The Instigator
TheOregonian
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
The_Great_Amalgam
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Citizens United versus Federal Election Commision

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
The_Great_Amalgam
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/27/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 365 times Debate No: 88821
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

TheOregonian

Pro

Resolution:
On balance, the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission harms the election process.

Round Structure:
Round 1: Opening Arguments
Rounds 2-4: Rebuttals
Round 5: Closing Arguments (No New Arguments)

Rules:
No forfeits
No trolling
Remain civil
No semantics

Burden of Proof:
The BoP is shared.

Opening Argument:
Let us imagine two hypothetical electorates. In the first, the majority of the citizens are at least mildly educated and interested in the election process, and all have access to at least a few unbiased news sources. Candidates gain publicity in accordance to their popularity, for this is in the best interests of the media company. The people know who to vote for.
The second electorate is less Utopian. The populace only have access to a small number of media outlets, all funded by gigantic corporations, which only show the stories and perspectives their parent corporation wants them to. Candidates gain publicity in accordance to what the rich want, from the perspective of what the rich want. Grassroots campaigns are rare and often unsuccessful. The candidates put forth by the rich are often not who the majority agree with, and many citizens stop participating in a race between parties they don't agree with.
The difference between those two groups is that in the second, corporations corrupt the electoral process. They control the minds of the people in an almost Orwellian way. They control the elections.
America has not gotten to this stage yet. But it is on its way. The people can feel this change, and, without knowing the cause, try to stop it. This results in a volatile radicalization on both sides of the aisle, resulting in he recent rise of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Radicalization at such a rate and on such a scale as this leads to a decrease in political and economic stability.
Most everyone can agree that, for the purpose of representing the people, a democracy is better than an oligarchy. Limits must be placed on the rich to keep them from interfering in the democratic process. Limitless sums lead to limitless corruption.

Footnote: I understand that no utopia is possible. No electorate will be perfect. But the contrast drawn between the two extremes remains.
The_Great_Amalgam

Con

Before I began with my opening argument, I want Pro to ask himself this question:

"What is the First Amendment?"

Now then, let us begin round 1 of the tournament!

Topic: "On balance, the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission harms the election process."

The decision would never harm the election because without it, the entire principal that the United States is all about would be completely wrong! The First Amendment would be completely irrelevant, making all of the country's ideals, dreams, and identity wrong!

To truly understand what I mean, we’ll need to get to the meat of this. The Supreme Court's decision was a 5-4 ruling that overruled the ban on independent expenditures and financing electioneering communications. [1]

To understand where this case came from, we will need to look at the past. In the year 2002, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA, also known as the McCain-Feingold Act) became effective, changing the election process as we had known. All we need to look at is the section of electioneering communications. One of the characteristics is "The communication is distributed during a specific time period before an election - within 30 days prior to a primary election or 60 days prior to a general election.". [2]

Before the 2008 election, the nonprofit organization Citizens United Productions produced a documentary called Hillary: The Movie which was very critical of Hillary Clinton, whom was running at the time for the democratic nominee. The problem was that this documentary fell under BCRA's definition of an electioneering communications. [3] Now then with all of the history that is needed to know for this debate, let us began.

One thing must be known, in the 2012 election, the Citizens United vs. FED ruling, did not affect it at all. [4] The success rate in the general election was a mere 6.6%, which is a very small number. Thus the ruling doesn't harm the election process.

Another thing is that Senator Kennedy had said these important words near the end of the trial: “If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech.” [5] This brings me back to one of the first things I said. What is the First Amendment? It is the freedom of religion, speech, petition, and assembly. The important part here is speech. We have the freedom of speech to engage in political speech. Even if it occurred 30 days before a primary, or 60 days before a general election.

Remember that this decision did not make it legal for companies to spend on contributions. The reason was so that corruption did not occur or look like it could occur. [1]

Finally, the decision made it so that corporations as well as labor unions could spend as much money as they wanted too, and could advertise a candidate as positive or negative. This is free speech! And no law, could, can, of should be made against it. This way, no matter what, the court decision can not harm the election process. It is after all, just advertisement that occurs closer to the election.

It is free speech, it didn’t affect the 2012 election, contributions are still illegal, and it is just advertisement. If these four things can harm the election process, then the election process is broken already.

I wish my opponent good luck on the rebuttal. May the best debater win and the loser learn from this debate!

SOURCES

1. http://www.publicintegrity.org...

2. http://www.fec.gov...

3. https://www.law.cornell.edu...

4. http://www.opensecrets.org...

5. http://www.newyorker.com...
Debate Round No. 1
TheOregonian

Pro

TheOregonian forfeited this round.
The_Great_Amalgam

Con

With Pro forfeiting, they automatically lose due to not only the tournaments rules but also their own rules they set up at the start of the debate. I extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
TheOregonian

Pro

TheOregonian forfeited this round.
The_Great_Amalgam

Con

I extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
TheOregonian

Pro

TheOregonian forfeited this round.
The_Great_Amalgam

Con

I extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 4
TheOregonian

Pro

TheOregonian forfeited this round.
The_Great_Amalgam

Con

Pro has forfeited the debate as well as the tournament. I extend all arguments. Vote Con!
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by The_Great_Amalgam 10 months ago
The_Great_Amalgam
It is a shame. I was looking foward to it.
Posted by famousdebater 10 months ago
famousdebater
This is an interesting topic, a shame that Pro forfeited though.
Posted by The_Great_Amalgam 11 months ago
The_Great_Amalgam
Thanks! I wish the same amount of luck to you as well!
Posted by NothingSpecial99 11 months ago
NothingSpecial99
Hello, just here to wish both sides and my fellow tourney competitors good luck
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Sam7411 10 months ago
Sam7411
TheOregonianThe_Great_AmalgamTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con gets better conduct because Pro forfeited. Con used sources to back up his argument, Pro lacked any. Con's argument was based on actual facts/evidence/events.
Vote Placed by bsh1 10 months ago
bsh1
TheOregonianThe_Great_AmalgamTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited. Only Con presented arguments. Args to Con for actually having them. Conduct to Con for posting each round.