The Instigator
salam.morcos
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
kasmic
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

My proposed US political system is better than the status quo

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
salam.morcos
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/22/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,624 times Debate No: 76611
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (117)
Votes (3)

 

salam.morcos

Pro

This debate is impossible to accept. If you somehow manage to accept, you will have to forfeit or it will be considered a loss.

The proposition of this debate: "My proposed US political system is better than the status quo". This debate is specific to the federal government.

I will argue that the proposed political system is better than the current one. Con would argue that the current system is more superior than my proposal.

My proposed government system

1. Voters elect representatives in the House of Representatives once every four years (or when the government collapses)
2. Abolish the senate
3. The House of Representatives elect the US President
4. Filibustering is limited

In reality, I don't necessairly believe that my proposed government system is the best possible system. I am sure that there are other different formats that could be potentially better. However, for the purpose of this debate, we will assume that my proposal is the only available alternative to the status quo.

Also, I will have to show that my entire proposed system is better. Even if one of my changes is better than the status quo, I must demonstrate that the system as a whole is better (and vice versa for Con).

If you have questions regarding the debate, please ask in the comments. I am looking for a serious debater.

Rules
4 rounds, 72 hours, 10,000 characters, Voting: 2,500 Elo

For the sake of the reader, the format will be:

Round 1: Acceptance Only
Round 2: All arguments/contentions in this round
Round 3: Rebuttals only (No new arguments)
Round 4: Defense of contentions (No rebuttals) and a conclusion

1. No forfeits.
2. All arguments must be visible inside this debate. Sources may be within the debate or in comments.
3. No new arguments in the final round.
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere.
5. No trolling.
6. No "kritiks" of the topic (i.e. arguments that challenge an assumption in the resolution).
7. No deconstructional semantics.
8. Burden of Proof (BoP) is shared
9. Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed without asking in the comments before you post your round 1 argument. Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed in the middle of the debate.

I look forward for an exciting debate.

kasmic

Con

I accept.

Good luck!
Debate Round No. 1
salam.morcos

Pro

I want to thank my opponent for accepting this debate. I also want to note that Con agreed that if I win this debate, he would vote for me as the next President of the US (and vice versa). I am a Canadian, but we can always figure out those "technicalities" and "logistic issues" later.

Contention 1: Relieves Government Gridlock

The biggest problem in the current US legislative system is the gridlock in government. A good legislative system ought to be effective and the "will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government" [1]. The current system makes it prone to failure. I will explain the problem in theory and in practice.

Majority of legislations before they are enacted into law, they have to face three hurdles [2]:
1. Must be passed by the House of Representatives (Simple majority).

2. Senate must pass the legislation. But the vote can be blocked by using the filibuster, unless Senate agrees to end the filibuster which requires two thirds of the senate. Ironically, the official website of the US senate (senate.gov) explains filibustering "an effective means to block legislation" [3].

3. Unless two-thirds of the Senate passed the bill, the President can veto the legislation.

This structure leads to divided governments where one party controls the white house, and the other party controls one or both chambers of government. Since 1969, divided governments have become the theme, and only once since then (1977-1979) that one party had control of the white house, both chambers and more than 60% of the senate [4][5]. In other words, if one party wants to block legislation, they easily can. In my proposed system, no such hurdles will exist, and the government will enact the will of the people and pass legislation for their benefits. It enables law makers to do what the citizens have endowed them to do on their behalf.

When Obama issued executive orders for immigration, many lawmakers were very critical of him. There are good reasons to that criticism. Obama explains what's wrong with the system "… to those Members of Congress who […] question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill" [6]. The real question is why the congress is failing? Why can't they pass a bill? In my proposed system, passing a bill doesn't face the challenges that the current US system faces.

I will just bring a couple of example for illustration. A staggering 73% of Americans were in favor of limiting campaign spending, as well as a majority of Democrat senators (54). In a normal world, a bill of this kind ought to be passed. Not in the US legislative system where only 42 Republican senators were enough to block it [7].

You may also know that last year, the "federal government in the United States has shut down because Congress (the House of Representatives and the Senate) failed to pass a budget". The cause of the "budget standoff that's led to the shutdown of the US government is more of a conflict between the Republican-dominated House of Representatives and the Democrat-controlled Senate." My proposed system will not face such hurdles.

Contention 2: Failed Promises by Design

This contention is closely tied to the first one, and is a side effect of the grid lock in government.

