The Green Party is calling on the Government to give voting rights to prisoners, but has not won approval from its coalition partners. …
She believed all prisoners should be able to vote – not just those with short sentences.
So the Greens think Clayton Weatherston should be allowed to vote, and this will help rehabilitate him.
The Greens insistence that all prisoners should vote is out of line with NZ history. The Supreme Court had some interesting data on the history of prisoner voting in NZ.
- 1852 Constitution Act banned prisoners from voting if convicted for any treason, felony or infamous offence.
- In 1879 the prisoner ban was extended to last for 12 months after release
- In 1905 eligibility extended to any prisoner sentenced to 12 months or more, nut only while in prison
- In 1956 ban extended to all prisoners
- Ban removed from 1975 to 1977
- Ban reinstated from 1977 to 1993
- In 1993 ban restricted to those sentenced to three years or more
- In 2010 ban expanded to all prisoners
So what the Greens are demanding is something that has only been the case in New Zealand for two years out of the last 170. It is not just a return to the 1993 law, but allowing every serial killer and gang rapist to vote.
No surprise I am against it.