Democracy is not an efficient and practical form of government
Debate Rounds (5)
1)You may include as many sources as you want, or no sources if you wish.
2)All source citation types and sources will be accepted.
3)The winner will be decided by an "Open Voting" style taking place over the course of a month after the debate is completed.
4)Failure to post an argument in 48 hours will not result in automatic disqualification although voters are encouraged to vote for a debater who does in fact post an valid argument for each and every round.
I believe that democracy is not an efficient way to govern a nation.
The order and purpose of the five debate rounds are as following:
1) Challenge & Acceptance
2) Why or why not democracy is the most efficient and practical way to govern a nation.
3) Examples (Real and Hypothetical) of what can happen in a democracy and other forms of government.
4) What the best for, of government is or would be.
5) Final arguments and thoughts on why voters should "vote pro" or "vote con".
To whomever my con challenger is I wish them best of luck and I hope this will be a quite a spectacular debate.
MB17, thank you for creating this debate. I will happily accept the challenge of showing why Democracy is efficient and practical.
I believe that one of the biggest problems in a democracy is that democracy is based on the principles of equality. Today in the world many minority groups are trying to obtain equality, but they will never get it. Why? Because because equality never works. And since democracy is based off of equality, it never works. What I'm saying is that not all voters are created equal. The problem with democracy is not that citizens are able to vote, but that almost every citizen is allowed to vote. This means that as long as I'm 18 or older (in the U.S. at least.) I could ignore all things having to do with politics, and then show up to the voting booth on Election Day and practically draw sticks to see who gets my vote! Lately I've heard that many people want to enforce a civics test that voters must pass to vote. The only argument that the challengers of these tests is that it would mean that the voting system wouldn't be equal, but tell me is the system really fair?
Now let's say that in a "perfect nation" which has a democracy, and all of the citizen actually do pay attention to politics and vote with their brain and not their heart, democracy still wouldn't work because just as in the U.S. and Rome and all the other "great" democracies the politicians almost always lied to the people in order to get elected. Of course the politicians have to lie, because if they told the voters what was really going to happen they would never get elected! A prime example of this is the affordable care act, a.k.a "Obamacare ". Americans were told they would be able to keep their current health care without any changes but is Obama had told the truth about how the citizens would be forced into the government health care system he would've never been elected.
Therefore I believe that democracy is not an efficient and practical form of government due it's founding principles and the lying nature of politics.
Right, on to the question of why (or why not) democracy is the most efficient and practical way to govern.
Consider the alternatives to democracy. We have absolute monarchies. All power invested in one person or family. In theory, with only one group controlling all articles of legisature and government, things should be quite straight-forward. However, in many current and historical cases, such countries are often gripped by poverty, as the majority of wealth and power rests in the hands of a very small minority.
For example, take my own country, Britain. During the undisputed rule of Kings and Queens, religious persecution (such as the tit-for-tat persecution of Catholics by Protestants and visa-versa) was commonplace, often stemming directly from the mindset of the ruling monarch (in fact, this was a problem that gripped Europe during the Middle Ages).
In a democracy, greater protection is afforded to religious minorities than under absolute monarchies.
There is the theocracy, in which the system of government is based on the state religion and the head of state is selected by a religious hierarchy. One such nation is Iran, and Iran's track record on human rights and religious freedom is not a glowing one. Given the choice between living in a democratic nation such as Britain, or France, or Germany, or living in Iran, the choice is simple.
Likewise, consider the efficiency (or otherwise) of the communist, single-party state of North Korea, where once again poverty is rampant and freedom of expression is completely muted.
Democracies are not perfect but consider the general standard of living in democracies compared to other forms of government.
