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Ridding of politcal parties

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/24/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 937 times Debate No: 26519
Debate Rounds (3)
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America's New Party System: Weakening Political Parties' Power

(I do see your point of view but I thought I could exercise my knowledge a bit to help me in class so I hope you will challenge me back)

I am in a college government course currently and I have recently finished studying about U.S. political parties and such. Recently political parties have been becoming weaker due to the fact that elections are becoming more candidate based. There is also the fact that because the government plays a growing role in the social welfare of America the traditional duties political parties have enacted are no longer needed. Furthermore a two-party system provides American citizen's with limited choice in canidates (because let's face it, when did an independent party ever win?). When people find out what party a person associates themselves with , others will automatically judge that person and group that person with the party. People should be seen for their unique individual characteristics and thoughts not as a mash up of corrupt (or uncorrupt) policy makers. While I will acknowledge that political parties make voting easier (because one can simply choose the side they generally agree with) it takes away from the importance of doing detailed research. There has also been a notable rise in voters who "split-ticket" vote (or in other words choose a candidate from each side). Meaning that people are starting to see candidates for who they really are and not their parties.


I argue politics itself is broken. Setting some artificial restriction on parties is like saying you can prevent government bailouts of Wall Street banks by outlawing financial firms in New York City. The root of the problem is the belief that we can have a system whereby we trust a minority to rule us with benevolence. The great majority of those who seek office will put their own interests ahead of those they rule. Think back to a time in school when you were placed into separate teams for some reason. There is automatically a tendency to "take sides" and to begin to look at the other group as different and your group as special. Your elected officials in Washington are in their own "group" which includes themselves and thousands of lobbyists. Unlike many people, I bear no ill will regarding this. It's simply human nature. There is no grand conspiracy (no matter what Alex Jones tells you).

Regarding the two parties, I use a case in point to support my statements. In 1988 the Commission on Presidential Debates took over the presidential debates from the League of Women Voters. They proclaim the following:

The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) was established in 1987 to ensure that debates, as a permanent part of every general election, provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners

In fact, the co-chairs of that commission are former chairs of the Republican National Committee and the Bill Clintons former press secretary and a Washington Lobbyist. This is typical of Washington, saying something like "I feel your pain. If you just elect me I will pass this legislation to help", then turning around and stabbing you in the back. And the beauty is they will find a way to do it while convincing you it's good to have knives pushed into your flesh.

If you eliminate the two parties, will that eliminate the raw fraud, corruption (and in a couple cases physical abuse) perpetrated by the leaders of the democratic and republican election committees this year? It won't because it is the knowledge and philosophies of humans that is broken. Only knowledge will break the chain of evil emanating from political offices. And as long as that evil is running our education system, that may be difficult to accomplish.
Debate Round No. 1


arin forfeited this round.


I'm sorry my opponent was unable to respond in this round. I look forward to the next.
Debate Round No. 2


While I do agree that the removal of the two party system in America will not rid the country of corrupt politicians, I also stand by my view that in modern society political parties are no longer needed. My point in this debate is not to solve the corruptness of politicians (because there will always be greed and lust for power) but to address the evidence that shows that political parties hinder American voters.

As mentioned earlier, Political scientists are beginning to see a rising trend in "split-ticket" voting. This may be for two reasons: to avoid incumbency and to focus more on the candidates themselves (rather than the political party they are associated with). Now obviously if elections are becoming more candidate based there seems to be little need for political parties. Although you mentioned it is in human nature to segregate and group themselves (which I do agree with), it is also important to overcome the generalization of candidates based on their parties.

Because the United States is a two system party, voters are frequently tempted to engage in "straight-ticket" voting (which is simply voting for all candidates of a particular party). At first glance it may seem appealing to vote straight ticket due to the fact that the voting process is much faster and the political party you affiliate yourself with generally appeals to your point of views (because the candidates of the political parties each have a sort of standard to meet with their parties). However it can be quite unsettling to know that out of convenience one may be essentially voting for candidates that are either not suitable to be in office or turn out to conflict with one's own views. About 70 percent of all voters vote straight ticket. It is convenient to have political parties to make voting easier and to address problems as a larger, stronger voice, but it can be quite a misfortune to have someone elected that few have critically looked at due to the "grouping" political parties provide.

