The Instigator
Con (against)
6 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
3 Points

America's Two Party System.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/3/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,441 times Debate No: 23389
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (18)
Votes (3)




Con will argue that political divisions in America are detrimental and should be abandoned for for a non-partisan system.

Pro may argue that the Democratic and Republican parties are beneficial.

First round not acceptance, though final round is a 500 character max closing statement. This is so each side gets 3 full rounds to debate.

No semantics
No trolling

Reminder: Other governments should not be referenced in this debate; no other country has a comparable mentality. This goes for both sides.


I thank my opponent for instigating the debate

What this is about

In this debate, I am showing that parties are good for the American political process, not the existance of the specific system in which these parties are positioned under the status quo. My opponent is trying to show that these parties should be abolished. My opponent has given this clarification in the comments. I will not argue that the Democratic and Republican parties are beneficial, but rather that the existance of parties is beneficial.

One more clarification about the American political process. While the parties exist, they are niether mandated nor required. People can, and do, stand as independants (ie not attached to any political party) and still win elections.

The person advocating a change to the status-quo accepted system has the burden of proof. Since I am defending the status quo of American politics and my opponent is advocating a change, it follows that my opponent has 100% of the burden of proof in this debate.

Freedom of association

If you ban political parties, you end people's right to political association. Simple as that. That's because a "party" is really nothing more than a political association, a big standard-bearer for an ideology. Politicians are supposed to worry about policies - and let's face it, the parties do not really represent any particular policies at all, just vague ideologies. That allows politicians under the status quo considerable freedom, as the parties are not constraining, and members are free to leave at any time anyway. What will happen under my opponent's model is that politicians will advocate not what they truely believe is best for America, but what will make them appear to not be in a political association with somebody else. If they vote the same way as another member in the senate a couple of times, they'll want to vote the other way next time to avoid jail. Holding any sort of uniform ideology would be impossible so long as at least one other politician holds that ideology. Voting the same way is the best way to detect political association, after all.

Why is that bad? Because it means more divisive politics, less constructive policy, and ultimately, a worse America. That's not fair to the people, but most of all it's not fair to the politicians, many of whom would have entered politics to make a real difference. That's another disincentive my opponent's model will create.

Furthermore, every association has the right to be political, thanks to freedom of speech. Therefore, any association could be instantly abolished on the quite legitimate claim that they might advocate something political. Ultimately it is not only the politician's freedom you take away. It is the people's freedom. America is supposed to be the land of the free - anything that takes away a right so fundamental as free association (which essentially means you can't associate with anybody for fear a court may rule that you could well have been discussing politics) would undermine all of America's strength and heritage. Besides that, freedom is an inherant good. It's no secret that free people are happy. Freedom of association is also guarenteed under international law as a human right we must all protect.


Being able to work through issues, talk them over, and debate them, in the context of a particular ideology, is super-important. If this kind of political discourse does not happen, then agreement and consensus is unlikely to be reached. The problem is that reaching consensus - negotiating on the basis of voter support - has ALWAYS been at the heart of democracy. Take that away and just imagine what politics would be like. Remember that democracy itself is a political association and ideology, advocated by many political parties around the world. How ironic for a political association to ban political association.

That's all I have the characters for now. Next round I'll expand on the discourse point and rebut my opponent.
Debate Round No. 1


What this is about

Pro has made some unfortunately incorrect assumptions based upon the comments, assumptions that have rendered his opening statement devoid of subsistent argument. As I specified in the comments, “this debate is theoretical, not about the implementation.” I apologize for any confusion that may have occurred as I attempted to simplify the debate for the commenter, but I must remind Pro that the debate is what the debate says: “Con will argue that political divisions in America are detrimental and should be abandoned for… a non-partisan system” This does imply that I am referring to the Democratic and Republican parties, but I’ll let that slide. I cannot, however, accept that Pro attempts to liken a debate about whether or not political divisions are detrimental to “jail.”

In essence, Pro is to argue that the political parties are good while Con argues that they are bad. Simple as that.

Freedom of Association

Once again, this is an implementation argument. Effective implementation is impossible, and should not be discussed. Issues such as freedom of association are for a different debate. Furthermore, I never hinted at any ban on similar ideologies within the debate. I agree with you on this issue, but that is, once again, a different debate. Abandoned- not abolished.


