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DDO's "7 point system " needs to be changed or removed

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 9/15/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,146 times Debate No: 61748
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)




First round acceptance


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


first of all, the format goes as follows:

"Who did you agree with before the debate?"
"Who did you agree with after the debate? "

This doesn't add anything to the debate as no points are given. With the limited character spaces, there's really no time to talk about your thoughts on the debate itself. I noticed that most voters don't even explain their views, they get straight to voting.

"Who had better conduct?
Spelling and grammar "

This should be a standard on all type of writing online. Each debater should already be using the spell check feature by default. I noticed that forfeiting is bad conduct, but that's not the only thing that defines it. Bad conduct is also personal insults, misrepresenting arguments, etc. It's not convenient for there to be a report argument feature but also have conduct as the criteria for bad conduct. Debaters should by default respectfully give their arguments.

Debating should strictly focus on logic and empirical evidence as its implied in the voting format. There's alot of complex factors in debating that the point system cannot solve. Most people who come here are unaware of exactly what a debate should consist of and how logic works. I noticed the following mistakes made. should be a place where people who join are motivated and disciplined in these areas to become logical thinkers.

1. Poor topics - Things like "Resolved - God is triune" What does resolved mean? I think it's a filler word. The topics should match the subject matter specifically and with clarity. I'll explain more later

2. Definitions - very few people establish strong definitions or any at all. There are no goals being set on who's going to prove what, the desired outcome of the debate, no rules, nothing, so confusion is bound to happen. For example, If you want to talk about the existence of God, but only want to debate him philosophically, you should come up with philosophical terms and state that you will only debate in that field.

3. Burden of proof - Debates should have a burden of proof established 1st round which is something i see lacking. This way, no one can shift the burden of proof unnecessarily.

4. Sources - The voting criteria asks "who used the most reliable sources?" No standard is set on what is reliable. What's reliable for one person may not be reliable for another person. If you have to define what reliability is why have this as part of the criteria? Sources should be accessible and the voters should be able to decide which sources were in great quality and quantity.

5. Arguments - Debates should have arguments that are well formatted with axioms stated, the premises following, and the conclusion reached, not all over the place. Debaters should also demonstrate that they have clearly understood their opponent's arguments.

6. Counter-arguments - Debaters should logically break apart arguments by showing that conclusions are wrong.

7. Exposing logical fallacies - Part of making a good counter-argument is explaining the types of logical fallacies an opponent has. It demonstrates that you as a debater recognize how logic works rather than simply state that something is fallacious with no reasoning to back it up.


DDO's voting system should be structured in such a way that critical thinking is essentially in creating a quality vote. The point system is a hindrance as it could be changed to something more effective which requires strict written analysis rather than simply awarding points. If we implemented the criteria i suggested above, we should all improve in debating.


The seven point system does not require change or removal particularly because the basis of the argument is personal taste instead of a failure in the system.

"Who did you agree with prior?", though no points are given it is actually a crucial question. In essence "Where does your bias lie?", because even if one votes on the debates if there is an overwhelming number of people who simply have bias voting then the contestants, mainly the loser, but sometimes both parties, can take this into account to reach a more sound conclusion on whether or not the constituents who voted really were capable of understanding what was presented to begin with versus simply voting for what they thought was right. "Who did you agree with after" is the same, it allows there to be knowledge of shift in bias and opinion and therefore again grants a more sound conclusion on what is actually being considered and how it is being processed.

"Conduct" is a very important matter. You are right that it should, by default, be present but the reality is that it's not. Some people get heated in debates. Some people lost interest and quit halfway through. Some people put up no effort and just accept debates for the sheer purpose of spewing their own ideals. These are all examples of misconduct, the actual bad behaviors of either contestant, and because they are quantifiable the idea that there should be a score allotted to this is also sensible.

"Spelling" is an extremely important matter. For one if a person has to work hard to decipher what you are saying then you don't deserve their time. While you say it should be standard that people use spell check the problem is that spell check isn't perfect and it doesn't check for syntax or grammatical errors. "Four" instance I can type many things incorrectly on "porpoise" that spell "Czech" won't pick up. Doing this over and over leads to so many errors in understanding and it is frustrating. Again as it is quantifiable it should be considered score worthy.

