Direct representation should be adopt for legislatures
Direct representation or proxy representation is a proposed form of representative democracy where Each Representative's vote is weighted in proportion to the number of Citizens who have chosen that Candidate to represent Them, in contrast to conventional forms of representative democracy such as the Winner-take-all system, where the Winner of a plurality of votes in a given district, party, or other grouping of Voters goes on to represent all Voters in that group, or the proportional representation system where the number of Representatives allotted to each party or political faction is in rough proportion to the number of Voters supporting each faction.
Direct representation is an optimal compromise between pure direct democracy and conventional representative democracy, as legislative decisions will more closely reflect the pure will of the People yet will still be carried out by a "wise" group of informed and accountable elected Representatives. Direct representation removes the problem of district gerrymandering because the balance of power in a legislative body will be precisely the same regardless of where district lines are drawn. It also avoids disenfranchisement of slight minorities in cases where the electorate is split nearly evenly in its choice for representation, yet the preferred Representative of only one faction must be chosen to represent the entire Electorate of a party or district.
Unlike direct democracy, Voters would not vote on legislation Themselves but rather elect Representatives to perform legislative duties on Their behalf, thus reducing the amount of time and energy the average Citizen has to spend thinking about and voting on specific legislation.
Unlike representation determined by plurality or majority vote, every Voter in an election district has Their vote represented in the legislature regardless of whether or not Their choice won a plurality or majority of votes.
Unlike proportional representation, each Voter votes for a specific representative to represent Them, rather than a political party. This provides Voters a wider range of nuance in political platforms to choose from, rather than simply having to choose between a relatively small number of "one-size-fits-all" parties. It also means even the smallest interests can be heard.
Every vote is equal to every other vote.
States' and districts' political power is proportional to the number of their Residents Who vote. This approach is more fair than representation by population because those in the population Who cannot or choose not to vote do not subsequently lend Their weight to Those in the state or district Who can and do. Hence, a state with a high Child-to-Adult ratio will not give each Voter more representational weight than a state with fewer Children per Adult, for example. The same is true for other Residents who are ineligible to vote, such as non-Citizen legal Residents, unauthorized Migrants, Prisoners, and convicted Felons. However, if this approach were considered unfair a scaling factor equal to the ratio of the total population of a state/district to the population of eligible Voters could be applied to Each Representative's voting weight.
Because the majority of Voters in a district cannot be shut out of the process as in some plurality elections (where the winning Candidate falls short of majority support), coalition-building among non-plurality-Winners is possible and effective, both generally and on specific issues.
1. It will involve more procedures and slow down the entire decision-making progress. The Congress is already inefficient as it is, further procedure that will involve careful calculation of EACH member will be time consuming.
2. Democracy is all about representation of all groups. In the system of direct representation, minority voices still will not be heard. Given that a minority representative was elected, his/her power will be limited when compared to that of a white representative because less people voted for that minority representative. Thus, he/she already has less power when he/she is on the field before he/she can speak. This will lead to isolation of the minorities because they have less power from the majority. It will also lead to a polarization of opinions between those two because of that lack of incentive to compromise.
3. If all voters have their choice represented in the legislature, it will lead to mayhem. With so many groups in the legislature, the public will not have the incentive to compromise, which will lead to a highly polarized society. For instance, I am for the Health Care and I have a representative in there representing my interests. Joe is semi-for the Health care and believes only a certain group should get free health care. Susan is also for the Health care but she believes the government shouldn't give it to the elderly. We would all have people representing our interests in the legislature and we don't need to compromise because we do. However ,if only one representative in there is for the health care. That representative would have to compromise all of our interest in order to get all of our votes. In other words, a representative will deviate towards the middle because it wants to represent all the interests and get reelected. If a representative can get elected by representing a highly adamant force that refuses to compromise, it probably would and we would have gridlock. The sad truth is, compromise is needed to achieve an overall goal. The other sad truth is, if each representative can get elected by being highly polarized, he/she will compromise. Thus, no change happens.
1Alyssa, I appreciate You accepting this challenge.
On point #1, if the only “more procedures” which would “slow down the entire decision-making progress” of concern are the “careful calculation” of Each Representative’s votes, that data can be easily automated. Currently, in the United States House of Representatives, the institution which I reference as “the existing model”, in order to vote, Each Representative takes Their official congressional identification, places it into a voting station and presses a button indicating “Aye” or “Nay”; the voting station reads from the identification, the identity of the Representative and records the vote electronically; to accommodate direct representation, the information stored on the identification could also include the relative voting weight of the respective Representative and the voting machinery could easily adjust accordingly.
Regarding point #2, minority voices will indeed be heard and will be given weight proportionate to that of the Voters; the “limited” power concern raised is actually experienced now under what We might call the “Winner take all” system. Presume, for a moment, Americans all voted along racial lines: Whites only elect Whites, Blacks only elect Blacks, Latinos only elect Latinos. Under direct representation, One would expect ~17% of the votes to go to latino Representatives, ~13% of votes to go to black Representatives, ~5% of votes to go to asian/pacific island Representatives, 1.2% of votes to go to american indian/alaskan native Representatives, and ~63% of votes to go to white Representatives. Meanwhile, under the Winner take all system, We currently see only 6.9% of Representatives are Latinos, 8.1% of Representatives are Blacks, 2.4% of Representatives are Asians/Pacific Islanders, less than 0.5% of Representatives are American Indians/Alaskan Natives, and over 80% of Representatives are Whites. As such, the representation of minority populations can only be enhanced by direct representation.
