The Instigator
Liamardo
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
socratits
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Against Democracy in countries with a majority of uneducated citizens

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/15/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,504 times Debate No: 54774
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (0)

 

Liamardo

Con

Democracy in a country with a majority population of uneducated and poverty stricken citizens whereby government is voted in by the people is not successful because the majority who vote for a party are at high risk to manipulation. Government currently in power therefore, through wrongful use of public funds and resources, can harm the country's GDP and economic performance due to corruption and using taxpayer funds to enhance their position in power and misinforming the masses that they are doing a good enough job whereby an educated person or reasonably informed person would know the current party in power is not leading to expected standards and thus would vote for an opposition party. Examples are Zimbabwe and more recently South Africa. Nelson Mandela said that education is man's best weapon and this point seems to be at the crux of the issue. I understand that their may be policies other than democracy that would be even more unsuccessful but I firmly believe that democracy doesn't work in these countries.
socratits

Pro

"Democracy in a country with a majority population of uneducated and poverty stricken citizens whereby government is voted in by the people is not successful because the majority who vote for a party are at high risk to manipulation."

1)You don't define what constitutes a population to be "educated." For the example that I will give, I will define a population to be "educated" when the general population has a literacy rate of 99%
2) So, even if your statement is true, then the opposite will be too which is that the country with a majority of the population is educated whereby government is voted in by the people is successful because the majority who vote for a party are at a low risk of manipulation. Let's take the United States as an example. We have a 99% literacy rate so under your statement we shouldn't be manipulated that easily, correct? If this is the case, then can you explain to me why we are all for SOPA, net neutrality, and why was Edward Snowden considered a whistleblower if this is what the citizens wanted?

"Government currently in power therefore, through wrongful use of public funds and resources, can harm the country's GDP and economic performance due."

Again, this is happening in America everyday through earmarks added onto proposed bills before passing through senate and house. Here's an example: (http://www.nytimes.com...)

"whereby an educated person or reasonably informed person would know the current party in power is not leading to expected standards and thus would vote for an opposition party. "

The problem with this statement is that you're not considering the diverse views each person hold. You can have the two smartest people in the world running with opposing views and there will ALWAYS be disagreement on topics. Moreover assuming we only allowed the smartest population of the US to vote (i.e. those who have an IQ of 140 or higher im just using it as an arbitrary example.) That US population will differ in their political stance and views. Just look at the consensus on defense funding.

(http://www.politifact.com...) Here is a link of president's campaign promises and the percentage that they kept through their term (enter any president you want.) As one can see there is not even ONE president that has kept 100% of the promises that he made during his campaign. Why? it's because of the reason state earlier.

"Nelson Mandela said that education is man's best weapon and this point seems to be at the crux of the issue. "

I agree with Mandela's stress on the importance of education. However, for this debate, education isn't the crux of the issue. It's diversity that's causing us to disagree over topics. You realize that the US votes work through the electoral college and not through popular votes, right? This is important to know considering that the people do NOT directly elect which bills get passed or which president for the next term.
Debate Round No. 1
Liamardo

Con

I believe that referring to the US is irrelevant here as I'm sure we can both agree that their average "literacy" levels are of what you would expect in a first world country. In my argument I am referring to third world countries and only third world countries. Predominantly in these countries average literacy levels are worrying low.

For this reason am I in the strong opinion that during election time, parties go around to these mostly poverty stricken people and easily manipulate them and lie to them and make false promises, etc, etc; so that come election day the "uneducated" do not make a wise decision.

I am saying that votes are decided by people who do not know any basic facts about the country, such as it's economic performance, party's policies, plans for economic and business growth, and so on. They hold onto false beliefs that are fed to them and most of the time the campaigning parties in their areas give them free clothes and food parcels which are like gold dust to them.

I agree that there are always diverse views among common people, but if everyone knew and was "educated" on the fact that the current government (South Africa for example) is constantly breaking the national constitution rules and comitting acts of corruption to such awfully embarrassing heights, then would they still vote for them?
socratits

Pro

You state that considering the U.S. is irrelevant to the situation and you decide to steer the debate towards 3rd world countries. You only make one argument which is the case that the "uneducated" is being bribed by the government officials to elect for a certain representative and the subsequent paragraphs are examples to your thesis.

