The Instigator
Roosevelt
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
JohnMaynardKeynes
Pro (for)
Winning
35 Points

Should political parties be abolished.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
JohnMaynardKeynes
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 6/13/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 979 times Debate No: 56580
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (5)

 

Roosevelt

Con

Political parties get in the way of getting stuff done in government. One quote by Ray Bradbury explains parties perfectly, "Anyone that belongs to a party stops thinking." Most of the time people in parties don't even agree on anything, but when it comes time to vote if the opposition is in power you vote against them. What is the point of parties? What do they do? The answer is simple NOTHING. They are a group of people not interested in our well being, but in having power. If you are my opponent answer the question "What do parties do?"
JohnMaynardKeynes

Pro

I accept and will be arguing in favor of the following resolution:

"Should Political Parties be Abolished?"


Because I am listed as PRO, I will be arguing in favor of this resolution, while my opponent, CON, will need to argue against it.

Reviewing his opening arguments, however, he is not supporting the position he has taken in this debate, but instead the opposite position. In fact, his arguments support my position. He argues that political parties get in the way of accomplishing things, that parties stop thinking, that parties foster a sense of groupthink, and that they are more interesting in gaining and maintaining power than looking out for the well-being of the public. All of these arguments support my position that political parties should be abolished.

Therefore, I propose the following syllogism:

P1: If CON affirms the aformentioned arguments that he has noted in his Round 1 piece, he has ceded ground to my position as PRO and therefore cannot win this debate.
P2: If CON backtracks and attempts to argue against this resolution, as his position as CON mandates that he do, he should be seen as backtracking, and therefore he cannot win this debate.
C: Therefore, no matter how CON replies, he cannot win this debate.

I highly urge a PRO ballot.
Debate Round No. 1
Roosevelt

Con

When I posted Con I meant it as I am against the subject of the question, so therefore I can still win the debate. I suggest that my opponent becomes more open minded to the ways this can be viewed. I understand the confusion and I take that upon myself, but I thought this was a website for debates not chat rooms for perfectionists. If you don't want to continue the debate I understand, but I will be saddened by your retraction from this.
JohnMaynardKeynes

Pro

Con posts a misleading remark in a feeble attempt to pin this on me, as though I will be withdrawing from this debate simply because he has errored. However, this is not the case.

I'm going to respond to each of his remarks, and then post my case against political parties, as I am listed as PRO.


CON states, "When I posted Con I meant it as I am against the subject of the question, so therefore I can still win the debate."


This is not standard operating procedure. The title of this debate, which is all we have to go by in light of the fact that he did not post a formal resolution in his opening post, is "Should Political Parties be Abolished." It was not, simply, "Political Parties." The title of the debate was not merely a subject, but a prompt, and CON has listed himself as against that prompt. It's highly misleading of him to list himself as CON and then attempt to take on the opposing view.


CON states, "I suggest that my opponent becomes more open minded to the ways this can be viewed."

This is a laughable point as it presupposes that I am in some way in the wrong for viewing a duck as a duck, or a clear statement as a clear statement, or a prompt for a prompt. He clearly stated in the title of this debate: "Should Political Parties be Abolished." You cannot simply say that we should bend the rules, literally remove several worlds and change the entire meaning of the prompt, and simply pass it off as being "open-minded."


CON states, "I understand the confusion and I take that upon myself, but I thought this was a website for debates not chat rooms for perfectionists."

First of all, there is no confusion. There was a clear prompt that we were to debate, and CON is now trying to bend the rules and change the resolution to suit his own ends, which is a highly deceptive tactic that voters should take into accunt.

This is indeed a website for debates, but by no means must one be a "perfectionist" in order to list himself as the proper position on a resolution he himself has created.


CON states, "If you don't want to continue the debate I understand, but I will be saddened by your retraction from this."


He insinuates that I will accept his jaded terms and withdraw from this debate. That, however, is not the case. I will merely be arguing the PRO side of this resolution, as that is the side I agreed to upon acceptance of this debate.



Pro's Case

C1) George Washington Warned Against Political Parties

Washington made some scathing remarks on political parties that we can all learn from:


"I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the state, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party, generally. This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy." The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension... 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. [1]


He speaks of despotism, referring to the spirit of gaining and maintaing power in order that one may lord it over others. He suggests that this dominates the public discourse where political parties exist, as this spirit he speeks of and the lust for revenge is part and parcel of human nature. People will become ultimately divided and act not out of the common good, but out of spite for one another, which ultimately makes everyone worse off.



C2) Political Parties are Divisive


Washington, in fact, also made this point:

"(Party politics) serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another." [1]



But there is further evidence of this, whether it is party line votes in the Senate, blind allegiance to one's party or party leader, groupthink within a party, playing politics with the most important issues of the day -- e.g., Obama et al. refusing to raise the debt ceilng in 2006, in much the same way that the GOP has been doing recently -- and alienating people based on what they happen to believe.

