The Instigator
Cold-Mind
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
schachdame
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Direct democracy

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
schachdame
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 7/7/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,098 times Debate No: 58644
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (1)

 

Cold-Mind

Pro

I will argue for the following system of direct democracy: https://docs.google.com...

BoP is shared. Con has to make argument in the Round 1, and Con may only use up to 200 characters in Round 4.

Voting rules:
- Who had more reliable sources will not be taken into account
- Forfeit in round 1, 2 or 3 is loss
schachdame

Con

I am looking forward to your case.
Feel free to be the first one to present here.
Debate Round No. 1
Cold-Mind

Pro

"has to" clearly does not leave a choice. My opponent made conduct mistake.

Here is why proposed system is better then the current one:
1. It takes less money to count up all the votes on elections.
2. It is more immune to mistakes in counting up the votes.
3. It is almost impossible to bribe enough MAACs to win voting(on altering laws), while in current system, big companies may bribe enough congressman to win the vote.
4. If voting MAAC is not doing as people who gave him their election points want, they can simply take back their election points. So, people would actually have their interests represented.
5. Bad politicians would be replaced faster.
6. Politicians would care less about their party, and more about people.
7. Some of the people who actually do not know whom to vote for, would not vote, because everyone can see for whom they voted.
8. There would be no long, expensive campaigns by parties.
schachdame

Con

Introduction | fyi: the presented system is not, as Pro claims a direct democracy. At least it's not a pure one. The fact that there are congressmen that represent and initiate makes it a half direct democracy. Something that is for example practiced in Switzerland: "Switzerland"s system of direct democracy is sometimes referred to as half direct, because it incorporates both direct democracy as well as political representation." [1].

Main Problem 1 | The system solely relies on the availability and security of internet communication. This makes it exclusive and expensive for the user and also vulnerable.

Pro has not clearly stated how the voting is supposed to be run but due to the repetitive mentioning of an "official website" and because he claimed that the voting system would be less expensive with this new system (which can't be the case as more elections with classical methods would extend the costs) I presume that the election would be also done via the internet.

This relies on two ideal that are not given in reality
1. That the internet is a secure environment in which content can not be manipulated
2. That every citizen
a) owns a computer or has access to a computer
b) knows how to handle a computer

That the internet and websites, and systems working relying on it, is vulnerable to attacks is not speculation but a daily problem of data security. This means that the whole politics of a country rely on the hack-prevention of a web-service. This is a task that is unrealistic for programmers, just to bring the OpenSSL Heartbleed as an example. From yesterday morning comes another one, where Chinese hackers compromised think tanks based on national security standards to pursue own advantages [2]. The reality is disqualifying the internet as a safe basis for government elections.

Also the ongoing work on making such a platform save would be expensive itself and also complicate the situation for the citizens that are not that experienced with using technology. The interface and hardware requirements would constantly increase and make it impossible for the MAAC to keep up, if they have not the financial options &/or the mental flexibility to learn how to handle the election methods.

Main Problem 2 | The short periods for which congressmen/president are elected makes ruling impossible

A 3-month time frame for congressmen is to short to make any proper decisions in case of a crisis. The Problems in the Financial and Bank Businesses is not something than can reasonably be resolved within 3 months by unskilled congressmen. This issue for example is now ongoing for years and those who work on it have at least one or two years to read themselves into the problem.

This either means the whole country will be responsible to educate themselves on current political issues (which is not realistic due to the workload of the average citizen) or face the problem that they are basically pushed back to the beginning of a decision process every 3 months.

On the other hand is it also giving a lot of responsibility to the president. Pro has not outlined the tasks of the president (= tasks of an US president?) but the short election time of the congressmen only means that the president gains power as he is the only one who can at least keep an overview for a year.

In terms of outside-representation is this also fatal. Other countries expect a steady government and it would insecure the financial markets and the other countries if they had to deal with a totally new government every year or three months.

Main Problem 3: The voting system is not secret, personal attacks on people are therefore not prevented.
"- Everyone can see how MAACs with voting right voted, on the official website." -Pro

This is not common and for a reason. As soon as one has his voting made public, his voting will change according to how he wants to be seen in public. The rule that elections have to be secret is there to prevent wrong pressure on those voting. Obvious risks are that people have to bend their opinion to be save. Continuing wars over religion in intelligent societies are a perfect example how "having the wrong opinion" can get you killed.

