Instigator / Con
36
1596
rating
42
debates
63.1%
won
Topic

Mandatory Voting

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
9
12
Sources points
14
10
Spelling and grammar points
7
7
Conduct points
6
4

With 7 votes and 3 points ahead, the winner is ...

Alec
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Politics
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
5,000
Contender / Pro
33
1672
rating
283
debates
66.96%
won
Description
~ 306 / 5,000

The rules are:
1: The BoP is on Pro since he wants it to be mandatory.
2: I will waive the 1st round and my opponent will waive the last round. They must signify this in the round. Violation is an automatic loss of the conduct point.
3: A forfeit is an automatic loss unless apologized for in the comments.

Round 1
Con
I waive the round because of the rules.
Pro
What is democracy supposed to do, like what exactly is it?


We can think of democracy as a system of government with four key elements:

  1. A political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections.
  2. The active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life.
  3. Protection of the human rights of all citizens.
  4. A rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens.

Hmm, okay... So what makes it better than say an outright dictatorship or, alternatively to PURE democracy (mob rule without proportional representation to help rural areas have a say despite lower populations)?

So, let's see why (ignoring morality) that democracy is better than tyranny/dictatorship in a pragmatic way:

A significant strength of democracy as a form of government is that it makes political dissent less probable. An elected government will have been voted into power by a majority, meaning that a majority should be satisfied. This cannot compare to any other form of government: the only way to ensure majority approval is by hearing from the public, and shaping a government based on their expressed needs. Even if a dictatorship would be in the interest of the majority, this would only be an assumption, since elections are the best way to gauge what the public wants/needs. On the other hand, a democratic government leaves out the needs of minorities, which might leave them feeling unconsidered, resulting in dissatisfaction. However, there is no form of government that can appease all people, and only with democracy can majority satisfaction be assured.

This excerpt explains that while democracy can have the drawback of the uninformed masses voting wrongly, it undeniably is going to stop revolts and revolutions in the long run because (by default) the people in power can constantly defend their authority saying 'you chose us'. In history you will rarely find democratic nations or regimes ever having been successfully overthrown or broken unless it was so blatant that terms were either too long or elections too blatantly rigged such that the people felt the democracy was a lie and it really was oligarchy or, worse, dictatorship. If you're going to leave your populace constantly dissatisfied with who is in charge, it is still worse than having bad choices as leaders that you can blame the populace for. So, pragmatically, if Con defends dictatorship or any variant of it that is less than 70% democratic or such in how it chooses its leaders, I'm going to have a fairly solid defence that ignores morality which I will keep referring back to in order to cover that base.

So why mandatory voting? Also, I still have to explain why democracy itself, especially with proportional representation, is wiser than just mob rule. The reason why this is actually necessary for Pro to elaborate upon is that the basis of mandatory voting is identical to the basis of proportional representation, if anything it is a purer form of that reasoning. 

See, if you have a group of people who decide who rules a chunk of land, the first issue (which leads to proportional representation) is that the denser populated areas would have an undemocratically huge say in the democratically-run process of electing leaders who would then be encouraged to make policies that benefit the urban areas at the sake of the rural ones (due to population density and say in the leadership). This, then, leads us to realise that if you also have only the voters who have enough spare time that day due to work and how tired they are or due to lack of knowing there even is an election or how to vote (let alone who to vote on and why), you have an oligarchic formation within the democracy. The oligarchic formation is first assumed to be 'people who give a damn about the nation' but if you look at most democratic nations that lack mandatory voting, there is no blatant or provable increase in the level that voters care about and appreciate the leaders. Instead, what happens is that everyone begins to care less and less as the game begins to revolve around manipulating the media such that most who are easy enough to persuade begin to care about issues that matter so little or only a medium amount and then to make those same people be the only ones who care to vote as the smarter ones begin to realise the best option is to protest by not voting or even if they do vote, they realise that democracy and even proportional representation has begun to backfire as they already know their vote isn't going to the final result unless the people in their allocated area care enough in large enough a quantity to high enough a quality to vote for the actual least of the evils.]

