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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

voting is a "perk," peter goldring?

Question: Who in the 21st Century would even think of stripping a basic democratic right such as voting from any Canadian citizen?

Answer: Apparently, the Conservative Party of Canada does.

Following yesterday's the post on taxpayer-funded partisan advertising, a reader sent me this mail-out from Edmonton-East Conservative Peter Goldring (who will unfortunately not be replaced by David Emerson...).

While Canada's justice system falls short in many areas, I'm sure that there are much more effective ways to reform our criminal justice system than removing this so-called "prison perk."


Anonymous said...

Isn't it great that Canadians paid for this tripe? Throw all the bums out.

Ian said...

C'mon Dave, as a student haven't you ever thought about going to jail for the free food, shelter, and work? I mean it's a virtual paradise compared to Lister (I also hear Aramark feeds prisons better).

Anonymous said...

That's it. I'm calling everyone I know and telling the to vote for whoever can beat the Conservative candidate in their area.

Who should I vote for in Regina-QAppelle?

Anonymous said...


Apropos of the Anonymous comment above, have you heard about this vote swapping thing that people are doing? There's a facebook group for it. Basically you agreed to vote for someone elses party in your riding and they agree to vote for yours in theirs assuming of course that your party has no chance of winning in your riding but does in another. This is completely based on the honour system, of course.

mj said...


I couldn't care less if prisoners don't have a program to get tattooed, but voting is a right of all Canadian citizens of legal age. Even the most heinous Canadian criminal is still a Canadian citizen.

Anonymous said...

None of the ideas on that pamphlet will prevent the next "James Roszko" from slipping through the cracks in the system.

If the Conservatives want to reform the justice system, something does need to be done, why don't they get serious with Canadians and admit that certain key changes are needed?

When crack dealers can have their charges thrown out of court, because a police search of their persons violated their Charter Rights, you know something serious needs to change.

Oh wait, the Charter is one of those many sacred cows we have here in Canada, much like Medicare we can't even talk about changes that might improve it.

If the Conservatives actually embraced some of these issues they would both shore up their base and draw in soft-center voters. So long as they play this "Let's look like Liberals to get elected" game a majority government will elude them.

Anonymous said...

Forget about David Emmerson. Peter Goldring might just find himself replaced by Ray Martin!

Robert Vollman said...

Yeah ... I don't shed too many tears if criminals lose their vote, but who's next? The mentally ill? The developmentally challenged? The homeless?

I'd rather not play that game at all.

Besides, if any party were to change it's platform to pander to criminals, it would probably wind up losing more votes from non-criminals than it would gain from criminals.

That being said, I really don't think it's that big a deal.

A said...

Nice to see that the Conservatives take democratic process as seriously as they do tattoo financing.

I'm actually all for stripping some of the luxury out of being in the Canadian penal system, but the vote? Seriously?

Get with the 21st century, people.

Anonymous said...

Ummm, do any of you posters live in Alberta, the land of the "Strong and Free" as our new license plate is rumored to state? Alberta removed the right of convicts in prison several years ago, and if I am not mistaken, that view was upheld by Hier Stelmach today.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Good to see Goldring is engaged on the important matters, like making the Turks and Caicos part of Canada, and exploiting wedge issues.

Anonymous said...

Why should criminals, in jail, have the right to vote? If they want their vote perhaps they shouldn't break the law? I was always taught that if you don't want to lose your rights then you act accordingly.

Scott said...

I am really surprised to see this much blow back from not allowing imprisoned criminals from voting.

They have been removed from society and yet get a say in how it is run over the short term?

I don't think it makes a lick of a difference to be honest, I am just surprised to see so many people are strong advocates of prisoner rights.

Anonymous said...

If Peter Goldring and the Conservatives want to take away a prisoners right to vote then they should advocate this with their own money, not taxpayers dollars.

Using taxpayers dollars to promote a politically charged wedge issue like this is a clear misuse and abuse of taxpayers dollars.

Maestro said...

Well, if the Conservatives want to remove prisoners' right to vote, they better find themselves very good lawyers, because the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in Sauvé v. Canada (Chief Electoral Officer) [2002] that removing a prisoner's right to vote was unconstitutional under S.3 of the Charter.

Given this, I don't actually see the Conservatives moving forward with this idea, so that makes this tax-funded mailout an expensive piece of misleading propaganda.

Anonymous said...

Quite frankly I'm just as concerned about the removal of the safe tattoo program.

The incarcerated are going to get tattoos whether the tax payer foots the bill or not. If we pay $600,000 year for all of Canadian Inmates to get tattoos, it sure as hell beats the millions of dollars we will save in HIV/HEP treatments that the safe tattoo program prevents.

As for the vote, They are still citizens. They have to live with the consequences of the government. Just as much as anyone else, especially when they get out.