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The Contender
Con (against)
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Political Parties are Counterentuitive to the progress of the United States

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/29/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,732 times Debate No: 25357
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
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I believe that political parties work against government because they have led to two factions of completely opposite ideologies on issues that would best be treated by compromise or a more moderate solution. In addition, a political system that for the most part consists of only two strongly charged parties severely limits the choice of voters. For instance, if a person favored a conservative approach to economics, but felt strongly about the right of women to get an abortion, which party would that person vote for? If the person votes for a Republican candidate, the candidate's party will almost surely force him or her to vote against abortion, and if the person votes for a Democratic candidate, that candidate probably won't endorse conservative approaches to economics. Essentially, the rational voter is in a catch 22. He or she is allowed to vote, but he or she is not allowed to vote for the person that will best serve his or her interests. There may exist people that completely agree with the Democratic or Republican parties, but I think those types of people must be quite rare.

Would someone like to argue in favor of this system?


Counter intuitive: contrary to what seems intuitively right or correct.
Progress:advance of human society: the general advance of human society and industry over time toward a state of greater civilization
Basically he is arguing in the resolution the Political parties(in general, not the two party system) are counter intuitive(contradicts what seems obvious) to the advancement of American society or society in general within the confines of America.
My opponent opens will a bare assertion that:two factions of completely opposite ideologies on issues that would best be treated by compromise or a more moderate solution.
This is argumentum ad temperantiam. He provides no justification that the moderate solution being better than the other ideology's even if they are opposite.
Another problem my opponent posts is basically this: What someone is a republican but not a social conservative or a democrat with conservative leaning economic beliefs?
This specific situation my opponent posts is essentially a libertarian but it could be answered given any possible ideology from libertarianism to Statism(Me!!).
Four answers to this:
1. Political party's don't force anyone to vote any specific way. Individuals may vote anyway they want regardless of party. If you believe your local senator doesn't support your views you have the ability to get him out of office.
2.There are factions inside political party's. I know that libertarians have a significant pull in the Republican party, and this is opposed by the evangelicals and social conservatives. If one has significantly more power than the other maybe a significantly extreme candidate could possibly be elected but the more extreme a candidate the less likely he gets elected.
3.If political party's were so extreme as my opponent says they are and were counterintutive to progress than logically we should be about 236 years before 1776 or at 1540. At this point most places were monarchy's and human rights/civil rights were not exactly developed at least to the point it is today. Even granting that the resolution doesn't intend to prove that it is useful to note the progress of America has always been tempered by two or more party's.
4. If one feels that that their party doesn't represent their views or feel like their party doesn't feel their issues are important one of three things can happen:
They can not vote
They can move to the other party
They can found a third party
I myself am a Republican not because I agree with everything the Republicans say 100% of the time but because I agree with them 75% of the time. Being part of a party means you support the majority of what someone says and you will unite to with them arm and arm to defend those values that you unite you rather than squabble on issues that divide you. If you feel truly even. Don't register. Its optional.

Thank you vote con
Debate Round No. 1


First: I do not oppose the party system, but I do oppose how the party system is being used in America. Hence, political parties are, at the moment, working against the idea of a democratic country. In a democratic country, of course, the people governed decided how government works. Anything that works against people having a fair say in how they think the country runs is hence counterintuitive.

I'll address your points one by one.

1. Political parties don't force anyone to vote any specific way.

True, but what I'm arguing is that political parties effectively force people to vote a certain way: for two extremes. Furthermore, my local senator shares some of my views. Her opponents also share some of my views. There is no realistic chance of a person from any other party winning the election. No matter what happens, I lose something.

2. There are factions within parties.

In a perfect world, you would actually be right, and I wouldn't be having this discussion with you. However, despite the presence of factions in many elections, the most important election, the presidential election does not have many candidates that diverge enough to fit a lot of people's views. A concrete example: I heard almost every person speaking at the Republican National Convention mention a fight to keep the 'traditional family'. That works against almost every socially liberal conservative. I know a lot of them. The Democrats are passing off the same candidate as last election. No chance for a more moderate candidate there. So in effect, I see no real factions in this presidential election, nor do I expect any candidates to be more moderate in the next one.

3. Political parties are not that extreme, you used counterintuitive wrong.

The people that compose the parties are not that extreme as a rule, I'll grant you that. The party, however, is a very different story. You mentioned that you believe a party means uniting even when you disagree with some things the party supports. If every person in the Republican party were to unite with their party while they fought in the legislature, every measure the Republican party supports will get passed if they hold majority. That seems pretty extreme to me.

