The Instigator
rajun
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
drhead
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

Arguments for and against Democracy.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
rajun
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/30/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 95,532 times Debate No: 37154
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (2)

 

rajun

Pro

Okay, here are the rules...

1) 1st round for acceptance.
2) Pro will provide points for democracy in 2nd round and elaborate them in the 3rd.
3) Same will be done by Con.(only he will give arguments against democracy)

drhead

Con

I'll take this challenge, it seems like something that would be interesting to argue against.
Debate Round No. 1
rajun

Pro

Thank you CON, for accepting the debate.

Arguments for democracy :-

1) Soveiregnity is strong as major decisions can only be taken by the elected representatives and no outside interference is legal.

2) Free and fair elections give a fair choice to the citizens to change the rulers

3) The choice of changing rulers is available to all in an equal basis. ONE man/ ONE vote/ ONE value.

4) There is rule of law and respect for rights.

5) A democratic government is a more accountable form of government,

6) Democracy improves the quality of decision making.

7) Democracy provides a method to deal with differences and conflicts.

8) The fundamental rights enhances the dignity of a citizen.

9) Democracy allows us to correct its own mistakes.

drhead

Con

Alright, I will try to follow the same format, though I'm going to categorize my points.

    1. Voters in a democratic system might not make the best choice or the choice that truly best represents society's best interests, due to:

        1. Being irrational in general.

        1. Advertising influence of a disproportionately wealthy upper class (think campaign funding in the US - voters are very easily influenced by campaigns).

        1. Being more concerned with their own well-being instead of the overall well-being of everyone.

        1. Not considering the long-term outcomes of decisions that improve conditions in the short term, possibly creating a difficult situation for future generations.

    1. Democracy often results in tyranny by majority, since a majority could blockade any measure intended to serve minority interests.

    1. Minorities may 'give up' on democracy, not voting due to the fact that their votes essentially do nothing unless more people agree with them.

    1. Democracies most often lend themselves to a small number of parties, where voters either have to conform to one group's values, ignore some of their own values in order to conform, or simply not participate in elections.

    1. Pure democracies are very slow and inefficient, since it takes a lot of time to count and recount referendums.

    1. Tyranny by majority is as bad or worse than dictatorship.


Debate Round No. 2
rajun

Pro

Thank you Con, for your points...

"Voters in a democratic system might not make the best choice or the choice that truly best represents society's best interests, due to: several reasons.Democracies most often lend themselves to a small number of parties, where voters either have to conform to one group's values, ignore some of their own values in order to conform, or simply not participate in elections."

The thing is not about whether the right choice is taken or not but the avaibility of the choice is what matters. This will be a elaboration of my second point. 2) Free and fair elections give a fair choice to the citizens to change the rulers and 3) The choice of changing rulers is available to all in an equal basis. ONE man/ ONE vote/ ONE value.


In China, elections are regularly held every five years for electing the country's parliament, called Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (National People's Congress). The National people's congress has the power to appoint the president of the country. It has over 3000 members elected from all over China. Everything fine till here.... Before contesting an election, a candidate needs the approval of the Chinese Communist party. Only those who are members of this party can participate in the elections. Therefore, the government is always formed by the Chinese communist party. The communist party is very strong economically(due to various illegal reasons). So, every small party that comes up to participate in the elections end up joining the Chinese Communist party because of its financial and political influence.

http://worldsavvy.org...

Another instanc is Mexico. Since its independence in 1930, Mexico holds its elections after every six years. Until 2000, every election was won by the PRI(Institutional revolutionary Party) of mexico. Opposition never managed to win because PRI always used dirty tricks such as :- 1) The voting booths were shifted from one place to another in the last moment. 2) The teachers of Government schools had to force the parents of the students to vote for the PRI to save their jobs.
3) Media was owned by the government. So, no opposition was faced by the PRI.
4) All the government office bearers were forced and had to force others to vote for the PRI.
5) Official meetings had to be attented by all where PRI was glorified in front of the public with the help of government funds. (election campaign)

http://www.infoplease.com...


So, What we see is that without free and fair electoral competitions, it is useless to consider elections. Also, please note the fact that those countries which do not follow the rules of a free and fair elections are lacking democracy. Ruling party must give a clear ground to the contestants of the elections. Campaigning should not be done with the government funds etc... are some basic rules which ensure free and fair elections and thus a good political scene.

Also, Democracy is kind of directly proportional to Universal adult franchise. There are many instances here,

1. In SAudi Arabia, women have no right to vote.
2. In Estonia, Russian minority find it difficult to vote.
3. In Fiji, the vote of an original Fijian has more value than the vote of an Indian- Fijian.

The Universal Adult franchise can easily rebuttal the following argument too.

" Democracy often results in tyranny by majority, since a majority could blockade any measure intended to serve minority interests. Minorities may 'give up' on democracy, not voting due to the fact that their votes essentially do nothing unless more people agree with them.Tyranny by majority is as bad or worse than dictatorship."

