Friday, June 25, 2010

Overwhelming opposition

Earlier in the month, I made a submission on Paul Quinn's Electoral (Disqualification of Convicted Prisoners) Amendment Bill, which would strip every prisoner of the right to vote. I've just spent some time browsing the submissions on this bill, and the result is astounding. 53 submissions have been released so far. Of those, two, from the Electoral Enrolment Centre and Privacy Commissioner, were neutral (they were concerned with the notification process, and made no comment on the bill itself). Of the rest, only two were in favour - those of National MP Paul Quinn, who sponsored the bill, and National-party stooge DPF. The rest were opposed on democratic grounds, with many arguing that instead the law should be amended to allow all prisoners to vote. So much for Quinn's claim that

I can advise I have received overwhelming support since news of my Bill became public knowledge.

There may be more submissions which have not yet been heard by the Committee. But if this is it, then the message is clear: the people overwhelmingly oppose this bill. The Committee would be wise to take heed.