The Instigator
ArthurBlair
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
boredinclass
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

Every American citizen should have to take a knowledge test before they can vote in elections.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
boredinclass
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/1/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,306 times Debate No: 15049
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (5)

 

ArthurBlair

Pro

The American form of government, the representative republic, was made not only because the Founding Fathers feared a tyranny, but it was also made to protect the rights of the citizens and to have so that the citizens did not have to fully participate. Yet after reading articles in Newsweek among other magazines which hold statistics from the Department of Education showing a decline in the grades and brains of the generations of America, one cannot help but question if everyone is fit to vote. I believe the answer to be no. Similar to the Literacy Tests used to deny African-Americans the ability to vote, I believe a similar test should be used only this time to filter out the citizens who do not know enough about the current events and candidates to make an educated voted. Whether this ends with people getting who they feel to be the best candidate or not get elected, this will end with only the people best fit to make the votes, will make the votes.
boredinclass

Con

I thank my opponent for the debate and hope to see a good one.

Contention one: Wasting time
I agree that we should be smart to vote, but to do so would be a huge waste of time and funding. Voting already takes too long in my opinion. To think that you would need to take a test every two years to determine how smart you are in my opinion would offset quite a few people from voting. The Pro will also have to defend a certain format, I don't want to waste 2 hours of my time to something that's pointless anyways

Contention two: Voting doesn't matter
It really doesn't and anyone who says otherwise needs to take high school government again. They would know that people's votes don't matter. It's all the electoral college. In fact, that's why the founders made the electoral college, to make sure that the idiotic public would not abuse democracy. If voting makes stupid people feel good then let them vote. They don't have a real voice in government. So there is no harm in giving them the right to say they have rights.

Contention three: Would be extremely biased.
I hate to sound like a jerk, but liberals have been shown to be smarter than conservatives. To base an entire election on education would be extremely biased for the left and put the right at an extreme disadvantage. Also, it would people who are poor, who have the best interests of their fellow poverty-stricken citizens. This would cause dehumanization of many people. And he refrences to literacy tests given to African Americans. These tests were elitist, racist, and inherently flawed. And they want to start them back up?

I await his rebuttal
Debate Round No. 1
ArthurBlair

Pro

To say that this would be a waste of funding is borderline idiotic. The United States of America is a county with a fourteen trillion dollar debt with over 800 billion dollars going to Medicare/Medicaid and almost 700 billion going to defense. Not to say that those are not important, but if a country has the ability to give that much annually to that one organization alone I am sure that a few billion dollars can be spared for making paper tests. No longer how long it takes, voting is an important matter and must be taken seriously. I am not proposing a test which must be taken every two years but rather something similar to a driving test. There will be a number of questions which will be decided by a committee of Congress or a subcommittee made specifically for this subject, and a random group of them will be given out for each test. There will be a new group of questions taking the place of the old ones annually to lower chances of cheating. The questions, which will pertain to the system and the people in the system, will force citizens to pay attention t what is going on and give an more fit group of voters.

The electoral college is only for the executive office. I will admit that once in power, many are corrupted and forced to compromise with lobbyist and others in politics to not only get things passed, but to get votes in their re-election. Excluding the Supreme Court, the citizens hold the power to choose who gets elected into office. You are right in that Alexander Hamilton had the idea for an electoral college for he feared the general public, but you are wrong. This is a representative republic, and the founding fathers created a system where the citizens do not have to get involved with the everyday actions of government. I feel as though Hamilton had the right mindset in fearing the general public, but I believe voting should not be a right, but a privilege. The majority of votes get politicians into office and I feel as though they who vote both for and against should be ones who earned a say in the election.

If liberals are shown to be smarter than conservatives, so be it. But to say that they are smarter does not means that the conservatives are not smart. To base an election on education would be biased, but not for the left and instead those fit to make an educated decision. This would not cause dehumanization but instead encourage they who know nothings to learn about the current events and what is going on in the country they live in. I would not worry to much about the poor for if what you say is true about the liberals being smarter, hundreds of billions of dollars of funding will go to social programs to help out the less fortunate. The literacy tests were unjust and I frown upon them but they were merely used as a point of reference due to their forcing African-Americans to have to take a test before voting. At no point did I suggest they be started up again and instead suggested a similar test be given to the entire population to instead filter out the unintelligent citizens who make uneducated votes based on little to no knowledge of the person they are voting for. Everything you said about the literacy test is true, but I am not a racist and did not suggest we use them again so please do not attack me and make any false assumptions about me.
boredinclass

Con

>>a county with a fourteen trillion dollar debt
-Of course, you really think we can use funding for a test of all 300 million Americans?