NO Tyranny by majority is what is a plus point for Democracy. This will be a elaboration of my point 7) Democracy provides a method to deal with differences and conflicts and 8) The fundamental rights enhances the dignity of a citizen...

In any society, people are bound to have differences of opinions and interests. For eg- INDIA. There are Hindus, there are Muslims. Democracy protects the minorities with different well followed acts and also the fundamental rights. For instance, The scheduled tribes of India worked in lowly places, thus having low knowledge of high class jobs and education. Such people are allowed special cut off marks or have reserved seats. Muslims have reserved rights which Hindus as majority do not need. In a dictatorship, it is much possible that a holocaust like situation occurs. Many instances here, Syria situation, Myanmar, Saddam Hussain massacre....



In a democracy, people have some rights that can't be violated. If one wants to make music. He can do it in a democracy without supression from the government which is not the case with other forms. People, knowing that they have the rights gain confidence regadless of the fact whether they are the majority or the minority. Thus, dignity of the citizens enhances. Afterall, the root is People should be happy.


"Pure democracies are very slow and inefficient, since it takes a lot of time to count and recount referendums."

This will be an elaboration of my point 6) Democracy improves the quality of decision making. Friends, what is better? Samsung to launch their Galaxy S5 tommorow with no refinement of features from S4 or to take their time and come up with an S5 that rocks the market and shoots up their finance? Obviously the latter. Democracy is based on discussions and consultations. A democratic decision always involves many persons, dicussions and meetings. This takes time. But when a lot of people are putting their heads together, the result which comes up is pure, refined and almost perfect. This is a plus for democracy. The decisions might take time but are very fine and supportive decisions. This reduces the chances of rash and irresponsible decisions seen in several countires like the countries in the Middle east.

ELABORATION OF MY POINTS.

1) Soveiregnity is strong as major decisions can only be taken by the elected representatives and no outside interference is legal.

This is common and elaboration to this is not necessary.


War on Iraq by US might have eshtablished so-so democracy but the democracy is not peaceful. Soviet Union support to the dictators in Europe(poland) led to violent strikes etc... See, outside interference from other countries leads to war not peace and such situations should be avoided. In a democracy, outside interference is illegal and ignored. Plus for democracy here because advice from other countries might lead to short term development but nothing but unstability will follow and when this will happen, the advicer will take no responsibility...

"4) There is rule of law and respect for rights. "

Zimbabwe attained its freedom through a freedom struggle where Robert Mugabe was a leading figure. After independence, Robert mugabe made himself the president. Good, he deserved it but here is the problem, since independence, ZANU-PF has been ruling the country... because Robert has decided to make him president for life! He changed the constitution frequently and made himself less acountable to. Even if he made wrong and illegal decisions, he easily escaped the law by changing the law itself...

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Such a situation is not present in a democracy. There is rule of law. i.e From a maid to the president is equal before the law. Murder by an engineer will lead to 10 years prison and the same will be for the president.

" 5) A democratic government is a more accountable form of government,"

China's famine of 1958-1961 was the worst in history. During that time, India's economic situation was nothing better but it did not face such an crisis... WHY? Economist think that this was a result of different government policies in the two countries. The existance of democracy in India made the Indian government respont to the critisising opposition and the media and the people were saved from a famine. Plus for democracy here too. It is a more accountable and dependable form of goverment. Rulers can't do what they wish and are easily guided to the right path by the opposition and the media. A democractic government requires to attend to the needs of the people. An oppsition and a press is free to critisise the government.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

"9) Democracy allows us to correct its own mistakes."

Finally, democracy has the upperhand because it allows us to correct its own mistakes... There is no guarantee that mistakes will not be made. No form of government can guarantee that. The advantage of democracy is that such mistakes can't be hidden from the public for long. There is a space for public discussion and a room for correction too. Either the decision or the decision taker is changed.

All of the above give democracy the upper hand. Democracy might not be perfect but is good and better than other forms for various reasons. Finally, in a nutshell :- Democracy gives everyman the right to be his own oppressor.
Men's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, men's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.
Democracy is device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve
and finally
All ills of democracy can be cured by more democracy.
drhead

Con

Alright, for this I will defend my arguments (clarifying them) and address as much of your arguments as I can.

With my point on political parties, I was mainly referring to third parties (such as in the United States). Think of the Libertarian Party. If you were to survey people who pay a good bit of attention to politics, you'd find an amount of Libertarians that is disproportionate to the amount of votes that they actually receive in elections. Now, with our current election system, one candidate has to win over 50% of the electoral votes in order to win. This, from the start, is setting things up for a two party system. A lot of people recognize the unlikelihood of their peers voting for the same third-party candidate (and the unlikelihood of their votes coming in as a majority among the millions of voters who essentially pick their favorite color on election day). This leads to third parties being unviable. Now, with a leader appointing people, the person appointing people can consider all candidates, who all have an equal opportunity to be selected.

When you addressed my point on tyranny by majority, you seem to have asserted that democracy takes care of this problem, though you have said very little on how it does this. In addition, you have said little on how freedom is exclusive to democracy in the paragraph after that.