You have the BOP to demonstrate to us that democracy does not work work in 3rd world countries. If you fail to support and demonstrate why 3rd world countries cannot hold democracy then I win by the fact that you cannot provide supporting evidence for your thesis. My only job here is to successfully refute your claims and this is why I used the United States as an example. You say that the U.S. is irrelevant to this case, which is wrong. In R,1 I demonstrated to you that the opposite was also in fact, impossible to withhold 100%. I will summarize my arguments in R1 again.

1) To be educated means to have a high literacy rate.
2) U.S. has one of the highest literacy rates in the world.
3) Yet, the U.S. has a corrupt government. Examples are SOPA, earmarks ons bills, net netrality acts,etc

The fact that even with high education standards, we still have corruption in our government, how do you justify this fact based on your argument of being educated?

The reason why I steered the debate towards diversity issues was because of the belief that having opposing views is what's causing this "corruption." It's each party striving for their own political agendas that causes conflicts, not if one is educated or not. Additionally, not one person in is world knows everything. There are just too much to take in in our lifetime. This is why we have a government, to have people be experts in a certain field. What I am trying to show is that even if every person in the world is smart, there will always be that one topic that we would not know the answer to. From this, we require others who are experts in the field to educate us on this topic.
Debate Round No. 2
Liamardo

Con

Just to clarify, this is the debate topic: "Democracy in a country with a majority population of uneducated and poverty stricken citizens whereby government is voted in by the people is not successful because the majority who vote for a party are at high risk to manipulation."

In R2 you said: "You state that considering the U.S. is irrelevant and you decide to steer the debate towards 3rd world countries."

- The reason I state that the U.S. in this debate is irrelevant is because as I said "their average "literacy" levels are of what you would expect in a first world country"
You argued in R1 that "So, even if your statement is true, then the opposite will be too which is that the country with a majority of the population is educated whereby government is voted in by the people is successful because the majority who vote for a party are at a low risk of manipulation." Let me explain to you why you can't just assume that the opposite scenario would hold true if my statement is true. You essentially claim that the US democratic system is NOT SUCCESSFUL since it is fact that the majority of the US is educated (or using your average literacy alternative if it makes you happy) and therefore it is almost certain that the voting majority are not so prone to manipulation of the government (through bribes or free give-aways) and blatant lies about realistic nation performance that well informed, "educated" people would be aware of and would indiffer to. Now, from that I take it you claim that the US is NOT successful. Although US may have some corruption (through earmarks, SOPA, net netrality acts; which you said in R1 & R2) you cannot say that the US is therefore UNSUCCESSFUL (a failure). It may be true that they aren't 100% successful but they are definitely more successful than unsuccessful. The US has one of the highest GDP's in the world and an unemployment rate of 6% for a start so one can easily say that the US is more successful than unsuccessful in running the economy with its form of government influencing it (Democracy as you claim)
(source: http://en.wikipedia.org... & http://en.wikipedia.org...)
Also, by the way, the U.S. is not a democracy. It is a republic, also known as a representative democracy.

For these reasons your inclusion of the US to try to prove my argument wrong, and the way you brought it in as a case of an opposite scenario; cannot be used against my argument and becomes irrelevant to this debate.
I also did not "steer the debate towards 3rd world countries," I merely tried to clear up the confusion of what "countr[ies] with a majority population of uneducated and poverty stricken citizens" meant. "Developing countries" is also a more simplistic word. I only meant to make it easier for the readers to comprehend and let them think specifically of the population's average education or literacy levels when considering the topic.

