The Instigator
LaughingRiddle
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Legitdebater
Con (against)
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6 Points

Is democracy doomed in a multi-cultral society?

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Legitdebater
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/29/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 975 times Debate No: 44857
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

LaughingRiddle

Pro

This is an open question. ANd it is brought about by my concern for the future.

What prompts it is a simple look at voter trends across race and culutre.

Races and ethnic groups seem to vote in large blocks in the US.

Given this, the more multi-cultural a society the more factionalized across racial lines poltics will become.

What is to keep the US from one day being like countries that have balkanized because its people of different ethinc groups were irreconcilably divided politically across racial lines?

Who is to say this cannot or will not happen in the US evnetually day given the current trends?

For example, Obama would not have been elected without the black vote being so overwhelmingly in his favor. I have nothing against Mr. Obama or his skin, I do have something against his policies. And I cannot help but resent the fact that he got elected because people of his skin color voted him for simply racial/racist reasons.

IF minorities do this it will be ineivitable that more people will come to resent it and also vote accordingly on racial lines. From there it would seem to be only a downward spiral.

IF people are only voting across such lines, democracy is really dead in all the ways that matter.

It is also true people can vote across class lines. But the rich are too few to make their own solid policial block and the poor welfare people's demands are limited by fiscal reality. It comes back to race being the factor that could destroy democracy in multi-cultural environment.
Legitdebater

Con

Pro: "What prompts it is a simple look at voter trends across race and culutre. Races and ethnic groups seem to vote in large blocks in the US."

This doesn't prove that democracy is doomed in a multi-cultural society. If anything, it proves that people of different races have a better say in their government.

Pro: "What is to keep the US from one day being like countries that have balkanized because its people of different ethinc groups were irreconcilably divided politically across racial lines?"

The BoP (Burden of Proof) is on Pro. He provides no evidence to support this.

Pro again: "It is also true people can vote across class lines. But the rich are too few to make their own solid policial block and the poor welfare people's demands are limited by fiscal reality. It comes back to race being the factor that could destroy democracy in multi-cultural environment."

Lol, the rich are the ones who have the most power in th U.S. and basically every country. In fact, 75% of Americans think the rich have too much power. The whole point of the Occupy Wall Street movement was to protest against the overwhelming power the rich have. [1]

The resolution above is: Is democracy doomed in a multi-cultural society. Society applies to every single country across the world, including my country Canada. Canada is a multicultural society, but democracy is quite successful here. [2][3]

At least for Round 1, Pro fails to uphold his BoP.

Sources:
1.http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
2.http://en.wikipedia.org...
3.http://www.parl.gc.ca...
Debate Round No. 1
LaughingRiddle

Pro

I will thank my opponent from accepting this debate. I look forward to our discussion.

"This doesn't prove that democracy is doomed in a multi-cultural society. If anything, it proves that people of different races have a better say in their government."

I find that a little unpersuasive.

Are you saying all peoples of the same race have the same opinion on a political question? Surely that is nonsense, if people are voting across racial lines it would seem to strongly suggest there is a racial motivation in their vote. Not that by some miracle they all think the same way on a what should be a race neutral question/vote.

If people are voting on racial lines that isn't democracy so much as a racial conflict. Ideally, all ethnic groups should be somewhat split on their votes, that would represent a true democracy objective or race in my opinion. The white demographic has the most split vote by far in the US.

"The BoP (Burden of Proof) is on Pro. He provides no evidence to support this."

Are historical examples not sufficient proof? If they are not, your BoP is to explain what sets the US apart from past multi-cultural countries that have ripped themselves apart. There is a very long list of examples for me to choose from.

Let's go with Yugoslavia as a first example, I can provide more if the need arises. The country began as a multi-cultural entity that was very united in Spirit and Purpose. Fast forward 50 years and the country is destroying itself and the different peoples are at each others throats. The only real cause is simply the fact it was multi-cultural and people became divided across those lines. As the state declined these lines became more pronounced, tension was abound which eventually spilled over into violence and political disintegration. Politics became meaningless. It was all about race, when only 30 years before it was a total non-factor.

The US is in a relative state of prosperity, which tends to glaze over such problems. Say 50 years from now the US goes through a very terrible period, cultural/racial lines could become more pronounced like they did in Yugoslavia. It could happen very quickly, it only took less than 20 years in the Yugoslav case.