Political candidates, especially presidential candidates, campaign prior to every election to present their case to the general public. They make campaign promises of what they plan to deliver for the American people if elected. It's only expected that Americans look for those promises to be implemented if they elected them. However due to the gridlock mentioned in my first contention, politicians may not be able to deliver on their promises and blame other parties for that failure. In essence, the American people are not getting what they were promised to do because of the legislative system, and not because of who they elected.

For example, Obama blames the Republicans for preventing him from bringing "the hope and change to America's political system that he campaigned on" [8]. The Republicans weren't able to fair much better. They promised Keystone XL bill [9], but Obama voted against it [10]. Republicans promised to give small businesses a tax deduction, but it died in the Democrat controlled senate [11][12]. If my proposed system was in place, all of these measures would have been implemented.

It is not surprising that 76% of Americans don't trust that their politicians will have the capacity able to deliver on their promises [13]. How can one argue that this system enacts the will of the people?

A good political system ought to enable politicians to deliver on their promises, and the current system doesn't facilitate it, only complicates it.

Contention 3: Promotes Democracy

The Undemocratic Senate
Every American is considered equal, and that's what democracy is about. However the US senate is highly undemocratic. Every state sends two representatives, regardless of its size. This means that a Wyoming resident has roughly 66 times more representation than that of a resident from California [14].

You might think that this is trivial, but it's not. This leads to non proportional legislations favoring smaller states that bigger ones. For example, Vermont is 30 times less populated that New York, but received 1/4 of the federal stimulus compared to New York [15]. New York Times explains this: "The difference in the fortunes of Rutland and Washington Counties reflects the growing disparity in their citizens’ voting power, and it is not an anomaly". This is undemocratic. As I explained previously, my proposed system will face no such challenges as every citizen is considered equal. The House of Representatives is more proportional to the population size, and in essence more balanced and democratic.

The Undemocratic Electoral College
The Electoral College in presidential elections is highly undemocratic. Basically, it's a winner take all system where a candidate winning 50.1% of the vote in a state collects all the Electoral College for that state [16]. The Electoral College is proportionally divided between states, but small states receive a minimum of 3 Electoral College votes.

However this system is undemocratic. Why? Because you can have as little as 22% of the population elect the next president [17] (See video at 4:16). While this is extremely unlikely, there were 4 instances where a president was elected, but not by the majority of Americans [18]. John Quincy Adams won the presidency even though he received 10.44% less of the American voters than Andrew Jackson. This is highly undemocratic. My proposed system allows for fairer representation.

Finally, my proposed system doesn't favor one party over the other. It favors what the American people have asked for.

Thank you.

[1] Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 21. Section 3.
[2] http://www.house.gov...
[3] http://www.senate.gov...
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[5] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[6] http://thehill.com...
[7] http://thehill.com...
[8] http://abcnews.go.com...
[9] http://dailycaller.com...
[10] http://time.com...
[11] http://pledge.gop.gov...
[12] http://thomas.loc.gov...
[13] http://www.pewresearch.org...
[14] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[15] http://www.nytimes.com...
[16] http://www.archives.gov...
[17] https://youtu.be...
[18] https://en.wikipedia.org...

kasmic

Con

My opponent claims that his "proposed US political system is better than the status quo". He has 4 main proposals. "For the purpose of this debate, we will assume that (Pro"s) proposal(s) (are) the only available alternative to the status quo." I will address each and demonstrate why the status quo is preferred.

All four of my opponent"s proposals connect to the legislative branch of the U.S. Government. His first two proposals address the organization of this branch and the second two the function. The first article of the U.S. Constitution presents both the organization and function of the legislative branch. (1)

1: Organization

Status Quo

Article 1 Section 1 reads "All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."(1)

The House of Representatives (AKA the Lower House): Representatives of this House are elected every two years. The number of representatives each State receives is connected to the population of that State. The frequency of these elections and connection to population allows this House to be the House of the people that represents public opinion.

The Senate (AKA the Upper House): Members of this House are elected every six years. Each State has two Senators. This allows each State equal representation. Less frequent elections allow this House to be more deliberative and less influenced by popular opinion.

Pro"s proposal

My opponent"s first two proposals go hand in hand. First, he wants "Voters (to) elect representatives in the House of Representatives once every four years (or when the government collapses)." This is in contrast to the status quo of two year terms. Second and much worse my opponent wants to "abolish the senate."
My opponent claims that his "proposed US political system is better than the status quo". He has 4 main proposals. "For the purpose of this debate, we will assume that (Pro"s) proposal(s) (are) the only available alternative to the status quo." I will address each and demonstrate why the status quo is preferred.

