The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
10 Points

Should the U.S. Constitution be changed to allow for direct democracy?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/23/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 528 times Debate No: 44480
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)




The U.S. Constitution should be changed so that, instead of Congress making all of the decisions, the people can vote directly. The current system was OK in the 1800's, when it took a month to travel to Washington. It made sense back then to simply elect representatives to handle our governmental needs. In modern society, with current technology, we no longer need this archaic system of government. We can have a TRUE, direct democracy, where the people themselves vote on the issues that are important to them, not just in an election year, but on an ongoing basis.

The way to do this is simple. EVERY town has some kind of ATM network, used by banks and credit unions. We can establish a national voting program, which contains every issue needed to be voted on. This can be done through the ATM machines themselves. You simply insert your voter ID card, and instead of the bank's deposit/withdrawal screen coming up, the voting system appears on the screen. It then gives you a list of each of the items that are pending, which you have not yet voted for. You make your selection: simple yes/no, or multiple choice, whatever. Your vote is recorded, and on the date all votes are due for that particular issue, the votes are tallied and sent to Washington. At that time, the government is bound by the votes made, and must comply with the will and vote of the people. Give the banks and credit unions a tax break for the use of the ATM networks.

No more bickering in Congress. No more lame-duck politicians who care more about their jobs and their ideology than they do about the people. No more spending $250,000,000 on a bridge in Alaska.


I'd like to first thank my opponent for the intriguing topic. It's an interesting idea, if a little idealized. But let's get into it.

As Pro has posted some initial argumentation, I will do the same.

Over the past decade, Congress has typically introduced between 4,000 and 9,000 bills each year.[1] It really doesn't matter how many of those bills become law - that's the number of bills Congress must read, digest, and understand in the span of 365 days. I'm not saying that every single member of Congress does fully comprehend every bill that they see, but since they tend to have a large staff composed of those who understand legal text and an ability to contact experts, they have the capacity to understand. That"s a lot of votes, most of which are pretty straightforward and lack the controversy that Pro sees as "bickering." There are certainly contentious votes to be had, but if they were on even a significant minority of these, we would be hearing about new ones nonstop.

Now, who are these people that "care more about their jobs and their ideology than they do about the people"? They go through extensive campaigns, often spending large amounts of money to meet a plethora of people and understand their concerns for their state, county, city or town. They constantly receive an influx of emails and letters from supportive and concerned citizens about any number of issues. In other words, while there are certainly other concerns at play, these congressmen and senators are reliant on the people to be elected, to stay in office, to be reelected, and to showcase the importance of a certain issue.

So why do I mention all of this? It's because these systems aren't made any better by what Pro proposes. In fact, they're made far worse.

Let's think about all those bills. Not many people are going to vote on that many. It's simply not going to happen. You may get tens, even hundreds, of thousands of people that actually put in the effort (and that"s really straining what's likely, since they're going to have to continuously go to ATM machines to do this), but that"s still less than 0.1% of the population voting on these. That's an incredibly small number, and not at all representative of the overall population. It's going to be those people who have enough time on their hands to make these trips out to these machines and stand in front of them for a long while (probably several hours a week, given the number of bills, and that's if they're moving through them quickly). So now you're focused on a subset of the population that both has and is willing to spend this time in this way. That leaves out many parents and most people working more than 40 hours a week.

But that"s if we assume that they are only spending a few hours a week at these machines, pretty much going from one screen to the next as fast as possible (even on the low end, that's 77 bills a week). None of the people doing this are going to have a clue what they're voting for. They will have to spend countless hours poring over bills full of legalese to try and understand where they stand on a given issue. They"re not going to have interns to parse through it to streamline the process, or contact with experts to ensure that they fully understand what they're reading. Practically every vote is going to be an uninformed mess decided by a few thousand people who simply thought it would be fun to voice their opinions on something they didn't understand.

Any vote that comes out is also going to be massively biased towards localities that have the largest concentrations of ATMs, as these are the ones where the most people will be voting. Hence, cities will get far more representation than rural areas, completely shutting out their vote. In fact, almost all individual states (except maybe California, New York and Texas) will have their voices drowned out by much larger populations in other states. Even in these three, the reality is that any bill seeking to fund operations in a single state will be turned down by the majority of people in any other state. That means no more local funding for anyone. Representation will be a thing of the past.