There is no hindering of discourse without parties. The difference is that the discourse will be intelligent and free, as I will discuss.

Oppression of thought-

Political divisions essentially stop democracy by
shutting down independent thought.

Effects upon thought the legislative branch: The recent budget plan
passed through the house with no Democratic support. This not to say that none
of the 190 democrats in the House of Representatives would have supported the
bill had it been presented without any predisposition; I firmly believe the
opposite. Rather, the Democrats were afraid of voting against party lines;
afraid to piss off their base. Many fewer republicans may have supported the
bill also, but they feared the onslaught of negative press that they would have
received had they would receive for voting for what they would truly believe to
be best. Political parties essentially bully representatives into forfeiting their votes.


Effects on the general populace: News organizations rule over our
country’s democratic process in that they have a stranglehold over many voters
in the same way that drugs control addicts in that once a person has been inducted
into a school of thought they only look to confirm their beliefs. Republicans watch Fox and become even more conservative; Democrats watch NBC and become even more liberal. This continues until both
sides are hopelessly brainwashed, incapable of fairly considering the opposing
view. When neither side is willing to consider the view of the other,
conversation fails. This breads misunderstanding, which breads hatred and division.

Effects on progress in the legislative branch: Like the general
populace, Senators and Congressmen quickly become incapable of considering the
opposite view due to their political orientation. Debates in the legislative branch
are often worse than useless: blind posturing that accomplished nothing: the
words of the deaf landing on deaf ears. Made worse with Filibustering and other
wasteful tactics, the Senate and The House of Representatives are two massive
garbage bins into which we throw taxpayer dollars, dollars that could be used
to fund honest, open minded conversation if America abandoned the party system.


Political parties do nothing but divide America,
closing ears and destroying thought.

Vote Con!



I thank my opponent for continuing his case.

Implementation vs Theory
In the last round I presented two arguments. First, I argued that if you abolish political association you end civil rights. I went on to prove why this is a bad thing. My opponent responds by saying he wants to abandon, not abolish, civil rights. Cool. Now you need to prove why that's a good thing. It isn't - not having civil rights is bad no matter what way you come at it.

My second argument was a whole paragraph of analysis on why discourse would be hindered. My opponent does not respond other than to assert the opposite. Until my opponent backs this up with an argument, my point stands.

I don't care if my opponent didn't want to argue for the implementation of the alternative. Not only has he done so (even talking about implementation with respect to balance of powers!) himself, a theory with bad implementation is a bad theory. It is impossible to argue a political theory without some grounding in reality, and arguing that my arguments are too "real" and thus invalid is not a good counter-argument.

Like myself, my opponent has given you two points. First he argued that conforming to the party shuts down independant thought. This is false because representatives are free to leave a party at any time and become independant. My opponent said they won't do that due to negative press. If independant thought gives you negative press, then the press is at fault, not the party system! However, the sheer number of independant candidates confirms that this is not the case. The rhetoric my opponent gives you of poor candidates being bullied into voting this way or that is nothing more than rhetoric - it's not bullying if they agree it's right already. People join a party because they AGREE with them.

Secondly, my opponent argues that the people are made devisive through TV programming, which is somehow being controlled by the political parties. You don't stop bias in the media by banning political association. In fact, as has happened every other time this has been tried, the media simply stops reporting alternative views if political association is no longer free, and simply reports on what the government does. This, in turn, creates a dangerous mixture of apathy and deferance. Being involved with politics does not instantly translate into apathy, however. Lots of voters switch sides. This implies that the media is more balanced than many would give it credit for, or maybe Americans are smart enough to know that it isn't balanced. This generally points to the fact that this isn't actually a problem.

Besides that, you can't stop media bias. All journalists have opinions, and even the most valient attempts at reporting a story fairly usually betray them if you listen carefully to their wording. Media bias is not because there are convenient parties attached to the ideologies, but just a natural by-product of diversity of opinion. As consumers of media we too have a responsibility to detect this bias. If we cannot, we shouldn't blame the system but ourselves.

