The Instigator
rockandrollgirl_1971
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
beem0r
Con (against)
Winning
23 Points

Campaign Ethics

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
beem0r
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/4/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,948 times Debate No: 5883
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (4)

 

rockandrollgirl_1971

Pro

I feel that we need to reform our campaign ethics. If we as Americans ever expect to get out of debt we need to put our money towards worthy causes. Too much of this elections money was wasted on campaigns. That money could have gone toward getting the American people out of debt.
beem0r

Con

My opponent claims that less of the campaign money should have been spent on campaigns, and it should have instead been spent on helping the ailing economic predicament of our great nation.
I negate because 100% of campaign money should be spent on campaigns. Campaigns are not unethical in spending all the money they receive on their campaigns, as my opponent would have you believe.

However, my opponent has brought up a very valid point. Perhaps too much money is spent on campaigns - perhaps this money sould be put to better use instead. I ask all of you to recognize where the problem lies here. The problem lies in the regulations in campaign finance - not in the fact that campaigns don't donate their money to better causes. If it is wasteful for campaigns to cost more than X, we should limit the amount of funding a campaign may receive to X. Allowing a campaign to receive more money than this is wasteful, so this regulation would be in the interest of a better economy. Rather than spend money on a campaign, potential campaign donors would put their money in banks or spend it financing something that is truly productive.

A campaign has one goal, and one goal alone - to advertise its candidate better than other campaigns. To expect such an organization to not utilize all their funds for their purpose - that is nor realistic, nor is it a valid expectation. It is not unethical for a campaign to spend its money on campaigning - that is simply what a campaign does by definition. Let us place blame where it belongs - not on the campaigns, but on the regulations surrounding campaign finance. Or perhaps, taking a different perspective, the blame lies on the entities who donate these great sums of money to campaigns.
Either way you slice it, as far as the question of spending is concerned, campaigns do not act unethically - contrary to what my opponent would have you believe.
Debate Round No. 1
rockandrollgirl_1971

Pro

It is time for change. For too many years now money has been taken from lobbyists to enhance campaign funds. This is wrong because in the end many candidates end up giving them special interest tax breaks. Special interests need to be eliminated and the public needs to know what is goin on behind the closed doors of the White House. We have been in the dark for too many years. It is time for us to know exactly what our money is being spent on and why. Until then we may never know the true reason of why the United States is it debt. Wasteful spending is out of control. It is time to change our ways and make way for a better tomorrow.
beem0r

Con

Since the title of this debate does not contain a debatable resolution, I looked to my opponent's opening round to find what was being debated. The claims that were made were that "Too much of this elections money was wasted on campaigns" and that "I feel that we need to reform our campaign ethics."

Last round, I argued against these claims. Campaigns are not acting unethically - the overspending and overfinancing of campaigns is simply a flaw in the free market that should be corrected by regulations. There is nothing unethical about what's going on - it is not unethical to fund a candidate's campaign, nor is it unethical for a campaign to spend all the money it receives. It is simply an issue where regulation is needed to ensure maximum efficiency - this regulation is to fix a functional problem with the system, not an ethical one.

Also, 100% of 'elections' money should be spent on election-related stuff. If this money was spent relieving some of our debt, it would no longer be 'elections' money. Therefore, the claim that "too much of our elections money is spent on campaigns" also seems to lack support.

My opponent, like myself, has let you all know that there should be some changes in the way campaigns are funded. I agree, and I have given a plan that does just that: limit the amount of funds a campaign can receive, to the level that maximizes the effectiveness of the economy.

My opponent has asserted many new things this second round, and I will reply to many of them below.

RE: "For too many years now money has been taken from lobbyists to enhance campaign funds. This is wrong because in the end many candidates end up giving them special interest tax breaks. Special interests need to be eliminated and the public needs to know what is goin on behind the closed doors of the White House."

That would eliminate almost every single source of campaign financing. Any entity, be it an organization or an individual, who finances a campaign because of ideologies or beliefs is necessarily a special interest. Special interests are what democracy is all about. Sure, there's plenty of anti-special-interest rhetoric out there. How ironic that the group that wants to abolish special interests is necessarily a special interest itself! The interest? Eliminating special interests. Unless my opponent plans on substantiating these claims against the very fabric of democracy - people and organizations supporting candidates who have their interests at heart - I urge you to ignore this empty rhetoric.

RE: "We have been in the dark for too many years. It is time for us to know exactly what our money is being spent on and why."

That is an interesting point, but it has nothing to do with campaigns or their ethics. We already know what campaigns spend their money on - campaigning. What my opponent is talking about is transparency on government spending. This is a policy issue wholly unrelated to campaigns.