Minor Issues | A List of things that I regard as less important but are still flaws in my eyes.

- the congressmen need to put his job and personal life on hold just to be replaced within a quarter of year. I think this is likely to lower excitement about the task and willingness to give the best.
- you can't vote for people you don't know. Or at least you should not (how would you know that they actually stand for your interests?). But a three month period hardly justifies campaigns to present suitable MAAC's.
Worse: only bribed, sponsored people would be able to afford that.

Sources
[1] http://www.swissinfo.ch...
[2] http://www.cnet.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Cold-Mind

Pro

Introduction is not relevant to the debate.

R1) Only voting MAACs often need internet. Other MAACs will only need few minutes on internet, to give their election point.
More then 80% Americans reportedly uses internet. (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

Yes, voting is also done trough internet.

Voting MAACs would of course, allow non-voting MAACs to use their PC for few minutes.
If someone can not handle the computer, it is good thing if he doesn't vote. I thank my opponent for making an argument for my case.

My opponent obviously does not know that access to servers can be limited to specific countries. In other words, it could be hacked only from America. Since it doesn't benefit American people to crush their own system, programmers would only have to deal with several individuals.

R2) It makes ruling impossible for individual politicians. That is the whole point of direct democracy. It makes it possible for people to rule.
What does my opponent mean by educating whole country? It is absurd.
People will just thrust other people who are already educated on each specific issue.
There would be no totally new government. Every congressmen who done well would remain in congress.
Election points are never automatically reset. If non-voting MAACs are satisfied with how their representative(voting MAAC) is doing, country's politics wouldn't change at all.

R3) We are talking specifically about America(which is to be concluded by number of congressmen(535), I am sorry if I wasn't clear enough). I don't see any wars over religion in America. There would be too much voting MAACs to kill them enough to change vote. It is much easier in America's current system to kill few congressmen.

- They can possibly be re-elected each time, as long as they are alive.
- There are not meant to be any campaigns. Most of the people would give their election point to their friend or family member who knows what he wants. Then that person checks out which voting MAACs are voting for what he wants, and then that person gives that voting MAAC his election points.

I hope my opponent now understand proposed system better. I am looking forward to her new arguments.
schachdame

Con

Introduction is not relevant but interesting. Why so negative about a fun fact?
Seriously, I am in a good mood and I am not sure why Pro is determined to be aggressive and fun-killing for no reason.

R1) 80% of Americans is not enough. To have a fair and open election it needs to be hundert percent or at least something around 95%. Currently my opponent is not only perfectly fine with discrimination, he is also encouraging it.
It is wrong to believe that people who can't use a computer are stupid or unable to understand the issue. Physically disabled people (blind, paralysed ) are unable to explore the internet as freely as others and Pro's system is therefore not providing a system that supports peoples interests best; it excludes minorities, poor and disabled people. How can he claim he knows all the reasons for not using a computer? Just imagine the flood of law suits against discrimination and their costs.

As a computer science major I know exactly how the limits to a sever can be set and how easy they can be disabled. I provided examples how this is happening every day while Pro himself made the unqualified assumption.

R2) It really shows a lack of political knowledge to believe that a country does not need to be guided and "ruled". This is not about misusing the power this about being able to do the day-to-day task-load of a government. A government is not an inactive group of people arguing around, these people work hard to get trading contracts done and constantly react to the changes in the country (e.g. lack of teachers in the education system).

The information that congressmen would stay in position if they are not voted out is worse than the current system of making a totally new election. Because it assumes that people actually go and change their votes on a recent basis. This means most of the time (and for years over years) basically the same people would rule and in a crisis everyone panics, throws out the government and the country is hamstrung to act. Like people withdrawing all their money from the banks during some of the 20th century economic crisis and making the situation worse.

This system has no chance in big countries (other than Switzerland) that face many diverse problems every day. A reason for Switzerland all-time-neutrality is that a decision takes a lot time there, as not only has the decision be to proposed but also has the community to be informed properly to be able to make an informed decision ("educating the country"). This is not something bad but it is only possible for small countries who's "big issues" are still not closely comparable to the "big issues" of countries like the USA; Do I bomb Syria or do we raise the milk tax by three percent?

R3) Just because this is about the US (not mentioned in the introduction and I am not a US citizen so it's not obvious) does not mean basic human behaviour don't apply to Americans. Bulling and Blackmail are as real in America as they are everywhere and Pro's system is encouraging it.

