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

Resolved: In a democratic society, felons ought to retain the right to vote

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/27/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,717 times Debate No: 8000
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (4)




Here's how it works:
Round 1, Part A) Affirmative Constructive
R.1 B) Negative Constructive (No rebuttals)
R.2 A) 1st Affirmative Rebuttal
R.2 B) 1st Negative Rebuttal
R.3 A) Final Aff. Rebuttal
R.3 B) Final Neg. Rebuttal
I follow this modified LD format to conform to the website. Obviously, no new arguments in the 2AR/2NR and all the other rules.

I affirm.
I offer the following definitions to clarify the round:
Felon: a person who has committed an act deemed illegal by that person's government
Democratic Society: Society governed by all citizens using the system of voting
Democratic: the ability to have a say in what action is occurring
Right: an ability or state you can maintain because a government enforces that ability or state
Equality: the quality of being the same in measure, value or status

Observation: The resolution states "felons ought to retain the a democratic society" This does NOT mean any society we currently are residing in or know of today. The resolution does NOT state that United States felons ought to retain the right to vote, nor that any other specific members of specific societies are relevant to this debate.

The value for the round is Human Rights as defined by the UN Declaration of Human Rights. On December 10, 1948, the United Nations released said declaration, setting a standard for all democratic and non-democratic nations everywhere. It has 30 total articles, but for this debate I will focus on the following: "Article 21, Sub Point 3: The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures" To put it simply, all people should have the right to vote in any governmental election. This also has been clearly acknowledged as a human right.

The Criterion is Equality. Democracy is founded upon the principle of equality, since equality shows that all people are of the same value. Democratic acts allow all people to have an EQUAL say in what is occurring. This proves a direct relation to the resolution and therefore is the clear, best choice for today's criterion.

Contention 1: "Felons are still citizens"
Therefore, we cannot rightfully discredit a felon's input on government simply because they have committed a crime. The basic purpose of voting is to gather input from citizens on the issues of their society, and if even one member of that society is a felon, they should still have the right to vote because they are still a citizen, they still are counted in the population and they still experience the results of the election. Furthermore, the commission of a felony does not render a felon incapable of having opinions on other social issues, thus a felon's opinion is still relevant to the society and therefore the felon should retain the right to vote. Because of this, equality is better upheld on the affirmative.

Contention 2: "The Prison system is a punishment system"
All people that are convicted of a felony are given a proper punishment based on the severity of the crime committed. If we were to add a separate and additional punishment to a punishment that they already have served, we are destroying the very system used to judge felons. Adding an addition punishment is destructive of a democratic society because it is neither equal nor democratic, as not all felons have committed the same crime. If we were to negate the resolution, we might as well stick all felons in prison for the rest of their lives because we aren't trusting them to do anything after they have been labeled a felon. Because negating is NOT proportional, equality is better upheld by affirming the resolution.

Contention 3: "Rational Choice Theory"
Rational Choice Theory is the basic process that a person does all the time. It basically shows that citizens only do something that is more beneficial to them than not. In this case, Rational Choice Theory can be applied in the way citizens vote. There is the intense (primary) benefit that each citizen has in an election, (like gay marriage for a homosexual voter or banning abortion for a pro-life voter,) an intrinsic (secondary) benefit, (meaning an issue that the voter has a stance on, but is not high priority) and a voting cost. (Like taking the time to register, standing in line or even filling out the ballot.) Citizens will only vote when the benefits outweigh the costs. The warrants and impacts for this are as follows; affirming allows all voters who have the moral and social standards to suffer the costs of voting in order to cast their vote. Negating however decreases the number of good voters (felon or not) by not retaining their right to vote. Equality is better upheld by the affirmative because all voters are given the ability to cast an equal vote if they choose to. (Meaning any non-voters are creating by choice, not force)


I decided to run a burdens neg since I'll be turning most of the aff in my next speech.
Are we actually doing any sort of timing? If so, what sort of times are we using? Note that I have to give the longest speech next round, since I'll be covering everything in the AC and in the 1AR. I don't think they're particularly necessary, since we're really just answering things now that both of the constructives are up. Just let me know next round.
And sorry for the possible difficulties in reading the case. I don't think this site offers sufficient formatting options. Anyways...

I negate.