If the US is as multicultural as Yugo and other places why would it not be subject to the same division across racial lines? It is a reinforcing vicious circle, once it starts it rarely abates. As one ethnic groups forms a political block others are PUSHED into doing so. And we already see many minorities in the US behaving very much in this way.

"Lol, the rich are the ones who have the most power in th U.S. and basically every country. In fact, 75% of Americans think the rich have too much power. The whole point of the Occupy Wall Street movement was to protest against the overwhelming power the rich have. [1]"

We should not stray form the debate topic, that is multi-cultralism and it's possible disaster conclusion in a democracy.

The above statement was to point out that ethic division has been the death of states more than class warfare has. At the very least is should be obvious class conflict leads to revolution, but not political disintegration.

As for the power of the rich, I find that silly. Elections are what holds power in democracies, and no one can be paid into voting any such way if they don't want to. If you have been somehow manipulated by the rich into voting against your own interest I believe you cannot possibly blame anyone except yourself.

Don't get me started on OWS, a more ignorant group of people has never existed and they were SMALLER than the 1% in the US. This I promise you. Most people were driving by shaking their heads wondering where those nut jobs got off.

"Canada is a multicultural society, but democracy is quite successful here. "

I would have to point out something like 90% of Canada is of white, European, Christian origin with a common identity as immigrants. There are cultural, religious, and experience things binding together. And these people seem to have no problem splitting their votes as they should on neutral political question. All as it should be in a healthy democracy.

The fact remains one minority group in the US voted overwhelmingly along racial lines in the US. This in itself is counter-democratic and racist in nature. It is inconceivable one group agrees so much on politics, reality is they agreed on the mans race. There are much wider difference emerging in the US compared to Canada, much more multicultural.

Canada hardly even counts as multicultural compared to the US looking at the demographics provided.

My fear isn't even for the present US, but the future when its is 1/3 white, 1/3 Latino, and 1/6 asian, 1/6 black

Wouldn't look so much different that Yugoslavia that was split between 4 different peoples who were much more similar/homogenous than any of the groups in the US.

Then all it takes is a spark to set it all off. It cannot be judged by the on going harmony, because that harmony does not mean it could not or will not eventually happen. Like i said, once it starts it appears to be a very self reinforcing, positive feedback type vicious circle.
Legitdebater

Con

My Refutations

Pro: "Are you saying all peoples of the same race have the same opinion on a political question? Surely that is nonsense, if people are voting across racial lines it would seem to strongly suggest there is a racial motivation in their vote. Not that by some miracle they all think the same way on a what should be a race neutral question/vote."

No, I'm saying that in a modern democracy such as America, minorities have a better say in government because of racial lines. I never said that people of different races have the same opinion.

Pro: "If people are voting on racial lines that isn't democracy so much as a racial conflict. Ideally, all ethnic groups should be somewhat split on their votes, that would represent a true democracy objective or race in my opinion. The white demographic has the most split vote by far in the US."

My opponent did not set the definitions at the beginning of the debate. Usually, this is the instigator's job. However, democracy is usually defined as a "form of government in which people choose leaders by voting"[1]

Multicultural: of, relating to, or constituting several cultural or ethnic groups within a society.

Countries like the U.S. and Canada have several ethnic groups i.e. Asian, Black, Hispanic, White, Native etc. They are both considered democracies in which all citizens have equal voting rights. My opponent keeps on mentioning the word ideal, but we do not live in an ideal world. My opponent seems to have a vision of a utopian democracy where all ethnic groups are non-biased towards people of the same ethnic group. However, this is absurd, in countries like Canada this is as good as democracy gets.

"Are historical examples not sufficient proof? If they are not, your BoP is to explain what sets the US apart from past multi-cultural countries that have ripped themselves apart. There is a very long list of examples for me to choose from."

Your so called "historic examples" are not backed up by any source. This is merely your statement not backed by any credible source. The BoP is not on me, Con. In this case, it rests on the affirmative.

Yugoslavia

What my opponent fails to understand is that Yugoslavia was not a democracy. I think what my opponent is trying to mention is the ethnic conflicts between the Serbs and the Croats. The only reason why there were conflicts was because the Yugoslavian Communist government wanted to restore sovereignty to the Serbs. Yugoslavia was not even close to a democracy. This point is completely irrelevant.[2]

Pro : "Say 50 years from now the US goes through a very terrible period, cultural/racial lines could become more pronounced like they did in Yugoslavia. It could happen very quickly, it only took less than 20 years in the Yugoslav case."

