The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
7 Points

Political campaign funding should be limited to public funding

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 10/5/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 974 times Debate No: 62675
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)




I will be arguing that when people run for public office they should be allocated a limited amount of money to run their campaign.


I will use the first round only for acceptance:

I accept your challenge.

Political funding should not be limited to public funding.
Debate Round No. 1


Political campaigns funded by corporate and often anonymous private donations has created an environment where people with the largest funding are the only ones who are able to have their voices heard during an election. In many cases, these donations are made with strings attached so that if elected, the public official will rally for policies that benefit companies or certain private citizens rather than those in the politicians jurisdictions.

If we were able to move to a publicly funded campaign system the focus could be set on issues at hand and also open the floor for other people to run for office with varying opinions.

If candidates were all given the same amount of campaign financing it would put everyone on an even playing field. Often times, democrat and republican candidates are the only ones who are able to procure enough financing to be able to run for office. There are several other political parties whose stances are overlooked just because of a lack of corporate or private donations.


I disagree. You are forgetting one crucial fact.

Buckley v. Valeo (1976)
The Supreme Court ruled that "The First Amendment affords the broadest protection to such political expression in order 'to assure (the) unfettered interchange of ideas for the bringing about of political and social changes desired by the people."

So to prohibit private funding and move to public funding of elections, it would be a violation of the First amendment rights to free expression, because campaign contributions are a type of expression.

I understand your argument regarding third parties but, (not meaning to seem harsh), that's just the way history has rolled the dice. We can't change the domination of the two party system. But I reiterate, if we were to move to public funding, it would be a violation of the 1st amendment.
Debate Round No. 2


While the First Amendment does allow people to spend their money in the manner that they choose, allowing corporations to make major political donations opens the doors to legal, political bribery. When a politician's campaign is financed by corporate donations, politicians are likely to be influenced more by corporate agendas than of the agenda of the people that the representatives are supposed to be fighting for when elected. Many people believe that the dominance of politics by the affluent and corporations has helped lead to the income inequality that plagues the U.S. today.

If we were to remove large private donations, citizens could find other ways to express their political views such as volunteering to aid the campaign.

The argument about third parties, I personally believe is part of the reason that politics today has become somewhat stagnant. If we always did things "the way history has rolled the dice" several horrible things from the past would still be considered the norm today. Several supreme court rulings have been overturned because the political or social environment changes over the years.

I do not believe that moving to publicly funded campaigns would stifle anyone's First amendment rights. In most elections it is either the far right or the far left that are the only options. While many people might be on the poles of political views there are, I believe the majority, that fall somewhere in between. Opening the floor to more than two parties would allow more views to be expressed and would give people more options.


Yes, but moving to public funding would bar private funding, which IS in violation of the 1st amendment. You acknowledged my argument then stated the opposite of it again when you stated: "If we were to remove large PRIVATE donations....". Again, it's a violation of the 1st amendment. Now legally corporations and unions BOTH can donate through organizations called SuperPACs. As organizations, which we treat like people, they can donate to candidates they support. I see nothing wrong with that.
Debate Round No. 3
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2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by browley14 2 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: I don't think that it should go to a completely public system, however I do believe that businesses should not be able to give, it should all be from individuals.
Vote Placed by Hanspete 2 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Pro made more convincing arguments while including actual instances where the supreme court was in favor of the position he is advocating.