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Votes for disappearing threads.
My mouse pointer is hovvering over the '^This' link on the 'Yes' reply, but I can't quite bring myself to click.
except he lost the vote to barabbas (sp?)
2. damn you - that was an open goal
(This is John Hirst, the out-on-licence murderer who hacked his defenceless aged landlady to death with an axe, celebrating the votes for prisoners ruling.) From Guido Fawkes but it's for the best if he didn't get the extra visits.
Reminds me of something out of Monkey Dust.
but only for designated prison MPs, who would have less rights than other members of Parliament and would be forced to live in cells under Portcullis House, and their expenses budget would be limited to the price of a bowl of gruel per day (price measured outside London).
Also they have to address the speaker as "boss"
if the general population can't fucking do the right thing, what are the criminally minded going to choose?
i can see why it could be said that they should but really, i think that they commited a crime against society and until that debt is paid, that they should respect the fact that they have sacrificed certain freedoms.
and I could become prime minister (because if you try hard enough you can achieve anything).
Then I could "treat all the prisoners really badly" and they couldn't do anything.
Just a thought experiment.
You know the thought that prisoners are still members of society and not some nutter thought that they're not because they don't drive around places and have parties and not pay taxes like we do because they chose to abstain from great britain.
and if the prisoners could vote against, would their number make a significant enough impact overall to stop this? especially if we're assuming it's the current voting system in which case it's fucked anyway.
People wouldn't vote for that, but it could happen in the current system right?
I mean you could also argue that gays or blacks or women don't deserve the vote because they've forfeited it by not conforming with this "SO CALLED" christian society and you probably would you homorasexist.
even if the prison population DID have a vote?
I sort of see the intuitive force of this argument. But ultimately your last two words tell against it: "certain freedoms". We don't take prisoners to give up their freedom from physical torture, degradation / humiliation, a basic standard of living etc, even for the duration of their sentence.
So really this isn't inherently a question of whether criminals "sacrifice certain freedoms" when they commit crimes. It's a question of whether voting ought to be counted amongst that set of freedoms. Which, to me, is a complex policy debate with no easy answer.
but i don't think not being able to vote* = torture.
if you put "freedoms" on a scale of ultimate freedom-execution i doubt that not being able to vote would be far down the line. all personal opinion of course, but i would say it can do them no harm to appreciate the choices they were able to/would have been able to make.
*including x-factor voting
My point is more that it isn't a foregone conclusion where we should draw the line.
The ECHR argument that Britain has so stubbornly resisted for ages is motivated by the idea that voting is a pretty fundamental right: the foremost method of participating in civic life. Some might think that this puts it high up the scale of freedoms, because it's integral to one's status as a citizen. Others might think that this makes it particularly apt for exclusion as a response to crime (this has often been the line in British public discourse).
In short: moral grey area, rich tapestry, yadda yadda...
but for me i'm saying that i, personally, don't believe that they should have the right to vote. i do believe it to be a right of a law-abiding citizen.
I just think it's worth bearing in mind how culturally conditioned our intuitions about punishment are. Less than two centuries ago we saw nothing problematic about hanging 7-year-olds for stealing bread, because the right to life was thought only to apply to law-abiding citizens. It was considered compassionate to substitute a sentence of 100 lashes and transportation for life...
i understand it's all about the grey zone but not being able to vote is not a physical punishment, it isn't humiliating and can't really be compared to all of the extreme punisments you've used as examples.
the line has to be drawn somewhere and tbh this is the place i'm sticking at.
the severity of these punishments with taking away voting rights. Clearly that would be mental.
My point is more to highlight that punishment has been thought of so differently over time and between cultures that it's also a bit mental to trust your intuitions too much. It was "obvious" 200 years ago that criminals forfeited their right to life. It's "obvious" to us now that they forfeit their right to vote.