Ought must solely pose a moral question (used to express duty or moral obligation)(1) since definitions of desirability denoting benefits are always relative to their societal contexts, a limitation not implicit within the resolution. Additionally any action can have infinitely many ends and affect everything else, which is why the empirical world is inherently unpredictable. Thus only a moral evaluation of ought is a coherent interpretation.

The resolution questions an "ought" statement or a statement concerning moral desirability in the context of rights claims. This assumes the possibility of objectively evaluating such claims. Disproving such an assumption would disprove the statement as a whole, since the claim would be resting on nonfactual premises. The conflict involves an "ought" evaluation as well as "rights claims" within a democratic society. Thus we can clarify the implicit affirmative burden to first prove: That there is an Objective way to Resolve Competing Ought Claims or Moral values. The AC must assess individual virtues and values within a warranted comparative framework beforehand in order to justify retaining the right to vote. Affirming the text of the resolution also entails establishing the claim of voting rights, so her second burden is to Ensure that rights have Inherent Grounding within Individuals, meaning that voting rights must be innate within people to validate the act of retaining that right.
Failure to meet both burdens means you negate automatically because a resolutional assumption was disproved and the statement rendered false. This functions like any other case that challenges the truth-value of the resolution. The burden of proving a statement is simply clarified into specific parts.

Section 1 contends that moral and value claims can never be justified on the comparative framework level.

William Wainwright (2) explains: "Consider the ream of moral values and the realm of aesthetic values... Most of us would think that moral values trump aesthetic values in cases of conflict. [But] It isn't obvious that there is a common scale of value on which moral and aesthetic values can be compared and weighed, however or a more inclusive and ultimate realm of value, which contains both [aesthetic and moral values]." The aesthetics versus the moral metaphysics puts the AC in a double bind, either:
A)The aesthetic value is prioritized, in which case what ought to be reduces to mere individual preference which cannot be weighed against each other.
B)The metaphysical divine command trumps, which reduces ought to an unjustifiable premise.

Alasdair MacIntyre 1 (3) articulates the A subpoint of the double bind:
"The notion of human happiness is not a unitary, simple notion and cannot provide us with a criterion for making our key choices. If someone suggests to us, in the spirit of Bentham and Mill, that we should guide our own choices by the prospects of our own future pleasure or happiness, the appropriate retort is to enquire: ‘But which pleasure, which happiness ought to guide me?' For there are too many kinds of enjoyable activities, too many different modes in which happiness is achieved. The pleasure of drinking is not the pleasure of swimming at the beach and the swimming and drinking are merely only two modes for achieving the same end state. For different pleasures and different happinesses are to a large degree incommensurable: there are no scales of quality or quantity on which to weigh them. Consequently appeal to the criteria of pleasure will not tell me whether to drink or swim and appeal to those of happiness cannot decide for me between the life of a monk and that of a soldier." Since such preferences cannot be weighed as aesthetics derive their values from arbitrary preference, the AC fails the burden of providing an objective framework for assessing value claims regarding what ought to be.
MacIntyre 2 explains the regression of moral justification. "An agent can only justify a particular judgment by referring to some universal rule from which it may be logically derived, and can only justify that rule in turn by deriving it from some more general rule or principle; but on this view since every chain of reasoning must be finite, such a process of justificatory reasoning must always terminate with the assertion of some rule or principle for which no further reason can be given." Appeals to higher moral goods lie in the unjustifiable realm of metaphysics therefore fail the test of objectivity. This functions temporally prior to the AC since his case fallacious presumes a coherent evaluation of the valued good.

Section 2 articulates the lack of inherent grounding of rights claims. American Heritage defines a right as a certain due or a claim one has. To be justly entitled to something requires a sovereign willing of the act since that's how one establishes responsibility for the result. Accordingly, there is no inherent claim to anything as our actions are prescribed without consent.
Charles Taylor (4) writes: "Initially at least such `constitutive' values are given not chosen. The individual is born into a particular family, a particular community, a particular culture, with no power of choice in the matter. The self is formed and develops within the frameworks of understandings and values, allegiances and identifications, which membership of these groups involves. Identity is created in and through such frameworks. The individual cannot reject them without in effect denying its own identity and turning itself against itself. In that sense such frameworks [and] are `inescapable'." Additionally, since voting requires forms of registration, there is no inherent claim to the right. Thus there is no just dessert in the first place meaning the AC fails the assumption of proving a legitimate holding or claim to rights.
Since the affirmative has clearly failed to meet both of his burdens, you negate.