All four of my opponent"s proposals connect to the legislative branch of the U.S. Government. His first two proposals address the organization of this branch and the second two the function. The first article of the U.S. Constitution presents both the organization and function of the legislative branch. (1)

1: Organization

Status Quo

Article 1 Section 1 reads "All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."(1)

The House of Representatives (AKA the Lower House): Representatives of this House are elected every two years. The number of representatives each State receives is connected to the population of that State. The frequency of these elections and connection to population allows this House to be the House of the people that represents public opinion.

The Senate (AKA the Upper House): Members of this House are elected every six years. Each State has two Senators. This allows each State equal representation. Less frequent elections allow this House to be more deliberative and less influenced by popular opinion.

Pro"s proposal

My opponent"s first two proposals go hand in hand. First, he wants "Voters (to) elect representatives in the House of Representatives once every four years (or when the government collapses)." This is in contrast to the status quo of two year terms. Second and much worse my opponent wants to "abolish the senate."

Why the status quo is preferred.

The bicameral organization is effective as it promotes principles of Democracy or rule of the people while mitigating tyranny of the majority. Both Houses are necessary for this to be the case. The lower House promotes Democracy while the Upper mitigating tyranny. Both work together to fill the function of the legislative branch of government. It also allows for equal representation to the States while also representing by population.

Pro"s proposal to lengthen terms for members of the House undermines the very function of the House of Representatives. Frequent elections are necessary in order for this House to adequately represent and be the "House of the people." By abolishing the Senate pro would destroy our bicameral legislature and with it our balance of democracy and stability.

2: Function

Status Quo

The Legislative Branch is "To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States;" For a full list of duties and function of this branch see Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. (1)

There are three branches in our government. The Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. While we are primarily focused on the Legislative it is necessary to have a basic understanding of the branching of government to see why Pro"s next proposal is foolish. A very simplistic understanding is

a) Legislative writes the law
b) Executive enforces the law
c) Judicial interprets the law.

We have these three branches as a way to separate the powers of government. Each branch has power to check and balance the others. For a list of these checks and balances follow this link. (2) The concept being that our government separates these powers and provides these checks to prevent the government from overstepping its bounds. With this understanding we see that the two houses of the legislative branch check and balance each other as well.

Pro"s proposals:

My opponent has suggested that the House of Representatives elect the US President. He has also suggested that filibustering be limited.

Why the status quo is preferred:

Connecting the executive branch to the legislative branch as pro has suggested is to undermine the concept of Checks and balances. To have the Legislative branch elect the Executive while simultaneously holding the power to impeach and remove a president from office is to give the executive branch an unbalanced portion of power over the Executive Branch. It would effectively ruin the "balance."

Limiting filibustering is to limit a check that members of congress can have on the hold body of legislation.

Conclusion:

Pro"s proposals would remove the "balance" our government has. It would give the legislative branch such a large check on the executive branch as to undermine the separation of powers. The Status Quo provides democracy and stability in ways that pro"s proposals would mitigate. Thus the status quo should be preferred.

Overview:

Pro mentioned in round one that he would "have to show that my entire proposed system is better. Even if one of my changes is better than the status quo, I must demonstrate that the system as a whole is better."

I have not only demonstrated one part of his plan to be inferior but every single proposal.

Sources:

(1) http://www.archives.gov...
(2) https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
salam.morcos

Pro

Note to voters

Con's previous argument didn't post correctly. DDO removed formatting and a section of his argument was repeated. Please don't penalize Con for this.

Observation

Con spent a large part of the second round explaining the legislative structure in the United States. However, I will only address the parts which pertain to the resolution of this debate.

As I've stated in Round 1, each debater has the Burden of Proof to show why their preferred system, as a whole, is better or superior than the other's. Con argues that he has shown that every single proposal of mine is inferior to his. While I disagree with Con's assertion as I will show below, I want to note that Con is committing the fallacy of composition. The fallacy is based on a confusion that what is true of each part, must be true of the whole [1]. The benefits of implementing the first measure of my proposal alone, yields minimal benefits. The benefit of limiting or ending the filibuster alone is beneficial, but doesn't resolve all gridlock…etc. Therefore I will rebut the alleged benefits of that status quo, as it pertains to the system overall.

Rebuttals

1. Bicameral organization is effective?!

Con stated that the "bicameral organization is effective as it promotes principles of Democracy or rule of the people while mitigating tyranny of the majority."