Again, you are just irrationally assuming that the U.S. will turn into a communist country wherein the leader favours the ethnic majority. This is absolutely false with no source that claims this will happen.

Pro: "I would have to point out something like 90% of Canada is of white, European, Christian origin with a common identity as immigrants. There are cultural, religious, and experience things binding together."

Actually, if you were to have read my source, you would've discovered that the majority population in Canada are identified as Canadian (32%). This includes anybody who indentifies with the country Canada by residential, legal, historical, and/or cultural circumstances. If anything, Canada should be more divided than the U.S. since the French (15.82%) and English (21%) have always hated each other. In fact, the majority of Canada's internal wars have been England vs. France. In Canada, approxiamately 40% of the population is non-French, and non-British. Regarding your point about a common religion, only 67.3% of Canadians are Christian, with 57% of Christians being Catholic, and 43% being protestant. Again, Catholics and Protestants have also hated each other. [3][4][5]

"Canada hardly even counts as multicultural compared to the US looking at the demographics provided."

Once, you look at my sources, think again.

"My fear isn't even for the present US, but the future when its is 1/3 white, 1/3 Latino, and 1/6 asian, 1/6 black"

Again, no evidence to support this.

Summary:

Pro's resolution: Is democracy doomed in a multicultural society?
This means that in every multicultural society, democracy is doomed. Pro has yet to prove this.




Sources:
1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
4. http://www.canadahistory.com...
5. http://www.multiculturalcanada.ca...
Debate Round No. 2
LaughingRiddle

Pro


“No, I'm saying that in a modern democracy such as America, minorities have a better say in government because of racial lines. I never said that people of different races have the same opinion.”

Repeating yourself does not answer the problem of racial conflict I pointed out. That racial voting blocks begets racial conflict, which is certainly undemocratic. And we just agreed people cannot all possibly hold the same opinion on political questions, racial voting blocks must then imply some sort of racism.

Let’s say white people in these countries also voted along racial lines. According to you that would make them better represented. In fact, your logic seems to dictate all white people SHOULD vote together for a white just to ensure we have the most representation possible if we are thinking like minorities After all, its natural for everyone to want to be as represented as possible.

This should strike anyone as ridiculous. If we did do this it would mean, in a place like Canada, that then all the minorities are essentially being voted against. You would have the equivalent of a white power party. Voting along racial lines would disempower other people, and create divisions based on race. Both are wrong. Both are counter democratic and impede the function of a true democracy.

All because of voting along racial lines, because according to you that is how to get the best representation and is not at all wrong. But just as racism is wrong; voting for racial reasons is wrong.

Quite simply, there is a fundamental contradiction in your logic. You cannot divide people’s vote on race and not be making them fundamentally compete against each other for governmental power. One groups increased representation would only come at the expense of another groups representation. That is how democracy works.

Conclusion:
However, if people do not form raced based blocks then people are voting on neutral political question, and no one is being voted against because of their race. This is the only way how it should be for the sake of functionality and stability. It also comes across as morally CORRECT does it not?

“My opponent did not set the definitions at the beginning of the debate.”

And as you yourself say, it is not for you to set such definitions. If you had a problem with the lack of outline at the beginning you should not have accepted the debate. Complaining it about it now and setting the definition yourself is doubly self-serving.

The point of this debate is not what democracy is, but about the effect of multiculturalism on democracy. The title should make that clear enough.


“Countries like the U.S. and Canada have several ethnic groups i.e. Asian, Black, Hispanic, White, Native etc.”

You are saying Canada is the best we can hope for in democracy Interesting… it should be quite obvious that is an opinion and not one to be stated as fact.

I will get more to Canada and its relationship between multicultural and democracy later.

As I said, I was worried about a democracy that will be as multicultural as the US will be IN THE FUTURE. Or as Yugoslavia was in the past. I will talk about why further below.

“Your so called "historic examples" are not backed up by any source. This is merely your statement not backed by any credible source. The BoP is not on me, Con. In this case, it rests on the affirmative.”

You say this but then address Yugoslavia as such an example. That would seem something of a contradiction from you. Unless you suggest I need to cite a source for something as common knowledge as the breakup of Yugoslavia? Ridiculous.

The point remains, democratic or not, conflict in a multicultural society is what lead to that state’s failure. That is relevant to the point of this debate. That is unless you find a specific reason why such an ethnic conflict is impossible in a democracy. I have NOT heard such a reason.

