to vote whilst in prison is a pretty minor punishment considering what some other countries do with their prisoners
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Beebumble)
    I'm for Europe, for human rights, left wing but this is just too far. If they want the right to vote they should have thought about that before they committed a crime. It's part of their punishment as well as imprisonment and it should stay that way.
    You assume that the law is always there to serve the best interests of society - as demonstrated in many countries both in the past, and in the present (e.g Hungary at the moment), the law is often changed to serve the best interests of the government, and to persecute those who criticize the government. Whilst it is unlikely that such extreme law changes will ever happen in the UK, the principle still stands; by not allowing prisoners to vote, the state has the power to select it's electorate - hardly democratic, is it?.

    Secondly, you are implying that all prisoners are the same - that a single mother who shoplifted some food to feed her children is the same as a rapist, and thus should be treated the same with regards to voting rights. A better system would be at least one similar to Australia's where those serving a sentence under three years can still vote. However, as it stands, the UK is amongst a select few countries in Europe that do have a complete ban - amongst those also with a complete ban are stalwarts of human development and democracy such as Russia, Romania and Hungary.
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by meenu89)
    Anyone in prison should not be allowed the vote.
    Exactly. The other day I was going to nick someone's bike but, just before I put my foot on the pedal, I remembered that if I was caught I would temporarily lose my suffrage!

    So, it's just as well the government can remove people's right to vote at the drop of a hat*. Who knows how many crimes are being prevented every day by this fantastic piece of legislation? Shame on the EU!

    * Before anyone asks, no, you don't need a fair trial to be imprisoned on Election Day, thanks to our various anti-terrorism laws**.
    ** What's that you say? In Britain, people don't get arrested for political purposes? Wrong again.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    What about those who are wrongfully imprisoned?

    I'd rather see the rightly and the wrongly imprisoned get the right to vote as opposed to neither.
    • 6 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by FDR)
    You assume that the law is always there to serve the best interests of society - as demonstrated in many countries both in the past, and in the present (e.g Hungary at the moment), the law is often changed to serve the best interests of the government, and to persecute those who criticize the government. Whilst it is unlikely that such extreme law changes will ever happen in the UK, the principle still stands; by not allowing prisoners to vote, the state has the power to select it's electorate - hardly democratic, is it?.

    Secondly, you are implying that all prisoners are the same - that a single mother who shoplifted some food to feed her children is the same as a rapist, and thus should be treated the same with regards to voting rights. A better system would be at least one similar to Australia's where those serving a sentence under three years can still vote. However, as it stands, the UK is amongst a select few countries in Europe that do have a complete ban - amongst those also with a complete ban are stalwarts of human development and democracy such as Russia, Romania and Hungary.
    Your two points seem contradictory to me - either you believe the government shouldn't be able to pick its electorate or you don't. If you start saying that people who commit certain crimes can have the vote while others can't, you give the government the power to select the electorate. While I think it is preferable that at least some of the prison population will be able to vote, it is still unfair and undemocratic to deny some people their vote because of a crime they have committed.
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ArtGoblin)
    Your two points seem contradictory to me - either you believe the government shouldn't be able to pick its electorate or you don't. If you start saying that people who commit certain crimes can have the vote while others can't, you give the government the power to select the electorate. While I think it is preferable that at least some of the prison population will be able to vote, it is still unfair and undemocratic to deny some people their vote because of a crime they have committed.
    Well, it's a compromise - hence my use of the phrase 'at least'. Unfortunately, I can't imagine any political party supporting full voting rights for prisoners, however, a good compromise is allowing those who will have left prison whilst the government following elections will still be in place, thus they will be more affected by the decisions made by that government, and have more of a case to vote. Ideally, everyone should have the right, but we don't live in an ideal world.

    I believe that the issue the ECHR has with the UK system isn't that it doesn't let all prisoners vote, but that it doesn't let any - infact, the EU let's individual countries regulate how they restrict prisoner voting rights, so I think the issue at hand is that the UK hasn't taken a considered approach, but just put a full on ban.
    • 39 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by electriic_ink)
    x

    I'm standing by what I said.
    • 6 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by FDR)
    You assume that the law is always there to serve the best interests of society - as demonstrated in many countries both in the past, and in the present (e.g Hungary at the moment), the law is often changed to serve the best interests of the government, and to persecute those who criticize the government. Whilst it is unlikely that such extreme law changes will ever happen in the UK, the principle still stands; by not allowing prisoners to vote, the state has the power to select it's electorate - hardly democratic, is it?.

