The Instigator
PeeGor
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
JBlake
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

A Modern Form of Democracy is Preferable to Other Existing Forms of Government

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
JBlake
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/5/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,603 times Debate No: 6149
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)

 

PeeGor

Pro

AFFIRMATIVE

[Quote]

"The love of democracy is that of equality."
Charles de Montesquieu

[Definitions]

Modern Democracy- a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly

Preferable- having greater value or desirability

Other Existing Forms of Government- different types of government that do not include democracy or any variation of democracy that have been tried

[Value/ Value Criterion]

Value: Democracy
Value Criterion: Consent of the Governed

Democracy should obviously be the value for this round, for it is the most relevant on a resolutional scale. A (modern) democracy is preferable to other existing forms of government because it forces decision-makers to take into account the interests and opinions of all people in society. With the majority of the people's opinions taken into consideration, the will of the people, also known as consent of the governed, can best be upheld, ergo my value criterion.

[Contentions]

(1) Democracy upholds human rights to its constituents better than any other form of government. Without going into confusing arguments, let's just stop and think for a moment. If you are a leader of a democratic nation and are abusing your power or using your power in the wrong way to restrict or violate somebody else's rights, what will happen? There are two possible outcomes. You can be impeached or voted out of office, both of which ensure the removal of said governmental leader from abusing society, which therefore upholds my value criterion of the consent of the governed (most people in society do not like to be abused by power)

(2) The Democratic Peace Theory. The democratic peace theory holds that two democratic nations almost never go to war with each other. Immanuel Kant foreshadowed this theory in his essay Perpetual Peace. He thought that the majority of the people would not vote to go to war, unless in self-defense. Obviously, it is not needed to explain why not being at war is a positive effect of democracy.

[Note]

This is a LD debate, and should be treated as such

I reserve the right to make future arguments

Thank you
JBlake

Con

I would like to begin by welcoming PeeGor to Debate.org. Thank you for the opportunity to debate this very interesting topic.

I negate:
That Democracy is preferable to all other existing forms of government.

He defines a Democracy as such:
"Modern Democracy- a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly."
--- I accept this definition of a Modern Democracy.

My opponent bases his case on rule by the people. He supposes that a government should be a reflection of the will of the people. When stated as such, this would seem to be the preferable form of government. Unfortunately, another way to word the definition is 'rule by the majority.' When the definition for Democracy is restated in this way it loses a bit of its romanticism and is exposed for what it really is - majority rule.

-------------------------

Majority rule (democracy) as governmental policy works great for a person when they are a member of the majority. Unfortunately, this excludes the minority from the benefits of democracy. At any given moment, the will of the people might be to oppress a minority group. Take the recent struggles over gay marraige as an example. The majority of voters have decided in many areas to restrict homosexuals' ability to marry someone of the same gender. This is one example of oppressing the minority. Another example is racial slavery as it appeared in the United States until 1863. The majority had decided to oppress an entire race. Clearly there need to be checks on the will of the people.

It is the contention of this author that a Constitutional Republican form of government with democratic principles would be a more preferable form of government than a democracy.

Constitutional Republic (form of government) - a government made up of representatives elected by a populace and bound by a constitution.
democratic principles - universal suffrage. Everyone has a say in who represents them.

In a republican form of government with democratic principles the people's will is still effective, since all citizens have the right to vote. However, the government is bound by a constitution. A constitution trumps the will of the people. Therefore, a constitutional republic provides ample protection for the minority against the tyranny of the majority.

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CONCLUSION
A democracy inevitably results in the tyranny of the majority. Therefore, A Republican form of government with democratic principles is preferable to a democracy.
Debate Round No. 1
PeeGor

Pro

To my opponent, JBlake, thank you for accepting this debate. I wish you good luck in the final round.

I will begin to refute my opponents case, and then go on to defend my own

[Opponent Value]

--> He does not present one, thus mine is superior and the 'higher standard'. Whomever upholds democracy throughout this debate the best will win the round

[Opponent Value Criteria]

--> He does not present one, so mine is superior

[His Contentions/Definitions]

Although my opponent did not present his case in an easily-read format, I will make do with what I have

(1) He accepts my definition of a modern democracy

(2) My opponent then goes on to say that a constitutional republic with universal suffrage would be better than a democracy. I have one response

--> This is not resolutional. Referring back to the resolution, it clearly states"...other EXISTING forms of government". Because no government that has had a constitution, a form of republic, and universal suffrage has existed/ is existing, this argument can be dropped. For example, no country has had a government in which babies were allowed to vote (part of universal suffrage)

Now onto my case

[Value]

My opponent did not attack my value of democracy, so you can extend it through the round

[Value Criterion]

My opponent attacks my value criterion of the consent of the governed because he thinks that democracy, although it is the best depiction of the true will of the people, eventually leads to the tyranny of the majority. I have two responses

--> All governmental rulings do not please everyone. If you do believe in what my opponent believes, than you must trample on the rights of the majority (say, 95%) versus the minority (say, 5%). All rulings inevitably make people happy and mad, so I ask my opponent: Who should get the rights, the 95% or the 5%? (Both cannot, for there is not one form of government that exists which pleases every single constituent of society)

--> Also entailed in the democratic form of government is a system of checks and balances, all to ensure the rights of the minority are not being infringed upon. For example, let's take America (it complies with my definition of a modern democracy, which, by the way, my opponent accepted). In America, there would NEVER be elections that directly trampled on the rights of the minority. There would NEVER be elections where the majority of the people would vote whether or not to take all of Bill Gate's money. The government obviously knows that the majority of the people would want his billions of dollars, but that doesn't make it right. Democracy is not a strict majorital rule. Entailed in the democratic process of making legislation is a system of checks and balances.