As for it not being democratic, we should acknowledge outside Western Europe democracies have not been very common in history. In fact, a multicultural socioety democracy is almost a completely modern occurrence. Democratic countries in western Europe today do not represent a complete multicultural society. They are very much still European nation states who have accepted the IDEOLOGY of multiculturalism.

But can a society where 90% are still of the nation state’s culture and ethnicity be called a true multi-cultural society? For this debate no, because multiculturalism cannot cause political disintegration with such a small % of minorities. There needs to be a block large enough that can create a power struggle that would cause such disintegration. Obviously a 10% or smaller minority population would get steam rolled in an election or in an open fight. Disintegration is prevented by the homogenous majority’s strength and dominance.

Do you require more historic examples? USSR and Yugoslavia represent that in communist states. The Austro-Hungarian empire and the ottoman empires both fell to multiculturalism as well. The ethnic conflicts in both empires far preceded WWI, and in most ways it was multicultural conflict that pushed both empires into that war. At the end of the war it was ethnic conflict in those multicultural societies that put the nail in the coffin for them. (you will find the article on Ottoman dissolution begins not in 1914, but in 1808, when ethnic conflict became pronounced)

http://en.wikipedia.org...

http://en.wikipedia.org...


What my opponent fails to understand is that Yugoslavia was not a democracy."

This is not relevant at all unless you find a reason why and articulate it. Simply saying it is not a democracy does not logically explain why a democracy would be immune to racial conflict of those sorts. Yugoslavia broke up because ethnic groups wanted more representation; why would that same fact not cause open racial conflict in a democracy where races are voting in blocks to compete against each other for more representation? They are too similar to simply dismiss with ‘wasn’t democratic.’

All the same motives and problems can exist, there is nothing communist specific about the example Yugoslavia provides. The fall of communism only provided the crises that seems to ignite such political racial conflicts into open racial conflicts.

“Again, you are just irrationally assuming that the U.S. will turn into a communist country wherein the leader favours the ethnic majority. This is absolutely false with no source that claims this will happen.”

I ask my opponent either learns to read or finds the part where I say the US will turn communist. I say no such thing. My opponents only discredits himself by assuming just because I mentioned Yugoslavia first that somehow I am implying the US would become communist. This is such a self serving fallacy it borders on pathetic. Had I talked about Austria-Hungary or some other country with a different government first would he then claim I am suggesting the US would become a monarchy?

I ONLY point out any period of decline or crises tends to aggravate political turmoil.

Actually, if you were to have read my source, you would've discovered that the majority population in Canada are identified as Canadian (32%).

As i said, 90% of Canada is white, european, and christian. You can pretend having french, british, and something as ambiguous as ‘canadian’ (who are just descendents of brits and frenchmen) makes you multi-cultural. Your country is even more homogenous than Yugoslavia was. French and English share a lot of cultural traits and similarities, the english language was created with the influence of French conquerors.
Either Canada is not a true multicultural society. That does not hold true for the historic examples I provided, who were all much more truly multicultural. And it will not hold true for the US in the future. The US and its future demographic will be the most diverse multicultural democracy the world has ever seen.



Legitdebater

Con

"Let’s say white people in these countries also voted along racial lines. According to you that would make them better represented. In fact, your logic seems to dictate all white people SHOULD vote together for a white just to ensure we have the most representation possible if we are thinking like minorities After all, its natural for everyone to want to be as represented as possible."

White people aren't the minority in America. Black citizens are the minority and are suffering the most in America, and haven't even got one single member in Congress, one of the major law-making bodies in the United States. We have to remember that every single president in the history of America has been white. All of the sudden when a half-black president gets elected again, we all start to say how undemocratic this country is. It's funny, since the black wealth inequity has not changed for the positive in the last four years. In Obama's term, economic fortunes for African American's took one of the steepest descents since WW2. In fact, now that I think about it, Pro has no proof the blacks do vote across racial lines. Actually, in the 2000 Presidential Election, Al Gore got 90% of the black vote( a white man.) In 2004, John Kerry (a white man) got 88% of the black's vote. [1][2][3]

"Quite simply, there is a fundamental contradiction in your logic. You cannot divide people’s vote on race and not be making them fundamentally compete against each other for governmental power."

Again, you have no proof the black's vote across racial lines. Blacks have always been the minority in America.

"However, if people do not form raced based blocks then people are voting on neutral political question, and no one is being voted against because of their race. This is the only way how it should be for the sake of functionality and stability. It also comes across as morally CORRECT does it not?"

