Tuesday, January 18, 2011

We Should Not Pick And Choose As To Who Is Entitled To The Vote

Radical Jack

So much for the democratic and civil liberties credential of Jack Straw and David Davis in their efforts to withhold voting rights for prisoners. I am not against them obtaining a debate on the issue in the Commons, but I hope that enough MPs will be present to challenge the line they are taking.

Everyone who is capable of exercising a choice, is resident within the United Kingdom and has reached an agreed age (which I would put at 16) should have the vote in our parliamentary elections. They should all then be subject to laws determined under parliamentary procedures - even though acts of peaceful civil disobedience can be a justifiable avenue of protest against unjust measures where the protesters are willing to face the legal consequences of their actions.

Now and again we come across prisoners who are released because they are innocent. Then we are aware that masses of people who have committed crimes have never been captured. If we adopt the principle of kicking people off registers because we think they are nasty, heaven knows who will left with the vote.

We need to get people onto electoral registers and not kick them off. At least three and million who are entitled to the vote are currently missing from registers. Young people, ethnic minorities, the poor, the homeless and the rootless form the bulk of these. We need a pro-active system to ensure their rights are given to them.

Then there there are people who are firmly resident in this country other than Commonwealth and Irish Citizens who are find themselves disenfranchised, yet they are firmly subject to the law of the land and are not tax exiles.

What we are entitled to is a Full Franchise - we should not pick and choose as to who is entitled to the vote. It is for the people to choose who should represent them.


jailhouselawyer said...

Hi Harry

I am glad you are back again and with a subject close to my heart.

This Jack Straw and David Davis "joint enterprise" is a sideshow.

The main event is this...

"Debate & Vote : Wednesday 26 January 2011

At the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)

On the subject of Implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights

Draft resolution

The Assembly, in particular, urges the following states to give priority to specific problems:

The United Kingdom must put to an end the practice of delaying full implementation of Court judgments with respect to politically sensitive issues, such as prisoners’ voting rights.

... it is essential that states parties fulfil their obligation under Article 46 of the Convention to ensure the full and rapid implementation of judgments of the Court.

The execution process for some of these judgments (where it has begun) has become somewhat politicised at the national level and consequently the JCHR has identified what it perceives as an emerging practice of “minimal compliance’; where some action has been taken by the United Kingdom but far from enough. This has been highlighted by the JCHR as a problem in that it increases the possibility of repetitive cases by failing to put an end to a root problem, thus creating further litigation.

The Councilof Europe reserves the right to take appropriate action should the state concerned continuously fail to take appropriate measures required by a judgment of the Court, or should the national parliament fail to exert appropriate pressure on the government to implement judgments of the Court;".

More information on this For several years the Parliamentary Assembly has tried to contribute to the effective implementation of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, by bringing parliamentary pressure to bear on governments where worrying delays in complying with judgments have arisen. In this 7th report, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights has given priority to the situation in nine states where major structural problems have led to many repeat violations.

EDOC 12455 Implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human

Harry Barnes said...

Thanks John. I will pursue what you tell me with interest. You will see that I have today added a blog item which further explains my position. The whole of the debates around the topic will show us if there are any politicians left who hold to democratic principles. Or if all that we are left with are people who will whip up bile and spite to try and grab some passing and short lived popular support - rather than seeking to lift and expand people's horizans. You have done a fine job in pursuing your concerns.

jailhouselawyer said...

Yes I have seen it. And will read and digest later because I have had only 4 hours sleep in 2 days. Loads of media interviews.