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"Its not in the public's interest" - False statement

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/15/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 260 times Debate No: 83941
Debate Rounds (5)
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The often used term by politicians that "its not in the public's interest" is usually a blatant lie. Politicians never bother to ask the public what their opinion is, so they don't have any right to decide if any matter is in their interest or not. Politicians should be banned from saying this phase because it is an abuse of the English language.


You may be right some politicians say that not having polled the public about the issue, but you still make a ridiculous assumption, which had you followed the United States politics, you wouldn't dare to say. For example, Senator Bernie Sanders, running as Democratic presidential candidate, has, ever since his campaign started, been talking to people all throughout the country, and still continues to do so to this day. If you actually study his policies and use common sense, you can clearly see his policies are in the interest if the average middle and lower classes, which I would say is the general public, instead of the billionaire class. Your statement politicians should be prohibited from using the by you specified sentence therefore is a huge overgeneralisation.
Debate Round No. 1


Politicians don't have the right to say that something is in the 'public interest' unless they conduct a referendum or poll which indicates that the subject that they are talking about really is in their interest. From my observations, I have noticed that it is usually in the politicians interest and not in the public interest. Thus, the politician is just using the excuse of the 'public interest' to garner his 'own interests'.

Examples - A politician may say that it is in the public interest to increase immigration, grow a larger population, vaccinate all children, employ more police, close down mental institutions, increase taxes, introduce more red light cameras to 'save lives' and go to war with Iraq and Syria.

Personally, I can't see any benefit from any of these things for myself. Most of these items would only serve to enhance the careers of the politicians concerned, and has nothing to do with improving either safety or increasing lifestyle standards of the general population.


Your last statement about those things not benefiting you does not contribute to the discussion much, as you are only one person and not 'the public'. Maybe a lot of people do find then important. As much as a politician without polling cannot say something is not in the interest of the public, you cannot either. I stand with you that nobody, including politicians, shouldn't use the term 'public interest' without having the public to confirm that, my only point is that you shouldn't prohibit just politicians, generalized.

Saying no politician can use the term "public interest" is of course a violation of the freedom of speech, too.
Debate Round No. 2


Allowing a politician to tell blatant lies is a far worse violation of human rights. So, you agree that politicians shouldn't use the term "public interest". Well,I guess that means that you have handed over victory to me at a very early stage of the debate. lol
Note - Politicians are generally not interested in the public's opinion, so it would be cynical of them to state that they were. If politicians were interested in the public's opinion they would have lots of referendums and polls. This is not the case. referendums are very rare occurrences and they usually ignore the results of referendums anyway. Let's face it, politicians are in politics for the big adrenalin rush that power and control over others gives them. Thus, they are not interested in giving the public any say in important matters.


I AM NOT on your side, only partly, but that is the exact reason I chose to be against.
I DO NOT agree that politicians shouldn't use the term public interest.

What I say is that nobody, including politicians, should you that the term 'interest of X' without having conducted a survey to poll opinions of X. In this case X being 'the public'.

Your note that politicians are generally not interested in the public's opinion is fairly false, because in a democracy, the public elects the politicians. This means your vision of politicians is kind of screwed: it works the other way around. People elect politicians because they like the views of the politician. If a politician gets elected as, say, senator or representative, that means the politician represents the public, because (s)he is chosen by the public. This way you could see elections for any political position as a poll/referendum, and you know they happen often, and you also know that politicians with views the public doesn't likes, don't get elected, because that's how democracy works.

P.S. I didn't hand over victory to you, and you should know it's counterproductive to say that in a debate, especially when you know it's not true.
Debate Round No. 3


Just voting for somebody or some party doesn't constitute a complete democratic process. Once you have voted for a particular party or person, that person can change their position after you vote for them. Thus, you end up with somebody in power who doesn't represent what you voted them in for. This happens all the time.

Politicians are more influenced more by their party, government officials and industry leaders, then they are by public opinion. Public opinion is the last thing that any politician considers when making policies and decisions. Politicians have a severe aversion to polls and referendums; they avoid them like the plague.

The voting system is a very remote and ineffective way to control a politician. You must constantly watch their every move they make and jump on them as soon as they stray away from their nominated policies. Constant vigilance is the only way to maintain a fair democracy. Note - A sleepy public will soon be over-run by a corrupt and evil government.