RE: "Until then we may never know the true reason of why the United States is it debt. Wasteful spending is out of control"

I can tell you the true reason. Government, mostly on a federal level, usually spends more money than it makes. Surpluses are rare, and usually short-lived, where deficits are common.
Though, I agree that transparency will help us pinpoint exactly what programs we can get rid of to create surpluses rather than deficits. However, this is completely unrelated to the issue of campaign ethics. Campaigns campaign - they're not the ones spending money we don't have, government officials are.

RE: "It is time to change our ways and make way for a better tomorrow."

I agree, but this is also unrelated. Based on arguments I've already made, campaigns are not unethical. Some of the regulations on campaigns, specifically on people giving money to them, should perhaps be strengthened. However, this debate is about whether campaigns are acting unethically by spending their money on campaigning rather than on other things, such as paying off some national debt. It is not a campaign's responsibility to pay off debt - that responsibility goes to the government and perhaps to the taxpayers whose wallets have been eased by public borrowing. Campaigns are not at fault for our country's debt, and so they are not obligated to pay it off.
Debate Round No. 2
rockandrollgirl_1971

Pro

My opponent is right in many aspects, except for one. Money can and will be used on campaigns, but it is my firm belief that it can be used in a better manner. Candidates often accept money from lobbyists or the government. This is wrong. If and when it is accepted it should only be from individuals not otherwise associated with the government. If the money used for the campaigns was used to help the general public, we would have much less people without homes.
beem0r

Con

My opponent contends that is is her firm belief that money could be better spent. First, firm belief is not a very good source of evidence. Second, that has no ethical implications. If I go eat at Subway, my money could probably have been better spent. That does not mean it's unethical to eat at Subway. It simply means it wasn't the very best use of money. There is not some ethical duty to do the very best thing possible with money.

Note that my opponent also conceded to most of my points.

My opponent then states that money used for campaigns should not come from the government or from lobbyists. First, like I said last round, it is very difficult to split lobbyists from individuals. There is no justifiable way to say that lobbyists or special interests should not be allowed to donate money to a candidate, or that a candidate should have some ethical duty to not accept such money. Speaking out against lobbyists and special interests may sound great, but it doesn't make any sense. If an entity wants to donate money to a campaign, then why should they not be allowed to do that?

My opponent then points out that campaign money could be better spent on helping the general public, leading to less people without homes. First, note that we have people without homes because there are not enough homes for everyone to have one. Second, like I said at the beginning of this round, just because there is a better use for the money does not mean it's unethical to spend it any other way.

That will be all. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by SolaGratia 8 years ago
SolaGratia
Sola Gratia voting as a Cleaner.

Before the debate, I was neutral. I believe, as do both PRO and CON, that campaign finance could use some more reforms--prohibiting donations from people outside the U.S., for example. (If this is done now it is done ineffectively...all Barack Obama's website, for example, wanted was a credit card number.)

After the debate, I agreed with CON.

Conduct: Fairly civil debate, but I think CON edged PRO in conduct and his overall thoughtful tone wins bonus points.

Spelling and Grammar: CON. PRO made some elementary spelling and grammar mistakes. Ex: "...we would have much less people without homes." Which of course properly would be, "We would have many fewer people without homes," or better yet, "many fewer homeless people."

Arguments: CON successfully attempted "gotcha" debating, when he pointed out PRO's obvious misstep: "Too much of this elections money was wasted on campaigns." What else, pray tell, should "elections money" be spent on? Ferraris? It was obvious that CON put more time and thought into the debate. PRO's second round sounded alot like empty campaign rhetoric; she repeated more than twice the vapid leitmotif "time for change" which has been used with such success by our dear Leader-Elect. All in all, CON by a long shot.

Sources: Did not factor. Goes to CON to show how much I thought he won.
Posted by KRFournier 8 years ago
KRFournier
Pro did not offer a debatable resolution in the title, which is useful in keeping the debate on topic. For this, I gave the conduct vote to Con. I also gave Con the most convincing argument, since Pro conceded most of Con's points and appealed to emotion on the others. Con also won the grammar vote from me. Sources was a Tie.

It seems to me that rockandrollgirl_1971 was more interested in a discussion rather than a formal debate, so hopefully this first loss won't deter her from future debates. Beem0r is a tough opponent to face for a first debate. I hope she is not deterred from future debates, since this is a great place to learn how to argue well.
Posted by paramore102 8 years ago
paramore102
You are so right they spend thousands of dollars and yet one has to lose all that money gose to waste that's so sad.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Tatarize 8 years ago
Tatarize
rockandrollgirl_1971beem0rTied
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Vote Placed by SolaGratia 8 years ago
SolaGratia
rockandrollgirl_1971beem0rTied
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Vote Placed by KRFournier 8 years ago
KRFournier
rockandrollgirl_1971beem0rTied
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Vote Placed by JBlake 8 years ago
JBlake
rockandrollgirl_1971beem0rTied
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