And that"s if we assume that these people vote at all. Many bills are likely to get far fewer votes, if they get any at all, and all those bills that normally get such wide agreement may never become law. These are often basic funding issues for infrastructure in any number of locales. Roads and bridges will go completely unrepaired by any location that doesn't have the funds on hand to deal with winterkill, earthquakes, mudslides or all manner of other harms.

As for why I bothered to mention how these representatives get into Congress, it's rather important, because at least these people are somewhat accountable to the public. You can argue how much of course, but they still require a majority of votes. Individuals who will be voting on these ATM machines don"t have any such incentive. In most cases, their incentive is to help themselves.

And that's a problem. Moneyed interests certainly contribute to campaigns, but at least the impact of their contributions is tempered by public demands. What happens if it's just people voting? Well, the moneyed interest groups will simply hire large amounts of people to vote for them. They will tell them which bills to vote for and which against. Since these people will have all the time they could possibly need to actually make the votes, they're also by far the most likely to make them and therefore the most likely to decide whether a bill goes up or down. Even if we assume that this process would be illegal, these interest groups would still have plenty of opportunity to bribe people into making a decision on an issue they don"t thoroughly understand in the first place.

But I think there's one more thing that must be covered, and that is how these ATMs are going to work. The government will, of course, have to pay big banks to use their ATMs, and to produce more of them. This will be essential since voting will obstruct their business practices by preventing people from withdrawing money. Of course, they'll be all too happy to oblige, since it"s a great marketing opportunity for them (and they'll be most easily capable of rigging the voting system in their favor). That's not to mention that this makes the system incredibly vulnerable. It's an all electronic system, which can easily be hacked, as ATMs currently are.[2] These hackers will now be able to change or input votes as well, rigging every single bill to vote in their favor. Individual hackers are bad enough, but companies and foreign nations may engage in this as well.

With that, I await my opponent's responses.

Debate Round No. 1


My opponent raises interesting arguments. I admit the system I have described wouldn"t be perfect; no political system is. However, anything that increases the ability of the people to govern themselves can only be beneficial.

The advantages to the system I have described:
"Raises issues that others may want to hide
"Restores authority to the people, and makes them responsible, not the parties.
"Curbs the imbalance of power, makes politicians responsible to the people
"Gets the community involved
"Makes for better legislation
"Politicians are forced to act on petitions instead of throwing them out right away.
"Helps to gain control over the direction of the country.
"Makes politicians be accountable

"The media and government may attempt to influence the decisions made by the people.
"Increase in referenda
"Some people may be more politically active than others

My opponent states that Congress introduces between 4,000 and 9,000 bills each year. Do they really need that many? How many of those bills deal with issues that are important, or even relevant? With direct voting, the government would be forced to get rid of the "fluff." Politicians would be forced to deal with the real issues, such as immigration, employment, paying down the national debt, etc. The fact that there are so many bills introduced supports my idea. My opponent also states that the bills are reviewed by Congressional staff members "who understand legal text " with the capacity to understand." Again, why do these bills need to be so complex? There is no valid reason for a 2,000 page bill, when a simple 5 page bill would suffice. The simpler we can make it, the more work will get done.

Regarding whether or not politicians really care about the people, that"s debatable. I am sure that there are many politicians who actually do care, and are interested in the lives of the people they represent. Unfortunately, those are not the people that we hear about in the news, which concerns itself with the follies of these politicians, the games they play, the waste they generate, and the general way that they ignore the will of the people. While politicians ARE reliant on the people to be elected, if you look at the general public, most people don"t really care who is in office, because people are convinced that, no matter who is in office, nothing will change. With a direct vote in a system that I have described, people would become more interested in participating, because instead of simply relying on a typical politician, they would be able to have a direct say in matters affecting them. And, this would only increase the accountability of these politicians, because they would be held directly responsible for going against the will of the people (where that will is supported by the votes themselves).

