The Instigator
rjayx8
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
mh
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Democracy is the best known form of governance

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
rjayx8
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/6/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 812 times Debate No: 56138
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

rjayx8

Pro

Round 1: Acceptance and opening statement
Round 2: Arguments
Round 3: Rebuttal and closing statement

Opening statement: "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried."

~ Winston Churchill
mh

Con

Since there are only three rounds of debate, I will start with definitions and criteria here...

Definitions:
Democracy, noun, government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
(http://dictionary.reference.com...)

Best: In this case I will define best as in the most just, and beneficial to the people of a nation.

Criteria:

My opponent is making the claim that democracy is the best form of governance. To do this he must verify the following.

For the set of all known governmental systems: Democracy is strictly better than governmental system x.

I must try to verify the following claim.

There exists at least one governmental for which: Governmental system x is as good or better than Democracy.

If you do not accept the criteria and or definitions I have put forward for the debate please substitute your own, as well as justification for the change in your opening argument.
Debate Round No. 1
rjayx8

Pro

Judges please note: This round is exclusively for arguments, no rebuttals should be made in this round.

I will in the following paragraphs try to uphold the resolution that though democracy has its flaws, it still is better than all the other forms of government that have been tried.

As democracy is wide ranging and a comprehensive subject, I will try to make my argument concise and simple.

Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens participate equally—either directly or indirectly through elected representatives—in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. It encompasses social, religious, cultural, ethnic and racial equality, justice, and liberty. The term originates from the Greek δημοκρατ^3;α (dēmokratía) "rule of the people",[1]

Etymology

The word democracy’s genesis lies in a merger of two latin words that are (dêmos) which stands for "people" and (kratos) which stands for "power" or "rule; and is antonym to (aristokratia) "rule of an elite" [2]

Sources:
[1] δημοκρατ^3;α in Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, "A Greek-English Lexicon", at Perseus Wilson, N. G.
[2](2006). Encyclopedia of ancient Greece. New York: Routledge. p. 511.ISBN 0-415-97334-1.

Accommodation of Minorities

Democracy celebrates and recognizes the presence different kinds of communities, safeguards them, gives them equal rights as the majority.

It does not discriminate between its citizens. The term citizen in fact symbolically represents democracy itself, a legally recognized subject under protection of his/her respective govt.

Decentralization of Power

Aristotle rightly contrasted rule by the many (democracy/polity), with rule by the few (oligarchy/aristocracy), and with rule by a single person (tyranny or today autocracy/monarchy)

In a democracy power is not vested into a few people or a single person like oligarchy and monarchy, rather it is shared, at all levels, district, state, national.

It operates at the grassroots level, for example, you may look at the Panchayati Raj model of democracy in India which covers every village, town, and district in its ambit and how are every section enjoys certain amount of power and jurisdiction for self-rule.

Accountable and legitimate govt.

Legitimacy stems since the elected representatives or Presidents or etc. have been voted into power by the people, they are nothing but servants of the people, mere administrators and policy makers, watch dogs of the society.

Accountability comes from the fact that they can be rejected, voted out of power in the forthcoming election if they do not meet people’s demands and needs or do not keep the promises they made to the people.

Rule of Law

There are Independent institutions of judiciary, executive and legislation, which results in efficiency and minimizes prejudice and favouritism.

Universal Adult Franchise

Democracy grants all the citizens who are 18 or older suffrage (right to vote) to quote Charlie Chaplin from a famous satirical film on tyranny and despotism, "It is you, you the people that have the power"

Room for correcting mistakes

Though in a democracy, people take their own decisions by electing their own representatives, there is no guarantee that decisions taken by the public at the time of elections prove to be right for the years to come. People may later realize that they made a wrong choice. In a democracy such mistakes cannot stay hidden for long and there is room for correction. We can always vote for better alternatives in the next general elections. If the rulers do not change themselves, we can change them.

Democracy is based on the doctrine of equality

“Over time democracy, as a political system, has developed mechanisms to integrate marginalized groups mechanisms such as quotas or regional arrangements to amplify the concerns of politically disenfranchised groups”

Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, at the Democracy and Gender Equality

Source: http://www.unwomen.org...

LIBERTY

In a democracy you are free. It is impossible for liberty to be lost under a democratic form of government. Democracy assures that the will of the people shall prevail, and that is liberty. So long as democracy is preserved we can rest assured that liberty will be continued to the full.

Even a thinker liker Aristotle believed the underlying principle of democracy is freedom, since only in a democracy the citizens can have a share in freedom.

Sources:

  • "Aristotle, The Politics". Humanities.mq.edu.au. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
  • Aristotle (384–322 BC): General Introduction Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

"Our constitution is named a democracy, because it is the hands not of the few, but of many. But our laws secure equal justice for all private disputes, and our public opinion welcomes and honors talent in very branch of achievement, not for any sectional reason, but on grounds of excellence alone." – Pericles.

Democracy is in truth like my opponent quoted, "government of the people, by the people and for the people."

A democracy is where we talk about accommodating minorities, not ethnically cleansing them. A democracy is where people can question, inquire and make demands to their govt.