Political parties may also cause candidates to be misrepresented in a way that causes candidates to be brought down not based on their actions or words, but the actions and words of the political parties themselves. Political parties in that way may also misrepresent an advocate. For example if Sally were to run up to David and tell him she was a republican, he may make a snarky remark not based on her own personal views, but at the general stances the Republican party makes on issues. This hinders Sally's ability to truly express all of her individual outlooks and beliefs. Perhaps David may even consider her a bad person because he believes all Republican's have the same view on (let's say) social security.

The founding fathers themselves warned future Americans of political parties. Political parties keep people divided and uncooperative with one another. If people shared their own personal beliefs rather than being labeled as one big party they may get through to more people and connect with others ' views.

John Adams stated:
There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution. (Washingtonsblog)

In his farewell address, President George Washington said:
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty (Washingtonsblog)

I state my case, political parties only hinder the election of presidents and leave room for dominance of a faction.
I also note that I do agree with you last statement dealing with knowledge.


I'm glad to see my opponent back, and with a vengeance after the round 2 forfeit.

I would like to start by summarizing Pro's arguments:

Round 1
1.1 Parties are becoming weaker, voters are looking more at specific candidates policies instead of parties (witness split ticket voting)
1.2 The two party system limits choices and disincentivizes detailed candidate research. Voters only see the party, not the candidate.

Round 3
Pro adds details to arguments 1.1 and 1.2 and adds this:

3.1 Parties keep people divided and uncooperative
3.2 Parties cause candidates to be misrepresented based on party affiliation. This is a variation of 1.2.

Regarding point 1.1, if this is true, then it's unclear what the concern is. Split ticket voting is a good sign too. However, I don't think it follows that the parties are unnecessary or that something must be done to eliminate them.

Pro has not stated the approach to be taken to rid our political system of parties. However, since Pro's arguments point out the damaging affects of parties, this implies something must be done to eliminate them. To refute this, I must show such action is unnecessary or even harmful.

The benefits I see of political parties follow:

1. Parties allow like-minded citizens to join together to fight for a political cause. It's simply a natural human tendency to group in this way.
2. Parties tend to moderate policy because they must appeal across party lines, including independents. This serves as another form of checks and balances in the system.

Technically, political parties are private organizations who are simply exercising their first amendment right to free association. While it is true that the two party system we have today has become something of a two-headed monster, that is not a reason to consider violating civil liberties. There are ways to address this monster that don't involve even more government intervention.

For this reason, I believe political parties add value and that 1.1 has been refuted.

Regarding 1.2 and 3.2, I don't believe it is political parties cause these problems. I will concede the current domination by the two major parties is a problem. However, we could end this problem in the 2012 election by simply voting for other candidates. If there is anything to rid ourselves of, it is voter apathy and laziness. In "Theory and History", Ludwig Von Mises wrote:

The struggle for freedom is ultimately not resistance to autocrats or oligarchs but resistance to the despotism of public opinion

In other words, the solutions to these problems must come from actions of free will. If they do not, then we have actions of force, political actions whose results are often worse than the original problem. For these reasons, I believe 1.2 and 3.2 have been refuted.

Regarding 3.1, I believe it is core beliefs that lead to people to be divisive and uncooperative. For example, some believe they have the right to tell others how to live their lives and some don't. These two camps will always be strongly divided. The same could be said of many other core believes regarding way, civil liberties, welfare programs, education. In fact, the only cases I can think of historically were nations were not divided in this way were places you certainly didn't want to be.

And with that refutation, I think I covered Pro's positions and that political parties will live on.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by emj32 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to con because of Pro forfeit.