Exactly no one is...... I have given your evidence that black's tend to vote for people who best represent their views such as Al Gore, a democrat. That's the other thing, black's tend to vote for democrats; it's just a coincidence that Obama happened to be a democrat. [4]


Did black people vote for Obama because he was black? Think again......

"And as you yourself say, it is not for you to set such definitions."

Since you didn't set the definitions at the beginning of the debate, someone needs to include them. This would've made the debate extremely vague then.


"The point of this debate is not what democracy is, but about the effect of multiculturalism on democracy. The title should make that clear enough."

You never specified that in Round 1.

"You say this but then address Yugoslavia as such an example. That would seem something of a contradiction from you. Unless you suggest I need to cite a source for something as common knowledge as the breakup of Yugoslavia? Ridiculous."

Actually, sources are needed for virtually ever statement, especially historical examples. I stated that your Yugoslavia example was not backed up by any source, meaning that it didn't support what you were saying about the effect that multiculturalism had on democracy. I then addressed it anyways and found a fallacy. That does not even begin to contradict me.

"But can a society where 90% are still of the nation state’s culture and ethnicity be called a true multi-cultural society? For this debate no, because multiculturalism cannot cause political disintegration with such a small % of minorities."

You never defined multiculturalism at the beginning of the debate, and then you decide what multiculturalism is in the final round? I've continuously explained to you that Canada is defined as a multicultural country in my previous sources. Since Pro still doesn't get this, I'll explain it one last time: Canada is a prime example of a multicultural country. In fact, it is the only western country to make it into the top 20 most culturally diverse country. The Harvard Institute of Economic Research and an economic development researcher Erkan Gören from the University of Oldenberg in Germany both stated that Canada is more culturally diverse than the U.S. [5]

"Do you require more historic examples? USSR and Yugoslavia represent that in communist states. The Austro-Hungarian empire and the ottoman empires both fell to multiculturalism as well. The ethnic conflicts in both empires far preceded WWI, and in most ways it was multicultural conflict that pushed both empires into that war."

This point is completely irrelevant. None of these empires were democracies. What's the resolution: Is democracy doomed in a multi-cultral society?

"Simply saying it is not a democracy does not logically explain why a democracy would be immune to racial conflict of those sorts."

I never said that. The point is that Yugoslavia is not relevant since it was never a democracy. Pro seems to think that in every multicultural society, democracy fails. I'm beginning to think that Pro's view is actually quite racist now.

"I ask my opponent either learns to read or finds the part where I say the US will turn communist."

The first part of your sentence is a blatant ad hominem. Secondly, since Yugoslavia was your prime example of how "democracy" fails in a multicultural society, I was assuming that you were trying to relate that to the resolution. If you don't relate your point to the resolution, it's irrelevant.

"And it will not hold true for the US in the future. The US and its future demographic will be the most diverse multicultural democracy the world has ever seen."

Meanwhile Harvard University states that it's somewhere in the middle (of all countries) in terms of cultural diversity. Who do you believe voters?

Conclusion: Come to think of it, I find Pro's resolution pretty racist now. He is stating that in multicultural countries, democracy is doomed since coloured people vote across racial lines. Again, I've proved this isn't true. Remember voters, Canada is a prime example of a democratic multicultural country. In the end, most of Pro's claims aren't backed up by any source. Hence, he fails to uphold his BoP. Vote Con.

Sources:

1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com...;
2.http://www.usnews.com...
3.http://ideas.time.com...
4. http://www.washingtonpost.com...;
5. http://www.pewresearch.org...
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by LaughingRiddle 3 years ago
LaughingRiddle
I would like to note I had to remove to sources and over 3,000 characters of additional debate material because it did not fit in round 2.

I had to cut it down to the minimum, and a lot of content has been removed that would have support my argument.
Posted by Sean_Norbury 3 years ago
Sean_Norbury
Democracy is doomed in this country for a number of reasons. We aren't really practicing democracy right now, just the image of it. There is an inevitable split coming. Religion and income inequality will be the main drivers behind the split.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by black_squirrel 3 years ago
black_squirrel
LaughingRiddleLegitdebaterTied
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 Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro has lots of typos including in the title. S&G goes to CON. Pro fails to show that democracy is doomed. The example of Yugoslavia alone is not very convincing and has been rebutted by CON. CON also had more and better sources.