Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"Votes for Prisioners"- a sideways rap-up.

Checking again through the details of last week's crucial "Votes for Prisioners" debate and vote, several interesting points came to light.
Firstly, whilst the three Plaid Cymru MPs (Edwards, Llwyd and Williams) voted "no" to David Davis' motion that this House:
"...is of the opinion that legislative decisions of this nature should be a matter for democratically-elected lawmakers; and supports the current situation in which no prisoner is able to vote except those imprisoned for contempt, default or on remand"
...three SNP MPs (Hosie, Weir and Whiteford) voted "yes". Proving, again, perhaps Plaid Cymru could be justified in defining themselves as more "progressive" on social issues than their Scottish brethren?
Joining Plaid Cymru in the "No" lobby was Lady Hermon, a fact not that surprising in terms of public perception of her liberalism, but one that also doesn't really tie in with her previous conservative voting approach to, for example- a stricter asylum system, abortion,"Europe" and the removal of the hunting ban.
An independently-thinking independent, in other words?!

Another NI MP happy to describe herself as a "progressive", Naomi Long (who was incidently back in Belfast not much later on that very same day to pick up the Slugger Politician of the Year Award), did make a rather eloquent speech mid-afternoon in favour of granting prisioners' voting rights. However, for whatever reason(?), as she pointed out at the beginning of her speech, she wasn't able to make the vote three hours later.

But in truth, considering the important implications of the bill, it was a rather pitiful turnout from Northern Ireland's MPs generally; along with Lady Hermon, only Nigel Dodds and Ian Paisley Jr managed to make it to the lobby (both voting "yes").

1 comment:

thedissenter said...

Sylvia would take the view that if the ECHR said that you must, then you must. Legal thing.