I was very pleased to read yesterday that the European Court of Human Rights has given the UK 6 months to put into place plans to allow prisoners to vote. I have blogged before that I do not believe anyone should ever be able to remove your right to vote, this is illiberal and one person's criminal is another's freedom fighter. As such I really hope that this will come to fruition. It is disappointing that the ECHR aren't insisting on all prisoners voting, just some, which could lead to some ridiculously small number being given the right. I would argue that a fairish compromise would be any prisoner who is likely to be free within the next parliament should be given the opportunity to vote. I wouldn't see this as the ideal, but a lot better than current.
I have to wonder how the Europhobes in the Tory party will react to this. I am not expecting any legislation to come rushing through however, especially after Labour kept the blanket ban in place after a similar ruling. Still I am hopeful that Nick and Co can put pressure on the Tories to come up with legislation.
For those who think this is a crazy idea, we are actually in good company: Armenia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary and Romania also don't allow their prisoners to vote. Nothing against these countries however I think it illustrates just how wrong the blanket ban is.
As I am in a Tory/Lib Dem area there has been a big surge in UKIP propaganda through my door. Their main argument appears to be against Europe sticking their noses into our things like this. However, I for one am glad that there is a body there that isn't swayed by scaremongering of the press or political one-up-manship to do what is the right thing for the citizans.