Keep in mind that I used the ATM network as merely an example of a possibility. Systems could easily be set up so that citizens could vote from their home computers, or via their cell phones. There are numerous possibilities, given modern technology. In addition, while the initial voting population would be small, as time went on and people became more comfortable with such a system, and learned what kind of power they had by voting directly, then more and more people would begin participating. Further, as I mentioned above, there would NOT be thousands of bills to be voted on. Such a system would force these politicians to weed out the fluff, the petty and unimportant laws that they are in the habit of passing.

My opponent also argues that not many people will vote. In the beginning, that would probably be true. The problem is that most Americans are not really intellectually involved in politics, and that political interest has kind of dropped out of our culture. People were happy to just let the government run on autopilot. A lot of people will never vote unless things get really bad, and then they vote for 'change.' Most Americans don't really take the time to understand the issues, to keep informed. So they'd either vote only once in a while, when there was some issue they felt passionate about, or else they'd vote based on stupid simplistic arguments like you hear on Fox News.

However, as time goes on, more and more people would realize how much power they have by being able to vote, to directly express their wishes. Even if it starts out at 0.01% of the population, at least that"s a start. There will always be a certain percentage of the population that doesn"t care, and who won"t bother going out to vote. How would that be any different than what we have now? The people who don"t, and will never, vote are not of concern. The people who ARE interested will be voting, and the more that happens, the more people will start getting interested. That"s one of the main points of such a system. And you are right, they"re only going to take a look at the issues that interest them, rather than every issue being presented. That"s OK. I have no interest in a lot of topics, and would probably just skip those items in a vote. Again, not much different than how things are handled now, where people "get out the vote" only for issues that are important and relevant to them.
In addition, as noted above, people would NOT have to go through countless pages of "legalese" before voting. Any given bill that is proposed could easily be whittled down to the basics, with just enough information available to allow people to understand what they are voting on. This is how things are handled with referenda throughout the country. There is no need for a person to read through pages and pages of documents before voting on an issue, just as there is generally no need for any bill to be so long. Imagine if government was run by school teachers instead of lawyers. Think how much simpler things would be.

My opponent argues that funding operations for a state would be turned down by a majority of the people in any other state, and that this means no more local funding for anybody. What it means is that control of funding would be returned to the people. There is no need for the federal government to take money away from the local level, send it to Washington, and then redistribute it to other areas of the country. Allow that local funding to stay local, and allow the local people to decide how to spend their own money. It"s disgusting that Washington takes my money, and then sends it to Florida, or California, or Ohio. How does my money do ME any good when I"m not able to make use of it in ways I could benefit my own area? How does the government giving my money to California help me in the Midwest? Control to the local level can only benefit the people directly involved. Politicians in Washington generally have no idea what life is like for people in regions outside their own states. Allow local leaders to make those decisions, not some group of faceless bureaucrats 2,000 miles away.

My opponent refers to the influence caused by special interest groups, and that those groups would simply go out and pay people to vote their way. How is that any different than the way our current system is? These same groups go out and and pay people to vote their way. How is that any different than the way our current system is? These same groups go out and spend millions of dollars on a single candidate, and then that candidate "owes" loyalty to whatever group paid the most. It"s highly unlikely that such groups would get much would get much traction if they had to go door-to-door, seeking support. Most people I know would slam the door . And if they accepted the money, so be it. That"s on their individual conscience, something a typical politician doesn"t have. At least that money would then be spent locally, rather than sitting in some rich politician"s bank account.


I appreciate my opponent's arguments, but I was wrong when I said that his position was a little idealized. It's a lot idealized.

He tells us that the number of bills won't be a problem because, somehow, someone or a group of someones are going "to get rid of the 'fluff.'" He says that the issues with legal text are just going to float away, and that the page lengths are going to be reduced from 2,000 pages to a simple 5 page bill every time.

He says that people will be more interested in participating, not less, when they're shouldered with the burden of having to vote more regularly on a number of issues he admits most of them won't care about. But don't worry, this voting population will spike because... they can express more of their wishes! Not sure why having more votes suddenly increases interest, but he asserts, it does!

He states that politicians will magically become more accountable, despite the fact that they would be adhering to the ideas of an incredibly small minority of the population, and would no longer have to vote on any bills at all. What they'll be doing with all that downtime, we're not told.

