A voting reform that is literally criminal

The week's news at a glance.

Ireland

Sinead Ryan

The Irish Independent

Criminals may well decide the next election, said Sinead Ryan in Dublin’s Irish Independent. In order to comply with a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, the government is being forced to give prisoners the right to vote. In a mind-boggling decision, the court ruled last year that denying the vote is a violation of a prisoner’s civil rights. Isn’t denying a criminal the rights that others enjoy supposed to be the point of prison? In some countries, felons can’t vote even after they’ve served their time. But the E.U. in its wisdom has spoken, so all 3,200 of the “thieves, robbers, murderers, and rapists who make up our prison culture” will be given absentee ballots for Ireland’s next election. Fortunately, they won’t be able to sway the outcome of any particular district, as the inmates will vote in their home counties, not the counties in which they are incarcerated. Still, they might be able to make an impact on party politics. Prisoners can be expected to skew extremist and leftist, so “the likes of Sinn Fein may see their vote increased.” It’s a bitter irony that people who scorned society’s laws will be given the responsibility of choosing lawmakers.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us