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by The Government Department of European WA Office. . 137 reads.

WA Office | Fairness in Elections

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WA Office Opinion
Fairness in Elections

The proposal at-vote, “Fairness in Elections”, aims to promote increased access to voting by all citizens of member nations, particularly those incarcerated. However, exceptions are created by those convicted of certain crimes, such as electoral fraud. This aim is certainly admirable, and the proposal is generally well-written and well-formatted.

The legislation achieves this aim through mandating that member nations give electoral access to almost all their inhabitants. Clause b prevents criminal convicts, with relevant and fair exceptions for those convicted of certain severe or political charges, from being denied access to the vote, with a loophole closed by clause c. Further, clause d prevents discrimination based on arbitrary factors from impairing a person’s vote, explicitly including being unemployed or in debt; clause h extends these rights to cover all forms of votes, including non-electoral ones. Lastly, clause I protects the right to lawful expressions of disagreement with current governance.

All of these clauses serve to robustly ensure that elections in member states are as representative as possible, and it is challenging to find a complaint with most of them. However, the content of clause e causes difficulty. This clause prevents inmates from being unduly influenced in their voting, a noble goal, but does so preventing not only from prison guards from acting in such a manner, but also other inmates. In many member nations, controlling the interactions between inmates to this extent is simply infeasible and poses too much of a burden on the penal services of those states.

Overall, therefore, the Office recommends a vote AGAINST this proposal, on the basis of the near-impossibility of fulfilling one of the legislation’s mandates. However, these is the hope that a replacement will soon be proposed to fix the issues present with the legislation, thereby ensuring that the right to universal suffrage is protected in all member nations.

Primary author(s): Kenmoria.

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