Voting about voting.

When MPs voted in Parliament, on the rights of prisoners to vote, I was a little late to the blogging party. I may as well still stick my POV in though, even though the story has been expertly covered across the blogosphere.

Almost everyone has, quite rightly, objected to prisoners being allowed to vote. I agree for the most part, however I can see certain circumstances where it may be a good thing to allow it.

Why do we put people in prison? It isn't about getting vengeance over someone who has wronged you, it's about punishing someone who has committed a crime, and more importantly, making sure they don't do it again.

In that light, we have to assume some sort of rehabilitation when an offender is due to be released.

If an offender is due for release and there is an election coming up, they may be in prison at the time of the elections, but outside during the first term of the newly elected government. If we assume an offender has paid their debt on release, why not allow them to vote on issues that may affect them once they are back in society.

However, this debate was never really about weather or not prisoners should have voting rights. The real question was, do we allow the EU to make up our laws for us.

The MPs did not debate the issue of voting rights for prisoners and then hold a vote on it, they voted on upholding the decree from the European Court of Human Rights.

This makes the initial issue - voting rights for prisoner - irrelevant.

The final tally, 234 to 22 against, do not say we will not allow prisoners to vote, it said we will not allow the EU to decide on the issue.

SO what happens now? The Parliamentary vote is meaningless as it is not binding but has a very significant meaning in principal. Can the PM, the government and the people allow such an overwhelming rejection to be ignored, even though it isn't legally binding?

And what happens if we say no to Europe? Fines? What real power does the EU have over is if we tell them to get stuffed on this issue?

As a lot of the sheep are fond of saying, the law is the law, you can't pick and choose which ones to obey.

That must mean that we have two clear cut choices. One accede to demands and allow prisoners to vote, and keep doing it with every other law the ECHR wants to bring in, or two, withdraw from the European convention on human rights and eventually with draw from the union itself.

I know which one I want but I also know which one my money is on.

So MPs have voted about prisoners voting. There is one more vote we need to have. The people need to vote. Not about prisoners but about the EU and weather we should continue to be a part of it.

From Max Farquar.
All the MPs in the HoC had a free vote today, a chance to show their disdain for something that they almost all found totally unacceptable. Rightly so. That's how it should be. So .... when are we going to be offered the same opportunity to be able to show our overwhelming disdain for all things EU. When are we going to have our free vote Dave. An EU Referendum. You know ... the one with the cast iron guarantee.

That's the real question isn't it? All other concerns here are meaningless.

When do we get our vote?

2 Comments:

Gillig said...

Bucko said...