The punishment should be a fine proportional to the person's income in percentage. This doesn't hurt the poor worse, if anything it is the best way to ensure the poor have the most say possible in the nation's leadership. I will wait to see what Con brings to the table.
Round 2
Con
My opponent basically says that a democracy is superior to a dictatorship.  However, this is off topic to the debate topic on why voting should be mandatory.

https://www.accuratedemocracy.com/d_datac.htm states the voting rate among various democracies.  As you can see, in no country is the voter turnout at 100% and only 3 countries have a voter turnout of 90% or higher.  Because of this, it is safe to say that in most if not all democracies in the world require voting.

https://www.bustle.com/articles/192629-how-many-people-voted-in-the-2016-election-donald-trump-attracted-a-lot-of-attention states that 119 million people voted for Hillary or Trump.  Add in some 3rd party votes, you may get 130 million.  https://www.reference.com/government-politics/many-adults-live-usa-b830ecdfb6047660 states that there are around 250 million adults in the US.  This means that about 1/2 American adults did not vote.  You suggested fining everyone who didn't vote.  How are you going to propose fining 120 million adults?  You have failed to even state how much of a percent you want to take from people as a punishment for refusing to vote.  What if that money that you take from them was their food money?  Now, they are starving and will have to live like Africans for a day because you decided to force your will upon them to vote for something they don't care about.  Can't we simply have the freedom to not vote as well as the freedom to vote?


Not all people are politically aware.  Should people who are not even aware of political information be required to vote?  No.  They might pick a random guess as to who they like.  They might pick someone because of how they look, or how their name sounds.  I met a few people who are like that.  They would vote for someone because they liked the name.  This is dangerous because it is like allowing 8 year olds to vote.  They have no idea what is going on.  Neither do some adult Americans.  Should people be forced to vote on something that they don't know what is going on?  No.

Should voting be mandatory?  No, because some people simply aren't interested in politics and they should not be required to vote on something that they simply don't care about.  Forcing them to vote will cause the votes of the people who aren't interested in politics to simply guess which politician they like best.

Sources:


I await Rational Madman's response.
Pro
It is quite confusing to me what Con is doing. This debate, as Con, as far as I know, can be won in one of two ways:

1. To support dictatorship
2. To support democracy and show that forcing people to vote (or at least proportionally fining them for not doing so relative to their income) is less democratic than the system of fully optional voting (or somehow to make an in-between system that I don't know of).

What it seems like Con is doing is somehow trying to do 1 by doing 2. This is impossible to achieve and if you argue that voters are too ill-informed, the solution always is, has been and forevermore will be to inform them. It is logically unsound to accuse the deceived or ill-informed for not informing themselves if you then don't let them work out the 'hard way' (by voting in bad candidates and living under their regime) that they need to get informed and do so fast. In other words, either you take your harsh approach and allow the stupid masses to vote the poorly-constructed-manifesto-candidate into presidency/prime-ministership (depending if the nation has a Royal family) and suffer or you fully encourage reform to the media whereby the public-funded media available to all for 'free' (paid by tax) informs the people well. This is why, at the end of my Round 1, I clearly stated that the issue with optional voting is that the media cannot afford to waste time and effort informing in detail or giving elaborate reports when they first need to encourage you to get out and vote in the first place. People often blame sensationalised media in and of itself as being what brainwashes people but this is something I long ago worked out is false-blaming of the wrong kind of Illuminati. The flaw is in the system and that you, as a citizen, need first to be manipulated and emotionally incentivised to vote at all. This requires even collaboration between media sources to focus on the same 'hot issues' that seem to grab enough people's attention to make them feel the urge to even vote in the first place. The low turnouts Con provides us with in the majority of nations is evidence completely of how much more entertaining and sensationalising the Media will have to become if it wants to push that percentage higher. If people already have massive motive to go and vote, then if the Media stays sensationalising that would be because of a profit-motive and needing many to purchase it. This then leads us to realise that everything revolves around the 'oh so 1984 corrupt idea' of a centralised non-profit-motivated broadcast agency. 