>>voting is an important matter and must be taken seriously.
- not really, let's say that you are a minority, well you're vote doesn't matter, in the November primary, you're vote doesn't matter.

>>am not proposing a test which must be taken every two years but rather something similar to a driving test
-There is an inherent risk, What if someone becomes very stupid over a two year period? Then the whole point of your test is destroyed, To check the system, you would have to take the test for every two year election

And don't you think that a congressman who was elected from a stupid district, would want to secure his power by intentionally sabotaging his role

>>This is a representative republic
- We aren't discussing policy, we're talking about elections

>>the citizens hold the power to choose who gets elected into office
Then Why wasn't Gore the 43rd (44th) president of the united states

>>those fit to make an educated decision
-Who are shown to be mostly left

>>filter out the unintelligent citizens
-Sounds pretty biased

Now onto My case

1. Not effective- He can't prove anywhere that tests have worked or will work

A. He dropped that it is a waste of time extend point 1 that it is not proven to work
Debate Round No. 2
ArthurBlair

Pro

>>"Of course, you really think we can use funding for a test of all 300 million Americans?"
-Last time I checked, not every American of the 300 million are old enough to vote, and the debt is simply a result of our free spending so I do not feel as though our government would shy away from something that would ultimately lead to reform. While this test would obviously cost money to set up, smarter citizens voting in smarter government officials just might lead to a smarter budget resulting in a decrease in our debt.

>>"not really, let's say that you are a minority, well you're vote doesn't matter, in the November primary, you're vote doesn't matter."
-If this was a democracy, the vote of the minority would not matter. But this is not a democracy. This is a representative republic specifically designed by the Founding Fathers to make sure that everybody got a say in government. This government was made to protect the rights of the citizens. The vote does matter, therefore this test should be put into action.

>>"There is an inherent risk, What if someone becomes very stupid over a two year period? Then the whole point of your test is destroyed, To check the system, you would have to take the test for every two year election"
-Good point. While I do not believe somebody will simply go out and become stupid between elections, you have found a potential flaw. This is not concrete and as of now, is just an idea in my head so if it would better benefit the country, I would also like to add to my proposal that every citizen must take the test every two years. The test will already have been made for all potential new voters, so it would be of trouble to print more for the ones wishing to re-earn their right to vote. This would also be good in that, like the census, it would give out jobs to many, even if only for part time.

-If you are going to bring that up, I would also like to discuss the topic of driving. If what you say is true about people becoming stupid over a two year period, why do we not have to re-earn our driving test, master's degree, or any other achievement we have reached in our lives?

>>"We aren't discussing policy, we're talking about elections."
-Yes, we are talking about elections, and I was simply stating the type of government used by this country which was made by the framers specifically to allow both majority and minority votes to matter.

>>"Then Why wasn't Gore the 43rd (44th) president of the united states"
-Well you answered that earlier, silly. It is called the electoral college. And as you also stated, it was put into place to prevent the "idiotic public", as you put it, from making bad decisions. I believe it should simply be taken a step further by preventing the "idiotic public", as you put it, from voting at all.

>>"Who are shown to be mostly left"
-Let us say that what you say is true and the those on the left side of the political spectrum are smarter, why should that halt this idea of taking a test in order to vote. You saying that the left is smarter means very little in this representative republic. That does not mean that only citizens on the left will vote, and that does not mean that more citizens on the left will get to vote. There could be a larger population of conservatives so that even if a higher percentage fail the test more should get in. Either way, the system is made for the minority to still have a say and to still have a say in what gets through Congress and what gets put into law.

>>"Sounds pretty biased"
-I am not the one calling liberals smarter than conservatives. If biased at all, it is pro-Smart people get to vote and only encourages the ones I am "biased" toward to start paying attention to what is going on in their country.

>>"Not effective- He can't prove anywhere that tests have worked or will work"
-I based this idea off of school. Those who study, pass their tests, pass their classes, and get good grades, graduate school. I based it off of the driving test. Those who study, practice driving, and pass the road test, get their license . I based this off of the police department. Those who pass their physical and study for the test required to get to the next rank, become police officers and so on. I based this off of the way this country works. You start at the bottom and EARN your way up.