In R2 you said: "The reason why I steered the debate towards diversity issues was because of the belief that having opposing views is what's causing this "corruption." It's each party striving for their own political agendas that causes conflicts, not if one is educated or not."
- I completely agree with you that "each party striving for their own political agendas" can cause conflicts. However, receiving a proper education and being informed of problems in the country - problems which heavily stem from the current government's incompetence and capitalisation on public ignorance through poor service delivery and getting away with corruption (while still being able to convince the masses that they don't) - ensures that you understand why these issues arise. In developed (or high average literacy level) countries, these problems are noted by the public and alter their views to such a high extent simply because it would be well known to the public eye ( high majority of them) that the current government is doing a disservice to the country. As a result, even people with diverse views that support whatever agendas the current government have, would look to oust the current government if it fails to such a dreadful extent (to the extent you would class it as "unsuccessful). This is why diversity among voters doesn't become such an important factor for who one would vote for come election time in these instances, it is how well people are informed about the country, their level of literacy and understanding of economic performance (basic things like GDP and national unemployment rate), how exposed they are to media (and it's exposing of government debacles which happen very often in developing countries on average), etc.

Let me give an example like you have... let's take South Africa for instance:
The general national elections took place earlier this month and for many months before it there were continuous media stories about the president of South Africa stealing tax payers' money to build himself his own personal mansion. A report by the national public protector - a huge part of the constitution and democracy - exposed the president and found him to have stolen R246 million ($23.78m, 14.1m Pounds) from the public to use it for wrongful purposes and ordered him to repay a "substantial portion" of it (effectively bankrupting him). Basically Jacob Zuma, SA president, laughed it off and said it wasn't him who built his own house!?!? Who did then?! The worrying thing is this amount lost through corruption is only a small portion of corruption lost every year in South Africa, leading to stagflation in the economy as the country produces less and depends on increasingly more imports as ministers in the running government are picked by connections (friends) rather than expertise in their fields. The government's policy like BBBEE (Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment) which is focused to promote previously disadvantaged people in South Africa (non-white skinned receive these benefits) and to establish more of them in businesses is a policy that, if implemented correctly, would uplift the poverty stricken citizens. Guess what? It is an utter failure of disgraceful note and the results are a few of the most connected "blacks" to the goverment officials benefit hugely from this policy. The reason is because the government do not implement the policy correctly and pocket most money they receive through taxpayers. I mention this policy in particular because this policy is the most relevent in uplifting the majority of the nation who need uplifting - this failure is highly documented in the media and is common knowledge to the well educated citizens of South Africa (hence they do not use their vote to try vote them back in power).
If the majority knew about all the many failures of the current goverment would they honestly vote them back in? If they were connected to news of what was happening in the country would they still vote them back in? They are easily manipulated, therefore, by false stories the campaigning government tells them so they do not know, the majority who decide the countries fate through votes cannot vote with appropriate knowledge.

It is sad but it is the scenerio that South Africa and other developing countries face... The consequences? Continual economic decline, increased unemployment, less investor confidence, more poverty as population growth continues to rise at alarmingly high levels the country can't provide for, increased crime, higher HIV/AIDS prevalence, etc. This is my argument.
socratits

Pro

I guess I didn't clarify it enough. Your argument is: "Democracy in a country with a majority population of uneducated and poverty stricken citizens whereby government is voted in by the people is not successful because the majority who vote for a party are at high risk to manipulation." My arguments with SOPA, net neturality, earmarks, and the likes are not an attack on democracy. I am trying to refer to the fact that even with high education levels, or literacy rates, we still have manipulation of information and people ( I did forgot to mention super-PACs.) The reason I explain it like this is to demonstrate that your argument is unsound. Even with high education levels, people are still subjected to manipulation, a premise that your thesis relies on. Whether it is a democracy or a democratic state (btw, I never said democracy, I only said democratic state and I'm pretty sure the two are not the same in terms of meaning.) is not of a concern with the argument at the time. Again, I am trying to show that manipulation is prevelent in any governmental system, fair or not. Since manipulation is a factor in any governmental system, your arguments holds no weight because you have yet to provide any evidence of manipulation is worse in 3rd world countries. This is why I go into the diversity issue in the same round stating that it is more of a diversity issue and not an educational one because people holds different views and to acheive one's political agenda we are subjected to manipulation by cherry picking information i.e. attack ads during presidential elections and by funneling large amounts of money through Political Action Comittees to push for a certain agenda during campaigning.