Finally my opponent asserts (although this is not a complete argument in a formal sense) that legislators cannot negotiate with the other party as their ideologies are different. My opponent never shows the causal link to the party system - why does the party system make legislators unable to engage in meaningful discourse? The fact is that without political parties, people would still be closed-minded and, on the basis that there would be no system for negotiation, very little progress indeed. Think of it like banning free religious association - banning all churches to solve the problem of religious hatred will not end hatred in the world.

My opponent has failed to respond adequitely to either of my two contentions. Political parties are not the cause of division in America, but rather form the foundation for discourse and freedom that will be essential for her future. The motion stands.
Debate Round No. 2


Oh my… I hope Pro's initial statement was a Straw Man… else we're in for a very tiring debate…


As previously stated, there is no "abandoning of civil rights" being proposed! The debate is simple! Two party system good or bad. I do believe that Pro is attempting to debate the debate… possibly because he has nothing else to go off of…

But, for the sake of the reader, I'll humor him.

If the debate were to be about implementation, which it is not, I simply suggest that people drop party associations. If they want to convene or talk, they can do so freely. There is no infringement upon our rights!

Rebuttal to the argument Pro has not yet made:

I don't care if that would not be effective:

Pro and Voters: Please stay focused! The debate is theoretical! Basically, would America be better off without political parties?

Now please, Pro, stop debating the debate and get back on topic.


"This is false because representatives are free to leave a party at any time and become independ[e]nt."

How often do we see this happen? This has already been addressed in my later argument: The pressure upon them by their party hierarchy and the press is enormous.

In all fairness, Pro does address this:

"If independ[e]nt thought gives you negative press, then the press is at fault, not the party system!"

Unfortunately for this argument, this is not a debate over who is to blame. The fact still stands that they will receive negative press, pressuring them to become puppets.

"Secondly, my opponent argues that the people are made d[i]visive through TV programming, which is somehow being controlled by the political parties."

Blatant Straw Man: I never claimed that the media was controlled by political parties but rather that the programming is enabled by clear divisions in the political system: Fox supporting only conservatives, NBC supporting only liberals.

"You don't stop bias in the media by banning political association."

Oh my… again. Lets clear up a few things here, Mr. Straw:

You do not stop media bias: you remove it's power over people, because an idea is not as easily promoted.


The Catholic Church.

Catholicism does not support gay marriage or abortion.

It does, however, support welfare and health care.

Result? Bias! It's not stopped. But because each of the ideas is formed not by political alliances, you preserve the intellectual freedom of your listeners.

Just over half (54%) of Catholics voted for Obama. [1]

Conclusion? Intellectual freedom despite opinionated reporting.

Without political lines, organizations like Fox would have difficulty maintaining such a clear, firm hand on their voters. It's one thing to say "Romney is Evil!" And another to say "Romney is sometimes good and sometimes bad."

Without party lines, it's near impossible to maintain such thought oppressing control.

"why does the party system make legislators unable to engage in meaningful discourse?"

I'm not even going to say it this time.

Read the above perhaps? The can "negotiate," but, as explained above, are forced to vote along party lines most of the time.

My opponent has failed entirely to address my "Oppression of Thought" argument.

This also stays true for politicians. Because of the power news organizations have garnered from the political system, politicians are often equally confined mentally.

My opponent has also failed to formulate any argument on the debate, he still persists to debate the perimeters.

To make things painfully conclusive:

Rebuttal to Conclusion:

Pro's "contentions" are not within the bounds of the debate, and are thus invalid! Pro literally has no argument yet! Any rebuttal to my points have been blatant Straw Man arguments, which, like straw men, have been dismissed with a sweep of the arm.

I will resist introducing new points until my opponent presents a preliminary argument within the bounds of the debate.




I thank my opponent for posting his round, and forgive him for his formatting errors.

I have already proved why implementation is definitely a part of this debate, and furthermore, how regardless of how my opponent's model is implemented, my points stand, proving that my points have nothing to do with implementation. Regardless of how it is done, for instance, abandoning political parties means the death of freedom of association, which is bad.