>>"A. He dropped that it is a waste of time extend point 1 that it is not proven to work"
-I am not sure what you are saying I dropped, but the only thing I said about time is that no matter how long it takes, it is an important matter and must be taken seriously. Just as it is not proven to work, it is not proven not to work. There are tests everywhere, and by seeing how they work I believe this to work.
-You say it is a waste of time. When I go to vote, I think of standing in line, waiting to get my ballot, and then casting my vote. For time, instead imagine that same place you go to vote filled with desks. I believe it would be a little quicker to get a desk to take your test than it would be to wait in line to cast your vote. It is given that you will have to do both, if you pass the test, but it would better help this country. You say a waste of time. We now use what is called a Scantron which can grade a test in less than two seconds, so that would not be unreasonably long.

You are defending the current system by attacking the idea of voting, calling me biased, claiming liberals to be smarter, claiming politicians to be corrupt as well as claiming that they will sabotage their roles, and by saying that it takes too long.

I have come up with the idea of taking a test to vote by not only watching the everyday life in America but by living it. You have simply attacked me and the overall idea of voting. Unless you can prove to me that testing citizens before they can vote would not work, you have no grounds for your argument.

I now await his rebuttal.
boredinclass

Con

Alright let's end this.
I'm going to give you 7 reasons why I win
1. he can give no historical example of where a test has acurately projected and affected anywhere
2. Even if you were a genious, that does not mean that your ideas are crazy http://comicism.tripod.com...
3. If you are a democrat in a republican district, then your vote does not matter. There is no effect from their voting. Those were the minorities I was speaking of previously.
4. The "becoming stupid" flaw, proves that you cannot vote pro
5. Voting doesn't actually matter, all it is the electoral college, If our vote mattered, gore should have one
6. If the Left is potentialy smarter, then elections are going to lean more to the left and to the elite, this would put elections at a disadvantage destroying our republic.
7. The reason I attacked voting so much, is because why wast funding, time, and energy on something that will not benefit us at all, Why enact a plan that isn't proven to be beneficial

I urge a con vote
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by JustaWriter 6 years ago
JustaWriter
I think tax dollars would be better spent in education than on frequent testing. If more effort were spent on civics throughout school, kids would become better aware of politics and how it affects our society. They would also learn the finer points of researching candidates and sifting through the rhetoric. IMHO
Posted by abard124 6 years ago
abard124
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm tired of people voting under the pretense that our president is a Kenyan Muslim...
Posted by DaveDiV 6 years ago
DaveDiV
It might not be a bad idea to have some sort of quick "Issue survey" on a poll that told you how candidates aligned with your views so you didn't just buy into media hype to pick your candidates. Also, for local elections here in DC I had to search VERY HARD to find any real platform for most candidates. Their websites mostly consisted of "fluff fluff fluff we want statehood- fluff fluff fluff"

Driving is a privilege, not a right, but I'm afraid voting is a right, not a privilege.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Brenavia 6 years ago
Brenavia
ArthurBlairboredinclassTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: see hello-orange
Vote Placed by Xenith967 6 years ago
Xenith967
ArthurBlairboredinclassTied
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 Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: win
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
ArthurBlairboredinclassTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: "There is an inherent risk, What if someone becomes very stupid over a two year period?" - Seriously?
Vote Placed by abard124 6 years ago
abard124
ArthurBlairboredinclassTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Yes, Liberals are smarter. That only helps Pro, in my opinion :-D... Also, Con seemed to be under the pretense that the tests could even be biased, which I feel is false... The questions would be factually based. Pro could have made better arguments too, such as the recent study that found 51 of Republicans believing Obama was born in Kenya, but as a whole, his arguments were stronger. Also, especially to Con, good grammar isn't that hard. Use it, even if you are being anti-elitist :-D...
Vote Placed by BangBang-Coconut 6 years ago
BangBang-Coconut
ArthurBlairboredinclassTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I was completely and utterly against the Pro in this debate from the start, especially when they openly aknowledged in their first round arguments that the system they want to enforce was used historically to take away people's votes I really wished Con would have covered more about how the pro stance would lead to a gradual detriment of american liberty, but their arguments about money, time and bias where good. But what really won the vote for me, was the pro's arguments where self-dertimental