Instigator / Con
Points: 36

Mandatory Voting

Finished

The voting period has ended

After 7 votes the winner is ...
Alec
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
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
Points: 33
Description
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
Published:
I waive the round because of the rules.
Published:
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
Published:
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.
Published:
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
Published:
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.

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

Added:
--> @Alec
I don't know if the issue is you lack IQ, information or both but I am not going to prove to you something that won't matter to you anyway. See, whether it was grudge-voting or not, you are better off either believing it wasn't and priding yourself on this win or knowing that you can rally voters against me.
Either way, I'm worse off so I'm going to stop explaining it to you, I've said my piece.
Contender
#40
Added:
Debatevoter has no registered friends, so I doubt he would ally with Magic Aint real to vote in my favor. I made some pretty good arguments. You accused me of being a dictatorship supporter, which wasen't accurate. That would be poor conduct.
https://www.debateart.com/participants/DebateVoter
Instigator
#39
Added:
--> @Alec
Two are friends IRL or colleagues IRL of Magicaintreal. The account DebateVoter's only activity on the site ever was to make that vote.
Contender
#38
Added:
Why would they hate you? I mean, to be honest, I don't like you but I don't grudge vote against you. If their votes weren't adequate or too biased, they would have been reported.
Instigator
#37
Added:
All 3 had an agenda to vote against me.
Contender
#36
Added:
--> @Alec
I am telling you a truth, the three people who voted for you stretched point-allocation and the capacity to vote for a non-winner via ignoring arguments to the maximum capacity that they could (or at least 2 did, bifolkal was kinder).
Contender
#35
Added:
I didn't complain when you beat me in one debate, even though I thought I deserved to win that debate. You win some, you lose some. That's how life works. The voting was pretty competitive. I thought you were going to win this one. Turns out I did. Good debate regardless.
I wouldn't call myself a bystander as I was someone who competed in this big boy debate.
Instigator
#34
Added:
--> @Alec
You didn't. You were a bystander who profited from a grudge and rivalry.
Contender
#33
Added:
I'm glad I won against RM.
Instigator
#32
Added:
Wow, I thought for sure RM had this debate in the bag...oh well, nice bump for Alec.
#31
Added:
@RationalMadman
I didn't publicly complain when people voted for you and when I thought I would lose the debate. I expect the same courtesy.
Instigator
#30
Added:
You grudge voted me man
#29
Added:
Vote moderating is to blame, a maniac with a grudge is a byproduct of a flawed justice system, not something that's enabled or encouraged in a proper one.
Contender
#28
Added:
You're excused
Contender
#27
Added:
Excuse me but I placed a satisfactory and substantial vote.
#26
#7
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
The RFD starts here and continues to Comment #20 and beyond.
Arguments:
Pro starts off by showing 4 things we generally consider to be key to a democracy - 1) civic participation, 2) fair elections, 3) protecting rights, and 4) equal laws. Pro links all of this to the resolution by saying, "the basis of mandatory voting is identical to the basis of proportional representation, if anything it is a purer form of that reasoning."
Pro is basically making a case for a hyper-democracy, which is precisely what he has to do to win, because by Pro showing mandatory voting to be a "pure" representation of democracy, one who concludes that a democracy is the best form of government would have to conclude that making voting mandatory would be the truest representation of that best government by taking democracy's benefits to their extremes.
While I find Pro's explanation for HOW this would be made mandatory very weak and sort of just an after thought at the end of Pro's round, it would serve as a means to implement this mandate, so at this point Con needs to negate the benefits of a hyper-democratic idea like mandatory voting or poke holes in the implementation of the mandate.
Con's a fightin' little devil, and he comes out with some great points that do both.
Con mentions that about 120 million people didn't vote in the last US election, there are those who are unwilling to vote, those who are uninformed, those who would choose to feed their family instead of vote, and that not having to vote is a democratic freedom as well, when Con says, "Can't we simply have the freedom to not vote as well as the freedom to vote?"
