Voting rights

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Tony Kelly (Perspective, 3 
December) is right to highlight the fact that Scotland is about to have to take its own view on 
voting rights for prisoners.

The overwhelming majority of European countries, including Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden, allow many or all convicted prisoners to vote. If the Scots are so instinctively Scandinavian in outlook, as is often argued, why then is our government so anxious to copy the current UK blanket ban in the forthcoming referendum and why is there no sign of a serious challenge to that being raised in the parliament, with our preferred models apparently being instead Georgia, Bulgaria and Russia?

If we want to show that we value voting as a hard-won, fundamental right, this issue needs better and fuller debate as the legislation for the referendum proceeds.

L M Blackburn

Kirk Brae