Effective means "successful in producing a desired or intended result" [2]. Con's claim is a base assertion and not supported by any evidence. How is the bicameral organization effective when I've shown that it was a key factor in the gridlock in government? The status quo actually makes the government ineffective. A political scientist explains: "Bicameralism is perhaps the most critical structural factor shaping the politics of gridlock" [3]. My proposed system will not have these gridlocks and as a result is more effective. Therefore this argument works for my favor against Con's claim.

Promotes Democracy

Con states that the bicameral organization "promotes principles of Democracy or rule of the people". He therefore implies that my proposed government is less democratic than the status quo. This claim is another baseless assertion. Parliamentary systems are very democratic. Is Con arguing that the parliamentary systems of Canada, UK and most west European countries are less democratic? A study by Boston University shows evidence to the contrary [8].

In addition, I demonstrated in Round 2 how the Senate and the Electoral College are undemocratic. A citizen in Wyoming has 66 times the voting power of another citizen from California, and as little as 22% of the population can elect a president. This is absurdly undemocratic.

My proposed system considers each citizen to be equal, and as a result it's more democratic. Therefore this argument works for my favor against Pro's claim.

Mitigates Tyranny

Con argues that bicameral government tyranny, which means a "cruel and oppressive government" [4]. But Con is inferring that my proposed system doesn't mitigate or prevent tyranny. That's another baseless claim. My proposed system represents the rule of the people as each American citizen will have an equal say on who they want to represent them in government. If the American people no longer like who they elected, they can easily change the rulers in the next elections. This is democracy in its very essence. Is Con arguing that tyranny is a challenge for countries with parliamentary systems such as Canada, UK or many West European countries? That's unreasonable. In fact, the study I mentioned previously reports: "In no case examined here does parliamentary rule seem to detract from good governance" [8]. Therefore Con's argument is refuted.

2. My proposal system undermines the function of House of Representatives?!

Con claims that lengthening the terms from 2 to 4 years "undermines the very function of the House of Representatives". He claims: "Frequent elections are necessary in order for this House to adequately represent and be the 'House of the people.' "

Con's claim is again another bare assertion. He failed to explain why four years between elections means that the American people are not "adequately represented" or that it's undemocratic? In fact, I will turn this argument to my favor. Midterm elections (which occur two years after a presidential election) have a consistent voter turnout of less than 50% [5], with only 36.3% voting 2014. These numbers are outright embarrassing. The voter turnout for the midterms would rank below 160 in the world, only ahead of a couple of countries like Mali [6]. Not to add that the majority of Americans have no interest in the midterms, and as much as 85% didn't pay much attention [7]! This doesn't promote democracy, it undermines it. I argue that this argument tips to my favor.

3. Senate ensures equal representation of states

Con explains that the senate ensures equal representation of states. Con infers that this is a good thing without offering any explanation of why that's the case. Therefore it's another bare assertion. And as always, I am delighted to tip this argument towards my favor against Con's claim.

The constitution of the United Stated begins with "We the People". Democracy requires that every citizen to be considered equal. That means that no American should have a bigger say in government than another citizen. An American from Vermont is just as equal as another American from New Jersey, and therefore each person ought to be fairly and equally represented when electing a government. But I've shown in my previous round that a person from Wyoming will have 66 more times the voting power of that of a person residing in California. This is undemocratic. My proposed system will consider every citizen as equal, which is the very essence of democracy.

4. Provides checks and balances?!

Con repeatedly mentioned that the current system would provide checks and balances that my proposed wouldn't have. He states:

a. "Abolishing the Senate […]would destroy our bicameral legislature and with it our balance of democracy and stability"
b. "Connecting the executive branch to the legislative branch [would] undermine the concept of Checks and balances"
c. My proposal "would remove the "balance" our government has"

I want to explain to the reader the difference between the intent of a rule or policy vs. the outcome. If a policy was intended to achieve a certain goal, but the outcome had adverse effects, then this policy ought to be changed or revoked. I agree that the bicameral legislative structure was put in place with the intent to establish checks and balances. But the reality of what's happening is that the bicameral system has become an effective tool to block legislation and is the main cause for the government gridlock. I will reiterate what I have already stated: "Bicameralism is perhaps the most critical structural factor shaping the politics of gridlock" [3].