    Secondly, you are implying that all prisoners are the same - that a single mother who shoplifted some food to feed her children is the same as a rapist, and thus should be treated the same with regards to voting rights. A better system would be at least one similar to Australia's where those serving a sentence under three years can still vote. However, as it stands, the UK is amongst a select few countries in Europe that do have a complete ban - amongst those also with a complete ban are stalwarts of human development and democracy such as Russia, Romania and Hungary.
    Everyone has the right to vote when they're 18 that is democratic. However, some people forgo those rights by making the choice to commit crime. Everyone knows the law they know if they get caught they may go to prison and they may loose the right to vote. Yes there are laws (very few at this time in this country) that are unfair but lets work on getting those 'legalised' so people don't have to go to prison because of them in the first place.

    Secondly, of course I know there are different levels of crime that's why we have different sentence. Again, wouldn't it be better to work on things so that a mother doesn't have to shoplift to get food for her kids. You're unlikely to go to prison for shoplifting anyway.
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by meenu89)
    I'm standing by what I said.
    Despite the fact that it obviously doesn't do anything to prevent crime.

    Why do you want prison sentences to mean automatic loss of suffrage?
    • 6 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by FlickerWick)
    What about those who are wrongfully imprisoned?

    I'd rather see the rightly and the wrongly imprisoned get the right to vote as opposed to neither.
    As sad as it is that people are wrongly convicted we can't work our prison system around it (apart from when it comes to something permanent like the death penalty) otherwise we'd have all prisoners allowed out in case they were wrongly convicted. If someone's found guilty then the sad truth is we have to assume they're guilty.

    Those held in custody awaiting trial do have the right to vote ircc?
    • 39 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by electriic_ink)
    Despite the fact that it obviously doesn't do anything to prevent crime.
    Never said it did.

    Why do you want prison sentences to mean automatic loss of suffrage?
    Because the House of Commons voted for it to remain so. If parliament does/ did vote for it then I would accept it but that wouldn't mean I agree with it.
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by meenu89)
    Never said it did.
    Never said you said it did.

    Because the House of Commons voted for it to remain so. If parliament does/ did vote for it then I would accept it but that wouldn't mean I agree with it.
    The UK government also agreed to be part of the Council of Europe.
    • 39 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by electriic_ink)
    Never said you said it did.



    The UK government also agreed to be part of the Council of Europe.
    Well the UK Government and Opposition disagrees with the Council of Europe on this matter, and rightly so.
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by meenu89)
    Well the UK Government and Opposition disagrees with the Council of Europe on this matter, and rightly so.
    Do you say that because you hate the idea of prisoners voting or because you hate the idea of foreigners deciding British law?
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Putting a total ban on pretty much anything is stupid. Use it as part of the rehabilitative process, a symbol of their coming back into society.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    If the Coalition is pushing the Big Society, surely restricting them from voting isolates them from the community when they leave prison, and makes it more difficult to rehabilitate prisoners.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I was kind of on the fence about this, as there are people in prison who are innocent, but on reflection they are an incredibly small minority, and I think that as prison is supposed to be a punishment, a fairly natural part of going to prison and losing your freedom is also losing your voting rights. Once the punishment ends, you get your rights back.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I have sort of changed my opinion on this slightly, initially I was completely against prisoners getting the vote. However, on reflection I don't think it's fair that somebody who gets 7 days in prison for not being able to pay their council tax might just be unlucky enough to have their sentence dished out the day before an election, then somebody could get an 8 year sentence for armed robbery, only serve half of it, and just by the luck of sentencing and release dates might not miss an election.

    I would like to see something along the lines of prisoners who are given sentences by a magistrate's court (their maximum sentencing power is 6 months for a single offence or 12 months for multiple offences) being able to vote and those who are sentenced by crown court or higher not having the right to vote, they should also be ineligible to vote at the next election after their release, this way removing the element of luck involved in sentencing and release dates. The magistrate's court is also where most miscarriages of justice occur, because most magistrates know very little about the law.
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    People have the right to vote, sure. They also have the right to life, to privacy and to have their property respected and not stolen. People in prison have often violated these rights and as such they must forfeit some of their own.

    I personally know someone in prison. His sentence probably won't last as long as it's supposed to and he will probably be free in the next few years to resume life. However, my friend that he killed will still be dead. I think that while he is in prison he should be punished, as is the point of jail. He does not deserve the right to vote. Why should he have a say in government when my friend will never get a say on anything ever again?

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: June 10, 2012
New on TSR

Find out what year 11 is like

Going into year 11? Students who did it last year share what to expect.

Article updates
Useful resources
Reputation gems:
You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.