This is also why I stated that you tried to steer it towards 3rd world countries. I believed that you tried to drop my issue of the U.S. by telling me that I'm not on topic.

I completely agree with you that "each party striving for their own political agendas" can cause conflicts. However, receiving a proper education and being informed of problems in the country - problems which heavily stem from the current government's incompetence and capitalisation on public ignorance through poor service delivery and getting away with corruption (while still being able to convince the masses that they don't) - ensures that you understand why these issues arise. In developed (or high average literacy level) countries, these problems are noted by the public and alter their views to such a high extent simply because it would be well known to the public eye ( high majority of them) that the current government is doing a disservice to the country. As a result, even people with diverse views that support whatever agendas the current government have, would look to oust the current government if it fails to such a dreadful extent (to the extent you would class it as "unsuccessful). This is why diversity among voters doesn't become such an important factor for who one would vote for come election time in these instances, it is how well people are informed about the country, their level of literacy and understanding of economic performance (basic things like GDP and national unemployment rate), how exposed they are to media (and it's exposing of government debacles which happen very often in developing countries on average), etc.

Russia has a 99.4% lit rate and yet there are many controversies within these couple years pertaining to manipulation of the public and rigging elections. Among the forms of manipulation were promise of political power.
Two dates that come in mind were the Legislative election of 2011 and 2007.

http://www.economist.com...
(http://data.worldbank.org...)

To me your conclusion doesnt follow because an educated population was still influenced by others as seen with Russia, but I think it would be better explained with your topic on South Africa.

As with the example of South Africa, continuing the assumption that literacy rates correlates to education level, then South Afrca has a pretty high level of education with a total literacy rate of 94.3% (see same link above for lit rate of SA). So it turns out that your example is actually Conceding to my point that educational levels have no correlation towards govenrmental manipulation. It's the same reasoning as my United States example.

If we look at it from a diverse agenda perspective, then it can at least answer why even highly educated people were being manipulated. We can reason that each party tries to achieve its own politiacal goal by providing incentives. For example a certain political party pushing for its agenda may realize that the general population of centrists are opposed to topic A. The best idea is to gain the most amount of votes without losing their current constituents by maximizing their agenda with the centrists to the greatest extent all the while minimiing the amount of opposition from their current consitutents.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Liamardo 2 years ago
Liamardo
Ok lack of evidence would be detrimental to me, fair enough, but I'm not whining about not getting votes - I'm just saying no-one has voted full stop in any of my few debates I've put time into, whether it be for me or the other debator.
Posted by socratits 2 years ago
socratits
Please do not take offense to this, it is only a suggestion. I believe that people do not vote on this topic because of the way you argued (it's not the sole reason, but I think it's part of the problem.) Specifically, you do not list any empirical evidence backing your statements. Your opinions are just as correct as others.
Posted by Liamardo 2 years ago
Liamardo
Getting over debate.org very slowly... no one votes on any of my debates or opinions... what's the point?
Posted by socratits 2 years ago
socratits
Hi Liamardo,

Thanks, to be honest, I knew nothing about this topic whatsoever lol. And also, I realized that education levels did not correlate with literacy rates. Originally, I was using literacy rates as a very simple exmple for my overall meaning. I really didn't anticipate it to be the crux of the argument.
Posted by Liamardo 2 years ago
Liamardo
Thank you Socratits for this debate and your good points, I really enjoyed it and learnt quite a lot out of this. I am definitely no expert in debating and maybe shot myself in the foot with a vague topic. My argument was just something I had a personal opinion about but had done very little research on it beforehand. However, for the purpose of a debate I tried to get some facts that would help strengthen my argument and make this at least challenging for you, as you appear very "educated" (haha) in debating.

And just for interest purposes I would like you to read this ( http://citizen.co.za... ) as it explains how literacy is defined and how, after all we debated about, maybe using literacy levels as a measure of education is perhaps a very wrong measure to use.

Thanks and keep well!
Posted by Dilara 2 years ago
Dilara
I agree. If your gonna determine the future for a country you should know basic facts.
No votes have been placed for this debate.