Con also infers that parliamentary systems are inferior because the commander-in-chief is elected by the parliament (or House of Representative) and not directly by the people. Con argues that this would give too much power to the legislative branch. What are the adverse effects? Con doesn't provide any. So I would like to separate fiction from reality. The study by Boston University that compares parliamentary systems to presidential systems, evaluating the political, economic and human development concludes:

"The evidence presented here suggests that, to the extent that the nature of the executive makes a difference, parliamentary systems offer significant advantages over presidential systems. In no case examined here does parliamentary rule seem to detract from good governance. In most policy areas, particularly in the areas of economic and human development, parliamentary systems are associated with superior governance." [8]

Con's claim that a parliamentary system like the one I proposed would detract from good governance is unfounded and a mere pigment of imagination. Therefore I argue that this argument tips to my favor against Con's claim.

Filibustering

Con claims that "limiting filibustering is to limit a check that members of congress can have on the hold body of legislation" [sic]. Con doesn't seem to understand the intent of the filibuster. "The filibuster was initially conceived of as a way to ensure that minority opinions were heard and understood" [9]. I am not entirely against the filibuster, because I think debate is important. However what I am proposing is to limit the filibuster. The reasoning behind my recommendation is that the filibuster has become an effective tool to block legislation and became a catalyst for the gridlock we see nowadays [10]. Therefore my recommendation will achieve the goal the filibuster was intended for, yet at the same time allow for legislation to move forward. This argument also tips to my favor.

I refuted all of my opponent's arguments, and shown that most of Con's arguments actually prove that my proposed political system is more effective and superior the current gridlocked system.

Thank you.

Sources

[1] http://rationalwiki.org...
[2] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
[3] Sarah Binder, "Stalemate: Causes and Consequences of Legislative Gridlock", pp. 81
[4] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
[5] http://www.infoplease.com...
[6] http://www.idea.int...
[7] http://www.pewresearch.org...
[8] http://www.bu.edu...
[9] http://www.nolabels.org...
[10] http://benishek.house.gov...

kasmic

Con

Rebuttals of Pro’s round 2

Contention 1: Relieves Government Gridlock
Contention 2: Failed Promises by Design

My opponent claims that “the biggest problem in the current US legislative system is the gridlock in government.” Concluding that “A good legislative system ought to be effective.”

As stated in my Opening argument The bicameral organization is effective as it promotes principles of Democracy or rule of the people while mitigating tyranny of the majority. Pro states that “. In my proposed system, no such hurdles will exist, and the government will enact the will of the people and pass legislation for their benefits.” This is dangerous. Essentially my opponent is proposing removing the checks and balances of our government. Without this Gridlock, tyranny of the majority is likely.

Montesquieu is credited with the concept of checks and balances that the Founders of the U.S. adopted. In his own words "constant experience shows us that every man invested with power is apt to abuse it ... it is necessary from the very nature of things that power should be a check to power”(1) He argued that “This (balance) is achieved through the separation of the executive, legislative, and judicial powers of government. If different persons or bodies exercise these powers, then each can check the others if they try to abuse their powers. But if one person or body holds several or all of these powers, then nothing prevents that person or body from acting tyrannically; and the people will have no confidence in their own security.”(1)

Pro’s plan opens the door wide open to abuses of power resulting in tyranny. This “Gridlock” as pro calls it was the vision of the founders and has proven very effective at mitigating tyranny.

Contention 3: Promotes Democracy

Pro claims the Senate is undemocratic as states have equal representation. In the status quo this is offset by the lower house being linked to population size. This allows for democratic and fair representation.

Pro claims that the Electoral College is undemocratic because “, it's a winner take all system where a candidate winning 50.1%” This is amusing as basic democracy is majority rule, which the Electoral college implements. My opponent mitigates his own argument by stating that “this is extremely unlikely.” Interestingly enough, the states are awarded electoral votes based on the number of representatives in the legislative branch. This is highly democratic as the larger and lower house is based off of population.

Pro points to four elections where the elected did not receive the largest plurality of votes nationwide. This, as he admits is rare. He also does not tie a harm to this occurrence, he just claims that it is undemocratic. While the U.S. does promote Democratic principles our government organization is necessary to prevent tyranny of the majority. Much of pro’s arguments commit the “Appeal to popularity.” (2)

Rebuttals of Pro’s Round 3

Pro contends the status quo is not “effective.” Saying “How is the bicameral organization effective when I've shown that it was a key factor in the gridlock in government?” This is amusing because pro defined effective as "successful in producing a desired or intended result" This is exactly what the status quo does. The primary function of government is to secure rights from tyranny. (3) This gridlock was the very intent. Thus the status quo prevents a tyranny of the majority making the status quo effective. Pro’s plan on the other hand allows tyranny and is thus ineffective.