In 200 years' time both of these opinions might be thought savage... but it might equally be "obvious" that criminals give up their right to freedom from degradation and humiliation, in light of which we can (say) put them in the stocks or some innovative futuristic equivalent.
but my basic thoughts are with darcy below. it may be out dated reasoning in time to come, but RIGHT NOW, my opinion is that criminals should not be able to make actions which shape society.
i'll think about this in the future and see what happens but really. the line DOES need to be drawn somewhere and where as the fear of law/god was important in older times, well i don't want to get into this. i do believe that an increase in security measures have reduced the need for fear and it's an entirely different matter.
idk. i'd be able to explain myself properly if i wasn't running on diet coke and 4.5 hours sleep.
it's a big debate, is crime and punishment and goes far beyond the issue of voting...
We have to do it somewhere. Personally I'm more open to refusing prisoners the vote than a lot of people "on the left" (ugh). I'm just vaguely gesturing towards the aforementioned rich tapestryness of it all without having any real solutions ;-)
it is quite interesting!
but voting is a "freedom of expression" surely?
"freedom of expression without explicit consequence unto society as a whole" or something?
i'm too hungover for this thread. we're in complete agreement of course i'm just being a pedant.
Yeah, sure, why not. Would be amusing to see how they voted anyway.
And when they've paid there debt to society they can again.
There is a lot of talk of it being a "basic human right". But so are things like being able to live wherever you like - of course prisoners are not allowed this freedom because their actions have resulted in some of their freedom's and human rights being taken away.
I've yet to hear an argument that persuades me otherwise, but I'm honestly open to one that will change my mind.
I have no idea what exactly are considered human rights and what are not. But I know that prisoners certainly don't have the same freedoms as myself, as a a free person.
I don't think prisoners should have the freedom to vote.
They're prisoners because the judicial system has decreed that they should be, they're not (or shouldn't be) enemies of the state.
I know it sounds like bum-fluff political theorising, but I do think it's an important part of keeping the political and judicial spheres seperate (which is a good thing). Curtailing prisoners' human rights should be avoided as far as possible - obviously keeping them locked up is arguably against their human rights, but it's a necessary part of protecting the public/themselves/and rehabilitating them. They're still allowed freedom of expression, freedom of religion etc, why not emacipation?
^this has been written in short batches over the last ten or fifteen minutes, feel free to ignore.
i understand completely but still don't agree.
I hadn't thought about it from the perspective of separating the political and judicial spheres.
But I guess for me, it's still a case of punishment. You're not stripping them of their political views (just as you wouldn't strip them of their religious views).
However, voting at it's core is the right to actively do your bit to shape society - I don't think people in prison should have that right or freedom. Just as (taking the religious analogy) they are not allowed to attend their chosen place of worship and actively shape and influence it.
They are allowed to practice their chosen faith behind bars (I would imagine), but that does not have ramifications for society as a whole - it is purely a conversation between them and their god.
ie people in open or low-security prisons. They're allowed a greater degree of freedom and do get back into society prior to their 'release'.
I take your point with regard to the proper bonkers ones mind.
I have actually been thinking about a less black and white approach.
One suggestion is that people serving shorter terms for less serious crimes could potentially be allowed to vote. But I think that would lead to resentment and all kinds of problems between inmates.
My suggestion would be that once people have served a percentage of their sentence, they be allowed to vote - as kind of a reward and insentive and as part of the rehabilitation process.
I know you like that idea Roy! Can you fax it over to Cameron when you get a minute?
they get the vote back.
I would have thought you get your vote back then anyway...
I still think just give them the vote. It's hardly the biggest punishment in the world, 'you can't vote'. Not quite up there with 'you can't see your family and you have to live in a little room with a load of crims'. The only major practical objection is that they'd all vote for non-mainstream political parties, but you can't stop people voting just because you don't like who they're going to vote for.
*kicks fax machine to the floor*
Especially now you're going down for criminal damage.
Assuming good behaviour I'd give them the vote after a certain amount of half their sentence then - not that it makes much difference, but as I say it's benefits they earn as they make they way back towards re-joining society.