Voting for friends and family means there are a lot of people who have no idea about politics. You can't make desicions concerning the financial markets if you are 3-months-elected Engineer that struggles to keep his job (as he might not be Congressmen in a few months) while becoming a finance expert. This is another part of "educating the whole" country - everyone would need to be prepared and that's not realistic with the current economic system. Not to speak about that the average person has around three close friends [3] and (that's a guess of mine) they are likely to share a profession or education level. What a choice for every individual.
Again, only famous and/or rich people would be able to actually be known by enough people to get voting rights.

Furthermore: How can Pro expect that people down-vote people they don't know. If they vote for friends and family they know nothing of the other congressmen apart from them voting for what they thought was right in probably one case. This is not telling sufficiently, whether the congressmen makes a good job overall. Good people are as unable to be recognized as the other way round. You would fill a congress with people who have no idea how they got their, what they are supposed to do and probably with people who don't want to be there. There wouldn't be any politicians in politics.

I think I have shown why Pro's system sure means well but will fail facing reality.

[3] http://curiosity.discovery.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Cold-Mind

Pro

P - my opponent's paragraph in Round 3

P2) It is not only 80%. It was REPORTEDLY 80% in 2012. Which means it is probably around 90% now, and number will keep growing.

Discrimination - action that denies social participation or human rights to categories of people based on prejudice (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Obviously, my opponents argument is nonsense, but I will explain anyway.
It would be discrimination if I said some MAACs will not have a right to vote. All of them do. If they don't know how to use their right, it is certainly not my system's fault. For example - If person accused of crime has a right to remain silent, but speaks out against himself, is it system's fault? Did someone violate his right? Is he discriminated? - No!

P3) Again, not every individual needs to use PC. He can just give his account's password and consent to anyone he thrusts.

P4) I don't remember any government being hacked so far. It is however, just as problem within current system as well.
Furthermore, there would be reserve servers, of course, so it would only take few hours to fix inability to vote.

P5) My opponent is suggesting that entire government in my system would be inactive group of people arguing around, and has not named any reasons why it would be the case.
Neither did my opponent named any reason people who are making trade agreements would perform worse.

P6) No; This means, if voters are pleased - same people will rule. If voters are not pleased - rulers will change.
Crisis affects negatively each government, My opponent has not shown that it would have greater effect in proposed system, and therefore that part is irrelevant to the debate.

P7)My opponent has not shown how size of the country/issues makes proposed system less well-working. Within the proposed system, government can easily decide if it will bomb the Syria or not, or if it will raise the milk tax or not.
Furthermore, American government's decisions about the middle east are proven to be bad decisions. Take current situation in Iraq for example - It would be impossible for situation to be worse then it is if America was not interfering.
(Aside from this debate, it is common sense that arming weaker side in war will make even greater war; American government's goal in the middle east was always divide and conquer)

P8) It is much easier to blackmail few congressman, then thousands of voting MAACs. Blackmail argument goes in favor of my system. Bullying hundreds of people(voting MAACs, who obviously have some influence and supporters) is much less worth and much riskier then doing robberies.

P9) Again, people would not vote on what they have no idea about, because everyone can see what they voted for. They would simply thrust experts in each particular area.
If for example, someone has 237 election points, he might give some other person that he thrusts 95 election points, so that person would also have voting right. This is why number of voting MAACs would be high.

P10) Knowing person is not problem when you can see what each particular person voted for.
Not the very best person would always get elected. This is case in every system. It can only help if people can check for what their representative voted for.
It is impossible for person who doesn't want to be in congress to end up in congress, he can just give away his election points. In order to enter congress, person needs to have hundreds of thousands election points. How can person who doesn't know what he is supposed to do get so much election points? - He can't

Conclusion: I rebutted all Con's arguments. Vote Pro.
schachdame

Con

By rule I am not allwed to post a paragraph over 200 characters, therfore I drew a picture.
https://drive.google.com...;
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Cold-Mind 2 years ago
Cold-Mind
It doesn't. I am saying it should have same system (direct democracy).
Posted by schachdame 2 years ago
schachdame
Serbia has the same political system as America? Seriously?
Posted by Cold-Mind 2 years ago
Cold-Mind
System would be same for Serbia, just numbers would be different. People here are much more familiar with situation in America.
Take your time.
Posted by schachdame 2 years ago
schachdame
That makes sense. But leaves me questioning why this debate bases on the american system if you are from Serbia?

