Wednesday 3 November 2010

Do not collect two hundred pounds!

Do you think people who are in Prison should be able to vote?

I ask because it was reported in the news yesterday that the British Prime Minister was miffed because of a directive from the European Parliament that will oblige him to accord this right to Her Majesty’s inmates.

Now there are a few important things at work here.

The most obvious, clearly, is that this is the third consecutive post in which the word miffed has appeared and I therefore declare it word of the month – I think you can trawl through the rest of the blog only to find its absence.

I ask the question because I drove home yesterday, from city far to autumn colours ablaze, listening- as is my occasional wont – to Talk Sport Radio which was having some sort of debate/phone in/slanging match on the subject, and one debater/caller/slanger after another expressed their outrage and incomprehension at what some even called a mental idea.

By the end of my 90-kilometer drive I felt like a complete pariah, as no one – except a representative of the prison service who was subsequently slanged – expressed any support for or understanding of the concept.

I was swimming alone in a mire of reactionaries.

I had to check if I was mad when I arrived home and conducted an unscientific analysis of the opinion that resides under the same roof as me.

Then we were four.

I tried to understand the opinions of the debaters/callers/slangers and as far as I was capable it seemed to boil down to this – if you break a law enacted by a government then you have no right to vote in the election of that government or any other government.

I find this argument shorted sighted at best.

Dangerously undemocratic in the middle.

And something I am unable to articulate at worst.


Mary said...

Tough one to call.

These ideological discussions always are. Either way you feel uneasy and conflicted.


popps said...

What's the rule/situation in Canada - are inmates disenfranchised?

Mary said...

Before 2002, only prisoners who were serving sentences of less than 2 years could vote. After that the law was challenged and voting became a right extended to all prisoners who are Cdn. citizens. Psychiatric patients also posses the right to vote in Canada.


Anonymous said...

Voting is good for you - it makes you make choices and think - that is healthy for everyone, especially nations - start cutting out the rights of types and Cdn will soon be Cnd and then only boys and bankers will be able to vote.
Who is bad/mad and why is he chewing gum

popps said...

Anonymous, hello, who are you?
A mystery?
I'm not sure about the bad/mad either but did you look at the chewing gum artist (there was a link)?

Anonymous said...

its me you told me to be anonymous when I was technically challenged before. Love and Westbourne Witchery x

popps said...

ooooh- mysterious witch, with love in her xx