prisoner disenfranchisement

The National and Act Party members of the Law and Order select committee not only have no regard for basic individual rights, but they want to give William Bell, Graeme Burton and Clayton Weatherston the vote. They are not only moral pygmies, but they are really, really dumb.

I have long been a big fan of New Zealand's commitment to parliamentary sovereignty, whereby we as a society leave the last word on our laws to the elected representatives of the people. Students in my Public Law class roll their eyes with the frequency and enthusiasm with which I refer to this basic principle of our constitution.

Attorney-General Chris Finlayson has told Parliament that disenfranchising all prisoners cannot be justified in a free and democratic society. So why does it look like he's going to vote for this to become our law?

Looks like some oik at Crown Law has been at it again.

Paul Quinn wants to take us back to the days when all prisoners could not vote. Why on earth would he want to do that?

Last week, for my sins, I attended a couple of conferences in Wellington. One involved a comparative look at Canada and New Zealand, seventy years after the first diplomatic connections between those countries was established. The second, "We the People(s)", centred on the vexed question of how popular participation in government occurs, and how it should occur.