Pro is arguing for the effectiveness of passing laws and no checks to power vs the effectiveness of protecting rights. Clearly it is of more value to protect rights than to allow the legislative branch to be effective tyrants.

Pro claims that I implies that his “proposed government is less democratic.” This is untrue and an interesting attempt at a straw man. Rather I have argued that the status quo promotes democracy while mitigating tyranny of the majority. Pro’s plan is so democratic as to allow such tyranny.

John Adams once said "Democracy... While it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide."(4)

The kind of democracy that pro is proposing is also known as mob rule.

Pro argues that my claim of 4 year terms for the house undermines its function as a bare assertion. Actually I clearly explain that frequent elections promote public opinion and democracy. He argues that due to low voter turnout this can’t be true. There is nothing that pro has provided that indicates that changing the system would increase voter turnout, thus his rebuttal is hollow.

Pro seems to not understand that the federal government represents both the citizens and the States respectively. The House represents the citizens as a whole, the Senate represents the States as a whole. Thus it is necessary that the Senate have equal representation from the states.

Conclusion:

My opponent mistakes removing checks as effective. This removal takes balance of government with it. This misconception seems due to the focus being on passing laws. The function of government as indicated in the U.S. founding documents is to secure freedom from tyranny. This requires checks and balances. These include a bicameral House, the Filibuster, equal representation for States in the Federal Government, preventing tyranny of the majority (unchecked democracy.) Due to these issues of Pro’s plan it is clear that the status quo is preferred.

(1) http://plato.stanford.edu...
(2) http://www.debate.org...
(3) http://www.archives.gov...
(4) http://www.brainyquote.com...
Debate Round No. 3
salam.morcos

Pro

I will defend my contentions before concluding the debate.

Contention 1: Relieves Government Gridlock

Con doesn't disagree that my proposed system would relieve gridlock. He simply believes that the Gridlock is necessary. According to Con "Without this Gridlock, tyranny of the majority is likely". He quotes Montesquieu who explains that the separation of government (executive, legislative, and judicial powers of government) is necessary to prevent anyone from "acting tyrannically; and the people will have no confidence in their own security". Con sums it up: "Pro’s plan opens the door wide open to abuses of power resulting in tyranny. This “Gridlock” as pro calls it was the vision of the founders and has proven very effective at mitigating tyranny."

First, my proposed system will still have separation of government (executive, legislative, and judicial powers of government). Canada's Supreme Court struck down many laws by the government, such as assisted suicide ban [1], prostitution laws [2] and mandatory minimum sentences [3]. British Supreme Court struck down terror finance laws [4], and Spain's Supreme Court struck down city burqa ban [5].

Second, I've also cited a study in the previous round that reports: "In no case examined here does parliamentary rule seem to detract from good governance" [6]. To assume that parliamentary systems will lead to tyranny is simply false.

Finally, these gridlocks lead to a very ineffective United States government. A poll shows that the gridlock is the top reason Americans are critical of congress [7]. It states that "nearly four in five Americans […] disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job." To call this effective is a joke especially that the government is meant to represent the people. My proposed government system is efficient.

Contention 2: Failed Promises by Design

Con dismisses my claim that the current government leads to politician unable to deliver on their promises. When citizens elect a government, they would expect that the government would keep their promises. I will extend my argument here from Round 2:

For example, Obama blames the Republicans for preventing him from bringing "the hope and change to America's political system that he campaigned on". The Republicans weren't able to fair much better. They promised Keystone XL bill, but Obama voted against it. Republicans promised to give small businesses a tax deduction, but it died in the Democrat controlled senate. If my proposed system was in place, all of these measures would have been implemented.


Contention 3: Promotes Democracy

Undemocratic Senate
Con argues that the undemocratic Senate's unfair representation is offset by the House of Representative. But in reality, this is not the case. It doesn't change the power that some citizens of smaller states have over larger states. I've shown the example of Vermont receiving one quarter of the stimulus that New York received which is 30 times larger in population. NY Times explains that this is not an anomaly that there is a "growing disparity in [small states] citizens’ voting power" [8]. This is unproportional power of some citizens is inherently undemocratic. So Con is incorrect that the system allows for "democratic and fair representation".