Contrary to the assertion, incentives to compromise will not be lacking: if One is elected to the legislature in a direct representation system, Voters expect One to accomplish certain goals and, if those goals are not met, the One would more readily find Voters transferring Their votes to Someone Else, diminishing One’s influence in the legislature; if compromise is necessary and/or helpful to accomplishing those goals, One will have a good reason to compromise so as to keep Constituents satisfied. As a result, polarization will actually be less likely than now, where One only needs satisfy a majority or sometimes only a plurality of Voters in order to retain the same influence in the legislature.
With respect to point #3, the premise seems faulty: in no democratic republic is the “public” expected to compromise; only Legislators are expected to do so and, as I note above, direct representation provides Legislators more incentive to compromise and not less.
As We have seen with the United States in the last few years, Representatives can and, to a sizable degree, do represent “a highly adamant force that refuses to compromise” and America has had gridlock as a result. Cf., “showdowns” over the debt ceiling and the recent shutdown of the federal government. Conversely, under direct representation, instead of asserting directly or indirectly a mandate to represent an entire electoral district, Representatives will only have a mandate from the Voters selecting Them as Representative and then only to the extent of the said specific Voters. Additionally, Representatives in this new system will not be able to turn Voters having preferred a different Candidate into “political hostages” because said Voters will have sent different Representatives, though They may have less voting weight, undercutting the ability to remain stubborn in the manner described.
For example, if Izzy Idiot currently holds the only seat from Wyoming, Izzy is going to try to assert just as much influence in the congress if 100% of Voters approve or only 50%+1 Voters approve. Meanwhile, in a direct representation system, the state might send 4 Representatives and, if voting weight in the congress is proportionate to the fraction votes received, the republican Representative might have only 65% of the influence Izzy has under the current system, the democratic Representative might have only 20% of the influence Izzy has, the independent Representative might have only 13% of the influence Izzy has, and the “Everybody Else” Representative might have only 2%, resulting in a wider mix of voices and views being considered and the interests and desires of the People more accurately reflected. As noted, Each of the Representatives will have increased incentives to compromise and achieve goals.
The assertion “if each representative can get elected by being highly polarized, he/she will compromise” seems contradictory to the rest of the argument made.
I acknowledge my opponent"s point.
Regarding my opponent"s rebuttal to point 2, I believe he may have missed my original intention. According to the definitions he drew for direct representation, each delegate"s votes should be in accordance to the number of voters who have voted for him/her. In other words, for example, a popular delegate will be able to cast a vote worth three times as worthy as that of his less popular colleague.
Some delegates will start out at a legal advantage whereas others will be discriminated against. In Congress, all delegates should be treated equally. Otherwise, policy becomes skewed towards the already popular. Democracy is about representation of all, majority and minority alike. How exactly should Congress be any assistance to that sentiment if each delegate starts out on different grounds? How would it affect minority delegates when they know that the other delegates are not valuing their support right from the start?
A majority will be less likely to compromise their policies to benefit individual minority delegates constituents for there is not an incentive to do so as these minority individuals cannot repay adequately in terms of votes when needed. As a result, minorities will become excluded overall from the majority who will continue to make popular policies without concerning the minorities since approaching each minority delegate is not worthwhile. Congress, over time, will become polarized between minority and majority. That is exactly what we don"t need.
While direct representation may seem like an ideal political system that can serve to get many minorities into congress, it will not serve as a great means to allow them, once in congress, to have power for great change because they are usually at an inherent disadvantage when it comes to voter support. If so, how would this be any different from the Winner-takes-all system?
Once again, I believe my opponent have missed my point concerning point three. Assuming that a representative can be elected by appealing to only a certain , very secluded, very extreme population, which it can under direct representation, he/she will. THat will be the easy way out. Needless to say, such will not fuel compromise because the representative answers only to one small population. Once the main incentive for people to compromise their views is gone, they will feel less inclined to do so. As the country becomes further polarized, different interest groups are going to ask of different things to be done. In that case, gridlock might happen. Gridlock might leave the voters frustrated, however, the delegates will still not have the inherent interest to compromise because constituency interest from region to region has varied too far for the result to satisfy their individual constituencies.
The examples my opponent brought up concerning the debt ceiling and so on actually serve to prove as to why direct representation will lead to gridlock. As previously explained, direct representation encourages polarization of opinions. As important as it is for all opinions to be represented, the Winner Takes All system will do that to a degree that still allows for some efficiency in the country. As previously stated, in order to attain votes, the legislators often seek to combine interests of many interest groups.
It is impossible for a country as large as the United States to make everybody happy. However, that is essentially what direct representation is trying to acheive.THe most important decisions made in a country should, instead deviate towards the median. This way, policy will operate in a way that is sustainable for all. THe winner-takes-all system will allow for an earlier onset compromises for the legislator, especially, but also for the voters who will indirectly be participating in the compromising by choosing their desired legislators out of the pool of applicants. Direct representation will fuel the opposite. Thus, making it unpractical.
While voters may not ideally be expected to compromise, they are in reality. America cannot satisfy every single person, therefore, they have to compromise. However, if citizens loose that incentive to do so and elect someone radical and adamant in opinions, the country will find difficulty in establishing change.
After reflecting upon the last argument, I believe I found a key piece of information in need of highlighting: Voters not only want Representative which reflect Their views/interests but which succeed in making government work. This point will become increasingly important to remember going forward.
1Alyssa forfeited this round.
[As noted in the 'comments' section, I apologize if the formatting of My previous argument appears odd; it did not look this way when I typed it up.]
1Alyssa, having forfeited the previous round, I take it You are conceding the points I raise.
1Alyssa forfeited this round.
Well, ..., 1Alyssa appears to have conceded the argument as best as I can tell. At the very least, 1Alyssa has not contested My rebuttal. So, ..., yeah.
1Alyssa forfeited this round.
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||1||0|