Before I hit these, I'll start with all the dropped arguments.

Pro completely drops my point about hacking. This is hugely damaging, especially when every suggestion he makes for this system just makes it worse. When he says "citizens could vote from their home computers, or via their cell phones," he's opening up a plethora of routes that are even easier than accessing ATMs![1][2] Recognize that this harm is unique to his case, made significantly worse by any of these routes, and massively exploitable.

Pro also drops my points about businesses hiring people specifically to vote. I gave a reasonable series of arguments here " people with jobs won't be able to spend the required time to go through all of these bills, and therefore they won't be the ones voting most often. Those who will have the most time and still have the resources to go out and do this are those that would be hired specifically to vote. And why wouldn't a business want to use this? A large portion of the population is poor and desperate for funds. This is a much more direct and dramatic effect on the vote than is currently available.

With that, I'll get into the points I listed.

Now, let's start with that first set of assumptions. Pro provides no reasons why the "fluff" will be removed, no concept of what that "fluff" is that can be removed so easily, and no idea of who will do the removing except to say "the government would be forced" to do it. We are given no idea of how legal texts will be changed or what the end product will look like. For page length, we get nothing at all except an assertion that 2,000 pages can be easily reduced to 5.

And I've got a much more convincing story. There are two possibilities here. One is what I've presented, which is that the bills would be presented in their current form, in which case Pro bites all the harms I've stated. The other possibility is that they take a cleaver to these bills and cut out important information.

He admits that it's the government that will do this. Alright, the government has incentive to make these look simplistic. I think it's likely that all of those congressmen and senators are going to be engaged in this specific task, since they'll have nothing better to do, and still getting paid by lobbyists to tailor these bills to their interests. The government has every incentive to make the issue seem simple in order to sway votes one way or another. That's all they would do here. They would strip them down to the key, hot button issues, and remove the portions of the bills that would explain how they function, are enforced, are paid for, etc.

It gets worse. Let's assume under this view that it leads to higher engagement by citizens, as Pro asserts. Great, now more people will be voting on bills they barely understand, and rather than the federal government making ideological choices (as my opponent admits, not all of them do), the majority of citizens will instead. We get no idea of how long it will take people to become interested in this system, so for at least a short while, voting trolls and corporations will control our country. Fantastic.

But no one should accept this. People are already often overwhelmed by the complexity of ballots for actual elections, where materials are distributed months ahead of time and those up for election are regularly campaigning on TV or in their area. And yet we should assume that these sample people won't feel overwhelmed by having to participate in this process multiple times over the course of every year? Seems awfully optimistic.

Nor should anyone accept the idea that anyone becomes more accountable in this system. He never explains this argument. It's like the Underpants Gnomes from South Park (I've posted the video).

Phase 1: Change the country over to a direct democracy.
Phase 2: ?
Phase 3: Government is accountable.

This plan doesn't involve any change in accountability. All it does is shift duties from those in Congress to the people at large. There's no improvement at all to accountability. If anything, it removes accountability " now no one's going to care who is giving these people money because they're no longer having any obvious effects on the population.

The last major thing that Pro spends his time on is claiming that many of these harms exist in status quo. My point is not that these harms don't currently exist. It's that this policy would only make them worse. So long as we both agree that politicians are elected and therefore dependent on the votes of the people to stay in office, there remains some accountability in the system. There is no accountability for the voters who seek to mangle the system.

Pro admits that our politicians are elected, merely writing this off as unimportant by saying that "most people don't really care who is in office." I love how this works. These are the same people who will be crafting the bills after Pro's plan is implemented. They're not leaving office. But somehow, things will change as long as the people are voting on the bills they craft instead of these representatives voting themselves. I could simply grant this argument, and his whole position falls apart. It doesn't matter how many people become interested if the same do-nothing politicians are crafting the legislation to suit their views. They do as they've done now: block any bills of significance from being voted upon.

And for that matter, he's not changing anything else either. I don't see why the president wouldn't be able to veto anything that comes across his desk with this change in place. Pro hasn't stated any changes to presidential powers, so the veto could be used to block any big actions as well. All of the same obstructive systems are still in place following Pro's plan.