"Once you have voted for a particular party or person, that person can change their position after you vote for them"
Of course they can, but most politicians like to stay in power, which you already pointed out in your previous argument: "politicians are in politics for the big adrenalin rush that power and control over others gives them", and so will try to keep close ties with their statements, just like how the republican party of the United States has been denying climate science for decades... Radically changing point of view equals political suicide.

"Politicians are more influenced more ... then they are by public opinion"
Yes, that's exactly my point, and I said that in my previous argument already. People vote for politicans/parties because they agree on their views, not the other way around.

"The voting system is a very remote and ineffective way to control a politician"
That's the idea of a representative democracy. One choose representatives because they agree on certain points actual in the current political climate. When that representative changes views, you change representative. If there are no representatives out there you are willing to support, you become a representative yourself.

I'll leave the last round to you to make a good point. Let's see what we get.
Maybe this debate can still turn into something interesting...
Debate Round No. 4


I think my opponent must be an aspiring politician, because he uses the same evasive techniques that politicians use.

List of evasive techniques used by politicians -

1. Ignoring the Question: the politician simply ignores the question without making any attempt
to answer it or even to acknowledge that the interviewer has asked a question.

2. Acknowledging the Question without answering it: the politician acknowledges that the
interviewer has asked a question but then fails to give an answer.

3. Questioning the Question: two different ways of questioning the question are distinguished:
requesting clarification and reflecting the question back to the questioner, for example saying
"you tell me"

4. Attacking the Question: the politician attacks or criticizes the question; eight different reasons
for attacking the question are distinguished: "the question fails to address the important issue"
,"the question is hypothetical or speculative" ,"the question is based on a false premise", "the
question is factually inaccurate" ,"the question includes a misquotation", "the question includes a
quotation taken out of context" ,"the question is objectionable" ,and "the question is based on a
false alternative".

5. Attacking the Questioner: criticizes the interviewer as distinct from attacking the question.
tack " attacking opposition or other rival groups, presenting policy, justifying policy,
giving reassurance, appealing to nationalism, offering political analysis, self-justification ,and
talking up oneR23;s own side

8. Giving Incomplete Answer: five different forms of incomplete reply are distinguished: starts
to answer but doesnR23;t finish (self-interruption), negative answer, partial reply, half answer, and
fractional reply.

9. Repeating Answer to Previous Question

10. Stating that the Question Has Already Been Answered

11. Apologizing

12. Literalism

Thus, we can see that my opponent has not answered most of my points and has cherry picked out all the inconvenient facts that destroy his argument.
Where is his response to the fact that politicians are more influenced by industry, internal pressures and government officials? Answer - None!
Where is his response to the fact that politicians hate referendums and polls? Answer - None!

The research paper that I have included shows that politicians are more interested in being evasive to the public, than they are at being co-operative and helpful. Thus, they are not acting in the general interest of the public, but are only looking after their own interests.

It was found that when a typical politician was asked a question, the politician would most likely give one of the following responses -
40% - Making a political point
36% - Incomplete answer
19% - Declining to answer
15% - Ignoring the question
15% - Acknowledging without responding appropriately
2% - Attacking the interviewer


Congratulations on going off-topic every single round. As I stated earlier, most of your points don't add to the debate. What you said about evasive techniques applies more to you than to me. That aside, let's focus on the issue (and not the person) one last time.

Your statement was:
"The often used term by politicians that "its not in the public's interest" is usually a blatant lie. Politicians never bother to ask the public what their opinion is, so they don't have any right to decide if any matter is in their interest or not."

You said politicians should be banned from using the phrase 'It's not in the public interest' because it's usually a blatant lie.
I oppose that because this is a generalisation. You say that because some politicians (not all, as you said 'usually') use the term when not having asked the public, all politicians should be banned from using the phrase. That is the same as saying 'No Mexicans should be allowed in the USA because some are rapists.', that what they call Donald Trump rhetoric.

My statement is that politicians should not use the statement UNLESS they bother to ask the public, which fundamentally opposes your statement, which says absolutely no politicans should be allowed to use the phrase because some politicians abuse it.
Debate Round No. 5
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