How do people feel about the possibility that prisoners will be allowed to vote?

Prisoners are set to be given the chance to vote in next year’s Holyrood election after a highly controversial human rights ruling. In my opinion I feel that the idea will cause a great deal of controversy; critics have already expressed their anger saying people who had broken the law should not be granted the privilege of participating.
To an extent I agree. People who have broken the law have gone against what is socially acceptable and therefore taken themselves out of the community and should not be granted to a say on what goes on locally or nationally.
On the other hand as the European human rights ruling has outlined, banning people from voting is actually illegal as it breaches the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as pointed out by axe murderer John Hirst who was jailed for brutally killing his landlady.

What are people’s views on the change in the Holyrood election?

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3 Responses

  1. I think that if you break the law – you should be punished for it. Simple. Punishment does not include giving someone the chance to vote. Do you honestly think they will use the vote wisely when they do not experience society outside of their cell? Will they care about parties’ manifestos or will they choose the party they think will be less harsh on prisoners? There is too much uncertainty and dispute around giving prisoners the vote – I think things shouldn’t change. At least for now.

    • I get what you are saying about the whole ‘will they just choose the party they think will be less harsh on prisoners’ comment – but is that not how everyone votes…for the party that would do the best job for them as an individual??? In this debate I am siding with the prisoners guys, sorry. A human is a human is a human – yes there are different degrees of what is morally acceptable in society but just because someone does not share those same moral standards, should we remove their right to vote because they won’t do what we want them to do? I don’t think so…if you start banning prisoners then it will start to extend itself to people who have had a criminal record (because they weren’t punished in this way when they were in prison so they will be now) and then to people with ASBO’s, then people who have ever had ASBO’s…by the time you sift through all of that you are left with a big percentage of the population who has no say in how their country is run. We will turn into a dictatorship, mainly because there would not be enough opposition to whichever party holds the power because there is not enough people to vote. If you wish to remove their human rights, why don’t we just do medical trials on them that could potentially kill them and if it does oh well, if not then we find miracle cures? – if you want to remove human rights don’t do it in a half hearted way because when you do things in a half hearted way criminals find ways around it – look at ASBO’s…since they were implemented have they reduced the amount of people commiting crime? No – in fact they have increased it because people know they can get away with it!!! Half hearted attempts don’t work, so don’t try it.

  2. I can understand the views on both sides and that’s why I put the question across to everyone.
    On the one hand like you said Alex, ‘a human is a human is a human’ and due to human rights laws in effect prisoners should be given the chance to vote.
    However, as you said Julia, once a prisoner has commited a crime all priviledges, including voting, should be taken away.
    I also feel that once prisoners can vote much controversy will come from prisoners victims who will feel upset/ anger about the change in the system.

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