The Instigator
thebigboss
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
PrincessNeNee
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

In a democratic society, felons ought to retain the right to vote.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/2/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,352 times Debate No: 6118
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

thebigboss

Con

Negative-
I stand in negation, "Resolved: In a democratic society, felons ought to retain the right to vote." I offer the following definitions for clarification of the resolution:

Democracy- the political orientation of those who favor government by the people or by
their elected representatives. (If argued in CX, state that felons do not favor the government because they cannot abide by the rules that the government has set forth.)

Felon- Someone who commits a felony; A Felony is a level of crime that is higher in comparison than a forfeiture or a misdemeanor. A felony can include things like murder, treason, grand theft, robbery, kidnapping, and rape.
(Forfeiture- minor crimes that at one point or another we are likely to commit (i.e. – speeding, staying in a parking stall after your meter has expired.)
(Misdemeanor- a misdeed, or illegal deed (i.e.- vandalism, disorderly conduct)

Ought- Used to indicate advisability or prudence.

Retain- To keep or hold in a particular place, condition, or position.

The right to vote- a formal expression of preference for a candidate for office or for a proposed resolution of an issue. Or, "The Franchise". Subsequently, the taking away of that right would be known as "Disenfranchisement".

The obvious value for the negative in this round must be democracy, as stated by the resolution. The optimal criterion for democracy must be Locke's social contract, which articulates that governments are instituted to protect the most fundamental rights. Examples of these rights are: life, liberty, and property. People in society then follow basic rules in exchange for the protection of these rights. When people violate these rules, people are punished in some fashion. One section of their punishment MUST be disenfranchisement because since they cannot abide by the laws that society has set forth, they cannot vote on said laws. Another reason that disenfranchisement is important in the punishment of felons is that a felon has committed a crime against another citizen's fundamental rights and should not be a part of society because they are a risk to those fundamental rights. My final reason that disenfranchisement is important is that if they are not disenfranchised, these individuals have a vested interest in voting for candidates and policies that are going to be light on crime. This may introduce some derogatory incentives into our political system that we do not want.

Contention 1: Felon disenfranchisement is consistent with the Lockean social contract

First, felon disenfranchisement laws are justified on the basis of the Lockean notion of a
Social contract: as Judge Henry Friendly once put it, someone "who breaks the laws" may "fairly have been thought to have abandoned the right to participate" in making
them. Furthermore, "it can scarcely be deemed unreasonable for a state to decide that that perpetrators of serious crimes shall not take part in electing the legislators who make the laws, the executives who enforce these, the prosecutors who must try them for further violations, or the judges who are to consider their cases." That same reasoning motivated Massachusetts then-governor Paul Celluci in 2000 to support a ballot initiative stripping incarcerated felons of the right to vote after prisoners began to organize a political action committee. A Massachusetts state legislative leader commented about the State's now-abolished practice of allowing incarcerated felons to vote: "It makes no sense. We incarcerate people and we take away their right to run their own lives and leave them with the ability to influence how we run our lives?" Therefore, since not following the social contract ultimately brings down democracy in society, you must look to my standard of the Lockean social contract because it upholds democracy.

Contention 2: In order to achieve democracy, it becomes incumbent on society to uphold the social contract.

SubPoint A: We cannot allow felons to be destructive of society in any way. A justification offered is the purity of the ballot box.George Brooks from his article on Felon disenfranchisement: law, history, policy, and politics; from the Fordham Urban Law Journal states that: "A State has an interest in preserving the integrity of her electoral process by removing from the process those persons with proven antisocial behavior whose behavior can be said to be destructive of society's aims." Critics respond by arguing that being convicted of a felony does not necessarily diminish one's "moral competence" and that in any event, the result is to fence out groups of minority voters. The Green court found that denying felons the right to vote was reasonable, in light of the Lockean conception of the social contract as well as on more practical grounds . This is especially so when account is taken of the heavy incidence of recidivism and the prevalence of organized crime.

SubPoint B: Locke's social contract theory has withstood the test of time; it served as a rationale for the enactment of felon disenfranchisement laws in the past, and remains a compelling argument today.
When someone commits a crime, he commits it not just against the victim, but against our entire society. Protests that time served is enough, and that society should prioritize the rehabilitation and reintegration of felons should fall on deaf ears. Opponents of disenfranchisement claim that the inability to vote stymies felons' "remittance into a law-abiding society." Yet they neglect to explain why the tonic of voting did not curtail felons from committing crimes initially.


Thus you should negate because Locke's social contract is optimal in upholding democracy and in preventing the downfall of democracy.
PrincessNeNee

Pro

I affirm that in a democratic society felons should retain the right to vote.
Definitions
Democracy- is a government elected by the people.
Felons- a person convicted of a serious criminal offense punishable by imprisonment exceeding one year.
Society- is a grouping of individuals which is characterized by common interests and may have distinctive cultures and institutions.
My value premise for this round will be equality and my value criterion will be democracy. My value premise and my value criterion relates because equality is essential to a democracy.

I contend that by taking away felons rights to vote it will violate constitutional laws. Everyone is supposed to maintain their citizenship. As written by Steven Earl Bennett in the American Journal of Political Science, "the most fundamental criterion of a fully functioning democratic system is citizen participation. Myrna Perez, author of report "Voter Purges" and an attorney for the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice states that there are 5.3 million people that cannot vote because of felonies. Those 5.3 million people will never be full citizens again.

