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Prisoners serving less than four years to get vote

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posted on Dec, 17 2010 @ 09:27 AM
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Prisoners serving less than four years to get vote


www.bbc.co.uk

The government has announced that prisoners serving less than four years will be eligible to vote.

But the Cabinet Office statement said all offenders sentenced to four years or more would automatically be barred from registering to vote.

The decision comes after a Euroean court ruling which the government is obliged to implement.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Dec, 17 2010 @ 09:27 AM
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I thought this was a interesting story in two ways.

The first part I think prisoners/felons should have the right to vote. I think that limiting a certain class of people and removing there right to vote, is not a hallmark of a free open society.

The second point of the story that interests me is the EU courts have made this ruling and the government is obliged to implement. The EU is going to more and more dictate the laws of all the countries in Europe. I can see them quickly evolving into a Imperial Presidency similar to what has happened in the states.

If Im not mistaken there laws are going to be dictated to all countries in the EU by a unelected Executive, Legislative and Judicial group of elites.

Any thoughts?

www.bbc.co.uk
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Dec, 17 2010 @ 09:40 AM
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Sorry wrong thread.

2nd Line
edit on 17-12-2010 by shakennotstirred because: Posted on wrong thread



posted on Dec, 17 2010 @ 09:45 AM
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I believe that prisoners should be able to vote, as they are still citizens. Furthermore, the vast majority of prisoners in this country, are incarcerated for what amounts to political crimes, "crimes" which do not produce a victim. The US has more incarcerated people than any other nation, even more than the Soviet Union at the height of their reign.

I think that it is essential for prisoners to vote, seeing how many of them are the ones being persecuted by our current system, though certainly not limited there. The more people who are screwed by the system that can vote, will more likely vote against the status quo. That is the theory at least.


--airspoon



posted on Dec, 17 2010 @ 09:59 AM
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Prisoners are property of the state. They are stripped of their rights and forced into labor, which is legal, and do not have the freedom to come and go as they please. They are told when to eat and when to sleep. It's all part of their rehabilitation and/or punishment if you will.

Incarcerated individuals know the consequences of their actions WHEN they commit a crime. When society gives the incarcerated more and more rights that's reserved for law-abiding citizens, then incarceration will cease to work.

Civil rights are restored upon the completion of a sentence. Prison guards need to concentrate on keeping prisoners in line, not whether they cast a vote.



posted on Dec, 17 2010 @ 10:06 AM
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I don't think anyone serving time in prison should have the right to vote.

Once they are released and they do not have a felony on their record they should be able to vote.
Felons should not have the right to vote.

Richardson v. Ramirez case went before the US Supreme Court in 1974, the court ruled that felons can lose their right to vote, it was not unconstitutional.

The UK of course can do whatever they want. Its a whole different system.



posted on Dec, 17 2010 @ 10:09 AM
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If you are a citizen you have the right to vote. No buts, no exceptions, none of this crap!


More then enough blood has already been sacrificed over this issue. It should be a prerequisite that all law makes have studied history to avoid repeating the same mistake. Otherwise democracy is on the slippery slope back down into authoritarian regimes and back into the dark ages, things are already dim enough.

As for the EU, there are some very critical problems with it, primary one I see is in the constitution. If you are able to find it after some deep searching it reads more like a corporation than any form of democracy. There has also been some very cohesive pressure used in it's formation, pushing the issue before some countries were ready.

There have also been some positives with the common currency, freedom of movement and minimum standard of living, but not sure how well that last one is getting applied.

Some commentators consider the EU more fragile at the moment than the USA economy, that is saying something.
edit on 17-12-2010 by kwakakev because: explained the flame

edit on 17-12-2010 by kwakakev because: changed 'than' to 'that'



posted on Dec, 17 2010 @ 10:14 AM
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Originally posted by MikeboydUS
I don't think anyone serving time in prison should have the right to vote.

Once they are released and they do not have a felony on their record they should be able to vote.
Felons should not have the right to vote.

Richardson v. Ramirez case went before the US Supreme Court in 1974, the court ruled that felons can lose their right to vote, it was not unconstitutional.

The UK of course can do whatever they want. Its a whole different system.




Why shouldn't they be allowed to vote?

So they have to be exempt from all taxation them. Taxation without representation is a crime and is fascist.



posted on Dec, 17 2010 @ 10:21 AM
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reply to post by John_Rodger_Cornman
 


A responsible citizen wouldn't have been charged in the first place. Voters should be responsible citizens. As for taxes, the convict, I think however long he sat in prison he should be billed for it.