It's clear you understand that Argumentation is obviously being judged so there is no reason to address that particular area.
Debate Round No. 2


In essence "Where does your bias lie?"

If i understand correctly, you are saying that this is important to know whether or not a debater is biased. However this is ineffective to prove bias as anyone can claim that they were not biased or simply leave it tied. Bias would be more effectively determined if the debaters could analyze the reasoning of the voters, spot prejudice, and defend their positions accordingly in a written format, not by the point system.

Your right, conduct should be judged, but what constitutes better conduct? The point system doesn't say. It's too ambiguous and there's no criteria established of what better conduct is. It's better if the debaters simply defined it themselves.

"Spelling" is an extremely important matter. For one if a person has to work hard to decipher what you are saying then you don't deserve their time. While you say it should be standard that people use spell check the problem is that spell check isn't perfect and it doesn't check for syntax or grammatical errors. "Four" instance I can type many things incorrectly on "porpoise" that spell "Czech" won't pick up. Doing this over and over leads to so many errors in understanding and it is frustrating. Again as it is quantifiable it should be considered score worthy."

You bring up a good argument, however it should not be a determining factor in who won the debate. Standard writing should by default have good spelling and grammar in order to produce effective communication. Whether you are in school, at work, at home, anywhere you go to be expected to use proper language. Debating focuses primarily on logical reasoning, understanding other points of view, and evidence, thus spelling and grammar should not be a part of the criteria as much as other things listed above.


1. The bias of the voter is what matters. Furthermore "post-closing" arguments as a part of the DDO system would get out of hand. In a debate I had my opponent didn't adequately prove themselves correct from a logical standpoint and got sources that proved them wrong. They are still winning. How does that work? One of the votes argues that the topic is self-evident (which has nothing to do with either of the arguments, it's straight bias) and the other proposes a discourse, but there's no way to respond to that discourse, however the decision itself if it were discussed would be a prolonged (almost secondary) debate. So it would be essentially challenging (and persuading) people against their own reasoning whatever it may be. There is absolutely no way to create a fair point system without knowing who is voting and there is no way to create a sensible post closing without what could be considered a prolonged appeal process.

2. Conduct should be judge in accordance to, just like with bias, the voter. You can't create "hard criteria" for conduct because it's ambiguous as is however that is what makes it important to begin with. The number of people you "woo" with basic courtesy the better and because it's a competitive point itself it means everyone either strives to present a professional and clean presentation. In many cases it's fine but there are some where conduct falters whether it be dishonesty or disrespect or breaking the rules.

3. What is Logic but language? The difference between "All people are ugly", "Some people are ugly", "Most people are ugly", and "Few people are ugly" is massive, all in one word, but this is invisible to most. The construction of an argument is imperative and that means that language and it's utilization must be absolutely precise. While the standards here are lax in a real debate you are actually judged on how you articulate whatever you say particularly because one slip or false word and it's over. Now "spelling and grammar" as shown above and in the previous point are very noteworthy in logical discourse and communication in general. For instance the way I judge this matter is simple: If I have to work to read your argument you lose that point. Also, the reason there is a point for it is you're right, you're expected to use proper language, grammar, syntax, etc. however most people don't.

Now I want to address your criteria and it's flaws:

1. You can't judge based on the topic, because the other person willfully accepted, so it faults against both of them. This encourages bias in favor of the accepting party.

2. You can't judge well based on definitions particularly because if they are presented in the opening they must be worked under and if they are presented throughout they can be challenged but beyond that if legitimately sourced they are fair. If illegitimate then it can easily be argued that it is dishonest and poor argumentation or poor conduct, or both in some cases.

3. Burden of Proof does not work the way anyone thinks it does. There is no such thing as an "established" burden of proof; if you make a claim you have burden of proof for it ( ), it is that simple (, and where this myth of an established BoP ( came from is just beyond me because it's common knowledge. The idea that BoP can "rest" on someone means that only one person can make conclusive assertions which makes no sense. Considering the nature of everyone's collective failure to know how it actually works this would be a breeding ground for ignorance and bias.