Democracy politics are based on populism, where the politicians are elected not because they have the best morals or policies, but because they have the most "handouts" to offer. Most voters think about it like this, if politician A offers free ice cream for everyone, and politician B offers free ice cream to only those can pass a test, then politician A must be better, right? Switch some words out like ice cream=welfare, everyone=all voters, those who can pass a test=smart voters and you are left with a democracy. Haven't you ever heard of "pamen et circenses" which translates to "bread and circuses". It comes from Rome, which happens to be almost a "past life" of the United States, and the origin comes from Roman politics where the politicians would give out free food and entertainment in exchange for the peoples votes. We see this in The United States today as government welfare. What the voters want to know is which candidate has the most "free" stuff, not who has the best policies. Of course a democracy could work like this if citizens decided to sacrifice their selfish interests for common good, but the problem is they never do and they never will, it's human nature to be selfish.
MB17, your opening terms and conditions were that round 2 was to be about why or why not democracy is the most efficient and practical way to govern a nation. To that end, I compared democratic nations to ones practising other forms of government. Whilst this does not immediately address whether democracy is in itself efficient, it does address the purpose of round 2- and I believe I have shown that democracy is a more efficient form of government than the other options.
We must also define efficiency in this case. Efficient in itself? Or efficient compared to other forms of government? Rounds 3 and 4 both look to compare democracy to other forms of government, so that is how I am weighing up democracy.
Round 3 is of course, examples of what happens in a democracy vs other forms of government.
You brought up the voting process. Whilst it can be argued that politicians are not elected on the basis of good policies but rather handouts, it can also be argued that not every democratic nation has such problems, and this is more the result of the country's cultural situation rather than the democratic system itself. In the US, the Republican party will play upon any prospect of socialist policies from the Democrats to create varying degrees of hysteria. The Democrats will offer handouts ad nauseam to win votes amonst minority groups. A lot of this is more to do with the specific situation in America (the Cold War fallout, the melting pot of cultures) than democracy itself.
You could argue the voting process in North Korea is more efficient. However, only party can be voted for, regardless of history, policies or future plans. Actual governance of North Korea is clearly far worse than the US, as its record in feeding its people, maintenance of infrastructure, and political freedoms shows.
Lets look at Qatar. Qatar is a hugely wealthy country (it has the highest per capita income in the world) and is an absolute monarchy. Despite their wealth, Qatar has the highest iliteracy rates of all Arab countries that took part in Literacy Arab Day (http://www.qsa.gov.qa...).
England, recently rated 21st out of 24 countries evaluated for their literacy standards (http://www.bbc.com...), still ranks higher than Qatar overall.
If you look at countries by life expectancy (one measure of the quality of health care), democractic countries dominate the top 40, with few other forms of government being represented in that list (http://en.wikipedia.org...)
So, democracies score better at maintaining higher literacy and life expectancy than other forms of government. Typially, they have better freedom of expression too. The overall standard of a nation's infrastructure (power, roads, rail, and so forth) is usually better in a democracy (just look at South Korea and North Korea for a stark contrast in fortunes).
So, hypothetically speaking, if both North Korea and South Korea declared tomorrow they were going to build 500 miles of new, high-speed railways, which country do you think would complete the work more quickly, more safely, and with better financial management? I know who I would bet on.
This brings me into my next argument. I believe there is a form of government better than democracy, it's used in The United States, and it is a republic.
Yes, a republic. You must think I'm insane at this point to call The United States anything but a democracy, but it's true. The U.S. Isn't successful because of it's democratic government, but because of its republic government.
My first reason for coming to this conclusion is that in a pure democracy 50.000...1% of the population could vote away the other 49.999...9%. This is because in a true democracy winner takes all, no exceptions. However, in a republic the voting process goes that if the vote is decided by a close percentage, another group (congress & electoral college) can provide a "tiebreaker" if needed. Possibly the best example in history of this scenario happened right here in The United States, when George W. Bush "defeated" Albert Gore. Al Gore had 50,999,897 or 48.4% of the vote, while George W. Bush had 50,456,002 or 47.9% of the vote. If The United States was truly a democracy than Al Gore would have won, hands down, no questions asked. But because The United States is a republic the decision was left up to the Supreme Court and Bush "stole" the election.