One last thing to mention. This statement:

"What it means is that control of funding would be returned to the people... local funding [will] stay local...local people decide how to spend their own money."

First, the fact that many states take in more in federal funds than they give in taxes makes this problematic.[3] These states would be in deep trouble, especially with infrastructure, as I stated in R1. Second, since when did federal tax policy disappear under this plan? Or, for that matter, all taxation, as he appears to be saying? He doesn't explain. Third, all taxation disappearing is bad. No more national security, no more army, no more public hospitals, no more FDA, NIH, or CDC. Few if any of these will survive on charity.

Debate Round No. 2


To start, there's nothing wrong with idealized positions. Isn't that how the United States itself came to be?

Your arguments against my position basically come down to interpretation; that is, how you interpreted my arguments, rather than how I really meant them.

I never argued that political problems will magically disappear with the system I have proposed. What I argued is that, when the government is forced to be more transparent and accountable to the people, then the government will be FORCED to change the way it does business. No more 2,000 pages of text in a bill that nobody reads (by your own admission, most politicians don't fully read or understand these bills). No more hiding pork spending in omnibus bills that are so huge that nobody could possibly understand it all. The government would be forced to run in the manner it was meant to be run: by the people. Of course this wouldn't magically happen overnight. Just like anything involving the masses, it takes time to build momentum, to get more and more people involved.

I don't believe that there is a "burden" in voting for or against the issues that are of interest to you. As I pointed out, there are many people who don't vote now, because they simply don't care one way or another. That won't change, no matter what system is in place. However, for the people who DO have an interest, being directly involved in the outcome rather than relying on (or hoping you can rely on) some guy you've never met is a big draw. Being able to see just how your vote does count can only increase interest and participation.

I never argued that the people who don't care are going to suddenly become activists and we're going to have 100% participation in the process. The point is, with the current system, the will of the people is not being followed. Politicians claim to listen to what their constituents want, but then follow their own ideologies anyway, regardless of what the people want. Politicians will still have jobs. Someone has to be around to implement the laws passed, to attend to the small details, etc. After all, somebody has to dream up these bills, to decide that we really do need a bigger and better federal office building instead of the the one across the street that was built 5 years ago. The point isn't to completely get rid of the current system, but to make it a system of the people. Whether or not 100% of the people choose to be involved, the point is to give them that choice.

As to the point about hacking, is there really a point? We have the technology to prevent such problems (setting aside the Obamacare website debacle). Implemented properly, this really would not be an issue. I know how much the Republicans like to scream about "voter fraud" and are trying to enact all of these voter ID bills. (And, for the record, I see no problem with requiring a voter ID; I just don't agree that it's due to voter fraud.) Look at it this way: how many times do you hear about people hacking into the ATM network? I can't recall a single instance that I've heard of. If technology is secure enough to lock down the financial networks, it can be used to secure the voting system, too.

As to the issue of buying votes, is it really reasonable to believe that a political interest group is going to go door-to-door, telling people "Here's $10, and here's what you should vote"? That's ALREADY illegal. Could it happen on a small scale? Sure, and it probably does already. I highly doubt that it would happen on a scale large enough to truly have any effect; word would get around, and people would get arrested.

As to getting rid of fluff in legislation, Sen. David Vitter (R-La) has been quoted as saying, "I have a fundamental problem with any 1,000-page bills." The reason that bills are so long is that it makes it more likely to pass measures that a politician would otherwise be against. If a bill contains 15 items, and they are in favor of 10 but against 5, they are more likely to vote "yes" just so that their 10 items will pass. By reducing bills to their essential elements, voters won't have to page through lengthy legislation. In most cases, a vote could be a simple "Should the federal government spend $xxx on [item]?" Or, "Should the Keystone oil pipeline be approved?" The voter then simply has to say "Yes" or "No," and they are done. It does sound simplistic on its face, but is there anything wrong with that? It only sounds simplistic because we are so used to politicians and lawyers insisting that these 1,000-page bills are necessary for our government to run. We've become pathetically used to the current system.