Pew look into this, and found some interesting result. According to the Associated Press:

"A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds Americans are divided by ideology and partisanship not only when they cast ballots, but also in choosing where to live, where to get their news and with whom to associate. And peaceful coexistence is increasingly difficult. According to the poll, the share of Americans who hold across-the-board conservative or liberal views has doubled in the last decade, from 10 percent in 2004 to 21 percent today. Only 39 percent of Americans have an even mix of liberal and conservative positions, down from 49 percent 10 years ago.[..]." [2]


Not only have political parties caused people to become ideologically entrenched, but they have isolated people from one another, including even where they ought to live. Glenn Beck actually made a simiar point not long after Obama won reelection [3]. On his radio show, he said that people should, essentially, purchase farmland and live nearby like-minded people. This kind of rhetoric is what is dividing the country.

C3) Political Parties Foster Ideological Entrenchment

There always exists pressures to comform to what the party platform says. For instance, if a person is fiscally conservative, but supports gay marriage, they'll be shunned by many Republicans, including primary voters. If a person wants to run as a Democrat, but is pro-life on the issue of abortion, they'll be shunned. They lead to conformity, groupthink, and intransigence, and that is the last thing we need at this point in time.

C4) People tend to vote for parties, not individuals

Jesse Ventura actually made this point not long ago. People can essentially vote without putting in any real effort. If you're liberal, you can vote straight-line Democrat. If you're conservative, you can vote straight-line Republican. You don't have to know anything about the candidates and what they stand for. If we were to remove party labels, it would be imperative for voters to educate themselves about the candidates and the issues and make more informed decisions, which would likely lead to better governance.


[1] http://open.salon.com...;
[2] http://jacksonville.com...
[3] http://www.rightwingwatch.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Roosevelt

Con

When I read my opponents' scathing remarks about my response and then the actual facts it seems that we are in agreement, political parties should be abolished. However this does not make for a very interesting argument, but this is because my opponent has misinterpreted what my intentions were when I selected Con.

Pro stated "CON is now trying to bend the rules and change the resolution to suit his own ends," I did not change the rules, but Pro continually insists that there is only one way to look at things in the world. Which is not true. You can look at things and see another. Like if you look at a cloud and see an animal or if you look at a tree and see a face. When I said "open minded" I did not mean that his way of viewing was wrong, I meant that there is more than one way to look at this. I choose Con because I am against political parties and you choose Pro because you are for abolishing them.

When Pro said, "You cannot simply say that we should bend the rules, literally remove several worlds and change the entire meaning of the prompt, and simply pass it off as being open-minded," I didn't pass it off as open minded, that was my initial thought. And I didn't change the meaning of the prompt I merely have a different way of viewing the world. It's like a half full glass of milk and a half empty glass of milk. Two ways of viewing the same thing. Both are correct, but Pro seems to think that I called his way wrong when he said, "This is a laughable point as it presupposes that I am in some way in the wrong for viewing a duck as a duck, or a clear statement as a clear statement, or a prompt for a prompt." Pro I never said that you were wrong.

Lastly, Pro you should of read my opening argument first instead of just thinking that everyone has the same mind as you. Everyone is different and thinks in a different way. We both agree that parties should be abolished, but this debate has been mostly about not agreeing on how a mind should work.
JohnMaynardKeynes

Pro

There isn't much else to state. CON accuses me of "misinterpreting" his intentions, though the resolution was clear from the beginning.

The resolution was the following:

"Should political parties be abolished?"

I did in fact read his opening arguments, and pointed out promptly that he was arguing in favor of my position, as PRO. However, he had listed himself as CON. As CON, he needed to argue AGAINST this resolution, not for it. This isn't a matter of looking at this through a different lens, or examining the glass as half full as opposed to half empty. It's a matter of reading and taking words for what they are and responding in kind. CON provided no stipulations for this debate, so naturally we were to default to the title of the debate. He selected CON, meaning that he needed to present a case against abolishing political parties. He has not done this. I am PRO, meaning that I needed to argue in favor of abolishing political parties. I have done this. For that reason, I highly urge a vote for PRO.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by ChosenWolff 3 years ago
ChosenWolff
You should be Pro according to what you said already. I wont accept until you switch from Con to Pro
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Manastacious 3 years ago
Manastacious
RooseveltJohnMaynardKeynes
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Con fails to argue Con.
Vote Placed by Burncastle 3 years ago
Burncastle
RooseveltJohnMaynardKeynes
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Con argued against his own position
Vote Placed by Ajab 3 years ago
Ajab
RooseveltJohnMaynardKeynes
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Countering texans' vote. Also Con argued Pro -__-
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 3 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
RooseveltJohnMaynardKeynes
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Con was Pro.
Vote Placed by nikidavis 3 years ago
nikidavis
RooseveltJohnMaynardKeynes
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: It is hard because of the only one-vote option. But I think Pro won.