1. ought. Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc.
2. Religion and Morality. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2005. 252 pgs.
3. After Virtue. University of Notre Dame Press. 1981.
4. Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity Cambridge University Press, 1992
Debate Round No. 1


I will address my opponent's arguments as Obs. 1, Obs. 2, I will group both Sections 1 and 2.

His first observation sounds reasonable, since I believe it is just claiming the flaws in empirical evidence. I agree to this and since the only evidence I use in my case is purely analytical, this doesn't apply to me.

The second observation is less clear, I believe it claims that the affirmative has the burden to prove that citizens inherently have the right to vote in this democratic society before they loose it. If this is true, then I accept it. If it falls under the idea of sections one and two, you cross apply the arguments against them to this observation as well.

My opponent accepts my standards and definitions by not constructing his own.

Both sections one and two of my opponent's case state how it is impossible to measure value and criterion on this topic. Here are the reasons you reject this argument:
1) THIS IS LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATE. Value/Criterion debate! To make the argument that you can't possibly measure value and criterion in the debate that is centered around value and criterion is hypocritical at best. My opponent makes a PERFORMANCE CONTRADICTION by debating this topic with this argument. He is basically saying: "I debate that you can't debate"
2) This ISN'T POLICY DEBATE. Okay, this might not be a whole another reason to affirm, but nonetheless, I am reenforcing the biggest point against the NC which is that they are directly breaking the rules of LD debate by making this argument. Try it again in CXD, buddy!
3) My opponent argues that evidence is flawed in his observation, whereas most of his actual contentions are evidence. Hmmmm...
4) None of my opponent's arguments legitimately fall within the acceptable perimeters of LD debate
5) My opponent's attempts to shove burdens on the affirmative only prove further that he cannot legitimately prove reasons to negate. If I were to accept the burdens that the negative throws, it is impossible to affirm the resolution! This is obviously unfair,
6) Fairness is essential toward debate since there is no way to measure the better opponent and thus no way to evaluate the resolutional proposition, also
There has to be some equal standard to decide which interpretation is best for the resolution, this is impossible to achieve with my opponent's arguments

I encourage an affirmative ballot for these reasons and await my opponent's rebuttal.


I will rebuild the negative, and then attack the affirmative case.

Charles tries to say that since he isn't using empirical evidence, my first observation doesn't apply to him, and accepts that the empirical world is inherently unpredictable. However, he ignores the impact I make from this analysis, thereby conceding that the word "Ought" must solely pose a moral question, meaning that we ONLY LOOK TO THE MORAL RAMIFICATIONS of allowing felons to retain the right to vote, NOT to any sort of potential benefits to the empirical world. At this point, all of his arguments about felons contributing some sort of beneficial input to society go away, because he concedes that we can't look to the unpredictable real world.

He then accepts my second burden, saying that he agrees that he has to prove that all people have an inherent right to vote before they lose it. However, he never proves that such an inherent right exists. My entire section two gives a very clear explanation as to how rights claims are not actually inherent, and how voting is even further from being inherent than most rights, since it requires registration.

He then says that I accept his standards and definitions by not constructing my own. I will accept his definitions, but remember that he cannot use them to make any new arguments throughout the round. Since he doesn't explicitly use his definitions anywhere in his case or in his rebuttal, they can be accepted as nothing more than a check against any potential abuse, NOT as a way to refute arguments. And while I didn't construct my own standards, that does not mean that I accept his. Due to the round structure that Charles has set up, I would only have needed to construct standards in my speech if I had run contention level arguments, which I did not do. I can still attack his case, and show why his standards should not be used.

Now, let's move on to the arguments he makes against my sections 1 & 2. He makes 6 points, none of which are actually responsive to my arguments.