Also, as bamos says (which kinda backs up your point on it not really being much of a punishment) I doubt a high percentage of inmates would vote.
Also, also - the thought of someone being able to murder a family member/friend etc and then them being able to vote in the next government grinds my gears*
*EMOTIONAL RESPONSE FOR THE LAYDEEZ
which is why we don't have public hangings anymore.
Also, here's an interesting fact from those Stalinist bedwetting liberals at the BBC:
The only European countries with an outright ban on prisoners voting are Russia, Armenia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Luxembourg and Romania.
WHAT A CLUB
I thought I always missed them because they clashed with Saturday night TV?!
(if those countries aren't the perfect moral compass then I give up)
I'd argue that "basic human rights" exist in some sort of metaphysical ideal which things ARE or AREN'T and in fact just sort of agreed on
Not being facetious, I genuinely don't understand.
I was arguing his point.
I don't really feel the need to reiterate it until someone engages with it.
Actually I have to leave so I'll have to check this thread later though I do DO hope that we get some more opinions like "pre-prison prisoners don't vote anyway so what does it matter"
supposing gayness was still illegal
gay people are put in prison
they are then unable to vote for the party that are most able to introduce reform for gayness being decriminalised.
But I'd like to see a percentage of current inmates who ever voted before being imprisoned.
Love britain and its people cant wait to get back!
Look forward to your return.
I'd be interested to know, regardless.
I also struggle to believe that the majority prisoners really give a fuck about whether they can vote or not.
Gut instinct is no, half prompted by that policeman fella on that advert talking about criminals being stupid.
then ALL HUMANS should have the right to vote therefore the legal age of suffrage (18 in most European countries) is discriminatory and children should have the right to vote too if the principle is applied universally
so if you're going to support votes for prisoners then you're going to support votes for children
and if you can't accept votes for children then you can't defend the principle of giving suffrage to prisoners
that's my view
Not sure that it works, since the reasons for not giving children the vote are very different to the (putative) reasons for not giving prisoners the vote.
if we're applying a principle of universal human rights an naming suffrage as a universal Human right
unless you believe children are subhuman?
aren't unqualified though. They permit the curtailment of rights as a proportionate means of achieving some sufficiently urgent end. And the stated ends of refusing the vote to children and prisoners surely different.
(Note to make any comment on the appropriateness of this model but, y'know, for the sake of argument.)
* not to make
Long day already...
the direct decision by the EHCR is that the current UK law is "discriminatory"
surely being able to vote at 18 but not being able to vote at 17 is "discriminatory"
in fact, any arbitrary judge of a person's 'worthiness' to vote is thus an extension of that discriminatory boundary
question is then do we allow so-called qualified discrimination or do we remove discrimination completely and just learn to live with or manage any possible negative consequences that may arise?
seems counter-intuitive to reject one form of discrimination and reject another
would go something like this:
Not allowing insufficiently mature people to vote pursues a legitimate aim. Drawing the line of "maturity" at age X is certainly arbitrary. But it is still proportionate, given the alternative solution of determining everyone's maturity individually, which would be invasive, costly, open to abuse, etc.
By contrast, either:
(a) Refusing prisoners the vote doesn't pursue a legitimate aim, or
(b) It's a disproportionate means of achieving that aim (given that removing prisoners' liberty et al are sufficient for the job)
Again, not to adopt that argument for myself, but I can see the material differences it highlights.
I would reject that the alternative to drawing a line is assessing maturity, I'd say the alternative was to give universal suffrage
I would also refute that not allowing insufficiently immature people to vote is a legitimate aim - it's a further expression of discrimination. Are the mentally handicapped denied the right to vote? Are OAPs with dementia denied the right to votes?
You're right that there is no satisfactory method for determining someone's vote fitness
so either one must accept the dicriminatory principle or reject it completely
Arguably this is an implication of Article 14.
