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:
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.
Democratic rights of citizens