Also, only a republic would have a constitution, which limits the powers of the state. As Benjamin Franklin once said, "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch." In fact, nowhere in the Declaration of Independence or in the Constitution does it say the word "democracy." The dictionary definition of a republic is "a state that does not practice direct democracy but rather has a government indirectly controlled by the people. " Is this not what the United States is? Where we elect representatives to vote for us?
Therefore, according to the reasons above I believe that a Republic is the best and most practical form of government.
MB17, technically speaking not a single country on earth is classed as a democracy. However, countries that hold regular elections to vote in political parties and representatives are generally considered democracies.
The Oxford Dictionary website defines democracy as 'a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives'. (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...)
Whilst your examples about the electorial process are valid, they are not answering the debate you yourself posed- that democracy is not an efficient form of government. There may well be problems with the electorial process in several countries; this is not necessarily indicative of how these countries are governed.
The Oxford Dictionary defines government as 'the group of people with the authority to govern a country or state; a particular ministry in office'. (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...)
Lets return to my example of the Koreas from round 3 to answer point 4 (What the best form of government is or would be).
North Korea and South Korea are both planning to build railways. These are complicated projects, involving a lot of manpower, often tunnelling, bridge-building, and the demolition of buildings/structures in the way. They can also involve the displacement of people from their homes.
South Korea, a flourishing, democratic nation, has access to better tools for the job, a skilled workforce, and would make better use of its time in the design stage to minimise the impact on the environment and peoples' lives. If homes needed to be demolished, no doubt compensation would be arranged for the families that had to relocate.
North Korea is unlikely to offer such compensation to the families it would forcibly move, and even if it did, the effort would be a token one at best. The labour force in North Korea is not as well trained, not as well paid, and poor morale combined with poor training would almost certainly lead to more mistakes, injuries and fatalities during construction.
So, for such construction projects, the democracy of South Korea would be better placed to complete this project with less loss of life, better management of the environment and of peoples' livelihoods.
I'm of the opinion that democracy is the best form of government. It is not perfect, but no form of government is. What democracy affords us is a voice in the system, at a regional and national level, and the will of the people can be powerful enough to sway the government and change the course of history. It is no co-incidence that democracies tend to enjoy better standards of education and healthcare than other forms of government, and they are generally more developed as well.
As you said a democracy is not perfect form government, but it is the best for now. But ask your self "in 10,000 years when the most peaceful, free, and richest nation exists, will that nation have a democracy?" Probably not, but of course by then new and superior forms of government that we couldn't even begin to grasp their concepts today will exist. See, when I thought up the rules for this debate I specifically added the filters real & hypothetical so that I could open my opponent up to this view point. Also, throughout your debate you compared democracy to a few other well known government, but you realize there have been many other forms proposed and used. Below is a link to some of those. And also most democracies aren't really pure democracies at all, but rather a pinch of democracy mixed in with a pinch of just about every other government system. Therefore, a real democracy could never work by itself, only mixed in with other forms of government.
In conclusion, I believe that democracy is not the most efficient and practical form of government, and that no country is a true democracy because that would never work.
Firstly, I would like to thank MB17 for creating this debate and letting me be his opponent. I have enjoyed this debate thoroughly and look forward to our next battle!
To offer my final thoughts, I would firstly address MB17's point about what may happen in 10,000 years- well, the simple answer is we have no idea. It might be an evolution of democracy, since systems which allow for greater representation have greater freedoms and more stability than systems which deny people their voice.
Democratic rule (as I defined in my previous post), is statistically better at producing good healthcare and education, and democratic nations are stronger economically and technologically than alternatives.
MB17's final link is correct in that democracy tends to be watered down with other elements, but the key element I would return to, the one I defined via the Oxford Dictionary, is that democracy is a system of representation. It is also the strongest form of government we have available to us right now, and is clearly the most efficient one we have, based on almost every key performance indicator governments are measured by.
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