that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.

hi, philosophy


So in our philosophy of ethics class this morning, our professor poised this question:

Should people who have been incarcerated (serving time) in prison maintain their right to vote?

Megan, myself, two fine gentleman, and another lady all formed a group in order to justify our opinions on this matter. We were supposed to pretend to be ‘judges’ in a courtroom and by applying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we were to determine whether prisoners should be allowed to vote or not.

The cool part about debates such as these are that BOTH sides are totally justifiable… for example:

Against –> prisoners shouldn’t vote because they’ve violated human rights in committing these crimes (robbery, murder, money laundering, etc) therefore their own rights should be abolished.

For–> prisoners are still Canadian citizens, and their right to vote may not help themselves (life term sentences) but it may enhance the quality of life for their families… and possibly life in prison.

Against–> They’ve been removed from society for reasons, therefore not a part of society anymore.

For–> How can they feel a part of society upon re-entry if they are stripped of the aspects society allows.

Here’s some key points from the charter:

Rights and freedoms in Canada

1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

and number 2:

Fundamental freedoms

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
a) freedom of conscience and religion;
b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
d) freedom of association.

and lastly:

Democratic rights of citizens

3. Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein.

Your thoughts? Yes, please.

4 thoughts on “hi, philosophy

  1. Is this a two part question, one for those in prison and two, for those out of prison. Here in the states the matter is discombobulated into 51 different positions. One for each state and one for the U. S. Governement. Most states hold that prisoners lose their right to vote and hold that position even after they are released.

    My state, Illinois, is different. Upon leaving prison 29 years ago (I Left Prison Behind – I was not allowed to vote until after I was finished with my parole. However, since then, not only have I been able to vote, I have been an election judge for well over 20 years. I have run for public office on two occasions, once for city hall councilman and the recreation department.

    Therefore, I say they should be given the right to vote. Its the only way our prison system (America’s) will ever change, and right now its deplorable with over 2 million in prison and another 16 million having been there or on parole/probation. We are well on our way to transforming this country into a prison colony.

  2. It wasn’t necessarily a two part question, I was posing the same inquiry as my professor.

    Your response, intriguing, although I don’t have much knowledge of US and it’s government or prison or policies for that matter. However, your own blog provides a wealth of insight into that and I am definitely going to read more thoroughly.

    Thanks for your comments… and I agree with you.

  3. I don’t know if this is helpful or not in your coming to a determination on the matter. I did think of you when I saw it however and decided to send it to you for you perusal. Cut/copy the entire string and paste it in your internet address box. It’s a 14 page pdf.

  4. Wow, that class seems really interesting actually! I bet you come accross some really interesting topics and some even better debates!


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