Undemocratic Electoral College
Con argues that the Electoral College is highly democratic! What? Con actually takes my sentence out of context intentionally which is a straw man attack. I will bold the part of the sentence that was omitted initially. The Electoral College is "a winner take all system where a candidate winning 50.1% of the vote in a state collects all the Electoral College for that state". This is important. I agree that democracy means that if the majority (even 50.1%) of the population should elect the president. But the Electoral College serves no specific advantage, only a disadvantage. I've shown how it's possible that a president can be elected with only 22% of the population. That's disturbing and undemocratic.

I've also highlighted four elections where the president won the elections even though he didn't have the support of the majority of the American people. Con's response dismisses my argument citing that it's uncommon so inferring it's not so bad. First of all it happened 4 times out of 57 times (which is 7% probability), and the probability would only increase if there are more parties. Con then states that my argument commits the fallacy of appealing to popularity. But this is outright false! The fallacy of appealing to popularity means that if most people approve of something, then it ought to be true [10]. Con agrees that "basic democracy is majority rule". What I'm pleading for is that the majority of the people ought to elect the president. That's basic democracy. Con's accusation that I'm committing a fallacy is ridiculous and ought to be dismissed.

Violation of Rules

Con violates the rules in Round 3, which was for rebuttals only, but he defended his contentions. This gives him the ability to defend his arguments twice, which is not fair. But in any case, I will respond to the claims because they are very weak.

Response to "Rebuttals of Pro’s Round 3"

Con argues that the gridlock is the very intent of the government. I find it comical! The status quo is very effective at being ineffective. Congratulations! The government's main role is to pass laws that advance the will of the American people. In that area, the US government has been very ineffective.

Con then argues that my plan allows tyranny, and I've shown how that's not the case. So I will dismiss this point.

Con then argues that my proposed system would not protect rights. What is Con talking about? My proposed system has been tested by many parliamentary system, and I repeat that "In no case examined here does parliamentary rule seem to detract from good governance" [6]. So again this point is invalid.

Con accuses that my system is considered mob rule. So Britain, Norway, Sweden and Canada are all have "mob rule" systems? That's absurd! Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, New Zealand, Canada are all ranked above the United States in the democracy index [7]. I guess this "mob rule" system is more democratic! Con's claim is invalid.

Con then argues that I made a bare assertion when I argue that "4 year terms for the house undermines its function". I don't accept Con's accusation. I explained clearly the disadvantages. If Con didn't bother reading them, I'll write them here for his reference:

"Midterm elections (which occur two years after a presidential election) have a consistent voter turnout of less than 50%, with only 36.3% voting 2014. These numbers are outright embarrassing. The voter turnout for the midterms would rank below 160 in the world, only ahead of a couple of countries like Mali. Not to add that the majority of Americans have no interest in the midterms, and as much as 85% didn't pay much attention! This doesn't promote democracy, it undermines it." (See Round 3). That's not a bare assertion and I don't accept Con's argument.

Con then argues that "there is nothing that pro has provided that indicates that changing the system would increase voter turnout". Actually there is a lot of evidence to support my argument. The stats shown in this source shows that the voter turnout in the midterms is significantly less than other elections (almost 20% less) [12]. So there's high probability that changing the system will increase voter turnout from the disappointing 33% in 2014. That's embarrassing.

Conclusion

The myth that my proposed system will remove checks and balance is… well a myth. My proposed system is more democratic, more effective and reflects the will of the people. Therefore I urge Con and the reader to support my type of government over the status quo.

Vote Pro. Thanks!

Sources

[1] http://www.thestar.com...
[2] http://www.cbc.ca...
[3] http://www.thestar.com...
[4] http://www.investigativeproject.org...
[5] http://jurist.org...
[6] http://www.bu.edu...
[7] http://www.gallup.com...
[8] http://www.nytimes.com...
[9] http://www.nizkor.org...
[10] http://www.nizkor.org...
[11] http://pages.eiu.com...
[12] http://www.idea.int...

kasmic

Con

Pro claims that his “proposed system will still have separation of government.” While pro’s plan does leave three branches of government, it eliminates the balance of power. Remember his plan suggests that the legislative branch have to power to elect and remove Presidents from office. This ultimately gives the Legislative branch power over the Excecutive thus nullifying the checks and balance of government.

Pro claims “these gridlocks lead to a very ineffective United States government.” Please refer to my rebuttal in round 3. These Checks and Balances that Pro is undermining allow the Government to fill its primary function which is to secure rights from tyranny. The Gridlock prevents tyranny and is preferable to it. Pro is arguing for the effectiveness of passing laws and no checks to power vs the effectiveness of protecting rights. Clearly it is of more value to protect rights than to allow the legislative branch to be effective tyrants.

