The Instigator
wheatley
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Dan4reason
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points

Repeal The 17th Amendment

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Dan4reason
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/9/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,536 times Debate No: 48714
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

wheatley

Con

Rules:
No personal attacks for example "You're a f***tard

First round is acceptance!
(please know what the 17th amendment is)
Dan4reason

Pro

I will accept this debate. I look forward to hearing my opponent's arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
wheatley

Con

okay then let's begin.
Federalism is an important word we be using this debate.
"A proper respect for state functions, a recognition of the fact that the entire country is made up of a Union of separate State governments, & a continuance of the belief that the National Government will fare best if the States & their institutions are left free to perform their separate functions in their separate ways."
now that that is done we can look at the arguments

my first argument is Corruption and deadlock.
Senate.gov.
"Intimidation & bribery marked some of the states' selection of senators. Nine bribery cases were brought before the Senate between 1866 & 1906. In addition, forty-five deadlocks occurred in twenty states between 1891 & 1905, resulting in numerous delays in seating senators. In 1899, problems in electing a senator in Delaware were so acute that the state legislature did not send a senator to Washington for four years"
if the state legislatures are in deadlock then the states get no representation in congress, also if senators are getting in office by bribery how is that going to increase Federalism? well it's just not.

my second argument is Returning To Faulty System.

"These were not minor problems. When a politician votes to reduce his own power, you know things are bad. But that"s what state lawmakers did. First, they begged Congress to propose a direct-election amendment, then they established de facto direct election systems in some states, & finally they began an application campaign for an Article V amendments convention."

we would be returning to a system that the state legislatures themselves voted out, they knew things were bad and wanted to change them so that's what they did, and we would be returning To this faulty system.

and my last argument is Limits Voter's voice

right now the people vote in the senators if the 17th amendment was repealed then the state legislatures would be the ones to choose the senators this would limit voter's voice not something we want to do.

so if you want more Federalism then the status quo is the best place to be.

dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Federalism
http://tenthamendmentcenter.com...
http://www.senate.gov...
Dan4reason

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for his thoughtful argument. However, these are arguments for the status quo. It seems to be a knee-jerk reaction that democratic processes are always better than non-democratic ones. However that is not what the founding fathers thought. They found that democracy has its pros and cons so therefore we should only be partially democratic.

They selected the House of Representatives to be the ones elected by people in each district and the Senate to be selected by State legislatures. There are some benefits for this Senator selection.

Legislatures are Smarter than People

That is the whole point of a Legislature. To represent the people and hopefully be more informed about the issues than the people are. It follows then that state legislatures would on average make better choices of senators than the people will. The purpose of the senate is more geared to contain people who are better at governing and less about representing the will of the people.

Senate would Respect State Rights more

Over time, state rights have slowly declined. One benefit of senators being selected by state legislators is that they will be more likely to defend the rights of the people who selected them, the states.

Benefits of State Power

So why do we even care about state power? When more responsibility is in the hands of the states, people in different states are better able to make policies they want independently. If some states want Obamacare and high taxes for the rich, they can do whatever they want. If others want no gun control and flat taxes, they are allowed to do that. State rights allow more people to be happy.

Now I don't believe that they should have complete independence, but they definitely should have more power than they already have.

Problems with Democratic Election

There are many problems with democratic election. First off, people tend to be highly uninformed about even the basic political processes. For example, 45% of Americans in 2012 either thought the Supreme Court had struck down Obamacare or didn't know what happened (1). How can we expect people this ignorant to make informed choices? Surely a state legislature would be more informed.

Because of an uninformed population, politicians with name recognition most likely get reelected. Money matters and people pay so much attention to cheap 60 seconds political ads and mailing. Those with the good looks and rhetorical ability often beat others with real experience. Just see the Clinton vs. Obama election.

In order to keep their districts, politicians will fight for pet project for their districts and take ignorant positions just to keep from getting unelected.