As for my point on efficiency, debate and public input can still occur in a non-democratic government. The government is simply not dependent on input of the people. I might also add that knowledge of national secrets (specifically military operations, which have to be kept secret in order to not compromise national security, for obvious reasons) could factor in to certain decisions, and that the public can not be made aware of all secrets, lest they be leaked to enemy nations.

"4) There is rule of law and respect for rights. "

This is an interesting clarification. However, it does raise the point of how easy it is to allow a dictator to come into power. A government is as powerful as it is allowed to be, and if the people choose to allow a government to have unlimited power, then it will have unlimited power. Needless to say, democratic influence should be limited.

" 5) A democratic government is a more accountable form of government,"

Accountability is implied in all governments. Dictators face an uprising if they make their people unhappy enough.

"9) Democracy allows us to correct its own mistakes."

Some nations have been known to democratically elect (or passively allow) a dictator to come in power. How do you think Hitler ever rose to power? And once he was in power, he couldn't be voted out. It's pretty common for dictators to stomp on any set limits on their power. This would essentially be democracy killing itself.

This was an interesting debate, and I would like to thank Pro for participating. I would encourage voters to vote honestly based on who they think had the best arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
Agree with anon, this was kind of what I was getting at regarding the whole "free and fair" critique.
Posted by rajun 3 years ago
rajun
I am not adding any additional qualifiers... just the basics... Wait.. I am on a hiatus.. just came by for a moment... will surely post the qualifiers... the last post is true...
Posted by rajun 3 years ago
rajun
I am not adding any additional qualifiers... just the basics... Wait.. I am on a hiatus.. just came by for a moment... will surely post the qualiifiers... the last post is true...
Posted by anonymouse 3 years ago
anonymouse
how many countries who call themselves "democracies" are actually democracies? most of them are just corporate dictatorships that masquerade as democracies. real democracy would be nice, but they are hard to come by, and most of them will get bombed by the usa/nato and turned into a dictatorship. Libya was a good example of that.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
Personally, I'd argue that the Nazis materially improved the standard of living for most Germans. Weimar had almost totally collapse, which was how the Nazis became so popular in the first place...Germans were desperate after hyperinflation had destroyed their economy. Also, the debts incurred through WWI and enforced by the League of Nations were absolutely crippling to the Germans...Hitler "freed" Germany from these obligations and restored its economy.

What happened after that is debatable...was a war inevitable? I think looking at it from a realist calculus, absolutely. Europe had been plagued by wars throughout its bout of colonization/imperialism...the only reason the wars stopped after WWII was because America became the hegemon. Without America there, Europe would have either been totally controlled by a European hegemon (either Germany or Russia), or continually wracked by warfare.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
@ragnar,

Following the Reichstag fire, Hitler held another election in March 1933, in which he got the plurality of the vote. He was thus democratically elected.
Posted by rajun 3 years ago
rajun
*sigh... i am not posting anything...***the end***

I can rebuttal but it is useless... of-course Hitler was elected Ragnar... Not as a dictator but as he chancellor in the cabinet. Their party "National Socialist united party" won many seats
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
Where is this information on Hitler coming from? The man was most certainly not elected.

Let's see, a source for this piece of common knowledge... http://democraticpeace.wordpress.com...
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
1) Basically, why do democracies require "free and fair" elections to be considered a democracy? It seems you are adding an additional qualifier, that you are arguing for "free and fair democracies", and not just "democracy". What if your opponent argued for a "free and fair" totalitarian dictatorship?

2) Bottom line, Hitler was democratically elected. CON made this point as well.

3) You don't call the Iraq War a serious rebuttal?

4) My point stands that Mao was held accountable.

---

Regardless, you won this debate, so congratz. =)
Posted by rajun 3 years ago
rajun
1) Sigh...then America is not a democracy by PRO's arguments. I don't fully understand PRO's China and Mexico examples

If it lacks that free and fair elections..then it is not. *Truth* and as for China, it has no democracy while Mexico has a "for show" democracy.

2) The Nazis were elected by a plurality in Germany in "free and fair" elections.

I know that but that did not make them dictators.. The enabling act did which was supported by all the turmoil and the fire at reichstag(german parliament. And what happened when Hitler went on to become a dictator? The better or the worse?

3) Explain the Iraq War then. Was that a "very fine and supportive decision"?

Of course not every decision taken by human beings can be correct. (I recognise this as the strongest rebuttal..even if it was no serious rebuttal)

4) Mao resigned due to that famine. That sounds like accountability to me.

As if that saved the lives of the millions who died...

Thats it I see...
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by donald.keller 3 years ago
donald.keller
rajundrheadTied
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Total points awarded:21 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct was the same. Pro had some misspells in his argument. Pro did, however, source his material well in R3. Arguments were strong on both sides. Pro made great claims, and Con made great counter-claims. They simply blocked each other out. If the Debate had gone on for a 4th or 5th round, we may have seen who's argument would have held out.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
rajundrheadTied
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: see comments. Nice try by CON, but I think he needed to try a bit harder.