Democracy is a form of government where a citizen leads a life of dignity and self-respect. My final argument is that democracy with all its flaws holds the ace when it comes to the quality of life; it is a form of govt. where the citizens have the power to even abandon democracy.

Be it Warren Buffet or an urchin they both enjoy the right to food, shelter, education, equality, justice. Both have the right to vote, both have the right to a fair judicial process, the same political status.

Conclusion

There is no form of governance as equitable, participatory and liberal as democracy for democracy is nothing but the the manifestation of the mandate of the people.

I would like to thank my opponent for accepting the challenge and look forward to his argument.

mh

Con

I will argue that there is exactly one form of Government better than a Democracy. A Republic.

A Republic recognizes that all people have certain inalienable rights, that can not be taken by any just government. In a pure Democracy you have the risk of Tyranny by the Majority. If 51% of the people in a democracy do not like Joe, they can have him executed by a simple vote. A Republic recognizes that Joe has a right to live even if half of the people want him dead.A pure democratic system does not guarantee you any rights or freedoms, It only guarantees you those rights so long as you agree with the majority.

In a Republic, however, You have a right to freedom of speech regardless if the Majority of people agree with you. You can be part of any religion, even if the vast majority of people don't like that religion. Because a Republic protects people from the Tyranny of the Majority, It is the only government better than a democracy.
Debate Round No. 2
rjayx8

Pro

Judges please note: A satisfactory definition of a Republic was not provided, it lacked brevity and clarity.

Etymology: The word republic comes from again a merger of two Latin words Res (Thing) and Publica (People) so the people’s thing that is the law is supreme.

Republic: The term "republic" as known today refers to a representative democracy with an elected head of state, such as a president, serving for a limited term. Even in a republic, it's the voice of the majority that rules through chosen representatives; however there is a charter or constitution of basic rights that protects the minority from being completely unrepresented or override.

Now I shall be rebutting my opponent’s arguments paragraph by paragraph.

A Republic recognizes that all people have certain inalienable rights, that can not be taken by any just government. In a pure Democracy you have the risk of Tyranny by the Majority. If 51% of the people in a democracy do not like Joe, they can have him executed by a simple vote. (First of all a judiciary is a separate wing in a democracy, independent in all aspects, not elected or subject to a majority’s opinion, it doesn’t matter if 51 want him dead, what matters is his innocence or guilt that is what will decide his fate)

A Republic recognizes that Joe has a right to live even if half of the people want him dead. A pure democratic system does not guarantee you any rights or freedoms; It only guarantees you those rights so long as you agree with the majority. (BoP, provide an example, or some facts.)

In a Republic, however, you have a right to freedom of speech regardless if the Majority of people agree with you. You can be part of any religion, even if the vast majority of people don't like that religion.
(Fallacy, no, not in all republics, not in an Islamic Republic, a republic does not necessarily have to be secular)Because a Republic protects people from the Tyranny of the Majority, It is the only government better than a democracy.

Let me put it this way; my opponent says a democracy is same as the rule of the majority. I believe otherwise, look at a country like India, it is a democratic republic, the official name goes as ‘Republic of India’ however, and this republic has repeatedly failed to protect its citizens from suffering, from experiencing what my opponent puts as the wrath of the majority. However, it does not necessarily have to be the majority that imposes itself on the minority.

The conclusion is, a Republic is too is a great deal like democracy, a form of majority rule. My opponent said we have inalienable rights, but these rights can be amended and how are they amended, take a guess, of course – by a vote.

Who are the people who vote to decide whether there should or should not be an amendment to the current set of laws? Take another guess, the elected representatives, you got that right too! These leaders are again voted into power by people where the majority has an obvious advantage over the minority. Therefore, a Republic is only different in concept and theory, not in practicality.

Closing Statement: Well if a Republic is so particular and protective about minorities why was there a Malcolm X or the need for a Martin Luther? Wasn’t the darker colour oppressed in this same wonderful republic? My opponent should explain with an example where a republic has succeeded in exemplifying the idealistic and utopian ideologies as stated by my opponent.

Half the Americans don’t know whether their country is a democracy or a republic and many of these people are famous politicians and leaders.

A democracy and a republic are the same and if a Republic is so great I am sure we have read about Rome’s model of Republic which ultimately succumbed to the Caesars.

mh

Con

mh forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Mike_10-4 2 years ago
Mike_10-4
A republic is the best form of government.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Themba 2 years ago
Themba
rjayx8mhTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct was due to forfeiture of Con. That along with the lack of clarity in Con's republic case. Moreover, Con did not refute pro's case as Con forfeited the last round. Pro provided many instances of which how democracy can be the best form of governance, although BOP is solely on him for proving the 'best', Pro succeeded through the explanation of oligarchy/aristocracy etc. The diverse form of contentions alone fulfilled the BOP requirement of the resolution. Con barely argued, the lack of depth and forfeiture is seen through his arguments. Thus, Points to Pro. Sources was for the reliable quotes provided by Pro while Con simply backed it with his opinion.