4. Sources: Poor sourcing is poor argumentation. Poor sourcing is poor conduct. It is frivolous to attempt to expound on that and actually give points partially because it's actually not wholly tangible. For instance if a person gets a source no one likes (i.e. Fox News) that's known for heavy bias but does indeed act as proof for their claim do we hold our external knowledge against them? Yes. This is another breeding ground for bias, esp. political or personal bias, because Huffington Post has just as many who ascribe as who dissent. It sounds good on paper but the fact of the matter is that bias in sources and external knowledge of that bias is going to riddle this concept with holes.

Obviously arguments are agreed upon.

6. Counter arguments are "arguments" or extensions of the main concept. There is no sound reason to separate the two as it's continued communication. That's basically again giving bias against whoever goes second or whoever has to post a rebuttal first.

7. Intangible. Too many people are ignorant for it to work. For instance you just made one about Burden of Proof. There is absolutely nothing that substantiates the idea you proposed but you didn't know better and half of the people who would read this would go "What? No. That's crazy!" and will CONTINUE to believe in a "set burden of proof" which makes absolutely no sense. It sounds good on paper but you would need debates that are 20 rounds long in order to do this without laying down some basic framework like a judge to actually make those calls so it would need to be a real-time system (not this back and forth asynchronous communication) just like you would need a real-time referee in any given game. That's exactly why real debates have active judges; they listen specifically for this. The problem here is also that not everyone is reasonable; I've debated more than a few people who would not yield to their own fallacies or faulty logic essentially making things up or arguing empty points and when called on it would just deflect arguing that their opponent was incapable of winning so they were blowing a false while (false accusation, another fallacy, under "dishonesty" or "lying") arguing so that they could continue to argue. Sadly if the person is persuasive enough it works.

Your criteria would require extreme refinement in order to be viable.
Debate Round No. 3


Con brings up a fair point. However, I will present a few solutions. There's not many people on DDO who are experienced in certain subjects such as the Bible for example. How do we eliminate biased voters? I say judge voting is the best option. Here's an example of a debate in which the 7 point system posed a huge problem (1).

Both sides presented equally valid arguments for why the debate wasn't structured well even if it was for different reasons. The main problem is that the point system doesn't explain how to use logic let alone present an argument. In the DDO article by Nate Simmons titled " tips for a better debate " (2) no where is burden of proof mentioned, no tips are given to evaluate arguments, there's no organization presented on how arguments should be formatted.

The article advises us to use verified sources, but who determines their reliability when the strategies in a logical debate is to discredit your opponent's sources? It advises us to check the reliability of our evidence, but evidence can be disproven by two ways:

1) A debate where an opponent presents stronger evidence exposing weak evidence

2) Debaters research the credibility of their evidence and concede when it's verified to be unreliable

Either way, you still are required to do some research on the topic at hand. I know of only a few members who unbiasedly evaluate debates based on arguments and evidence: Mishapqueen, Jellon, Shadowkingstudios, bladerunner060, and a few others. Only trust those who are qualified to judge debates fairly. The 7 point system uses vague terms that we can simply come up with a biased vote that answers the questions and get away with it.

I agree with you on conduct.

I could come to terms with language.

Rebuttals :

1. The topics you pick should have a burden of proof, an objective of how the debate shall be held, and clear definitions. If i pick to debate on the morality of God, but I'm taking about disproving his existence then it's inconsistent with the burden of proof. It's better to reject those debates until consistency can be met.

2. I agree, however in some cases, it's not always applicable. For example, in Philosophy, you can't just take a definition out of a dictionary and expect to make an effective argument. Philosophy uses several techniques to reduce vagueness found in words in order to arrive at logical truths which cannot be resolved by a dictionary alone (3).

3. Judges should be able to demonstrate knowledge of burden of proof as well as debaters. I mean that a burden of proof must be stated in order for debaters to have a discussion:

"Once participants in discourse establish common assumptions, the mechanism of burden of proof helps to ensure that all parties contribute productively, using relevant arguments." (4)

4. Judges should not give the victory over to a debater simply because he/she presented more evidence. If a debater can discredit their sources, that gives them an upper hand. Even if someone presents biased information, if the other debater fails to expose that then it doesn't count against them. A debate should focus on how well a debater can create arguments using facts and evidence, not simply present them.