4. You don't have to vote, or you can vote for a different party.

If I don't vote, I won't feel as if my interests are being represented in my government. And the fact of the matter is, is that if I vote for anybody other than the Democrat or the Republican, my vote will be thrown away. Very rarely does a third party candidate win a legislative election, and a third party candidate has never won the presidency. It probably won't happen any time soon either.

Please vote PRO.


My opponent offers no real points of contention other than the Resolution is true. He refutes my objections to the resolution specifically however we have yet to see an actual case formed. To prove a resolution one must provide reasons for believing the resolution is true not simply postulate on the basic assumptions the resolution represents. He is very repetitive using the same points (basically) in his counter objections. Now onto my defense of my objections:
1-3. Political parties don't force anyone to vote any specific way.
Notice how my opponent views moderate situations favorable when arguing in his case but leaves no compromise possible in my case and view priority setting as negative. Two basic ways to respond to this objection one is point out that (as alluded to before) absolution of the minorities values represented isn't realistic in a democratic society, the reason why parties are composed the way they are is because the majority of the people in the party feel that way. Your personal cherry picking example can be shown to help me by knowing the reason why the traditional family is an issue for the RNC. If you feel the traditional family isn't part of your values your welcome to stay independent or allow compromise when voting for your senators, or join the Libertarian party. However simply because all of your values not represented by your party isn't a reason to say "This is most obviously counter-intuitive". The second way to respond is even if political parties do effectively force people to vote a certain way it is non-sequtiur to say that it's counter intuitive to American progress. Refer to Point 4. "Every measure the Republican Party supports will get passed if they hold majority" Ok if this is extreme than any democratic process is extreme. The majority of people will vote for the values that the majority of people in their party represent. My opponent is essentially arguing that democracy is extreme. (Note: Mitt Romney is pretty moderate in my opinion) The people who compose parties are the people who (IN THE LONG RUN) run parties or at least appear to have the same values as the people in the parties or there would be no purpose of uniting in the first place. He doesn't address the resolution specific mention of counterintuitive to progress in a human/civil rights perspective.
4. The fact is if someone is uncomfortable with compromise they join a third party, so my opponent may be right but relatively nothing of importance follows as the way I framed this contention it�€™s if all others fail.
He doesn't address Pathos.
Further attacks:
My opponent seems to think the rational voters are in the minority and that because of this the party system is unjust and that because of this (as I will refer to them)"Rational minority" we must abolish or fundamentally change the party system in the United States. In a democracy the majority of people vote to determine their government and that government tries to go forth and represent these values the party system in any country helps people unite in order to accomplish higher goals therefore naturally the party should represent a majority of peoples values in it. If a two-party system doesn't work in the United States more powerful parties are free to overtake them once in the majority. If the majority doesn't rule than it's not a democracy.

Vote Con
Debate Round No. 2


I thought that my premise should be clear, but I suppose I could make my ideology more clear. I believe that the two party system works against government because a government is supposed to serve the people, and the two party system, the system currently being used in this country, does not do this effectively. The two party system does not do this effectively because the interests of the majority will not be served by that system. The interests of those people will not be served because the candidates for political office will have to align themselves with one of two opposing parties. The parties are opposite, and hence by definition, are extreme. The members of those parties do not agree with everything their friends do, as my opponent has conceded. Any system that forces people to compromise on important issues is not a good system to follow, because such a system will make many many people seriously unhappy. It is impossible to please everyone, but moving to a new way to elect public officials that would allow for a more diverse choice in which policies are ennacted would be a good start.

As for my opponent's argument that saying winner take all politics is synonymous with democracy, it's not. As an example, let's say 60 percent of people vote for the Republican Party, and of those people, 68 percent are pro-life. The Republican Party then takes control of the legislature and pro-life procedures are enacted. How many people are happy? .6 x .68 is just under 41 percent. Even after adding in 5 percent for pro-life Democrats, we are left with 46 percent of people happy about this development. Democracy is majority rules. In this very plausible case, the two party system fails to provide democracy.

And he's right, other parties are free to usurp other parties in elections. Even it is the smart thing to do, it will never happen, though. It is not because the two party system is a well thought out system, or that the Democratic or Republican Parties work well. It is because so many people are unwilling to make such a large change. The majority of people who actually work are Baby Boomers, who remember when America was prosperous. I'd venture to say that such people do not want the government to change much. They want different results, but aren't willing to have their government change.

