Proposition: Young Offenders: naming by the media.
POUR: 2 CONTRE: 39 ILL: 3 OUT OF ISLAND: 1 EN DEFAUT: 1 NOT
Some curious voting on this proposition. On the original proposition, only
the two Pitman's voted. The amendment was for "name and shame" for children
of 16 or 17.
Deputy Trevor Mark Pitman
Deputy Shona Pitman
Young Offenders: naming by the media (P.148/2009) - amendment
POUR: 12 CONTRE: 33 ILL: 3 OUT OF ISLAND: 1 EN DEFAUT: 1 NOT
Several States members suddenly appeared by magic, and the vote was larger. Curiously, the Pitmans both voted against it, which seems a complete abdication of logic - after all, if name and shame was a good principle, why vote against an amendment which went some of the way towards what they desired?
But to name and shame those voting in favour:
Senator Paul Francis Routier
Senator Ben Edward Shenton
Senator Bryan Ian Le Marquand
Connétable Silvanus Arthur Yates
Connétable Graeme Frank Butcher
Connétable Peter Frederick Maurice Hanning
Connétable Juliette Gallichan
Deputy Carolyn Fiona Labey
Deputy Kevin Charles Lewis
Deputy Jeremy Martin Maçon
We'll have to wait until Hansard is eventually published before we find out the exact reasons given by those voting in favour. I think some may have been swayed by the idea that young people of 16 or 17 now had the vote, and should therefore be brought more into line with regard to criminal matters. This is of course, not entirely logical. No one is going to vote to reduce
the age at which people can drive to 16, or to reduce the age at which they can buy cigarettes, or drink. I suspect those were skimmed past at speed by those 12 States members.
It is interesting that Ian le Marquand voted this way. He was so careful in restrictions for sex offenders, so that the law as it stands does not allow a single parent in a new relationship to check the new partner, and the notifications list of sex offenders is firmly kept away from the public domain - because it would prevent rehabilitating sex offenders back into the community. Yet it seems fair to stigmatise and name young people, which may also cause problems with what might be youthful indiscretions. Is this right? There is a senior centenier in St Brelade whose early and only criminal record of theft was over 30 years in the past, and whose appointment was queried on that basis by the judiciary, which seems an over enthusiastic response to the failure with Roger Holland, whose sexual offenses were much more recent.
I would argue that the only valid link for voting age is not "name and shame", but payment of taxes. The American Revolution established a pretty solid precedent which was pithily summed up in the aphorism "no taxation without representation", and as payers of income tax in full time employment, there is a good case for voting at 16, because it is taxpayers money the States spend.
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