1) He says that I argue that you can't measure value and criterion in the round. This is completely false. I make no arguments whatsoever about not being able to use a value or criterion. Burdens may come pre-standard, but do not try to eliminate the criterion from the round.
2) I'm not breaking any LD rules. I'm simply constructing well-warranted burdens that the affirmative needs to meet. This occurs in just about every actual LD round, and is in fact a necessary step in determining a winner.
3) First, I don't actually make contention arguments in the NC, since I just have to show that the affirmative does not meet his burdens in order for you to negate. Second, I don't use any empirical evidence. The authors that I quote are making analytical arguments.
4) He doesn't actually define the parameters of LD debate, and I've already explained how I am within the rules in point 2.
5) The burdens that I set up demonstrate why you can't ever affirm, meaning that you must default neg. He then says that is it impossible to affirm if you accept my burdens, but he accepts them at the beginning of his last speech, so it's clear that he doesn't actually believe this.
6) He doesn't even explain how I'm being unfair, so I can't actually respond to this argument, and you can't vote off of it.

At this point you can extend Section 1, which says that he needs to prove that there is an Objective way to Resolve Competing Ought Claims or Moral values. Since he fails this, you have another reason to negate independent of any affirmative arguments. Section 2 is explained with my second observation, and simply says that people do not have an inherent claim to the right to vote. Again, you can negate right here, since he has to prove that people ought to retain something that they have no inherent claim to. He fails to do this, and thus cannot win the round.
On the affirmative case...
Remember that he can't make any new arguments centered around his definitions.
Second, remember that he accepted my burdens and failed to meet them, so you negate regardless of any affirmative offense still standing at the end of the round.
And finally, remember that HE ACCEPTED my first observation, which says that we only look to a moral evaluation of felons retaining the right to vote, not any of the unpredictable, potential benefits to society.

He values Human Rights, and then goes on to define human rights as "all people having the right to vote in any governmental election".
Do not use this value, because:
1) His definition is clearly abusive, as he is basically valuing the right to vote, which means that I would automatically lose if you accept his definition.
2) If "all people should have the right to vote in any governmental election", then we would have to allow children and non-citizens with potentially harmful intentions to vote.
Thus, his value cannot stand as he defines it, meaning that you can never achieve his value, and therefore, never affirm based on his case.

Then, drop his criterion of "equality" because:
1) It is impossible to achieve total equality, meaning that you need some sort of brightline (which he does not provide) in order to know when you can actually affirm.
2) For everyone to truly have an equal say, it would be necessary to force everyone to vote. This is clearly absurd, and renders his criterion highly impractical.
3) In order to achieve equality, we would have to abolish imprisonment, as this obviously marginalizes felons. This serves as a reason to reject his criterion outright, since it would force us to release thousands, if not millions, of dangerous criminals into society at large.

Since you can no longer use his criterion, NONE OF HIS CONTENTIONS LINK TO ANYTHING, meaning that you cannot possibly vote off of any of them. But I will offer some brief responses anyways.

On C1
1) He claims that the basic purpose of voting is to gather input from citizens, but this can be done by negating, without the potential for felons to directly influence votes in their favor. So this contention is non-unique to the affirmative, as it is not specific to voting, meaning that it does not generate any offense.

On C2
1) Adding an additional "punishment" by restricting the right to vote is completely democratic, as long as it was decided by a vote.
2) It is perfectly EQUAL. It seems like he tries to argue that it is not fair, but this doesn't even link to his already defeated criterion, and is not a voting issue.

On C3
1) Turn: Within Rational Choice Theory, felons will always do whatever benefits them the most. This means that if they can relax criminal law in order make it easier to get away with certain crimes, they will certainly do it. This will simply lead to an increase in crime.

This is an independent reason to negate, even though he already fails to meet the burdens he agrees to.

Thus, you negate.
Debate Round No. 2


Here's what we agree upon so far:
-Empirical Evidence is flawed and can't be looked at
-My definitions, but they cannot be used to make arguments on the offensive, just defending against abuse
-Burdens are set up on either side to make the debate fair. It's a part of frameworking and is 100% acceptable in-round
-We are debating in LD format, which both of us know, since we have been debating in High School tournaments all year

The order is AC, NC.

The negative makes reminders from issues on the Negative Case. I will address these in the NC.