[Contentions]

Contention I: Protection of Rights

--> Simple. He does not argue this, for it can be extended through to the final round

Contention II: Democratic Peace Theory

--> Simple. He did not argue this, for it can be extended through to the final round

[Voting Issues]

(1) My opponent did not attack my value, which, in LD (which I made clear this format was to be in) means that the value is extended for both parties. Because my case better upholds democracy (my opponents case was based purely on a 'republican constitutional universal suffrage government), I should win

(2) My opponent did not attack my only two contentions

(3) My opponent failed to prove the resolution categorically false by providing one society better off not under democratic rule. Instead, he simply gave a fake government that does not exist (there has not/is not one government that allows every single person to vote--> 'universal suffrage')

Please note, just because my opponent speaks last he cannot make new arguments; he may only attack that which I have defended and defend that which I have attacked

Thank you ladies and gentlemen
JBlake

Con

My opponent has grossly mis-represented my argument. Additionally, he has resorted to cheap tricks as a means of attempting to win this debate.

As he has noted, I am bound by the terms of service not to include any additional arguments in my final round. Therefore, I will limit myself only to rebuttals and defense of my own argument.

Pro's claims:
1. No Republican form of government with universal suffrage exists because infants do not have the right to vote.
2. The will of the majority is more important than the rights of the minority.
3. To say otherwise results in oppression of the majority.
4. A Democratic form of government has checks and balances to protect the minority.
5. The United States of America is an example of a democracy, as defined by Pro's 'modern democracy.'

Rebuttals:

1. My opponent has deliberately mis-characterized my position in an effort to trick the reader. Clearly he knew what was meant by 'universal suffrage.'

2. This is clearly not the case. If this were the case then at any moment the will of the majority could decide to take away all of Bill Gates's money. Since Pro has already insinuated that this is an undesirable outcome, he unknowingly has conceded that a modern democracy, as he defined it, is not preferable to a Republican form of government with democratic principles.
Remember that his definition of a 'modern democracy' is "a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly."
To say that the supreme power of government is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly is to say that a modern democracy is one based on 'majority rule.'

3. To protect the rights of the minority against the will of the majority most certainly does not oppress the majority. Protecting the minority in no way infringes upon the rights of the majority. No one has the right to take away the natural rights of another. Therefore, no rights are taken away from the majority when a government stops them from taking away the rights of the minority.

4. This is clearly not true. What my opponent describes in defending this claim is a Republican form of government with democratic principles. A modern democracy, as defined by Pro, is majority rule (as is discussed above). His definition entails no checks and balances, and no protections for the minority.
In fact, to say that a modern democracy has checks and balances is a direct contradiction to his third claim, that protecting the rights of the minority is to infringe upon the rights of the majority.

5. The United States of America is not a modern democracy, as defined by Pro. The U.S. more closely resembles a Republic with democratic principles. The U.S. government is made up of representatives who are not required to reflect the direct will of their constituency. The fact that they are elected at all disqualifies the U.S. from the 'direct' clause in Pro's definition. That the representatives are not required to reflect the will of the people disqualifies it from the clause in the definition claiming that "supreme power is vested in the people and exercised... by them indirectly."

More importantly, the U.S. is more commonly refered to as being a 'Republic with democratic principles."

-------------------

CONCLUSION

My opponent has attempted to us the LD format to discredit my argument without actually addressing it for its merit. He has attempted to trick you, the reader, into ignoring the merits of both arguments. Why would he do this? Perhaps as a way to mask the limitations in his own argument. I ask the reader to vote based on the merit of the arguments presented.
Debate Round No. 2
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Grabz 8 years ago
Grabz
Ah, I see
Posted by JBlake 8 years ago
JBlake
I did not say it was unethical of him (you) to do so. However, it is customary on this site not to vote for yourself. Therefore, I explained my reason for voting for myself.
Posted by Grabz 8 years ago
Grabz
The president can vote for himself, can he not?
Posted by JBlake 8 years ago
JBlake
Unfortunately, my opponent has felt it proper to vote for himself on all categories. I will do the same to negate his vote.
Posted by askbob 8 years ago
askbob
Please note that having more than one account is a bannable offense
Posted by PeeGor 8 years ago
PeeGor
Please note that contention 2 is a copy and paste of my other account, "IGOR"
Posted by rgibson 8 years ago
rgibson
I'm not sure what your value criteria are. Is the best government the one which the most people like or the one which is most beneficial to the people?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by karththegeld 8 years ago
karththegeld
PeeGorJBlakeTied
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Vote Placed by JBlake 8 years ago
JBlake
PeeGorJBlakeTied
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Total points awarded:07