I'll work on what I can do with my remaining 200 words after I come home (you'll have to wait a few hours, sorry) but I'd say (not to make any voter my friend) that being a political activist requires a lot of political knowledge and understanding what a government actually does and how a country is run and how it "acts" a country. Elections are one thing - but what happens afterwards is as well important.
Your system is not bad but it lacks so many details. Direct democracy works but it's as complex as indirect democracies. Luxembourg and Switzerland are only two examples and I'm not sure how much you know about their outline but reading deeper into working "direct democracies" can give you a lot of additional information.
I am not arguing against "direct democracy" and you have all my heart and soul as support for that type of system. But your specific variation of direct democracy is what I think will not work. Being radical is probably a crucial characteristic of someone who tries to make a change but it also means that one might throw out good things or does not see where he/she is getting too radical.

Don't misunderstand me, this comment is opening a free discourse about direct democracy and politics and is NOT INTENDED TO BE SEEN AS PART OF THE DEBATE (not intended to be screaming at my opponent Cold-Mind but a capitalized off-topic-warning for anyone visiting this section; comments have so limited formatting options).
Posted by schachdame 2 years ago
schachdame
That makes sense. But leaves me questioning why this debate bases on the american system if you are from Serbia?

I'll work on what I can do with my remaining 200 words after I come home (you'll have to wait a few hours, sorry) but I'd say (not to make any voter my friend) that being a political activist requires a lot of political knowledge and understanding what a government actually does and how a country is run and how it "acts" a country. Elections are one thing - but what happens afterwards is as well important.
Your system is not bad but it lacks so many details. Direct democracy works but it's as complex as indirect democracies. Luxembourg and Switzerland are only two examples and I'm not sure how much you know about their outline but reading deeper into working "direct democracies" can give you a lot of additional information.
I am not arguing against "direct democracy" and you have all my heart and soul as support for that type of system. But your specific variation of direct democracy is what I think will not work. Being radical is probably a crucial characteristic of someone who tries to make a change but it also means that one might throw out good things or does not see where he/she is getting too radical.

Don't misunderstand me, this comment is opening a free discourse about direct democracy and politics and is NOT INTENDED TO BE SEEN AS PART OF THE DEBATE (not intended to be screaming at my opponent Cold-Mind but a capitalized off-topic-warning for anyone visiting this section; comments have so limited formatting options).
Posted by Cold-Mind 2 years ago
Cold-Mind
I respect my opponent's stance.
I also, often care more about understanding than about winning.
Not in this particular debate, because I am political activist, trying hard to implement direct democracy here in Serbia. And most of the time, people reject the idea of direct democracy, only because they don't understand it, and are not trying to understand it.
Posted by schachdame 2 years ago
schachdame
*by "later" I don't mean later in the upcoming round. But later in the second and third round was it used. Poor phrasing. Not an englisch native. Stuff happens.
Posted by schachdame 2 years ago
schachdame
It's not irrelevant if it's right and extends the topic. And a "fun fact" is not making fun of your topic. I totally respect it's importance. But I am being sensitive. I always want to learn new things and the more background and context I get the more I like it. For me: what does it matter to debate something if I don't learn something new about the topic or the opposite approach? Even when I present a counter argument I keep the reasons and motives from my opponent to add them to my understanding of the topic. I first want to understand, then I want to win.

I also did not want to distract the voter, I wanted to make my arguments round in terms of content and presentation. I am using Switzerland later as case study and therefore it's especially reasonable to rhetorically make connection to case for you and everyone else. If not my argument would feel weak to me because nobody would know why I use it.
Posted by Cold-Mind 2 years ago
Cold-Mind
This happens to be a serious issue, so I prefer not making fun of it.
It doesn't bother me when someone posts irrelevant content to the debate, but it does bother me that careless voters sometimes take irrelevant content as unanswered argument.
I don't regard myself as a negative person.
I thank my opponent for taking time to debate this topic.
Posted by schachdame 2 years ago
schachdame
Did someone notice that Pro and I combined have nearly a full-face avatar? Isn't it lovely?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Mray56 2 years ago
Mray56
Cold-Mindschachdame
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Pros argument didn't match the definition of a direct democracy. Con made a good point about internet vulnerability. Cons response was rather weak " it could be hacked only from America." Contention still stands. Cons third contention(main problem) hit the nail on the head. Cons arguments were more convincing while pros statements were more opinion based. Pro still left several contentions un-rebutted.