Con points out that by implementing the mandate, you would necessarily mitigate democracy by forcing people to do something, quite antithetical to the very keys to democracy Pro pointed out 1st round, and that by implementing this mandate, 120 million americans would be fined for making what should be a democratic choice, i.e. "the freedom to not vote" and if people choose their family over voting, they are punished for making a decision on something they are consenting to make a decision on instead of making a decision they are being mandated to make.
This speaks to a poor implementation of the mandate, which directly impacts the resolution "should voting be mandatory?" because if we can't reasonably implement the mandate, we probably "shouldn't" mandate it and if it is in fact antithetical to democracy as Con contends, hyper-democracy should definitely not be mandated.
Pro responds nicely with the caveat that there could be an option at the ballot to choose to abstain from voting, thereby realizing your freedom to not choose with the mandate, but as Con points out "Some people may not have the time for voting" so these people would make the decision to help their family instead of going to the damn ballot and marking that they abstain. Choosing your family and your time over a ballot with "abstain" on it is an easy decision to make, and being fined for making this decision would be antithetical to a free and fair election.
The discussion on dictatorship and democracy is moot because both debaters agree that democracy is good and dictatorship is bad, it's just that they disagree on how that democracy is realized in a society and whether or not certain actions lead toward that democracy that both debaters agree is good.
Pro was unable to respond last round, but even considering that lack and giving Pro some more ground, Con successfully negates this resolution because Pro is just simply less than sympathetic to the actual harms of mandating voting on people to the extent that Pro does not go to any real length to address why people would choose voting over feeding their family if voting were mandated, or how in a democracy antithetically fining 120 million people is possible to implement to those people or how fining those who choose family sustenance is reasonable or worth mandating voting for.
Arguments to Con for successfully negating the resolution.
#6
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Arguments:
I feel Con wins the day here ultimately because Pro's idea of fining so many people is just outlandish and Con even says "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?" Pro was trying to tell everyone that democracy is all about civic duty and participating actively in government so as to preserve and protect the rights of the people, but Pro is telling me that people who'd rather choose to feed their family in the immediate outcome should then be fined for doing so?
Con's points on this were much more compelling, because unlike Pro's points about mandatory voting, Con took a forceful look at the real harms delivered by such a mandate and Pro seemed apathetic to it all and did not really respond to it Con's points in depth.
Con also makes a point that being able to not vote is part of true democratic elections and that forcing non-interested to people vote would yield votes based on less than reasonableness, and Pro makes a good response "You can botch the thing if you want or preferably there'd be an 'abstain' box to tick instead. Active abstaining is totally different" which would seem to satisfy Con's contention with the non willing/interested being forced to vote.
So now I imagine that I'm some single mom given the choice to go vote or keep my job and feed my family, even though there's this pretty little option to choose on the ballot, abstain, and even with that option I'm going to take the voting penalty and keep my job/feed my family, so really I've just been fined for choosing my family over my right to choose/not choose.
Meanwhile, as Con said to Pro "you spent much of your arguing as to why a democracy is good as opposed to why voting should be mandatory."
The discussion on dictatorship and democracy I felt was slightly irrelevant, though it seemed to me that neither debater was arguing for dictatorship and they both agreed with democracy.
Because Pro failed to compel me to mandate this to people, and I'm granting that Pro could not respond in the last round, arguments to Con for showing exactly why doing this could be harmful to people.
Sources:
Pro provided sources to show what makes a democracy and the strengths of democracy.
One issue I had with one of Pro's sources is that it explicitly said something quite opposite to what he was trying to indicate.
Pro's source directly said,
"In reality, however, democracy is slightly more problematic"
This makes me as the voter look at Pro's source and not consider it effective towards his argument.
Con on the other hand frequently quoted statistics from references that cited the US census bureau for their data, which seem reliable.