For my second contention I refer back to my definition of democracy. My definition states that a democracy relies on citizens voting; it is a government elected by the people. You cannot have a full democratic society without all citizens voting. "Once a person begins to interfere with the voting qualifications one can be sure that sooner or later it will abolish it all together" stated Alexis de Tocqueville, author of "Democracy in America". Abraham Lincoln once defined America's democracy as a government "of the people, by the people and for the people." This quote refers to the American people.

For my third contention I contend that felons don't need extended punishment. They had already paid their debt to society. When they get out of jail they are expected to contribute to society. They still have to pay taxes. They can no longer get a decent job because they are no longer trusted in their society. Their record has already been messed up since they do not have the same trust because they have been in jail. Their future has been messed up. Felons should be able to start life with a clean slate once released from jail. Voting is a form of freedom of speech. You cannot take away someone's right to vote. That is against the amendment as citizens. We are rightfully supposed to follow the amendment. A democratic society is a community of individuals that follow preset commands created by our four fathers. These preset commands are the amendments.
Debate Round No. 1
thebigboss

Con

Lets start at the top.
My opponent values equality with a standard of democracy.
Starting off with the value of equality: My opponent tells you of a standard of equality but fails to define what equality is. So we must assume that equality is referring to all the things. Obviously this impossible because you cannot have equality of all things. I'll give you a simple example, felons lose there right to liberty and freedom while in prison. Thus, they are no longer complete equals in society. So, my opponents value ultimately fails because there is no bright line as to what equality is so you look back to the negatives standard of Lockes's Social contract in this round.
On to the value criterion of Democracy: She tells you that, "My value premise and my value criterion relates because equality is essential to a democracy." You can assume than that my opponent doesnt believe democracy is essential to equality because she did not tell you so. Thus, she is not upholding her value through her standard and is not upholding any type of framework in this debate.
Impacts: No brightline for equality so you cannot vote of off it and it cannot be brought up later. Thus the value falls. No explaination of how or why a democracy is essential to equality so you have no reason to look the the standard either because there is no link. Thus the V and VC fall so you look to mine.

On to her contention one. She tells you that she contends that by taking away felons rights to vote it will violate constitutional laws. Turn this because giving them it back will violate constitutional laws. Ammendmant 14 tells you that the Right to Vote can be taken away from violators of crimes. So the impact of my opponents contention is turned and is now negative offense.

On to her second contention where she tells you that, "My definition states that a democracy relies on citizens voting; it is a government elected by the people. You cannot have a full democratic society without all citizens voting." Notice where she tells you ALL citizens. This cannot be weighed at all in this round because A) Children are not allowed to vote, and B) The mentally incompetent are not allowed to vote. So the entire contention falls because of my opponent believes in universal suffrage which is, as ive shown you, entirely impossible in any society.

You can cross-apply my arguement againtst her first contention because she tells you again about how it goes against the ammendmants of citizens. I've already shown you the turn on this arguement so look to that. Also my opponent believes in a "clean slate" for felons. Also impossible because they are felons and, however unfortunate that may be, it cannot be taken back so all these things will still happen.

This is where your voting:
1. Cannot uphold an already faulty value, with no explanations.
2. Impact turn of contentions 1 and 3.
3. Contention 2 is illogical and impossible.
PrincessNeNee

Pro

PrincessNeNee forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
thebigboss

Con

Aff has failed to make any kind of defense in the round, thus extend all offense on the aff side of the flow FOR THE NEG. So since you cannot evaluate the aff case, you must look back to the neg side of the flow. On the neg side of the flow there was no any attack anywhere thus the only thing you can evaluate in this round is the entire neg case.
VOTERS-
Neg has all offense on the aff case.
Neg upholds entire case and retains all offense there.
(NO WHERE TO VOTE AFF IN THE ROUND)
PrincessNeNee

Pro

PrincessNeNee forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
thebigboss

Con

obviously your voting neg, but for the sake of arguement...

Aff has failed to make any kind of defense in the round, thus extend all offense on the aff side of the flow FOR THE NEG. So since you cannot evaluate the aff case, you must look back to the neg side of the flow. On the neg side of the flow there was no any attack anywhere thus the only thing you can evaluate in this round is the entire neg case.
VOTERS-
Neg has all offense on the aff case.
Neg upholds entire case and retains all offense there.
(NO WHERE TO VOTE AFF IN THE ROUND)
PrincessNeNee

Pro

PrincessNeNee forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
thebigboss

Con

wow.

aff drops all points (thus all the offense is for the neg)
neg defends entire case (thus all offense is for neg)

All offense everywhere is for neg.
please vote neg.
PrincessNeNee

Pro

PrincessNeNee forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Cg09 8 years ago
Cg09
aff is gonna get raped.....equality really? then theres no standard for equality provided.... criterion falls
Posted by Johnicle 8 years ago
Johnicle
*sigh... I would take it except I am in lacking in time not to mention I have actual cases to write.
Posted by Johnicle 8 years ago
Johnicle
5 rounds... Really?
No votes have been placed for this debate.