Ukip candidate: 'Take away the right to vote to improve election turnout'
Magnus Nielsen suggested universal suffrage could be wound back
Tuesday 13 May 2014
Politicians have long been debating how to increase the turnout in elections but a Ukip candidate thinks he has the solution – take away the vote.
Magnus Nielsen, who is running for a council seat in north London, spoke about his unconventional ideas for reform at an election hustings in West Hampstead on Monday.
After saying many of his party’s supporters were disillusioned with the voting system because “so much power has been taken away from ordinary people”, he proposed doing just that.
Mr Nielsen, 64, said: “I have reflected on this over a period of time and I have drawn, I wouldn’t say conclusions, but ideas about this situation.
“I wanted to emphasise they are my ideas, not the ideas of Nigel Farage, or the party or anyone else standing for Ukip.
“I sometimes think the people who fought for the vote in 1832 and 1888 and so forth, trying to extend the franchise were probably doing the wrong thing.
“Generally speaking when you start taking things away, or threatening to take things away, people start clamouring and say they really want it.”
He suggested that one group to lose the right could be people who have served time in prison, where they are not allowed to vote, and been released.
“I think maybe we should start reducing the franchise,” Mr Nielsen said. Protest votes: Ukip reaps the benefits of voter dissatisfaction with the main parties
“I think you will make the vote more interesting if you show that people could actually lose their vote if people start committing crimes.”
His comments caused uproar at the hustings as he emphasised the suggestions were not made on behalf of Ukip and said he “had not reached a conclusion” on the issue.
The 1832 Reform Act aimed to remove “rotten boroughs” and extended voting beyond the aristocracy.
The law was the first to specifically exclude women, who were not allowed the vote until 1918, by defining voters as men.
Restrictions on age, wealth, property ownership and gender continued until universal suffrage was achieved in 1928.
Mr Nielsen, who is the chairman of Ukip’s Camden branch, made headlines earlier this year when he compared Islam to organised crime.
He told the Ham and High newspaper the Prophet Mohamed was “was a gang leader of criminals”.
The Independent has contacted Mr Nielsen for a comment.
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...