Civil Rights
After I made my case on this in round one, my opponent answered that "I agree with you on this issue" but declared it a "different debate" because civil rights would be "Abandoned - not abolished". I thus revised my original argument to state that abandoning civil rights is just as bad as abolishing civil rights. Either way you don't have civil rights, which is fundamentally a bad thing. Now my opponent has asserted two short attacks.

First he asserts that he isn't proposing abandoning civil rights. If you look back to round two, you'll see him admit that's exactly what he's proposing. If you look back to round one, you'll see my proof that his model is exactly this. He says that dropping party affiliations doesn't affect people's ability to convene and talk, but in round one I proved that it did.

Second he asserts that he doesn't care about whether his alternative is effective, and tells me to stay focused. Ironically, the only person who doesn't have any focus is the one who accused me of saying his proposal was ineffective, when I blatantly didn't. Effectiveness has been mentioned twice in this debate - both times it was by my opponent.

Political parties are essential if we want freedom of association. The point stands.

Independent thought
My opponent tells us that this point isn't about who to blame. In that case, he accepts that it is wrong to blame the party system. It follows from this that changing the party system won't make it any more or less easy to allow independent thought. They'll get negative press and become puppets without parties also, but puppets of a new master - puppets of the press themselves. I also gave clear analysis that this wasn't a significant problem due to the number of happy independents.

My opponent thinks I am running a strawman because he distinguishes parties controlling media to media bias being enabled by clear divisions, such as "conservatives" and "liberals". Ironically, since there is no "conservative" or "liberal" party in the USA, my opponent is arguing against ideologies not parties, and is thus running a strawman himself. I interpreted the argument in the only way that is consistent with the resolution, and I don't think it's valid to say I'm running a strawman on that basis.

Media has just as much power over people when there are no political parties. As even my opponent admitted, the power of the media comes from their ability to distinguish ideology, not political association.

Next my opponent proves that under the status quo there is "intellectual freedom despite opinionated reporting". I agree entirely. That's why there's no problem - people KNOW that the bias is there and account for it.

Finally, he thinks that it is the existence of parties that allows us to say "Romney is evil". Actually I could say that with or without parties.

My opponent never really engaged with my analysis from round one, but I'm happy just to rebut what my opponent has to say.

What my opponent instead does is two things. First he answers a small portion of my analysis by saying that he doesn't know what to say, except to reread what he wrote on divisiveness. I guess that's his way of saying "conceded". Then, strangely, he attacks me for not addressing his argument on this, which he labels "Oppression of Thought". Yes I did, I said my opponent was missing a significant causal link.

My opponent does not control the bounds of the debate, yet still I have followed them where he has not. Still my points stand.
Debate Round No. 3


Oh my... again.
I do believe that my opponent means to forfeit-
Once again, he has ailed to debate within the bounds and keeps grinding away at this entire idea of Implementation,
which I have already established we agree on!
There is nothing to debate. I'll say it once more:
Debate= Political parties good or bad. Pro has one last round, please, either forfeit or proceed to debate within the bounds.
We agree on implementation! Pro has no argument!

""different debate" because civil rights would be "Abandoned - not abolished". I thus revised my original argument to state that abandoning civil rights is just as bad as abolishing civil rights. Either way you don't have civil rights, which is fundamentally a bad thing"

Sigh... does my opponent even read my argument? He's said this twice, so, I wil counter in the same way I countered last time:

"As previously stated, there is no "abandoning of civil rights" being proposed! The debate is simple! Two party system good or bad. I do believe that Pro is attempting to debate the debate… possibly because he has nothing else to go off of"

Once again, this is looking more ad more like a FF

"Political parties are essential if we want freedom of association"

Alright. Something that is not (yet) forfeit. I disagree on this point: had the parties never been formed, people would be able to convene and discuss freely. There is no ban on association, just no rigid divisions that are crippling America.

"he accepts that it is wrong to blame the party system."

Please, this is getting to be a waste of time. I said that though the party system is not to blame, we would not have this problem if the parties did not exist.

To simplify, it's like saying that we cannot blame alcohol brewers for drunk driving, but without them, drunk driving would not be a factor. Now, I see that Pro is going to Straw Man here, so let me attempt to preempt him: I'm not arguing against alcohol. It's an analogy.

