Depriving prisoners of the right to vote is a pointless waste of time. I'd like to know whose idea it was. Paul Quinn's? Or is he being used to front the bill because he is Maori and it will be predominantly Maori who are affected? Being a Hutt South candidate I attended every meeting Quinn spoke at and can't remember him ever raising this issue (but it is entirely possible that is just a failure of my memory.)
Why make a distinction of 'in prison' anyway? What about people serving home detention or community sentences? They have also committed a crime. Having said that the current criteria of disenfranchisement if the sentence being served is longer than three years is also completely arbitrary.
And who is going to be politically disadvantaged by losing 5 ot 6 thousand votes? Perhaps the Aoteoroa Legalise Cannabis Party might take a hit:-) But seriously, spending bucketloads of parliamentary time and taxpayer money on this bill is just absurd.
Whaleoil General Debate
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