Pro’s second contention is entitled “failed promises by design.” This shows that Pro is aware that this type of gridlock was intended and is “by design.” Thus the status quo is effective as it is providing the desired and intended result.

My opponent has claimed that his plan promotes democracy. This is true, it does so by removing vital restraints on congress. It removes the design of our government set up to prevent tyranny of the majority.

I maintain that the Electoral College is highly democratic as all but two States have their votes tied to the popular vote through law. Pro points to four elections where the elected did not receive the largest plurality of votes nationwide. This, as he admits is rare. He also does not tie a harm to this occurrence, he just claims that it is undemocratic. While the U.S. does promote Democratic principles our government organization is necessary to prevent tyranny of the majority. Much of pro’s arguments commit the “Appeal to popularity.”

Pro claims I violated the rules for round 3. Defending and address your opponents arguments are rebuttals. I did not present any new arguments in round three, I only rebutted statements made by pro. Thus I followed the rules stated in round one that “Round 3: Rebuttals only (No new arguments)”

Pro says that my contention that gridlock is the very intent of the government is “comical.” This is amusing as he has conceded this point via his second contention as the gridlock is “by design.”

Pro again asserts that “The government's main role is to pass laws that advance the will of the American people.” This is again untrue. Our founding documents clearly state the primary function of government to be “is to secure rights from tyranny.” (1)

Overview of Debate:

I have shown definitively that the status quo is preferred over Pro’s plan as

1: The Status quo keeps Checks and balances intact
2: Pro’s plan removes several checks and balances
a. Limiting the filibuster
b. destroying the bicameral legislative branch
c. allows the Legislative Branch supreme authority over the Executive branch.

The choice is simple.

Pro’s proposals would remove the "balance" our government has. It would give the legislative branch such a large check on the executive branch as to undermine the separation of powers. The Status Quo provides democracy and stability in ways that pro’s proposals would mitigate. Thus the status quo should be preferred.

Vote Con!

(1) http://www.archives.gov...
Debate Round No. 4
117 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
definitely, imo you shouldn't read others rfd's before voting as it can skew your vote.
Posted by Kozu 1 year ago
Kozu
Sure thing. I'm gonna read Wylted and WhiteFlames rfd now lol. It's kinda interesting to see how others interpreted the debate after casting my own vote. In other debates, I previously tried to use others rfd's to try and make sure I didn't miss anything or wasn't being unintentionally bias, but I feel something is wrong with that idea. Hopefully doing it this way will give a better quality rfd
Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
salam.morcos
Thanks Kozu for the RFD.
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
Thanks Kozu for reading and voting! I will read your rfd tonight.
Posted by Kozu 1 year ago
Kozu
I implore both sides to question my rfd if they feel the urge.
Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
salam.morcos
Btw - I don't agree that I won sources and S&G. If he won the argument, then he gets all 3 points.
Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
salam.morcos
So sorry Lannan. You can still post your feedback if you have it in the comments.

Btw - let me know if you are ready to finish off that universal health care debate.
Posted by lannan13 1 year ago
lannan13
Damn, I tried to vote, but I don't meet the ELO requirements, as usual. The Voting I had was a 3-3 tie. Kasmic had won arguments while SM had S&G and Sources. I'm angry I spent the past half hour reading and working on an RFD for this debate for it just to be deleted.
Posted by Kozu 1 year ago
Kozu
@salam
It does, I had confused the electors with the elected legislative members.
Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
salam.morcos
@kasmic - lol. No you are fair.

@Kozu - Look at the electoral college as a process for electing the president. Basically, each state is assigned a number based on its population out of 538, but every state must have at least 3. So California gets around 55, but Wyoming gets only 3...and so on.

In a presidential election, each presidential candidate wins a state. So when Obama won California, he won 55 points. When Romney won Texas, he collected all Texas points...etc. The first president to collect 270 points wins the election.

The actual process is that these points are actual people (called electoral college) that actually "vote" for the president. But typically, if a candidate wins a state (Obama won California) all 55 electoral college will vote for him and vice versa.

I hope this helps.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Kozu 1 year ago
Kozu
salam.morcoskasmicTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GhFckdKiIFBrp09G0yuAqRHKyJ6NoqvQ1YvNDdQB9r8/pub
Vote Placed by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
salam.morcoskasmicTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments. Close one, guys.
Vote Placed by Wylted 1 year ago
Wylted
salam.morcoskasmicTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.