You reject his two attacks against my Value:
1) "His definition is clearly abusive...I would automatically lose if you accept his definition" I thought I clarified this before. Although my value does seem to have flaws in this aspect, I simply provide the UN Dec. of Rights as an example. Human Rights is defined by a world veiw as the general rights every human being deserves to live even the most basic form of life. Life, Liberty and Property are common examples.
2) "...children and non-citizens with potentially harmful intentions to vote." Okay, the only examples presented here are people who aren't citizens. Citizens are the only ones who vote in a society and I clearly expand on this in my first contention! Non-citizens are obviously not citizens and children aren't legally considered citizens until they reach a certain age defined by the society.
Now even further:
1) No matter how abusive my standards may be, you still use them in the round because they are the ONLY ones in-round. My criterion could be "Affirming the Resolution", but you would still have to accept it because it is the only one proposed so far (as the rules of LD dictate). If you don't believe me, look at the top of my speech where I show that we both agreed to do LD format, and this is exactly as the rules dictate.
2) My value can be broadened by my opponent if he wishes, the standards are supposed to be achievable by both sides, as long as he doesn't take them out of context or perimeters.

You reject the attacks on the Criterion:
1) True, total equality is impossible to be acheived, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to aproach it, which is exactly what this criterion does.
2) Just because not everyone is going to vote (since we are NOT going to force them to vote) doesn't mean that voting isn't equal. Miranda rights are given to all criminals, but they may be waived at will. That doesn't mean that those rights are unfair.
3) I address this in contention 2, prison works, at least to a point. Nonetheless, not being able to excersice your right to vote can be a punishment on either side as it doesn't require negation. We don't have to realease criminals from prisons in order to vote, but even if we did it wouldn't be permanent, they would head right back in after casting their ballot, or better yet the ballots would most likely be brought to them.
Even after this you can cross-apply my argument that shows how you have to accept these standards because they are the only ones available.

Go to Contention 1.
He claims that we can still gather input from citizens by negating. He COMPLETELY sidesteps my impact and the actual claim in this contention, which is that felons are still citizens and they deserve the right to vote because:
A) the society is democratic and therefore should accept ALL citizens' opinions
B) a felon still has an opinion in society and would still feel the effects of law after elections he had no say in (much like taxation without representation)
C) he, being a contributing member of society, still has opinions in society and therefore his opinon is as relevant as a non-felon's
Even if you didn't buy that, you reject this attack against the C.1 because felons' voting is NOT uniquely biased. Letting a felon vote on a law relating to prison is acceptable, just like having a small buisness owner vote on a law that directly makes it easier (or harder for that matter) to own a buisness. All citizens are going to vote in their best interest (see contention three) and a felon is not exempt from this. And even then, it is unlikely for a law that reduces prison time for felons (or anything that would benifit a felon) to even come to a votable standpoint. And EVEN THEN, if it was there on election day, it is unlikely for all the members of society to pass it because most members of society are NOT felons!

Go to Contention 2.
His first attack claims: "Adding an additional "punishment" by restricting the right to vote is completely democratic, as long as it was decided by a vote." Okay, so:
1) The resolution isn't something that we should have citizens vote on, it is here for us to debate about. (Like bills in congress are voted on by representatives because having everyone vote on every bill is tedious.)
2) Even then, the status quo is that felons don't have the right to vote. This relates to the argument(s) I made above: "a felon still has an opinion in society and would still feel the effects of law after elections he had no say in (much like taxation without representation)" So if people voted on weather or not felons should vote, and lets say they vote negative, they are recieving non-democratic law abuse. Taxation without representation, so to speak.
His second attack claims that it is an equal punishment and therefore impacts to the criterion. This is false because:
1) It is because the punishment is universal (aka equal) that it is not equal. Putting a murderer to death for his crime is (arguably but nonetheless) fair, but doing the same to a teenager who stole a loaf of bread is neither fair nor EQUAL. You can't make any person convicted of any crime have the same major punishment.

Go to Contention 3.
He attemps to turn the C.3 by stating that all felons will "always do whatever benefits them the most. This means that if they can relax criminal law in order make it easier to get away with certain crimes, they will certainly do it. This will simply lead to an increase in crime." This turn is false for 2 reasons:
1) I address this explicitly (go to contention 1 defence)
2) He misses the actual claim in the contention three. I'm just saying that weather you affirm or negate, "bad voters" are going to be present. Therefore affirming makes more good voters, even if it's just one. (or two or three or a million)


Let's look again at what we've agreed upon: "Burdens are frameworking to make the debate fair" Do not listen to the words that he puts in my mouth, I do NOT agree to his burdens since, as I stated before, if I accepted them I would clearly loose the debate since, as HE SAID, the burdens are to prove that you cannot Affirm! ARGUMENTS are the things you are supposed to make to show that you can or can't affirm or negate!