The data is precisely what Con stated it to be, and after checking those sources out, the data is corroborated and it was this piece of evidence, from the us census bureau that compelled me to vote Con because it showed just how many people would be hurt by this harm that Con proved was a detriment, and I was totally convinced by this substantially supportive data.
Since Con's sources were so much more effective than Pro's, sources to Con.
Conduct
Pro got a little snippy at the end and said "There is no way to deny it now Con, you dug your own grave on this one." which shows a little bit of intimidating aggression and then when Pro was supposed to just kindly waive the round he said "Unfair to bring so many new points in the last Round...
Sadly I can't rebuke as per debate structure."
This is both not true and a conduct violation in my view because Pro was instructed to waive the last round, however commented regarding new arguments which to me is not waiving the round at all, it's trying to attempt to sway the voters one last time so conduct point Con, as per the rules.
#5
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Arguments: Pro offers pre-emptive arguments for democracy - these are unnecessary as con has not yet made the argument and is more a protection against a Kritik - it mostly just breaks up the flow.
Pro focuses on potential harms of non mandatory voting:
That urban voters would outweigh rural voters. Pro doesn’t make it clear why this is the case, or how MV would avoid it.
Pro makes a case that it creates an oligarchy in favour of those who have time to vote, then focuses on how that could then be manipulated.
While there are aspects of this argument for which that I felt pro didn’t offer sufficient warrant (that media manipulation is avoided by MV), I felt the general thrust pro made is generally compelling.
Cons R2 counter must either negate pros benefits, or submit harms. Practicality issues are normally avoided by fiat in these types of debates, and so as Con doesn’t show harm from practicality - I have to ignore this.
Cons argument about fines doesn’t appear to have warrant - as pro already states fines are proportional to income which is not addressed.
Cons other proposed harm is relating to stupidity of voters. I don’t feel con shows this is a specific harm from mandatory voting as much as voting in general.
Pro very much counters the argument of informed voters by pointing out the solution is to inform them - this is an excellent rebuttal.
Pro also elaborates his main harm - that without voting being mandatory - voting must be incentivized by other means that are easy to exploit (such as sensationalism) - I find this a better formulation than in pros opening.
In his final rebuttal con does not really elaborate on his harms, or really counter the harms pro shows. Con raises a couple of objections to pros point relating to Latin America - which in my view do not counter the harms - and a practicality issue that pro cannot respond to.
As a result, I felt pro established a harm on the status quo, whereas con neither negated pros harm, or proposed a reasonable harm. Thus arguments go to pro.
I don’t feel spelling, sources or conduct was sufficient warranted points either way - I don’t feel pro pointing out new points is a clear enough violation to warrant conduct point deduction.
#4
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
I apologize in advance in case I misuse pro and con on this (I'm used to the instigator being pro, and the contender being con).
Arguments: Pro. I don't agree with him, but he supported the case well (much stronger than the opposition). The Swiss free media example was the highlight (even while I'm leaving sources tied...), which tied nicely into the points about how sensational private media is when trying to manipulate idiots into voting for bad candidates (really surprised it was con who brought up Trump and Clinton). The suggested penalty of a flat tax (not regressive or progressive), seemed quite reasonable and easy to implement; the counter points were too weak for serious consideration, since tax agencies are known to exist (they already send a bill to the majority of the population... usually this does not lead to the claimed mass starvation). how con twisted that into sending out the military on election day to round everyone up to vote, is quite beyond me.
Pro. You could have made your case stronger with emphasis on voter suppression in the US.
Con. You may have just been introduced to the term moving the goalpost, but that does not mean that everything is that. Pro wanted to use dictatorships as a lead-in, that's perfectly permissible. It would be moving the goalpost if he skipped out on the topic and advocated he should win for his argument in favor of dictatorship as opposed to anything on topic.