My opponent is correct, that a vast majority of the information currently in bills would be eliminated. And I have clearly stated that politicians will still have jobs. It will be their job to implement the bills approved by the people, to determine how to enforce them, how to budget for them, etc. The point of it is that they will only be allowed to implement the laws that the people have approved.

My opponent argues that the system is complex, and that there really is no realistic way to reduce that complexity, and that my proposal is overly optimistic. This sets aside my argument, that it does NOT need to be so complex, that a vast majority of the issues in government have been inflated far beyond where they need to be. And, by the way, ballots aren't that complicated. The people who do vote aren't ignorant, and are not blindly voting. For the most part, people do perform some basic research before voting, and I would argue that this is a duty of the citizen, to keep themselves at least minimally informed as to what is happening in the country they live in.

My opponent argues that the government will not become more accountable. Perhaps we are using different definitions here. My point was that, rather than having a politician doing what he wants, in the expectation that the typical citizen isn't going to care one way or another (and will forget about it by the time the next election rolls around), the peoples' votes will have a direct and immediate affect -- and the people will know that THEY are the ones making the decisions, not some hack in Washington.

In a perfect world, politicians would be accountable to the people, and would rely on the will of the people to stay in office. Unfortunately, that's not the case in the real world. The people didn't vote Dubya into office, but he stayed there for 8 years. The people were pretty much against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, yet the government ignored the wishes of the people and waged war anyway. The people didn't vote to have a $17 trillion dollar debt, which continues to climb. In reality, once a politician finagles his way into office, by making pretty promises that he never follows through with, he's in there, and inertia is a terrible thing to overcome. Once they make it into office, they are NOT accountable to the voters. That's how our current system works, whether or not it was intended to work that way.

A change from the current system would still allow politicians to create bills; they just won't be the ones to decide whether they actually get put into law. The voters themselves would be the ones to decide that. The role of the politician would be reduced to basically a go-fer to the people.

Lastly, I never argued that taxation would disappear. What I said is that my tax money shouldn't be going to a location 2,000 miles away, to people I've never met. If the local economy can't support itself, then that local economy needs to be changed, not relying on handouts and tax redistribution from my community. I don't want to pay for a $250,000,000 bridge in Alaska. Let the people who live in Alaska pay for it.


Well, I've really enjoyed this debate, so I thank my opponent for an intriguing debate. No matter how much we may disagree, these kinds of conversations are always worth having, and I appreciate his candor and argumentation.

That being said, I think this round comes down to two key questions that voters should think about as they come to their decisions.

1) Are the outcomes that Pro professes likely to come about? And
2) If they were to come about, would they be good?

The answer to both of these is no, and I'll go into why in detail.

So, let's start with the first question, and to do this, we go back to R2 where I posed a number of issues that Pro continues to undercover and little understand.

"when the government is forced to be more transparent and accountable to the people"

This is the line that bothers me most. Pro's plan is to take the ability to vote on bills out of Congress, and give it to the people. Since when does that require transparency? Note that Pro isn't talking about implementing a policy that requires transparency and accountability. All that's happening here is that part of their power base is shifting. There's no requirement "to change the way [government] does business." There's no requirement to reduce 2,000 pages to 5. There's no requirement to remove hidden measures from bills. He provides no incentive whatsoever for them to engage in these practices. He doesn't even explain that the people will force them to do this, which I would say they most certainly would not since most people aren't interested enough to make a clamor about it.

None of these things are going to happen. Remember, this is the "do-nothing" Congress. Why would they write bills that could be easily understood by the public at large? What would that possibly accomplish for them?

Long bills with massive amounts of legalese will persist, and therefore so will disinterest. Voting by the general public won't happen. And yes, people are often overwhelmed by ballots. Even positioning on a page has managed to confuse many, as with butterfly ballots, and punching holes, as with hanging chads.[1]

Except, of course, that there will be some voters. Pro still under covers my hacking point. No, we don't have the technology to prevent it. Technology will always be vulnerable because hackers will always be able to outsmart every firewall and protective measure put in place.[2] It doesn't matter how many millions are spent to protect these devices, they will be susceptible. Yes, ATM machines are hackable " I put this in R1, but I'll repost it.[3] Cell phones and home computers, two avenues you suggested, are even worse (again, repost).[4][5] So hackers will be voting, in droves, submitting thousands of votes at at a time, often hired by companies that would stand to gain from this.

Still worse, he ignores my analysis of how companies will exploit this. No, they're not going to go door-to-door. They're going to post ads on Craigslist, hiring people for any number of apparently menial jobs, and then coach them on which bills to vote for and which against. Then, they're going to pay these people to go out and vote. Remember, these citizens aren't held accountable for their votes like those in Congress. They can vote as they please without consequence.

So these people will be voting. And since bills are going to be long, these are the majority of people who will be voting. And now, every bill will be in favor of a company or set of companies. Pro is still using the same tired Underpants Gnomes argumentation to support his arguments, leaving out any link to his impacts. Voters should not buy such threadbare argumentation.

Now, onto the second question.

First off, I'd just like to point out a contradiction in terms. Pro talks about transparency and accountability being paramount, and yet then discusses how fluff would be removed to make it more "simplistic." Funny, I thought transparency involved providing more information on what they're looking to pass, not less.

But let's get deeper into this, because Pro is fundamentally mishandling my arguments. In fact, in several cases, he's supercharging them. He brings 2 examples of how a vote could be reduced to something simpler: "should the federal government spend $xxx on [item]?" and "should the Keystone oil pipeline be approved?" Both of these questions leave me concerned, as it should leave everyone else.

What is the government going to use that item for? Who will be using that item specifically? How will their usage be enforced? Where is that money going to be taken from? How many of that item can be purchased for that amount of money?

Where is the money for the Keystone oil pipeline coming from? Are we subsidizing its creation? How many American citizens will be hired to help? Which states will it go through? What will be its specific path? Who will regulate its construction? Who will regulate its operation? Where will the oil go that passes through it?

None of these questions are answered by that simplistic notion, and as I stated in R2, none of them will be. Politicians have every incentive to make it this simplistic and leave the public completely in the dark. People feel empowered, but the government only gains more power and has even less transparency than they do now.

Remember, and this is key to the debate, Congress is still crafting these bills. Except now, they get to dumb them down to the point at which anyone can believe they've understood it. There's no incentive for the public to find out more because the amount of information would be too much to handle and because the public now believes it has the power. Why bother tackling possible corruption in Congress when they can't even vote? This just masks the problem. Why hold someone to account when you already believe that they are forced to do as you say?

Pro's world of simplifying legislation results in two things. One, people will vote on legislation they barely understand, legislation that will often have dramatic effects. Two, legislators will be able to continue their agendas by reducing them to soundbites and simplistic points that people can rally around. They will either be do-nothing or actively benefiting companies, since the public will have little incentive to keep an eye on them. And remember, the president's job isn't changing at all, so any legislation can still be blocked by veto, which means Pro gets far less solvency.

I'm going to minimize my time on the taxation point since I just keep getting more perplexed as he explains it. Let's just accept his worldview here, and then say that he's going to punish many states' infrastructures, as they won't be able to cover the costs of major repairs due to weather, as I stated before. Economies don't change overnight, and many millions of people will suffer.

And now, I'd like to end with idealism. In a perfect world with perfect people, Pro's argument might have merit. But then, if we lived in that world, we wouldn't be discussing this in the first place. We would a highly active and thoughtful Congress, world peace, flying cars, and our own personal islands in the south Pacific. This is not an ideal world, and performing an experiment like this " something that's never been done " puts everything that this country is and will be at great risk. Pro simply isn't giving a good enough story to support how this will work and why we should believe that the flawed people in this country today will make it work. Don't vote for a policy simply because it throws out buzzwords like "democracy," "accountability," and "transparency." Vote Con.

Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by kbub 2 years ago
Nice topic!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Wylted 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con easily pointed out the numerous holes in pro's proposal.. Pro couldn't point out a reasonable way to amend the lengths and frequency of bills being proposed in a direct democracy. Pro also did not address how security concerns such as fraud and hacking should be dealt with. Con was the only one to source his arguments.
Vote Placed by black_squirrel 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: PROs plan seems unpractical and CON points this out well. CON also had more sources.