Problems with Old System

Sure, election by legislatures had problems but instead of replacing it with a worse system, why not reform the system instead? If there is deadlock, then require simple majorities. While there is corruption and bribery in the old system, these things still very much exist today. This is similar to the parliamentary system where the executive is elected by the legislature. This system is common among Western European governments.

In conclusion, selection by state legislature helps select senators who are better and more likely to protect state rights.

1: https://thepoliticalcarnival.net...
Debate Round No. 2
wheatley

Con

I'm for the status quo...........con on Repeal The 17th Amendment

my opponent is right on one thing that House of Representatives to be the ones elected by people in each district, but the people of the state (all of the people in the state not just the districts) should have the choice of who represents them

my opponent's first argument is Legislatures are Smarter than People
Now it this argument I will show why that is not true.

the whole point of a Legislature is To represent the people the problem is they're not they represent themselves not THE PEOPLE, the job of the senate is to represent the state so the way we vote doesn't matter what matter is if the the right person gets in, but before the 17th amendment there was Intimidation & bribery this show that all though it should have worked it didn't.
my opponent's second argument Senate would Respect State Rights more is not true but don't take my word on it.
Prof. Ilya Somin 2011. (Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law. M.A. in Political Science from Harvard University, & J.D. from Yale Law School. Research expertise includes constitutional law.) "Why Repealing the 17th Amendment Won"t Curb Federal Power" Sep. 2011. Pg. 91
"Even if a constitutional amendment could effectively eliminate popular election of senators & replace it with selection by state legislatures, it is far from clear that federal power would contract. The claim that senators chosen by state legislatures would act to curb the feds relies on the assumption that state governments oppose federal power. Whatever was the case before 1913, under modern conditions senators chosen by state legislatures often have strong incentives to support expanded federal power. Those incentives arise precisely because senators" reelection depends on "pleasing state legislators." The state legislators in question are often heavily dependent on federal subsidies & regulations. They are unlikely to do anything to overturn the federal trough at which they themselves regularly feed."

my opponent's third argument look at my last argument
it would happen MORE not less.

Sean Gailmar (Assistant Professor, Charles & Louise Travers Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley) and Jeffery A Jenkins (Ph.D. in political science Associate Professor, Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville), 2009; "Agency Problems, the 17th Amendment, & Representation in the Senate" http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu... [ESD]
"The 17th Amendment made the terms of the agency relationship quite different. Instead of indirect agency, the principal-agent relationship between voters & U.S. Senators was obviously more direct. Voters no longer had to rely on an imperfectly controlled intermediary to hold a further downstream agent to account for them. Instead, they themselves could select new U.S. Senators & try to induce desired behaviors from sitting senators with any given ideology, based on their own preferences. To the extent that voters were informed about the preferences of new Senate candidates or the behavior of sitting senators, they could hold them accountable just as well as state legislatures could"& hold them to a better standard (from their own point of view, & from a normative democratic point of view)."

my opponent's forth argument Problems with Democratic Election, maybe but the state Legislatures are worse not better it is very easy to get a small group of people (state Legislatures) on your side, but it takes a lot more to get a large group of people (the voters) on your side.

Sean Gailmar (Assistant Professor, Charles & Louise Travers Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley) and Jeffery A Jenkins (Ph.D. in political science Associate Professor, Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville), 2009; "Agency Problems, the 17th Amendment, & Representation in the Senate"
"The 17th Amendment made the terms of the agency relationship quite different. Instead of indirect agency, the principal-agent relationship between voters & U.S. Senators was obviously more direct. Voters no longer had to rely on an imperfectly controlled intermediary to hold a further downstream agent to account for them. Instead, they themselves could select new U.S. Senators & try to induce desired behaviors from sitting senators with any given ideology, based on their own preferences. To the extent that voters were informed about the preferences of new Senate candidates or the behavior of sitting senators, they could hold them accountable just as well as state legislatures could"& hold them to a better standard (from their own point of view, & from a normative democratic point of view)."

okay now for my opponent's last argument Problems with Old System
I going to restate some evidence on this,