In direct support of what I suggest, a nation embracing mandatory voting, Switzerland, in its campaign to keep public broadcasting produced this to defend the need for it and to explain how well corruption happens without it:


As the nation is not just having mandatory voting but good standards all round (second in the world for Human Development Index 2017) http://hdr.undp.org/sites/all/themes/hdr_theme/country-notes/CHE.pdf it follows that the entire angle of 'dumb voters voting' is negated as likely since not just in Switzerland where the referendum where 71% voted “no” to public broadcasting being defunded (which is undeniably accurate as this was a referendum with voting on it being mandatory).

The entire remainder and lead-up to the 'dumb voter' and 'disinterested voter' angle which completely ignored what I said at the end of Round 1, actually supports me immensely on the entire point I was making. If you want democracy, which is a system designed to be as fair and free (in the choosing of leaders and policy) as possible for the most amount of citizens in the nation, you cannot then say 'let's deincentivise voting as much as possible without charging people directly for doing so' and expect to be truly democratic in any single vote's outcome at all. Do you honestly believe that there is a single citizen in a nation who is so powerfully neutral they wouldn't go and vote? Just to be crystal clear I am not saying you have to actually fill out someone's name on the form. You can botch the thing if you want or preferably there'd be an 'abstain' box to tick instead. Active abstaining is totally different in results and what you can do with it than people not voting. It is extremely easy for the system to feel unbroken and that it's doing a good job of informing enough people when the voiceless can be assumed to be lazy or stupid with regards to their nation's politics. What kind of regime would want to not only keep the uninformed, uninformed, but be able to actively say 'shame you were too lazy to vote' and then to look at the people with botched ballots and go 'oh how stupid of them, they filled it out wrong' or 'LOL they wrong "NONE OF THESE!!" on their ballot, what morons, xD xD!!!'

The attitude of Con and leaders of regimes that pose as democratic and have not fully incentivised their people to get informed in a humane-enough way (taxing proportional to income) are oligarchs who'd rather a dictatorship posing very carefully as democracy-supporters. There is no way to deny it now Con, you dug your own grave on this one.

Round 3
Con
1. To support dictatorship
2. To support democracy and show that forcing people to vote (or at least proportionally fining them for not doing so relative to their income) is less democratic than the system of fully optional voting (or somehow to make an in-between system that I don't know of).

I definitely was not advocating for #1.  I also think that voting should be optional and not required.

This is impossible to achieve and if you argue that voters are too ill-informed, the solution always is, has been and forevermore will be to inform them.
Voters can be informed this is fine.  But this is moving the goalposts.

In direct support of what I suggest, a nation embracing mandatory voting, Switzerland, in its campaign to keep public broadcasting produced this to defend the need for it and to explain how well corruption happens without it:


As the nation is not just having mandatory voting but good standards all round (second in the world for Human Development Index 2017) http://hdr.undp.org/sites/all/themes/hdr_theme/country-notes/CHE.pdf it follows that the entire angle of 'dumb voters voting' is negated as likely since not just in Switzerland where the referendum where 71% voted “no” to public broadcasting being defunded (which is undeniably accurate as this was a referendum with voting on it being mandatory).
Here you state that one country with mandatory Voting has had a good time within it's country.  However, this can easily be attributed to other factors.  Many countries where voting is mandatory are in Latin America, and they have low standards of living overall (https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1200/1*KhE-fNACKKe5VLJPOF094A.png).  In fact, most areas don't require voting, areas like:

-The US
-Most, if not, then all of the EU

Just to be crystal clear I am not saying you have to actually fill out someone's name on the form. You can botch the thing if you want or preferably there'd be an 'abstain' box to tick instead.
Some people may not have the time for voting.  Should the US government round up people to vote in an election they probably don't care about?  That sounds tyrannical.  If people were interested, they would on their own go to voting stations and vote.  Also, many people who aren't involved with politics would merely guess based off of something trivial and this would cause many people who don't deserve the election to win the election.

There is no way to deny it now Con, you dug your own grave on this one.
I would like to cite this as poor conduct.  Beyond that, you spent much of your arguing as to why a democracy is good as opposed to why voting should be mandatory.  I believe that democracy is good.  I simply don't believe that voting should be mandatory.  If someone isn't interested in politics, then they shouldn't have to vote.  This is America.  We value freedom to vote or not to vote.

Pro
Unfair to bring so many new points in the last Round...
Sadly I can't rebuke as per debate structure.