I am out of space. I implore you to read my speeches and see that he has not addressed my attacks. Read my comment.
Thank you.


You are able to negate at this point in the round.
Remember that burdens always come pre-standards in LD rounds. Even if Charles had a perfect criterion, and ten great contentions linking to, you still negate if he fails to meet either of the burdens. So, let's look to the affirmative burdens in the round.
If you reexamine the beginning of the second pro post, he clearly accepts both of my burdens. In his most recent post he tries to say that I am putting words in his mouth, but just go back and read the beginning of his second message. He says "I agree" in regards to my first burden, which explains that since we can't ever predict the outcomes of our action, we have to address the resolution from a moral perspective. Since he completely fails to do this, you have to negate. But then, on top of this he says that he "accepts" my second burden. This explicitly says that he needs to prove that all people have an inherent right to vote. He obviously fails this burden, as he doesn't even address the arguments that explain that voting is not a right, because people are unable to escape the identity they are born into, meaning that there is no sovereign willing of the act. Additionally, the fact that people must register to vote demonstrates that they have no inherent claim to the right to vote. He also fail to address this burden, meaning that, again, you must negate.
Remember that burdens come before the value/criterion and contentions. Since he very clearly fails to meet the burdens that he EXPLICITLY agrees to, it is impossible for Charles to win the round, regardless of how strong his contentions are. The only reason I provided ANY arguments against his case was as insurance, in case he did fulfill both of the burdens that were set up. At this point in the round, I don't even need to talk about his case to win.

But let's go to the negative case anyways.
On the value:
1) He says that his old definition was actually meaningless, and redefines human rights as "life, liberty and property", and implies that there are other vague areas that might exist, but doesn't talk about these. This redefining only strengthens my point about how bad of a value this is, because if we wanted to give felons the rights to "life, liberty and property", we would need to release all felons from prison, since all three of the listed rights are violated by the prison system. Clearly, upholding his value would be detrimental, as it the release of prisoners would allow for a huge increase in the recidivism rate. Additionally, the elimination of the primary form of punishment would remove the biggest deterrent of crime, thus leading to an increase in crime rates. Since his value would be harmful within the context of the resolution, you must reject it. Thus, none of his offense links to anything, so it is impossible to affirm, even if you ignore the agreed upon burdens.
2) He claims that only citizens would have the right to vote, but his original definition says: "To put it simply, all people should have the right to vote in any governmental election". Even if you allow him to narrow this down at this point in the round, the point about children voting still stands, as children are considered to be citizens from birth. Though minors may not be allowed to vote, the precedent is that they are indeed citizens. Obviously, upholding his value would force us to allow children to vote, even though they are frequently irrational, and lack the understanding necessary to make an educated vote.
It is also possible to build off of his 2nd response, where seems to agree that children should not be able to vote. The logical justification for this is that children have proven themselves to be irrational and incapable of making good decisions. We can apply this same line of logic that he agrees to in order to justify disenfranchisment; felons have shown themselves to be incapable of making good decisions by committing a felony. Allowing felons to vote would thus justify granting children the right to vote, since rationality is obviously not being considered.

Then, he tries to say that no matter how bad his standards are, you still have to use them. But:
1) If a value or criterion is extremely bad, you shouldn't use it just because it is the only standard available in the round. This is just nonsensical, as it means that the entire advocacy is flawed. Just because we are using LD format, does not mean that you ignore the flaws in his advocacy. But then,
2) If you do decide to use bad standards, then his entire case is just showing how you end up achieving something harmful if any of the shaky links actually stand up to the criticism.

Then, onto the criterion:
1) By saying that we are trying to approach total equality, he bites directly into the harms of my second and third arguments.
2) He makes some argument about how the rights are still equal, but he doesn't actually respond to my argument. I tell you that if we are going to ensure that everyone's opinion is held to be equal, then we have to force everyone to vote. Otherwise, some people's opinions would not count at all, thereby making them unequal.
3) Again, he believes that I am saying we would need to abolish imprisonment so that everyone could vote. The actual argument is that if we want to achieve total equality, we cannot keep felons in prison, AT ALL. Keeping people in prison obviously prevents any sort of equality. If he believes that punishment is a justified response, then it is equally justifiable to restrict felons' voting rights.