"Ironically, since there is no "conservative" or "liberal" party in the USA, my opponent is arguing against ideologies not parties"

This is painful. Everybody knows that Republican's are overwhelmingly conservative and Dems are equally liberal. I was only employing syntactical diversity.

"distinguish ideology, not political association."

At this point, I will reference my ENTIRE argument thus far, where I explain the connection. Did my opponent not read past half way? The entire Catholic Church argument?

"Next my opponent proves that under the status quo there is "intellectual freedom despite opinionated reporting". I agree entirely. That's why there's no problem - people KNOW that the bias is there and account for it."

Thank you. I argue the opposite; people are blinded by the media and because they do not want to see bias, they do not.

"parties that allows us to say "Romney is evil". Actually I could say that with or without parties."

Please! Read what I said! It's blatantly obvious! I don't have the characters to re post every bit Pro has omitted (most of the argument), but I encourage readers to look over my argument carefully to decipher for their intelligent selves all the holes Pro has left.

Voters, please. This is as simple of a decision as one can hope to find. Look over my arguments, and find one, just one point that he has logically addressed that is not countered by something I said earlier.


Read my argument. I could leave my second round alone against all the others. Pro's only point is one that we agree upon. Good Vs. Bad. Who has provided reasons, logic, and evidence, and who has "straw manned" his entire way through this debate, and will, to my best guess, continue to do so in his last round. There is nothing here to add, my opponent has defeated himself. Read carefully, vote wisely.



In this debate, my opponent has done nothing but insult me throughout, calling me names ("Mr. Straw"), accusing me of being nonresponsive and illogical, and saying that I'm so incompetant that I want to forfeit. What's awefully funny about this is the irony. In round three, for instance, he ran a clear strawman under the civil rights point about effectiveness, which he has since dropped. Another example is how he continues to be non-responsive to my round one argument about WHY civil rights are diminished under his model (aside from the odd unjustified assertion). It's one thing to say rude things about me. It's another to say rude things about me while doing those same things yourself.

Furthermore, my opponent has been constantly trying to limit the scope of the debate to only the arguments he wants to see run. All three of his arguments are to do with implementation (as I've pointed out before), I rebutted all three of them, and then he says we agree on the implementation! Well, I don't agree.

What my opponent wants to do:

ABANDON CIVIL RIGHTS: Admitted in round two. Analysis from round one remains undisputed except by assertion. Putting that assertion into bold doesn't make it more true.
STIFLE POLITICAL DISCOURSE: Dropped by my opponent this round.
UNDERMINE DEMOCRACY: Function of the previous two.

Why he thinks that's justified:

PARTIES SHUT DOWN INDEPENDANT THOUGHT: This was a lie all along and con knew it - he accepted that people could happily be independants. He just thought that media scapegoating of independants was so strong that something needed to be done. Rather than actually fix this problem, however, he wanted to let the media scapegoat arbritrarily by making everyone into an independant. I showed why that's no better - politicians will just suck up to whatever media channels they can latch on to. More dangerously, it doesn't fix the problem of scapegoating in the media. It's the media that needs fixing, not the political system! My opponent can lecture me on analogies all he likes (despite it being patronising and silly) - nothing in his argument gives any convincing reason to "eradicate free political association" over "fixing biased media". I, for one, strongly believe in the latter option. In round two I also talked about how media bias is required if diversity of opinion is legal, so really my opponent wants to ban free thought as well. I wonder why he never responded to that point?

Furthermore, my opponent admitted in round three that media bias comes from ideology, not political association. He keeps thinking they're the same thing, and accuses me of strawmanning when I point out they're not. That's why they're not called the conservatives or liberals as the case may be - many of them aren't. Honestly I'm starting to wonder if my opponent knows what a strawman is. A strawman is when you run an irrelevant argument, not a false argument. Disagreeing on a definition is semantics, not strawmanning. And it wasn't even me that started the semantics - this was my opponent's argument!

To top it all off, I argued that people know bias exists. My opponent asserts that people are blinded, but he himself is living proof they are not. If all people were blinded by the media, he could not have instigated this debate.

