Edmonton - Tuesday, November 5, 2002 - by: Ron Thornton


It feels mighty good to be able to turn to our courts and discover how progressive our society has become. In supporting the majority 5-4 vote of our Supreme Court's decision to gives the franchise to federal prisoners, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin wrote,

right to

"The legitimacy of the law and the obligation to obey the law flow directly from the right of every citizen to vote."

no longer

Chief Justice McLachlin makes absolute sense provided each prisoner never enjoyed the promise of participation in the democratic process, possibly incarcerated since birth due to their blue eyes or big ears. As that seems unlikely, then the Supreme Court has just diluted significantly the consequences convicts must face for their actions. As for the rest of us, we must face the realization that no longer are inmates to be considered as having been exiled from society due to their imprisonment, but are merely serving a slightly extended "time-out."



bad guys

If you kill an elderly person during a break-in or put to death a child you have sexually assaulted, you are still to be considered a full-fledged voting member of society. The only change you will experience is that you now are grounded to your room, one that is provided to you at taxpayer expense, until such time as you are deemed to have learned your lesson and promise to play nice in future. I'm sure such conditions will strike fear into the hearts of all federal prisoners. Too many of us seem to forget that a good number of these poor misunderstood people have actually enhanced their image and their standing amongst their peers by going to a penitentiary. Surprisingly, few of them aspire to serve in government, the bench, the business community, the boy scouts, the girl guides, and the only bar they will be called to are the ones they are currently behind.




Still, our hearts sing now that justice has finally corrected the wrong suffered by Richard Sauve, the convicted murderer and former biker who somehow managed to launch such a legal challenge from behind his iron curtain. As Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin wrote,
"The idea that certain classes of people are not morally fit or morally worthy to vote and to participate in the law-making process is ancient and obsolete."
So, if we are to take our Chief Justice at her word, then those who kill, maim, threaten, steal and, in general, destroy the lives of their fellow man must now be considered as being morally fit and morally worthy to vote and to participate in the law-making process that they, by their very actions, have shown such contempt for in the first place. Yet, we wouldn't want to be seen as advocating mores that are ancient, obsolete, or intelligent, now would we.



law is
an ass

Thank God we live in such a country were the democratic rights of convicted murderers come before the rights of western Canadian grain farmers, who we lock up for illegally marketing their own produce with the same freedom legally enjoyed by their counterparts in central Canada. How grateful I am to live in a land where the law is an ass and where Justice is nothing more than the last name of a character from a Smoky and the Bandit movie.


Ron Thornton

  Tripp, Rob, Federal inmates win right to vote, November 1, 2002, The Kingston Whig-Standard
  Richard Sauve brught the case to the supreme court but is no longer serving time but works as a member of the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle group and can be reached at his email address regalia@cvmg.ca



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