Rob Natelson, who spent 25 years as a Professor of Law at the University of Montana & is a constitutional scholar whose works have been published or cited by many top law journals, said on August 26, 2013

"These were not minor problems. When a politician votes to reduce his own power, you know things are bad. But that"s what state lawmakers did. First, they begged Congress to propose a direct-election amendment, then they established de facto direct election systems in some states, & finally they began an application campaign for an Article V amendments convention."
THESE WERE NOT MINOR PROBLEMS, yes there still is corruption but it was much worse without the 17th amendment.

so in conclusion yes there were problems and they needed to be fixed and that's what the 17th amendment did so we should keep it not Repeal it.

"Agency Problems, the 17th Amendment, & Representation in the Senate" http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu...
http://www.fed-soc.org...
http://tenthamendmentcenter.com...
Dan4reason

Pro

Legislatures Represent Themselves not the People?

To a certain extent, that is what they are supposed to do. For example, if half your people believe that Obamacare will bring in death panels, I highly recommend that you represent your own opinions on this one. In the last round, I showed that the people are extremely uninformed about politics and it is vital that legislatures take their own informed opinions into account when making law.

Popularly elected Legislatures do partially represent the people. For example in 2010, when people were angry at Obama, tea party candidates were elected who have fought for tax cuts and spending cuts. Some may argue that they represent their constituents a little too well.

Corruption in the Senate

I agree there was a lot of corruption back them. However that was a very different time and bribery was very common everywhere. Today, we live in a very different nation and world. Parliamentary governments have their prime ministers selected from their legislatures and this is similar to how Senators were selected from state legislatures. So why don't we see this widespread corruption in those governments?

Senate and State Power

My opponent argues that Senators elected from State Legislatures would not respect state power more. It is argued that states don't actually oppose increased federal power. In some cases that might be true, but in others that is not true. Many states opposed the fact that Obamacare could force states in increase their Medicare enrollment. When this was brought to the Supreme Court, that part of Obamacare was struck down, and now only some states have expanded medicare (2). Our history is littered with conflicts between the states and the federal government over federal power. That was part of the reason we fought the Civil War.

Since Senators are elected from state legislators, there is more encouragement for them to respect state power because they could be voted out if they don't. This follows logically. This is part of the checks and balances of the government. Different parts of the governments are often accountable to others. The Executive appoints Supreme Court Justices, State Legislatures appoint Senators.

Less Direct Representation of People

My opponent argued that the senate less directly represented the people because they were selected from State Legislatures. However, this is an advantage because as stated before, state legislature members are a lot more informed than the people they represent. For example, a group of random college freshmen took a basic civics exam. Their average grade was 50.4%. That is grade F. 60% of American youth don't even know that the republican part is more conservative than the democrats (1).

We need at least one house that is selected by a groups that is somewhat politically knowledgeable. These groups are state legislatures. I know my state representative and she is very intelligent. She would make a better choice than the average voter. We need Senators who are selected by knowledgeable people, and can respect state power. This is what the amendment took away.

1: http://www.cbsnews.com...
2: http://www.csmonitor.com...
Debate Round No. 3
wheatley

Con

wheatley forfeited this round.
Dan4reason

Pro

My opponent forfeited. Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by wheatley 3 years ago
wheatley
so what you are saying is that the government should vote for the government?
Posted by Tigerglide 3 years ago
Tigerglide
I support repealing the 17th Amendment due to the fact that it holds Senators accointable to another Legislative body. Senators have become entirely too powerful within the current government structure. Because their are only two per State, they essentially represent 50% of their home States populace...in other words...millions of people. That is not representative government on an effective scale.

However, fewer people actually pay attention to their home State's politics than do the politics at the Federal level. Without knowing the agenda of one's State governmemt, they will never know the agenda of a State appointed Senator.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Actionsspeak 3 years ago
Actionsspeak
wheatleyDan4reasonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Dakota-Hiltzman 3 years ago
Dakota-Hiltzman
wheatleyDan4reasonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit