The Instigator
BlackMask
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
MTGandP
Pro (for)
Winning
25 Points

Resolved: Public health concerns warrant government violation of pharmaceutical patents.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/24/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,179 times Debate No: 8760
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (11)
Votes (5)

 

BlackMask

Con

In this debate I'm taking the side of con for the following topic. Anyone willing to accept this topic will first need to present an affirmative case in any way they see fit.(Any style or any format is fine) So, I hope we have a smooth debate and best of luck to whoever accepts!
MTGandP

Pro

I affirm the resolution: Public health concerns warrant government violation of pharmaceutical patents.

DEFINITIONS

Public health: The approach to medicine that is concerned with the health of the community as a whole. [1]

Concern: A troubling, potentially harmful situation.

Pharmaceutical: Of or relating to pharmacy or medication.

Patent: A document granting an inventor sole rights to an invention [2]

========
Contention 1: Patent violation in the case of public health concern is consistent with the spirit of patents.

What was the original purpose of the patent? A report written shortly before the 1844 French Patent Law read:

"Every useful discovery is, in to Kant's words 'the presentation of a service rendered to Society'. It is, therefore, just that he who has rendered this service should be compensated by Society that received it. This is an equitable result, a veritable contract or exchange that operates between the authors of a new discovery and Society. The former supply the noble products of their intelligence and Society grants to them in return the advantages of an exclusive exploitation of their discovery for a limited period." [3]

In essence, the purpose of the patent is to protect the inventor. With a patent, others cannot profit off of one's own invention without permission from the inventor. This protects the inventor.

But a government violation due to a public health concern does not jeopardize the inventor's ownership rights. No one is profiting off of the use of the patented material, so the inventor remains safe.

========
Contention 2: Human rights take precedence over property rights.

This contention is straightforward. When the life or health of a person is in danger, it overrides an inventor's property rights. Life is undeniably more important than property.

========
Contention 3: "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." -Spock

When a single person or a few people own a patent, this is of course significant. But when a public health concern threatens the populus, it is necessary to put aside the needs of the few in order to help the many.

It is the government's responsibility to help as many people as possible, even if sacrifices must be made. For example, during wartime, the government will sometimes institute a draft. A draft is harmful to those who are drafted, but in the end it is worth it when the entire country is made safer by the efforts of the draftees. A temporary violation of a patent is nowhere near as severe as a military draft, so it is easy to see that the proper choice is to violate the patent to save the nation.

***

I thank my opponent for this interesting debate.

[1] http://www.medterms.com...
[2] http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...
[3] http://www.ladas.com...
Debate Round No. 1
BlackMask

Con

First off, I'd like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate. I also agree with my opponent's definitions that he provided. As a brief road map before i begin; I'm going to first state my contentions, followed by a rebuttal of my opponents arguments, and finally a brief summary.
I'd like to add one definition however,

violation- an infringement of the rules in sports that is less serious than a foul and usually involves technicalities of play b: an act of irreverence or desecration. (Merriam-Websters 2009)

I, Black Mask negate the following resolution Resolved: Public health concerns warrant government violation of pharmaceutical patents for the following reasons....
_________________________________________________

Contention 1: Government violation of an individuals intellectual rights increases the violation of future rights
"Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law"-Sophocles

Through the ages history has told us that anyone who violates a law within a society will eventually be punished by the system of government. However, what happens when the government is the one violating the law? Is it still a free functioning society? Or is it a society run by fear? In that instance the society is no longer just; but totalitarian. In Plato's book "Republic," he vividly painted the picture of a society without any laws as a state of anarchy. With the current resolution the government violation of patent laws is just the beginning.

Think of this analogy first the government is robbing the people of their intellectual rights. What's next? their natural rights? their property rights? With the violation of such pharmaceutical patent laws it sets the standard for the people that laws are made only to be broken. Which as we all know is not the solution to uniting any country.