If you think he shouldn't be taxed, take it up with the US Supreme Court.
edit on 17/12/10 by MikeboydUS because: with



posted on Dec, 17 2010 @ 10:28 AM
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Prisoners could perhaps get the right to vote just before their release - say if they have moved to an open prison. But otherwise, having committed a crime against society and having consequently been removed from that society, it does not make sense for them to vote. Why should you be allowed to vote on something you are not part of? Something you transgressed against?
But if you do allow it, they should then have access to electioneers, TV debates etc etc. After all, one has to make an informed choice... Maybe we could also organise mini bus outings to hear speakers, perhaps stopping off at the coffee shop to read the papers and engage others in discussion. And election candidates could call at prisoners cells to leaflet them and get their support.
Yeah right...
edit on 17-12-2010 by starchild10 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 17 2010 @ 10:39 AM
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reply to post by LDragonFire
 
Damn right they should get to vote!

The definition of 'prisoner' isn't 'mass murdering sex offender' or 'terrorist.' People are in prison for not paying the TV license fee, shoplifting and thousands of similarly mild crimes. Disenfranchising them from the system they live within is over and beyond the 'removal of freedom' that their punishment already involves.

That's just my opinion.

ETA: Many of the mega-rich refuse to pay their taxes in this country and still get to vote. Politicians under a 3-line whip get to vote despite their choice being made for them by the Party. The system isn't fair as it stands.


edit on 17-12-2010 by Kandinsky because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 17 2010 @ 10:40 AM
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I may be out of place saying so, but I think such a determination is perhaps the single most important issue that the UK (and other countries) could face up to.

It contends with the entire precept of personal sovereignty, the concept of punishment, and citizenship.

In the States it would be even more prone to abuse by the leaders of the political system (such as it is).

Frankly, it is not an easy thing to resolve.

If, as has been implied, a convicted criminal loses the right to vote, in what manner are they still citizens?

It is further complicated of course by externalities such as 'being a subject of the Crown.' Which I never understood as translating into citizenship; but then I was not raised in a monarchy, so I lack the sensitivity and perspective to appreciate that.

What is the point of citizenship as a status? Does it not imply participation in the structure of society?

I know there are anti-social criminals, as there are innocent ones, not everyone convicted is guilty, and not every crime is one of 'social' offense.

I wonder how removed from the public dialogue will the deliberations be (or have been)?



posted on Dec, 17 2010 @ 11:03 AM
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reply to post by MikeboydUS
 


oh yes the felony conviction in the USA can be for as little as $150 dollars or even muptible shop lifting charges? Definately a reason to bar someone from voting for life! Many US states have different statues of limitation on voting for felony convictions ...for example Maine a felon can vote as soon as they are off probation but in Virginia less that 500 out of 600,000 appeals for felon rights restorataion have been approved ........ just a way for the accepted social class to bar people from voting .......



posted on Dec, 17 2010 @ 11:36 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 

What's so ironic about the people that get sent to prison is that many of them didn't care to vote when they were free citizens but all of the sudden become patriotic upon incarceration and demand the right to vote.

The reason for incarceration is punishment for crimes committed. If a citizen can't be stripped of their rights upon a conviction, then what's the use in having a judicial system?




edit on 17/12/10 by Intelearthling because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 17 2010 @ 12:03 PM
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People are being punished for life, they can be convicted of a felony at age 19 and never have the right to vote again.

They have no voice in a society that expects them to conform to the laws of the land. Yet they can't participate in the basic right to vote. Yet they are still expected to conform or be imprisoned.

Then again I think not allowing felons to vote gives a certain political party advantages...

The recent lose in California of the bill that would have legalized pot for instance, if felons could vote do you think this measure would have failed in a state that has millions in prison, on probation or parole for pot offenses?

Punishment should be administered, then at some point be over and not go on for life.

The opinions in this thread are good both pro and con I find it interesting that we still have the illusion that we live in a free and open society. We clearly do not.



posted on Dec, 17 2010 @ 12:13 PM
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Originally posted by Intelearthling
reply to post by Kandinsky
 

What's so ironic about the people that get sent to prison is that many of them didn't care to vote when they were free citizens but all of the sudden become patriotic upon incarceration and demand the right to vote.