7. Judges should also be able to demonstrate knowledge that they understand how fallacies work as well as the debaters. Everyone should be on the same level.

Conclusion :

the 7 point voting system has ambiguous terms and should be removed or accommodated for professional debates. A lot of bias can be introduced by vague questions such as "Who made the most convincing arguments?" The 7 point system fails to provide relevant questions for a debate based on logic and evidence.








It seems that you've gone from revision to elimination. However there's no explanation on how judges would exist for all the debates here and whether or not that would still hold value or how they would be tested (if they would) and granted that privilege? The 7 point open forum system has yet to really be shown anymore faulty than your system so not to say that it is great it's just to say that if it's to be changed it cannot be changed in how you envision it. There needs to be more meat to the plan.

[you don't have to read the rest, this is a quick synopsis]


There are two issues here that I see; the first is the example you provide where the 7 point system is what you claim to be the problem but then your solution to the problem is privatization. Well that removes the problem of bias but it also removes the point of this debate because the criteria changes immensely once you have a private judge. It is literally no longer a matter of "X" points but instead of really a well-crafted argument for or against your own judgment. It's a totally different system altogether.

The second issue is actually the DDO article itself. It's not "How to Debate" it's "tips for a better debate" and you're right none of the basics like BoP are mentioned and neither is an exhaustive list of fallacies or anything that would arm you for the ability to actually debate. Instead it's "tips" and they are good tips but they are not lessons. It's not for that so if you're using that and asking "What's wrong!?" that's sort of like getting onto a horse and wondering why it won't go "VROOM!" and where the key notch is.

So when we talk about the article it's really appealing more to those who actually know what they are doing to begin with. It's kind of like "How to save gas when you drive", well the assumption is that you know how to drive to begin with, right? But this is why it's so important that we don't eliminate that system which grants that flexibility to begin with; a lot of people assume and assert so many different things so when it's down to a real "how-to" people aren't educated or skilled in it and that's the basic truth; they think they know, they do their best, and they interpret what's given but a lot of debates that I've been in have had "insufficient evidence" whether I won or lost and used sources that were good but didn't prove their points! People voted anyway reading what they thought was there because they aren't official judges and hell some are only 16 so who expects them to be professional about it? :p

Like if I asked you what IS weak evidence? Oh, man that's a road-trip of a question; you could (and people have) written an entire set of books on how that works. Credibility is the same.

Your 7 Points:

1. There is no such thing as a topic (claim) without a burden of proof or an objective method of argumentation. Definitions should be clear for sure but again this is biased against the beginner specifically because what if you, the voter, just say "No, I don't like that definition, doesn't sit well with me?" even if it's legitimate? Also, you can't produce a debate and have an inconsistency with the BoP. You can try but it won't make sense and will fall apart quickly anyway so it's not a major concern.

2. Well jargon and technical language basics really should solve this. Ambiguity is not acceptable and neither is Equivocation so this is already covered long before it began or was brought up here.

3. That's not how it works. You're misreading that; what it's saying is basically once everyone establishes the axioms it helps to know BoP and how it works. So let's say that we want to debate whether nachos are sentient, it's saying that first we need to define sentient and nachos THEN we use BoP to help guide us through it so if I make the claim "Nachos are sentient because rocks." I have BoP for that claim and if you go "No, rocks do not make nachos sentient." YOU have BoP for that claim. Disagreeing does NOT negate (contrary to everyone's belief) BoP. I added that in because a lot of people think that the "mechanism" of BoP works by allowing one side to say something and the other to go "nu-uh" when in reality that's not how it works at all; my last debate had this problem where my opponent just shirked off their own BoP for their own claims and then accused me (consistently) of arguing something I Was not without reason (just an unsubstantiated claim) and then asked complex questions with emphasis on appeal to emotion. Now all of that is horrible but the worst of it all was evading BoP. He "claimed" it rested on me so he never backed up anything he said. He just made it up.

4. However if we use judges instead of voters and the open public then this negates the point of this debate AND this criteria. This has to be relative to the open forum voting system. Doing away with it doesn't work because then you have to find incentives for volunteer judges and face judge bias as well where it's a "buddy" of one of the debaters.