Contention 2: Even in times of health concern there's been no need for a VIOLATION of patent laws simply a change.
"CHANGE, WE CAN BELIEVE IN"- Barack Obama

According to the NPRC(national pharmaceutical regulatory committee) during times of medical crisis up to current 2009 pharmaceutical corporations have been in full compliance and government violation has never been really called for. However, if in any time of crisis any country needs to call upon a pharmaceutical company which is monopolizing the market they don't have to VIOLATE the patent laws at all. If you refer back to my first contention reflection of government actions puts don't the validity of social laws in any society. So the alternative towards helping society without Violating a law is simply changing it. This is the alternative that i suggest rather than promote a society that has committed social suicide by the disregard of laws.

Contention 3: The whole point of laws in an equal society is so that everyone follows them.

Straightforward, by the caption. refer to past contentions for alternative and purpose.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
On to my opponent's points.

1."Patent violation in the case of public health concern is consistent with the spirit of patents."
Apart from using a useless quote by Kant who didn't even know what the hell a patent was and what a pharmaceutical patent was for that matter my opps. statement is completely false.

The definition of the spirit of patents is SO THAT THEY DON'T GET VIOLATED IN THE FIRST PLACE. SO THAT THEIR RIGHTS ARE PROTECTED. by your definition at the end it looks like that you agree.

Next you say that government violation doesn't jeopardize a patent rights? Hmmm.. well if it didn't then what would be the need for government intervention in the first place? seems as if that should be a contention for me... and second it GREATLY jeopardizes the inventors rights because the government is the one profiting off of the patented material. and heck studies in the 2007 yearly study report from the economist shows that pharmaceutical companies are primarily cutthroat which means that even in times of public health concern the federal government may distribute the material the patented material to other companies to maximize product output. Those other companies always will want to steal the material. SO IT GREATLY PUTS IN JEOPARDY THE INVENTOR'S rights.

2.Human rights take precedence over property rights/When the life or health of a person is in danger, it overrides a person's property rights. Life is undeniably more important than property.

ok based on what you just said right now let me put this into an understandable scenario.

My neighbor is dying so the government get's to take away my house (because it's my property) and sell it to pay for his operation. Even though I didn't do anything at all. The government just took away my right because he was dying.

This contention is completely void and vague and does not suggest a prominent solution whatsoever.
{An Individual's rights cannot be taken away from them if someone's life is in danger. It's the government's duty to protect it's citizens at a all costs.)

3. "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." -Spock

Now apart from using a quote from a totally fictional character i just found out the dark truth about Spock. He was a raving racist as well as an insane Supremacist.

you see let me break this quote down into a fellow scenario.DISCLAIMER(I AM NOT A RACIST OR CRAZY IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM)

there's a community of a MAJORITY of white people with a few blacks thrown in. the white's need is to lynch,rape, and kill all the black people. the needs of the black people are to survive. the whites are the many so they outweigh the needs of the few and get to kill everyone in the town.

In short that's basically what your saying. Me, personally...i totally disagree with you.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

So all in all here's how this went...

My main point is that violations of laws by the lawmakers themselves is unwise, unconstitutional, and unfair. With government constantly setting the example of the people and having them break laws the influence would rip society apart. Kind of like if i grew up watching my mother lie, cheat, swear, steal, and murder i'd probably be in jail at the age of 12. Same with society, if the government can't RESPECT the individual rights of the people as well as the rights of a community as a whole then society is doomed.---
"Those who can't remember the past are doomed to repeat it"-George Santayana--i stand firm on this issue.

Laws aren't meant to be broken. They're meant to be followed. if they weren't meant to be followed then they're not laws at all. Heck they're not even standards.

My answer to if we really need to access pharmaceutical patents in times of public health concern is to not VIOLATE a law at all but to just change the law or policy. So that the people see that the government is taking truth over violation.

My opponents contentions are all false. My opponents quotes are humoring and my opponent's overall structure reminds me of a 1,000 pound canary who has a beautiful voice but who can't simply get off the ground. Apart from my opponent's first point partially going in my favor. My opponent really has no true points due to the fact that both are false and non-specific.

BASED ON THIS SUMMARY I CHOOSE THE COMPLIANCE OF LAWS FOR THE SURVIVAL OF SOCIETY. WHILE MY OPPONENT CHOOSES TO VIOLATE AND DISREGARD WHICH CAN ONLY LEAD TO CHAOS AND DISARRAY.

THROUGH THIS ROUND I DON'T THINK IT'S THAT HARD TO SEE WHO'S RIGHT....

I want thank my opponent once again and I want to thank anyone taking the time to read and vote for this debate.

Thank You.
MTGandP

Pro

Public health concerns warrant government violation of pharmaceutical patents.

I will begin by rebutting my opponent's contentions, and will then defend my own.

"violation- an infringement of the rules in sports that is less serious than a foul and usually involves technicalities of play"
This definition is perhaps acceptable, but it refers to sports. It has not been adequately applied to the context of this debate. My opponent's definition b is not applicable, either. I don't think it matters too much, since both debaters seem to understand what "violation" means. But I will offer my own definition just to be as clear as possible.

Violation: A disobeying of a rule or law, in this case patent law. In this case, a violation of patent law constitutes manufacturing a drug or pharmaceutical good without permission from the holder of the patent.

"Contention 1: Government violation of an individuals intellectual rights increases the violation of future rights".
This is an unwarranted extrapolation. The government violates intellectual rights only temporarily, and only for the good of the nation. My opponent's speculation about totalitarian governments is unwarranted, as there is no reason to believe that government will violate any rights other than a specific type of intellectual rights for only a temporary period.

"Contention 2: Even in times of health concern there's been no need for a VIOLATION of patent laws simply a change.
'CHANGE, WE CAN BELIEVE IN'- Barack Obama"
That quote has nothing to do with the contention and is utterly pointless.

Changing a law is even worse than violating it. When the patent laws are changed in the way my opponent desires, intellectual property right will be truly shattered. Changing a law to suit the government reeks of totalitarianism. And a law change is not temporary. My opponent's proposal to change patent laws is far worse than a mere temporary violation.

"Contention 3: The whole point of laws in an equal society is so that everyone follows them."
The point of a law is not to be followed: this purpose is purely circular, and proves nothing outside of itself. No additional refutation is necessary.

"Apart from using a useless quote by Kant who didn't even know what the hell a patent was and what a pharmaceutical patent was for that matter my opps. statement is completely false."
This is not a real rebuttal. It says nothing.

"The definition of the spirit of patents is SO THAT THEY DON'T GET VIOLATED IN THE FIRST PLACE. SO THAT THEIR RIGHTS ARE PROTECTED."
This is a circular definition, and is therefore invalid. My point was that patents protect the intellectual property of the inventor against potential competition, and that government violation in the case of public health concerns is not a misuse of the inventor's intellectual property; the inventor is still safe.

"Next you say that government violation doesn't jeopardize a patent rights? Hmmm.. well if it didn't then what would be the need for government intervention in the first place?"
My opponent seems to imply that the very purpose of government violation is to jeopardize patent rights. The purpose is in fact to protect the nation from a potential health crisis.

"[E]ven in times of public health concern the federal government may distribute the material the patented material to other companies to maximize product output. Those other companies always will want to steal the material."
But if they do, it is illegal and they will be put in their place. Rights will then be restored to the original patent holder. The inventor is safe.

"My neighbor is dying so the government get's to take away my house (because it's my property) and sell it to pay for his operation. Even though I didn't do anything at all. The government just took away my right because he was dying."
This scenario is inapplicable. The following scenario is more applicable:

Ten thousand of my neighbors are dying. The government takes away my house and sells it to pay for their operations. After the operations, the government gives me my house back.

Those ten thousand neighbors are more valuable than the temporary usage of my house.

"Now apart from using a quote from a totally fictional character i just found out the dark truth about Spock. He was a raving racist as well as an insane Supremacist."
Irrelevant. The quote was a convenient and eloquent embodiment of the Utilitarian ideal. My opponent's reverse appeal to authority holds no weight.

My opponent's analogy about white people killing black people is inapplicable. The white people have no need to kill the black people. The analogy does not fit with my original statement in any way.

My opponent suggests that we allow tens or hundreds of thousands of people to grow sick and die simply because he refuses to temporarily violate an individual's patent. It is clear that this is an unreasonable standpoint.
Debate Round No. 2
BlackMask

Con

BlackMask forfeited this round.
MTGandP

Pro

Regrettably, my opponent has forfeited. Extend all arguments to round 3.
Debate Round No. 3
BlackMask

Con

First off, I apologize for missing the previous round. It wasn't my objective doing i assure you.
_____________________________________________________________________________________
Okay, first off i'm going to revise and address the previous assertions of my case from my opponent and correct them. Then i'm going to finish off pointing out the flaws in my opponent's case. And i'll top it off with a framework for the opp.

So, first off reviewing the previous actions of my opponent i'm glad that we agree on a definition of violation.
Violation: A disobeying of a rule or law.

For my first contention my opponent states that this is "unwarranted?"{The government violates intellectual rights only temporarily, and only for the good of the nation. My opponent's speculation about totalitarian governments is unwarranted, as there is no reason to believe that government will violate any rights other than a specific type of intellectual rights for only a temporary period.} First off, i challenge my opponent to cite points in history where the government has directly violated it's own law for the people. The truth is it hasn't. IT HAS CHANGED LAWS. the fact about violation of rights being temporary is actually unwarranted for my opponent. If the government wants something that they don't have they'll do anything to obtain it. And it's not always for the good of the people i can assure you. Plus, even if there is a violation for a temporary period that can be enough to destroy corporations by violation of infringement rights. And companies in our present times is something for which we need to protect.
(also, the resolution never stated temporary violation; so that rebuttal is void)

Next, for the next contention of the changing of leniency terms. What is so bad? My opponent states that this is far worse that purposely violating a law because it reflects a totalitarian government. However, did you forget that it first takes the word of the people to put laws into action. Or representatives of the people to make these laws apparent. Rather than destroying companies for what the government chooses is right taking the word of the people or public reps. is much more convenient and helpful. I think that my option is not worse and does not reflect the mentality of a totalitarian gov.

And about my Obama quote...i found it necessary where as my opp.is using totally random quotes from Star Trek and dead French people who didn't even know what the word pharmaceutical meant.

Moving on......"Contention 3: The whole point of laws in an equal society is so that everyone follows them."
The point of a law is not to be followed: this purpose is purely circular, and proves nothing outside of itself. No additional refutation is necessary.

what is this??? I don't even understand what your trying to say. this is not a legitimate rebuttal whatsoever and my point still stands. Sufficient standards of sense need to be met to successfully refute a point and you definitely don't meet those standards. THUS, my point definitely still stands.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
Now, let me make a statement that really will set grounds for this debate. Majority of pharmaceuticals in their development for mainstream products that benefit the people in times of need are given major grants by the government. This gives the government partial ownership and distribution rights for times of social disruption. It's with this knowledge that the government in the first place WON"T HAVE TO violate any such laws whatsoever to help the people in times of struggle. Because majority of the drugs have already been signed off by pharmaceuticals for the government to distribute in times of struggle.

Also, an additional issue to add is that most of the time major research projects take pharmaceuticals a long time to come up with a new drug. Direct violation of the pharmaceutical from the government is like someone taking your hard work away from you. Thus, any violation on unappropriated terms is not tolerable whatsoever and therefore unaccepted. Because pharmaceuticals will definitely utilize legal means to compensate for their loss if their research gets out. Which will cause the government to probably lose more money for a legal battle. Which in present times the government cannot sustain.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
Moving on to my opps. points...

First off, i wasn't really refuting the Kant quote..i was just pointing out the limited validity in this debate.

About my second rebuttal my opponents favorite rebuttal is to state things as circular. In any type of debate simply stating arguments as circular holds no place in any debate. Whether it's online or at an actual NFL tournament. Trust me, if a judge is staring at you and the only thing you say to protect your point is an argument is circular it's not going to fly. My opponent never said anything about protection against competitors at all. The point of the patent is to protect the inventor's rights from anything. Being that the resolution never said a "temporary" violation an inventor has the choice what to do with his own rights, because he earned them. Every single time in history though, violation has never been used due to the investor signing off to the government distribution in times of struggle.

Moving onward...violation of any sort whether by the government or by any private investor will almost always put the patented material into jeopardy. It almost always happens. For this reason the government has always had many alternatives to deal with this and not harm the inventor and help the people at the same time.

"[E]ven in times of public health concern the federal government may distribute the material the patented material to other companies to maximize product output. Those other companies always will want to steal the material."
But if they do, it is illegal and they will be put in their place. Rights will then be restored to the original patent holder. The inventor is safe.

How many times in history has it been when other companies cross the line to gain an advantage over the initial patent holder. Far too many. It'll definitely happen again if the material is out there. And the government can't always catch them. Because of the strategy of changing one small modification in the patented material then patenting the product as their own. Thus harming the inventor.

About the scenario. Sure the government gives me my house back but now it's a trailer with two broken windows. a family of mice and a hellish bathroom. While my neighbor has somehow taken my tv and other appliances and built a mansion......

Now the Spock rebuttal. The scenario i used is definitely applicable to this debate. The majority will always outweigh the majority in any terms. Thus the true meaning of this example is true. If this was always the terms than no individual would have protection. We would be in a communist society. Because no rich person could survive and no minority would survive. and slavery would exist if this quote were true. based on in the past the majority still wanted slavery....so in essence this quote is definitely useless anywhere based on this rebuttal.
____________________________________________________________________________________

To wrap this up..

My stance is not to allow thousands of people grow sick whatsoever. I want to help them and get them the medicine they need. Which is why i provided many options in which the government has and still can utilize to help the people without destroying the general economy by taking down major pharmaceuticals. Because if you think about it. even if the government violates patent rights and tries to help the people major companies will die...destroying the economy which still endangers the people. I provided many option
MTGandP

Pro

My opponent's first argument is one that I have already refuted. To clarify, I shall repeat.

"First off, i challenge my opponent to cite points in history where the government has directly violated it's own law for the people. The truth is it hasn't. IT HAS CHANGED LAWS."
1. Changing laws takes time. National health crises frequently deserve immediate attention.
2. The only possible change in the context of this debate is one that prevents government intervention from being a violation when it would have been otherwise, which grants the government excessive power. This change would be permanent, meaning that the government can do what once was a violation of patent law whenever it wants. This is even worse than a one-time violation of patent law.

"the fact about violation of rights being temporary is actually unwarranted for my opponent. If the government wants something that they don't have they'll do anything to obtain it."
This does not follow. It is unclear what this has to do with the topic.

"Plus, even if there is a violation for a temporary period that can be enough to destroy corporations by violation of infringement rights."
Manufacturing a patented pharmaceutical product for the sole purpose of solving a public health concern is not enough to threaten a corporation, much less destroy it.

"the resolution never stated temporary violation; so that rebuttal is void"
It never stated permanent, either. But we have good reason to believe that the violation is temporary. The resolution states that the violation is because of a public health concern; when the public health concern ceases to be a concern, the government will have no more reason to violate patent law. Within the context of this debate, the violation will cease once the public health concern has ended.

"[Changing patent law] first takes the word of the people to put laws into action."
1. Patent law is not a matter of voting. People have no say in the law change.
2. Voting is a slow process, and the sick need medication quickly.

"Or representatives of the people to make these laws apparent."
The representatives changing laws would be the same ones temporarily violating laws.

"And about my Obama quote...i found it necessary where as my opp.is using totally random quotes from Star Trek and dead French people who didn't even know what the word pharmaceutical meant."
'Change we can believe in' has nothing to do with my opponent's second contention, except that it has the word 'change' in it. 'The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few' is very relevant to my third contention, as my contention states that it is worth it to sacrifice the needs of the few (patent holders) in order to help the many (the public). The quip about dead French people is irrelevant. My opponent is biased against the dead, the French, and those who do not know what 'pharmaceutical' means. Each of those three things holds no bearing on the value of their words.