The counter-argument is of course that discrimination may or may not be justified. The kinds of discrimination explicitly mentioned in the ECHR (race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity etc) will (almost?) always fall into the latter category. But discrimination against the young, senile or mentally handicapped in allocating voting rights may not be like this. Just like discriminating against the partially sighted in granting driving licences is justified...
The devil rests ;)
Seriously though, they are a genuine special case, as they have different laws governing them, different punishments, different powers of consent, blah-de-blah etc. And they ARE subhuman.
which it doesn't really stand up to unless you sort of bracket it in some sort of husserelian sense and that case you might as well adopt a more practical set of inter-justifying arbitrary beliefs which is what i'd be in favour of doing.
thats what counts right?
if you want it to
Its nearly 4 oclock.
Is booze cheap out there? Do you get "student prices"?
it was happy hour the other night in a pretty crap bar and it was 3 euros a pint. Might have to switch to wine, which is cheap everywhere.
Wine is awesome though. I could be a student again and live off wine.
Certainly once people have paid off their "debt" to society, and have left prison, they should have a vote because prison is partly remedial(partly pure punishment imo).It's so unjust that in the states you don't regain your suffrage on release.
Criminals aren't a species of people you know. MOST OF YOU have committed crimes and probably never been caught (I have). I bet some of those are serious and potentially carry prison sentences. Should you forgo your vote? Is it just a coincidence that a quarter of prisoners were in care depsite the national perecentage from care being 1%?? Surely these people need representation. They've been really badly fucked over by society too. It also sends a message to people like that they have SOME VALUE in society and can play a positive role.
Prisons are also horrible places to live. Only recently was slopping out banned - a disgusting, degrading thing. I'm not sure prisoners should have a say in how nice they are. But prisoners have rights. People who continue to plead their innocence have rights.
Also probably breaches the ECHR.
when I walk down the street I don't change from being a guy into a pedestrian. Dont put me in a box man (attention: double meaning relevant to discussion)
they are an identifiable, finite class of people (which changes in number obvioulsy because of its relationship with the public at large, but nonethelss an temporally idenifiable class, a species) Being a pedestrian is a whole other kettle of fish because its not necessarily identifiable. Do you think you could ever cook fish in a kettle, if you weren't vegetarian?
I reckon you could construct a rudimentary bain-marie in a kettle, yet.
but withholding votes sends a pretty strong message that you're not good for antthing and nobody luvs ya.
when does a life sentence ever mean life? Most people have the possibility of early release. So this only applies to the exceptions.
but the percieved reason is different. Plus, they broke one law not EVERY law. It would be more accurate to say they have no respect for the rule of law (though I don't think breaking one law neccesitates this either)
but these carry different sentences etc etc
who I then go on to talk about. Did no make this clear, sozzles.
I'm not saying reformed criminals should not have the vote. I'm saying people IN prison, paying their debt should not have the vote - which I would guess is what most people arguing on the same side as me mean.
Do ex-cons really not get the vote in the US?!
Oh and it does breach the ECHR - we've been breaching it for five years.
its like some weird christian thing
I don't know why, after commiting a crime, you have a DUTY to be changed and the state has a DUTY to change you. As if society is again like some metaphysical construct that everyone needs to respect.
I'd prefer if punishment was viewed as something that is done to help everything run more smoothly. Not giving prisoners the vote is to me parallel to society saying, to use the language of that Chatherine Tate character, "You have dissed me yeah so i'm not really bothered though really is I?" or something
i'm gonna help them up so much
basically what i'm advocating i think maybe is not at all 'liberal'
part of the "justice" they're trying to obtain is to serve victims and anyone in society affected by the crime.
I think there did emerge, somewhere in the development of modern legal systems and constitutional arrangements, a hegemony which *isn't* value-neutral and apolitical but purports to be. The "rule of law" (which you allude to) is part of this and imo not in a socially contracted way. Aw man I'm so gutted I don't get to study jurisprunce.
but even the crap stuff is interesting.
