The latest policy from the government to hit headlines is one of those incarcerated in our state prisons being given the right to vote. Apparently it’s some kind of breach of their Human Rights to not be allowed to vote, and there hasn’t been any noticeable grumbling from inmates upset about losing the right to vote, so what’s prompted this?
“The National Party has prompted this” is probably not what you were thinking, but that is likely the case. Recently, National has been ramping up it’s drum-beating on policies it thinks Kiwis want to hear about now that the glow of the 2020 general election is very slightly visible over the horizon. We have been subjected to the usual old hat; having a go about taxes, the number of people on the dole, and coming down harder on criminals. One of the notions being pushed for criminals is some kind of plan to make inmates work. Undoubtedly it will be a half-baked plan that is impossible to implement since whichever party is in power is generally inept when it comes to actually making things work, but that’s enough of a tangent.
The upshot of all this is that in a blatant move to bribe a slightly higher vote count, the Labour party has announced a plan to give inmates their voting rights back. There will be a total lack of surprise when prison staff are ordered to ‘encourage’ inmates to vote (an easy task since they are literally a captive audience) and remind them of the National party’s policies that would put them to work. Oh, and this will all be at the taxpayers expense of course.
The general consensus among hard-working New Zealanders is that if criminals are unwilling to play by the same social rulebook as the rest of us then they probably shouldn’t have a say in how our society is run. That seems like a common sense approach, but all bets are off when it comes to politicians fishing for votes with our own money.