Conduct: Pro. I won't call the final round a blitzkrieg tactic, but it did try to manipulate the voters unduly by changing what both debaters had discussed. There was talk of a simple fine, claiming that pro was advocating rounding people up was in no way a misunderstanding, but a strawperson of the worst degree. Pro had agreed to not respond, and con attempted to bait him with blatant lies about the debate. ... As per pro's two sentence signifying waiving of the round, I see no debate points brought up or replied to. He was not instructed on any particular phrase to use. To penalize this would be akin to penalizing "Thanks for the debate, I had fun."
#3
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
I was originally going to make this debate a massive google doc, but I think that it really does not need so much ink. So, to save the time of the readers, I will try to keep my RFD under 5 pages.
To be frank, I do not see how this debate has much to do with totalitarianism. Is the lack of a mandatory vote akin to tyranny? Regardless this argument functions as a defensive argument. Defensive argumentation does not offer an impact, and instead is used to block another opponent’s point. Generally, you would want to save this block of text until your opponent supported totalitarianism.
Besides this defensive point, RM has 3 points of offense that he uses
1. People in densely populated areas carry more influence in comparison to areas that are sparsely populated and usually rural.
2. People are busy and may not have enough time to vote.
3. Cynical people are not going to vote because they realize that their vote doesn’t matter.
RM argues that when enough people come together to vote on an issue, then that issue gets representation in political entities such as congress. This system, he argues, is better than the oligarchic system that pervades political institutions right now and solving for the three problems he mentioned. RM notes that he would implement a fine when people did not vote.
Alec responds to the point about tyranny by stating it is essentially a non-sequitur since he is not defending totalitarianism. He discusses the harms of fining practically ½ of Americans who would not vote even after implementation, and he also claims that people who are unaware of current events would ruin the democratic vote for everyone as they essentially choose a name out of a hat to vote.
RM’s explanation as to why uninformed voters are not going to hurt democracy is told through 3 responses.
He first brings up Switzerland, which mandated voting, and ultimately is doing well on scales of human development. (I understand that the logic follows that mandatory voting led to all these benefits, but it needs to be established that mandatory voting led to the good human development rating.)
Also, RM mentions that people will become informed out of necessity when they elect bad politicians who enact bad policies that affect them.
Finally, RM talks of the importance of a publicly funded media to inform people, (which Alec points out is moving the goal posts.)
To be clear, none of the arguments that RM has used thus far are perfect, but Alec drops the ball on responding to them. He does respond to RM’s third issue with the idea of the uninformed masses, but the other 2 responses still stand, as do his original contentions.
Furthermore, Alec does mention that the Switzerland comparison is not accurate, and the health of the nation could be other factors besides mandatory voting. Sans a causal link, RM’s point here falls.
Alec also mentions that the fines would also be a problem. (It would have been beneficial here to quantify the issue. You could have quantified how fines hurt the lower class right now, or that minimum wage jobs in retail/food preparation are not likely to find the time to vote anyway Give me a sob story or a statistic to make this point pop. Otherwise, I do not know how to weigh it.)
However, even if both of RM’s arguments responded to are nullified, and the point about fines still exists, I am still voting for RM. His arguments supporting the idea that people become more informed and put better people into power out of necessity is uncontested, as is the idea that undemocratic representation is limited as more people vote, and previously dense, urban areas lose much of their political clout as other areas get higher representation as well.
Whiteflame brought this up, but it must be repeated. Con, you can’t be passive in allowing Pro to establish burdens.
Have a framework for the judges to establish criteria as to why I should vote for your side. RM established early on that we need to value the democratic vote over anything. If you tied your points to your own framework, or show how your points accomplish what RM wants, you would have fared better in this debate.
I am also kind of confused as to why the entire BoP falls on Pro. The resolution is normative, so both sides have a share of the burden. Pro intends to prove that mandatory voting should occur, while Con needs to prove why it shouldn’t.
If there are any questions, PM me. Thanks for the interesting debate! 😊
#2
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
-Arguments-
Pro argues that democracy embodies the power of the people to participate in elections and civic live, have equal rights, and have laws equally apply to all people, so mandatory voting would actually yield more people voting, or more properties of this embodiment by necessitating the participation. Pro suggests that the mandatory voting could be imposed by fining those who don't vote, proportionally to their income, to act as an incentive to vote.