7. There's no testing for it. I mean you "should" but "should" isn't enough. Your system works in a perfect world but all do, so when facing it I'm thinking it just doesn't work outside of the bounds that you build and you built them more strict, not more lax, so there's more holes in it than this. That's bad. It means the system is weak.
Debate Round No. 4


"There are two issues here that I see; the first is the example you provide where the 7 point system is what you claim to be the problem but then your solution to the problem is privatization. Well that removes the problem of bias but it also removes the point of this debate because the criteria changes immensely once you have a private judge. "

The same problem happens with open 7 point voting. You are correct, using the "Select winner" form of debating should be used rather than the 7-point system as you should be focused on crafted arguments based on your judgement.

" you're right none of the basics like BoP are mentioned and neither is an exhaustive list of fallacies or anything that would arm you for the ability to actually debate. Instead it's "tips" and they are good tips but they are not lessons"

I never said that it was a manual, but that it doesn't give us enough quality tips to become better debaters.

"So when we talk about the article it's really appealing more to those who actually know what they are doing to begin with"

I would more or less disagree. There are tips in an attempt to help users debate. I'll give a few examples by quoting the article:

"Grammar, spelling, and punctuation are important aspects of any piece of writing. Utilizing these language tools on will help to maintain a professional appearance for your debates. Review your argument looking for grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation errors. For spelling errors, use the spell check feature found near the submit button."

"Cite all of your significant facts, quotes, and sources. This will not only help to make your debate look more professional but, it will also allow users to have quick links to the background information of your debate. When citing facts, always remember to check their legitimacy and NEVER use false or made up facts. Using fake facts destroys your credibility and gives your opponent ammunition and an easy target in later rounds."

"The topic of your debate should be a controversial statement. The topic should imply that there are only two sides to the argument. Creating a clear and arguable topic helps the debate look more professional and allows the reader to more easily comprehend the content of the debate and who is on which side."

It's attempting to appeal to the general public, but also trying to help users structure their debates.

1. In a 7-point system, a voter can simply skip the definitions because it's not a requirement to vote. In a judge-based debate, by using the select winner and agreeing to definitions, although a judge disagrees with the definition, it's open to further discussion.

3. Well of course because you are required to deduce your conclusions from your premises to fulfill burden of proof. You can't simply disagree.

4. There's probably no way to remove bias, but it doesn't follow that the 7-point voting system is more effective. Furthermore, you can have select winner and still have open voting.

I rest my case.


"The same problem happens with open 7 point voting. You are correct, using the "Select winner" form of debating should be used rather than the 7-point system as you should be focused on crafted arguments based on your judgement.", this isn't true either; in essence you've clearly abandoned the route altogether because in a few of my debates with "select winner" some of the commentary bluntly stated that they had to pick one but would not have given all 7 points to a given party. This matters. The restrictive nature of "A or B" doesn't help your cause, it weakens it even more, because you've all but abandoned the original intention of making the system and it's criteria more fair whether through aversion (privatization) or limitation (select winner) to simply ease the system as you see it. You're depriving people of their possibly gained points and also tilting the debates far more ( for instance with 4 voters a 11 > 7 is possible saying one person got an argument point and then got two conduct points and two source points and the other got 3 argument votes and the same, etc. versus the 21 > 7 which is skewed magnificently ) simply killing the point of assessment to begin with.

The Article itself does exactly what you say but it is exactly how I say as well; it's an attempt to help, that is to get you from level 1 to level 2, but it is not an attempt to teach which is where the contention lies. Why should burden of proof ( a basic ) be mentioned? That's like looking at a multiplication table and expecting to see an explanation of addition. These tips here are just that, tips, and they are not attempting to teach you how to debate but actually pointing out really common issues ( such as spelling and citations and poor debate topics due to ambiguity ) almost anywhere you go whether it is a debate team or just a local coffee shop. A lot of people don't make proper (or any) citations for their points, they misspell (and at times this results in an Equivocation) or ignore certain distinct rules of language (because Logic is literally the study of the value of statements), and often like here we see ambiguity in your suggested seven points (which is the route I chose in an attempt to disassemble them ) where the topic itself runs two instead of one dueling outcomes. I now have two burdens of proof (because you made two claims and I accepted the terms, A) needs change, B) needs removal) while you only have to defend / assert one at a time. Does the article tell you the definition of fallacy? No. Should it? No.