The reason for incarceration is punishment for crimes committed. If a citizen can't be stripped of their rights upon a conviction, then what's the use in having a judicial system?


It has nothing to do with "stripping away their rights". What are you, minister of the Gestapo? What does it matter if they didn't want to vote before they went to prison? A lot of people don't vote, sometimes they're never comfortable with the choices they have, and other times they need a life-changing experience (such as going to prison
) before they feel the necessity to vote.

This is what voting is for. It is representation for the disenfranchised of the nation. Voting gives the downtrodden a voice. So convenient that the imprisoned are stripped of their voice, lest the out of control government is brought to task for airing it's dirty laundry.

Stripping a citizen of their rights is bizarre, in a supposed country of liberty. Some are negligible, such as the right to purchase a firearm or drive a vehicle, depending on their crime. Removing their right to speak, or vote, is fascist. It belongs in a dystopian sci-fi novel, or a despot regime. This is what Iran does, which many people in the media, and patriotic members on these boards, have a "problem with".

Political imprisonment is stripping a citizen of representation.
edit on 17-12-2010 by SyphonX because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 17 2010 @ 12:56 PM
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People need to look back at the origins of our systems, both the UK and the US, which is John Locke's Social Contract.

Civil Society creates a Social Contract to protect life and liberty. Laws are created for the Common Good of the Civil Society thus fulfilling the aims of the Social Contract. A citizen is therefore a Contractee.

Violation of the Law is a violation of the Social Contract. The Contractee has failed his or her responsibilities and is no longer a member of Civil Society. In principle, this requires expulsion from Civil Society, along with loss of all of its rights and privileges.

These rights and privileges in theory should only apply to responsible contractees.

This isn't fascism. These are basic principles in contractual obligations.



posted on Dec, 17 2010 @ 02:19 PM
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reply to post by MikeboydUS
 


Your stating that life and liberty should be restricted. I don't agree.

You think that there should be life long punishment. I don't agree.

People are expected to live in this system yet not be allowed to participate in this system because of a error in judgment.

When a person has paid there debt to society there punishment should not continue.



posted on Dec, 17 2010 @ 03:20 PM
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reply to post by LDragonFire
 


An error in judgement is running a stop sign or speeding.

Homicide, rape, robbery, and similar crimes are not errors in judgement. They are a complete breakdown and collapse in civility.

Someone who commits such crimes has completely failed their obligations as a citizen. It is their duty to fulfill those obligations. Failure to do so puts them at the mercy of the state and society.

Life and Liberty are dependent upon the existence of civil society. Tolerating the actions of criminals restricts the life and liberty of civil society. Its not a debt that one pays. Its a violation of the social contract. Your trying to put a price on the violation of civil members property, personhood, and lives. You can't assign value to rape, murder, and robbery.
Violation of a civil persons rights, their life and liberty is beyond measure.

This being a humane and civil society, they are still entitled to basic human rights. This includes a right to medical care, employment, education, housing, religion, expression, food, water, and clothing. Voting isn't a basic human right.

In some minor felonies, I could see the chance for rehabilitation, but even repeat offenders for minor felonies should be subject to the same penalties for major felonies.

These are very basic concepts for a civil society. This isn't eye for eye. No one is getting their hands chopped off. This isn't capital punishment for the slightest offense. This is very basic and very civil.



posted on Dec, 17 2010 @ 04:03 PM
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Originally posted by SyphonX
It has nothing to do with "stripping away their rights".

It has everything to do with it. While under the care of the "state," uour every need is taken care for you. Not every want. I don't have a problem with a convicted felon voting, buying a firearm or even getting a job that requires security clearance as long as they serve the time of their sentence.


What does it matter if they didn't want to vote before they went to prison?

It's a right they disregarded before they went to prison. To me, it's a precious right.


A lot of people don't vote, sometimes they're never comfortable with the choices they have, and other times they need a life-changing experience (such as going to prison
) before they feel the necessity to vote.

Going to prison is a life changing experience is an understatement.
The candidates don't change and the choices are the same so what difference does it make if they vote before, during or after a conviction?


Stripping a citizen of their rights is bizarre, in a supposed country of liberty.


What's that saying? "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime?" I don't have anything against a full restoration of civil liberties on an incarcerated individual when they've served their sentence. However, I do have a problem with someone breaking the law, going to jail and still getting to do what I consider a precious right of a FREE citizen.
edit on 17/12/10 by Intelearthling because: (no reason given)



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