"what is this [rebuttal to contention 3]???"
After rereading my rebuttal, I see a possible point of confusion. I stated 'The point of a law is not to be followed'. What I meant was 'The point of a law is not that it should be followed'; I did NOT mean 'The point of a law is to be disobeyed'. I hope that clarifies it.

My opponent's third contention is circular: if the point of a law is to be followed, then it has no purpose outside of itself, and is therefore utterly useless.

"Majority of pharmaceuticals in their development for mainstream products that benefit the people in times of need are given major grants by the government. This gives the government partial ownership and distribution rights for times of social disruption. It's with this knowledge that the government in the first place WON"T HAVE TO violate any such laws whatsoever to help the people in times of struggle."
1. This claim is not to be believed until a source is provided.
2. It is clear enough that the resolution implies that violation of patent law is necessary for the sake of public health.

"In any type of debate simply stating arguments as circular holds no place in any debate."
Unless they actually are circular.

"Direct violation of the pharmaceutical from the government is like someone taking your hard work away from you."
Hardly. The patent holder still owns the rights to the patent. After the health crisis is over, the patent holder goes back to being the exclusive producer. No money is lost.

"[V]iolation of any sort whether by the government or by any private investor will almost always put the patented material into jeopardy."
Evidence please.

"How many times in history has it been when other companies cross the line to gain an advantage over the initial patent holder."
1. Based on the evidence that my opponent has put forward, zero.
2. That's why the government puts them in their place when they do.

"Because of the strategy of changing one small modification in the patented material then patenting the product as their own."
This is not any easier when the government violates a patent, and is in fact completely unrelated to this debate.

"About the scenario. Sure the government gives me my house back but now it's a trailer with two broken windows. a family of mice and a hellish bathroom. While my neighbor has somehow taken my tv and other appliances and built a mansion."
I fail to see how this is an applicable scenario.

"The majority will always outweigh the majority in any terms."
I'm not sure I know what this means.

"Thus the true meaning of this example is true."
By definition, yes.

The paragraph that the two above quotes are from is completely incoherent, and I cannot respond to it as I do not understand it.

***

I look forward to the final round of this debate.
Debate Round No. 4
BlackMask

Con

BlackMask forfeited this round.
MTGandP

Pro

My opponent has forfeited. Vote PRO!
Debate Round No. 5
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
So why do you have 7 points instead of just 3? There is no way that you won sources or conduct.
Posted by BlackMask 7 years ago
BlackMask
apologize for the forfeits. if i had time i would have completed my summary.(this is what i get for making it 7 rounds.) Regardless, i think i provided a stronger framework in general
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Good topic. The forfeits were disappointing.

I defaulted PRO due to forfeits.
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
Conduct: PRO. Con forfeited twice.
S&G: PRO. Con had a few misspellings, and one of his paragraphs was completely incoherent (as I said in round 4).
Arguments: PRO. Obviously.
Sources: Pro had three, Con had none. You do the math.
Posted by BlackMask 7 years ago
BlackMask
apologize for the delayed response. I'll shift all future rebuttals and summaries to the next round
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
Darn. I can't use http://wiki.idebate.org... because the resolution is too new, so right now I can only think of two contentions. I will have to do actual work. Oh noes!
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
This is a nice topic. I'm tempted to accept.
Posted by Prophecy_Denied 7 years ago
Prophecy_Denied
Watch how many Policy debaters jump in during the nuclear weapons topic. Oh boy.
Posted by ToastOfDestiny 7 years ago
ToastOfDestiny
Aaah, one of next year's LD topics. I hate almost all of them =(.
Posted by Prophecy_Denied 7 years ago
Prophecy_Denied
Debating Dr. House Is tempting.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
BlackMaskMTGandPTied
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Vote Placed by patsox834 7 years ago
patsox834
BlackMaskMTGandPTied
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Vote Placed by BlackMask 7 years ago
BlackMask
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Vote Placed by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
BlackMaskMTGandPTied
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Vote Placed by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
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