But we both agree it's just an appeal to the general public. I've no idea how many people read it.

1. This only generates controversy in the judging sector and still doesn't actually validate itself in the 7-pt system. One core thing you cannot do when defending a value is just write the value off as ignored; without assuming that the voter will actually vote on the matter what is the point of the criteria? Again this is avoiding the issue ( by simply giving counteroptions instead of discussing the validity of the standard itself.

3. Yet people do simply disagree. Persuasion is the name of the game here so when you talk about voting you need to be very careful to not incorporate options that basically support the bias of persuasion. It's why it's so important to know how BoP works, what it does, and what it really means. A lot of people don't actually (though they attempt or simply make an illusion that looks like an attempt) support their claims in any meaningful way. Take for instance your previous statement that's actually a fallacy; to the untrained eye that doesn't look wrong, and should it? No. It looks like you gave a valid excuse by simply offering an alternative (though that's not valid because you need to actually address the problem) as well as an ambiguous write-off ("further discussion") instead of validation. This is very, very common. Basically you just did it.

4. Your version of the 7-pt system is not sufficient in my opinion. You've not provided a strong case in my opinion as to why the removal of the system should be done. You've constantly alluded to alternatives and did not validate or strongly propose a reason to take on the removal of the system. In short there's no reason, as you've yet to show one, to change or remove the system.

From this, it is not a matter of who wins or loses, but instead a matter of who makes the most sense. Regardless of the scores of this debate (I hope you win, of course) all that matters is at the end of the day I'm both not convinced and do not feel compelled to see your vantage point. I've come away with one question: "What is the point of a proposal without a plan?"

When you've a plan I'll gladly do this again with you for a better system. Until then.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by blackkid 3 years ago
I completely agree Max Wallace. The number of votes is too small and the bias ratio is too high so a solution to that is in order. I shall consider the concern and come up with a valid outlook post haste and pose it as an option.
Posted by The_Immortal_Emris 3 years ago
This is actually a pretty good debate. If I could vote on it, I'd lean more toward TS's side of the argument as it currently stands.
Posted by Jonbonbon 3 years ago
Can you not set it to the vote for a person anymore? You don't have to use the 7 point system.
Posted by RevL8ion 3 years ago
I'd accept it if it was shorter.
Posted by SCOTSKNIGHT12 3 years ago
It does need major improvement!!!
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 3 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: con shows that the DDO 7-pt-system was only misused by those few with bias--and plus, they could vote bomb in both systems, so removing/changing the 7-pt-syst. wouldn't exactly do anything productive
Vote Placed by Max.Wallace 3 years ago
Who won the debate:--
Reasons for voting decision: I believe that most debates involve too few voters, as in most debate winners are declare such by 3 or less votes. Prove me wrong, please. The fact of the matter is that the system itself should be eliminated as so many are more consumed with expressing their own opinion, or judging others, that no clear winner ever exists. It is a hell of a lot of fun to have a battle of wits, that is why I love this place, and hate it at the same time. You guys are fighting for nothing except votes, of which only a small minority decides. How valid can that be in the end? Sounds like today. OK so the DDO creators have created a situation where I must type more, so I will, because this must be said, as I am honest in my viewpoints. Neither debater proved any point, only their own bias. A great debate is a tie, and this is a great debate, I hope you are both friends. You both writ well your opinions and that is admirable, however faulty the premise of being able to have fair judgmanship, or ju
Vote Placed by ShadowKingStudios 3 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Con wins this one. Had this be set as 7 pt, he'd definitely get MCA. His practical handling of Pro's BoP blunder brought this debate to a new resolved: 7pt system doesn't need to be changed or removed because it has not failed in criteria--just those using it for their bias. Many great points came from both sides, yet Con demonstrated it's not the system at fault (though presented a little vague) its the voters. Pro's language was indeed spelling out "revision" (R2, R3) then subtly switched to "elimination" (R4) with argumentation for debaters selected impartial judges. This is a much needed debate.