Then, group C1 with C3, since he does this in his last speech.
His basic argument is that felons still have opinions, and should be able to contribute these opinions to society, because that will be beneficial.

First look to the non-uniqueness argument. I tell you that felons are still able to contribute their opinions to society without voting. Thus, the same end is achieved when you negate. In fact, it could be argued that actual communication opinions is more influential than voting, further reducing the significance of this argument. But then you can still use my Turn on C3, which explains that felons will ultimately vote in a manner that will benefit them, which may include relaxing criminal laws. He responds by basically saying that felons' votes won't matter enough to pass any such laws, but if this is the case then we should not waste resources changing the status quo, since there will be no significant impact.

Then look to C2. You can recall that he claims felons will not be able to effect any significant changes. This clearly shows that disenfranchisement is not a "major punishment" and that it can be added on to prison sentences without violating proportionality.

So, clearly you must negate. None of his contentions stand up particularly well and they don't link to a legitimate standard. And, most importantly, HE FAILS TO MEET THE BURDENS THAT HE EXPLICITLY AGREES TO.

This me
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Charlie_Danger 8 years ago
Thanks for the RFD Nails, but please post RFD's for all other points other than Arguments.
Posted by Nails 8 years ago
I voted for CON

Even if you grant that PRO wins the V/C and all contentions, CONs arguments were clearly prestandards. That whole bit about it being 'LD rules' to debate on V/C doesn't change the fact that CIN can still win if he proves the standards don't meet the burden.

On the burden, I think CON wins strictly on the 'inherent right to vote' argument. PRO accepted the burden (and it does seem realistic) then fails to ever prove why his case proves that the right to vote is inherent. I reread PROs case and rebuttals and I never saw any clear argument of why the right to vote is inherent, so I voted CON because PRO didn't meet his standards, regardless of whether he could win the V/C and contentions or not.
Posted by Jordan_DVLD 8 years ago
The end of my last message apparently got cut off, but it was just saying that you must negate.
Posted by Charlie_Danger 8 years ago
I'll do something for the Negative that he didn't do for me: Show him how he can still win. (Since I want the debate to be as fair as possible)
All he needs to do to win is:
-Impact to the standards
-Prove ALL THREE contentions false

Hard, but still possible (unlike the proposed affirmative burdens)
I recommend going the second route since you can't really do the first without making new arguments.

Thanks for the debate, Jordan.
Posted by Charlie_Danger 8 years ago
My arguments fit that I think
Posted by Jordan_DVLD 8 years ago
Oops, sorry. The first observation is just saying that empirical analysis is inherently unpredictable, and so we need to evaluate the resolution from a moral perspective. The second observation basically says that you need to refute both sections of my case, or you fail to meet your burdens, thereby losing the round. And those sections are explained below.
Posted by Jordan_DVLD 8 years ago
The first section is explaining that there is no objective way to evaluate to evaluate what ought to be, meaning that you can't say that felons ought to retain the right to vote. Section two says that you have to show that they have an INHERENT right to vote, and then argues that people do not have an inherent right to vote. It essentially says that to be justly entitled to something requires that people freely will the act, thereby establishing responsibility for the result. This is impossible because, as Taylor explains, people's identities are inescapable, and not established based on their consent. The second point of the argument explains that since people must register to vote, it is not an inherent right.
Posted by Charlie_Danger 8 years ago
Lol, that sucks, I gotta deal with a Xi Lin case. :(

Anyway, I have a quick couple of CX questions:
Your first observation is just stating that empirical evidence in inherently flawed in the context of this resolution, right?
You second states just that I have to show that all citizens in a democratic society have the right to vote before loosing it, correct?
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
Happy debate 8000!
Posted by Jordan_DVLD 8 years ago
I'll accept this and upload an NC tomorrow. I'm too ashamed of my old neg to post it, and I'm not going to write a new one tonight. But I'm getting all of Xi's cases tomorrow, so I'll pick one of those, if you don't mind.
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