I'm actually meant to be writing my dissertation about basically this at the moment (well the philosophical side of it not the law side). By that i mean i've bought two books and read one chapter because its not due in till next september.
I will come back to this thread when I have definitely found out the answer in a year.
benefiting the mercantile classes under the guise of neutrality since the enlightenment. #criticalrealistmarxist
and some crimes have no real victims.
i think they should give people who are sentenced to life in prison with no chance of release the option of the death penalty. It would be more economical probably. It'd probably have to be a painful way though. Like hung drawn and quartered. I mean in my perfect world they'd just be allowed to shoot themselves in the head but i dont think the world is ready yet and the families of their victims would probably want them to suffer a bit.
It's amazing, 9/10.
I see your point. But it's very natural to want criminals to "suffer," and although I don't think they should "suffer" the taking away of rights is SOMETHING where NOTHING would leave uncertainty and a massive sense of injustice. In other words, we need this symbolic aspect of punishment to give closure and restore confidence etc.
if it isnt, nope.
whenever I read any foucault i find it really difficult to stop myself thinking "ok yeah thats it. Wont bother trying to assess that he's got it"
I'm advocating giving people the option of suicide if convicted to life imprisonment with no chance of release.
That kind of imprisonment is in no way connected to rehabilitation. To imprison somebody for life is expensive.
Wouldn't advocate the death penalty (state enforced) itself though, not because i think people have a (moral) right to life or anything just like it probably wouldn't cohere with other beliefs.
It's at best a metaphor that people take too literally.
The best explanation I've ever encountered draws a parallel with self-defence. A person who imposes a culpable threat incurs liability to be treated as a means of avoiding that threat. Punishment is like an ex post version of this... a criminal incurs liability to be treated as a means of averting the future threats posed by other criminals. In this sense their punishment is a liability "owed" to other citizens.
But even if that view is right (and I'm not sure that it is), it doesn't justify this sense of "retoring moral equilibrium in the unvierse" that people invoke when talking about criminals "paying their debts". And, as has already been mentioned, it doesn't imply anything about quantum of punishment.
You said "I'd argue that criminals have a "debt" as that would make people inherently subservient to themselves"
Then refused to actually explain it without someone engaging your point. So it was a typo?
Paying their debt...serving their time...receiving their punishment. It's all the same and less you want to get into semantics, which I really really don't. Suffice to say it is not some weird christian thing at all - it's your interpretation.
maybe it could'ave done with some punctuation,
I'll try again
I'd argue that "criminals have a 'debt'", that would be people inherently subservient to themselves
but that sentence is either really poorly constructed or I need to go back and retake english.
especially in this context
adam and eve
all that junk. try analysing the way people are convicted completely abstract from those terms
bet you cant do it
because they have taken something from society (dignity, life, money, most crimes imo could be seen as taking something) and they are responsible to fulfil a duty in order to put another something back into society. so many somethings.
from my understanding of your interpretation the two are distinct but mine is that they are just different senses of the same thing. I think you think that there is some kind of contract between the individual/state and I think i think that thats a MYTH
there IS some kind of contract between the individual and the state. If not what is the point the laws of the state?
If I'm we're not bound by our common values and obligation to respect the laws of the state why don't we just do whatever the hell we like? If it's a MYTH then surely chaos would be the natural state of things?
i think the 'contract' is only illusory but it has how things have functioned and i suppose its been not bad up till now so people think its the way things 'should' be but it could be better
It's kind of a truism to say: we obey laws so it must be in our nature and thats how stuff functions. To make it follow with "so we have vested in the state authority" is contentious though.
Surely the right to vote either extends to all prisoners or to none. Does the court ruling say that your human rights are infringed if you are a shoplifter denied the vote but not if you are a rapist/serial killer?
I think all those in prisons should have the right to vote. The point of prison is to deprive liberty, not to remove human rights in general.
even if they introduced some judiciar discretion or something. Just no branket ban.
Aligning yourself with the Demon Headmaster. Not cool.