These were the major issues in the debate. Remember that my opponent has the BOP. They have failed to present any good justification for their model. Instead they have ignored my arguments, insulted me, and ran their own case that kept going all over the place with complex analogies, without engaging with my material except for the odd assertion. That's not enough to meet BOP. I've been proud to affirm.
Debate Round No. 4
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by larztheloser 4 years ago
We should have a rap battle some day (:
Posted by Ixaax 4 years ago
To all:

I wish I could stay cool,
Treat Larz's arguments with respect
But this spot I'm in is cruel:
My anger shan't be checked:

My arguments dismissed,
His writes a wrong the debate.
Clever fallacies in a list,
a tactic which I hate,

Riddled with statements wrong,
Marches on, "oh, he's the best!"
This fight's gone on far to long,
No patience have I left to test.

Victory or loss, by now, is said done:
A debate against a shadow never truly shall be won.
Posted by larztheloser 4 years ago
One can have a debate without questioning any meanings. You questioned meanings. What I think you're trying to say is that in debating, one uses semantics to decode and construct sentences that form our arguments. Still, the use of semantics does not mean semantics need be part of the debate.

Arguing that "dems" is short for "Demons" would not be a semantics argument, but something called a "squirrel" in debating (doing it is called "squirreling") - taking an obviously wrong alternative definition of the word and using it to construct an argument (this comes up in every second British Parliamentary debate I swear).

Your use of semantics was to challenge the common meaning of "democrats" as referring to "the democratic party", and instead said it referred to "liberals". On the first level it's wrong, but I'll accept that. On the second level it's a squirrel ("democrats" and "republicans" usually refer to political parties in common parlance), but that's OK too. The violation of the rules, however, comes from making a counter-case based on semantics. You'll note that none of my arguments used semantics. In writing them I used semantics, as you did in reading them, but it would be a squirrel to say that your "no semantics" order applied outside of the debate.
Posted by Ixaax 4 years ago
My ! If "no semantics" is to be taken to the word, no debate would qualify!
Every sentence ever written utilizes semantics of some sort!
It's obvious that you have no understanding of the word, so I'll try to reference:
noun ( used with a singular verb )
1. Linguistics .
a. the study of meaning.
b. the study of linguistic development by classifying and examining changes in meaning and form.
2. Also called significs. the branch of semiotics dealing with the relations between signs and what they denote.
3. the meaning, or an interpretation of the meaning, of a word, sign, sentence, etc.: Let's not argue about semantics.

Arguing that "dems" is short for "Demons" would be a semantics argument.
Saying "dems" is NOT!
Do not argue about things you do not understand!
Please! Someone help me here!
Posted by YYW 4 years ago
Ixaax, Larz is a fantastic debater. Let's all play nice, now.
Posted by larztheloser 4 years ago
Once again with the personal insults, eh? You clearly said "no semantics" - not "no semantics arguments". And if you don't want to argue with me, don't go around the comments continuously trying to tell people I forfeited.
Posted by Ixaax 4 years ago
Silly little Larz... that is employing semantics, not semantics argument. A semantics argument would be "You had a misspelling of democrat and thus I define "deocrar" as a breed of aliens." If someone else could weigh in, it would be appreciated. I don't feel like debating him any more.
Posted by larztheloser 4 years ago
"Everybody knows that Republican's are overwhelmingly conservative and Dems are equally liberal."
Posted by Ixaax 4 years ago
Show one semantics argument. Just one, that I cannot defend.
Posted by larztheloser 4 years ago
"No semantics"

Con forfeits the debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: CON had 3 arguments, as pro pointed out and as con stated. One of them was dropped, hence is pros argument. The other was not a large aspect of the debate (in cons eyes) and he does very little to refute this claim, though a large one, and just makes his assertions bold. Sure, he tried to refute it, but it never had the push. Then as pro stated last round the other arguments was a modifier of the other too. I think PRO won, by a lot, although CON is currently winning.
Vote Placed by CalvinAndHobbes 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro failed to argue that political affiliation benefits the united sates. Con at least tried to refute the resolution. Only point Pro had was his Civil Rights argument, which started strong and then became a game of politicking.
Vote Placed by Matthew3.14 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: The only thing I saw in this debate was the fact that Con had a slightly better argument than pro in especially the "Independent Thought" arena.