As a voter, this all seems like a substantial case for not only how voting could be made mandatory, but how making it mandatory would increase the very things we want and expect from democracy.
I'm leaning Pro at this point.
Con does pretty well though. Con points out, with statistics, that in the last election at least 120 million people did not vote which would require, with Pro's idea, to fine just that many people, and as Con also points out, "Some people may not have the time for voting. Should the US government round up people to vote in an election..." which was pretty much what I was thinking about with this idea and why it might not be implementable which speaks to this resolution "Should voting be mandatory?" Con also shows that while Pro showed the Netherlands to have a great country and successful mandatory elections, that much of Latin America is rife with poverty and despair and most of the countries are mandatory voting countries.
This left Pro's case about the products of democracy coming from mandatory voting less impactful, because if mandatory voting is going to fine 120 million people for making free choices and there's a possibility that mandatory voting leads to the many cases of despair like that of Latin America, plus Pro gives me no reason to doubt these points, then mandatory voting would actually serve to mitigate, instead of exacerbate, democracy, antithetical to Pro's case.
Now I see that Pro could not respond last round, that is a real shame, but Pro I feel like you had the opportunity to knock down how impactful fining 120 million people was in the round where you could have responded but you did not address anywhere near the level it was impacting on the resolution. By leaving Con's point about how you could reasonably fine 120 million people for not having time to vote, it makes implementing this mandatory voting a harsh penalty for choosing, say, to go to work or babysit your children.
Con wins arguments because implementing the mandatory voting would require fining too many people for making a free choice about their time.
Arguments to Con.
#1
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
This is relatively straightforward. Con allowed Pro to dictate almost the entirety of the burdens of the debate, basically stating that all he has to do is show that a) a democratic system is the best possible system (conceded by Con), and b) that that system is best served by mandatory voting. Pro spends way too much time on the former in his first round, perhaps under the impression that Con would argue this differently. Pro then argues the need to have a mandatory system, examining the importance of being informed (and that the consequences of not being informed will eventually lead people to keep informed), the nature of democracy and why it's facilitated by more voting, and arguing that a democratic system lacking a mandate might as well be oligarchic. Some of these are a little short on explanation, but the points basically stand unopposed, largely because Con fails to address them in any meaningful way.
Instead, Con's argument seems to buy into a lot of what Pro is arguing. He talks about the dangers of uninformed voters, which he is correct would increase with a mandate. However, Pro points out that there's a tremendous incentive to be informed for the sake of electing leaders who aren't going to cause you a great deal of harm. I can still see problems with that argument, but I don't see Con pointing them out. Con does make the argument that the fines associated with the mandates will still unduly harm the poor, arguing that getting to the polling place itself may be difficult. I think this is Con's strongest point, but he doesn't do much with it, leaving its impact largely up to interpretation. I buy that there is a harm, but what makes this point less meaningful is the lack of some broader issue to attach it to. Con is telling me about what is, effectively, the death of democracy (or at least its corruption). Pro, you have to tell me about classism. Give me another value to challenge Pro's. Without it, I can only say that this is a minor, largely transient issue.
Besides all this, both sides seem stuck on this argument that mandating nations are better/worse, though it seems like neither side is garnering much from this largely correlative comparison.
With all these points taken into account, and though I think Pro is hyperbolizing a bit with his arguments, I can't do much else but vote for him. Mandating voting has clear benefits to democracy as a whole, and supporting such a wide-reaching value with the promise of representative leadership that actually cares and has real purpose and power to change things is simply unchallenged. I will, however, award conduct to Con. Pro was advised to waive the final round, but instead inserted a remark regarding new arguments (just FYI, I see rebuttals, not new arguments). That's not waiving the round in its entirety, so he loses the conduct point, as per the rules.