In short, please vote PR


The problem with my opponents "case" are multiple:
His mathmatical example is flawed.
He doesn't argue the resolution.
His defacto example is flawed.
He doesn't answer objections effectively.
Views compromise as negative thing.

1.His mathmatical example is flawed:
Its not practical to say that every issue every majority will get what they want regardless of the party system. Priority setting is important in any democratic society. Furthermore removing the party system won't change this for example:
Pro life campigners come to house to house and get more pro-life people out to vote yet the majority of people are in actuality pro-choice this leaves my opponent with a diliema even if the party system is removed. It absolutely improbable that only 5 percent of democrats are pro-choice(actual figures about 32% from Gallup). There is no way that a issue could be so heavily slanted that the majority of people would get what they want if it is a priority in the election. For example the majority of people aren't concerned with abortion in this election however if this was a major issue it would favor Republicans but this doesn't certainly doesn't guarantee the victory to one party or the other. When parties debate voters weigh their priorities they decide what they need to compromise on something's. Refer to Part 5.
2.The resolution states:Political Parties are Counterentuitive to the progress of the United States
My opponent argues two party systems as they operate in the United states are ineffective. It is aganist the rules for a poster to change the resolution mid-debate. He needs to revise his case to argue the resolution or concede defeat.
3. Opposite doesn't equal extreme. What the opposite of Dualism? Physicalism. Neither are extreme positions. He again has commited the same fallacy of arguing to moderation. For example(Changing
Environmentalists want us to recycle everything. Capitalists want us to buy everything new. I think we should recycle some things.

The left wing want to help the poor. The right wing want to minimize taxation. We should have means-tested benefits so only the poorest people get help.

Jim wants to go North, Fred wants to go South. So lets go West

X and Y are opposite alternatives. So Z, a middle path, is the best choice.

Avoid extremes. Seek compromise through a moderate, middle way. Take averages. Assume that any polarized view is automatically wrong.
This is fallacious.
4.He doesn't answer objections effectively.
He doesn't argue my refutations therefore accepts them as legitimate problems to his case.
5.A principle is the expression of perfection, and as imperfect beings like us cannot practise perfection, we devise every moment limits of its compromise in practice.
Mahatma Gandhi
Debate Round No. 3


M4sterDeb8er forfeited this round.


Extend refutation
Debate Round No. 4


The resolution is that political parties are counterentuitive to the United States. I have never suggested otherwise. This is supported by my argument that the two party system are ineffective, because an ineffective system can only hurt an institution. Ineffective systems work against government, and hence, unless revised, political parties are counterentutive to the United States.

I will now refute as many claims as I can.

1. My mathematical example is flawed.
Yes, yes it is. I don't see how that's relevant. I did not cite any sources when I gave the example, and my opponent should hence assume that I'm making numbers up. I was. I was giving an EXAMPLE of a POSSIBLE scenario. As my opponent has proved, that particular example is not particularly true, but I hope the people reading this debate understan what I am saying. I'm saying that there are issues that are that slanted: the economy for example. And the two party system IS the political party system at the moment, so if that fails to give voters the results they desire, WE DO NOT HAVE A DEMOCRACY. I hope I make myself clear.

2. Above.

3. I fail to see how I am arguing to moderation. Lenin declared that a middle ground between information and misinformation is not an acceptable compromise. I can completely agree with that. The compromise between purchasing a computer and not purchasing a computer might be buying half a computer. That doesn't make sense either. Having to choose between two political parties: gay rights and stimulus and abortion, and no gay rights, no stimulus, and no abortion is a bit extreme. There are, in fact, people who believe that the first and the last are dead wrong, but the one in the middle is perfect. My opponent claims that having to accept several things you hate is necessary to not argue to moderation. I just can't see where he's coming from. He speaks as if these issues are simply issues with absolutely nothing important about them. Abortion is an important issue. War funding is an important issue. Being forced to accept one or neither would compromise the integrity of many Americans. Apparently, that's okay. I don't see it that way.

4. Whatever.

5. This quote is supposed to be relevant, but I don't see how, nor do I care.

Here are a few relevant ones:

"As citizens of this democracy, you are the rulers and the ruled, the law-givers and the law-abiding, the beginning and the end.
-Adlai E. Stevenson

"Democracy is supposed to give you the feeling of choice, like Painkiller X and Painkiller Y. But they're both just aspirin."
-Gore Vidal

I am done.



AshleysTrueLove forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by M4sterDeb8er 4 years ago
My opponent has forfeited the debate apparently.
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