The Instigator
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
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Super pacs harm the election process.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/28/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,194 times Debate No: 29632
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
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Observation 1: This debate is looking at whether super pacs are a harm to the election process not just the presidential outcome. The argument that Obama won even though he had less money from outside sources isnt a defining argument, we have to look further into what is the actual process.

Observation 2: The election process deals w/ voters, any primary races, and it can also include the presidential race.

Moving on to my three main points.
1. Super pacs hurts voters trust in the election process.
Sub Point A: voter turnout
Sub Point B: corruption
2. Super pacs allow for foreign corporations to have their opinion put into our politics.
3. Super pacs allow for rich to sway voter opinion through ads.
Sub point A: minority of rich shouldnt have more voice than majority
Sub point B: Super pacs can spend far more than individual.
I look forward to a great debate.


Well I'm glad you brought up the pf resolution from January it should be fun to debate this again.

I of course accept
Debate Round No. 1


Back to my first point: super pacs hurt voter turnout. According to an article from Andy Kroll, A poll was taken to discover people reaction to super pacs. One in four respondents in the poll said they're less likely to vote in elections this year because of the growing influence of super-PACs. That percentage climbs among those earning less than $35,000 a year to 34 percent and those with only a high school education to 34 percent (this poll has marginal error of 3.1%) (end quote). Super Pacs will continue to dump tons of money into to political ads which will continue making people feel like their voice drowned out.

Sub Point B: Corruption
According to the same survey by Andy Kroll, 73% of the respondents agreed with the statement "there would be less corruption if there were limits on how much could be given to super-PACs."(end quote) this statement shows that people are losing trust in our democratic system which proves that super pacs harm our democratic process.

2. Citizens. United decision allows foreign-owned corporations to influence elections. According to public, A million-dollar donation by a foreign-owned corporation to a Republican super PAC has raised legal concerns and opened up the controversial Citizens United Supreme Court decision to new criticism.
Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting Republican Mitt Romney""s run for president, received a $1 million donation in mid-August from reinsurance company OdysseyRe of Connecticut, a Canadian insurance and investment management giant Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (end quote). When the supreme court made their decision on the Citizens United case, they opened up a whole new window for foreign groups to donate money to influence who is in charge of our country.
3. Citizens United decision tilts process in favor of the wealthy.
Sub point A: Super Pacs can donate more than an individual. According to the Washington Post, The size of contributions to super PACs and other outside entities in 2012 was staggering. The Center for Responsive Politics calculates that the top 100 individual contributors to super PACs represented just 1 percent of individual donors but accounted for 73 percent of money going to super PACs. This shows that the wealthy can donate tons of money towards getting whatever candidate they want in office.
Sub point B: The minority shouldn't have more power than the majority. According to the Hill, The outside money gave a minuscule minority of Americans the power to control the dialogue. That money may even have turned what might have been a "wave" election into a status quo result. But there is no doubt that the big donors have become even more important to both parties. Those individuals, corporations and unions with the ability and willingness to cut checks for millions or even tens of millions of dollars will receive the care and feeding they feel they deserve.
If we allow a the Citizens United decision to stand, we will end up with a system where elections can be bought and the people feel like they have no voice at all. For these reasons we urge a pro ballot.

Sources: vg


In order to be fair i will refrain from posting a rebutall this round.

Before I start I would like to offer one sole observation:
1) As noted by political watchdog the electoral knowledge the three pillars of any electoral process are voter participation, informed citizens and transparency.

Contention 1: The Citizens united ruling increase voter turnout.
According to "the Center for Responsive Politics, in the 2012 presidential race over $380,000,000 have been raised by super PACs and $330,000,000 have been spent".This money according to the wall street journal is so super PACs can run advertisements for or against political candidates.. This is important because these advertisements are essential for maintaining voter turnout according to Paul freedman of the University of Virginia "respondents were as much as 10 percentages Points more likely to vote if they watched television in media Markets that were bombarded with presidential ads". Furthermore, according to Dr. Hillygus of Duke University "Among those who early in the campaign did not intend to vote, exposure to ads increased intentions to vote by 18 percentage points". The impact of this is that by increasing voter turnout we get a more accurate representation of the publics will which is the purpose of the election process.

Contention 2: citizens united allows voters to make informed decisions
According to political scientist David Downing "without freedom of media and wider freedom of speech people cannot make informed decisions on how they should vote". This is important because according to Hans von Spakovsky, former member of the Federal Election Commission "many associations we have in this country (no matter which side of the political aisle they are on), from the NAACP to the Sierra Club to the National Rifle Association, are also corporations. Yet those corporate associations were prohibited under penalty of criminal and civil sanctions from expressing the views of their members. This means that before this landmark decisions many important organizations where barred from expressing their opinions and thus the public lacked vital information that may have significantly affected the outcome of previous elections. Lastly this increase in corporate spending does not favor either political party since according to matt bia a correspondent for the new York times campaign spending tends to be cyclical since when one party increases its spending the other party tends to mobilize and increase its spending. Thus not only does citizen united create more informed voters but it also prevents any one party from gaining an advantage.

Contention 3: Citizens united increases transparency
According to the center for political accountability 85% of company"s increased their disclosure over the last election cycle and there has been an 11% overall increase in disclosure rates. David Weigel a correspondent for the Washington post supports this consensus and notes "there's more information out there about super PAC donors than there is about virtually any other kind of campaign fundraising. The impact of this increased transparency is twofold:
sub point a) Transparency reduces political corruption, as noted by political watchdog the electoral knowledge "Transparency makes institutional systems and the actions/decisions they take widely accessible and understood [and] It is difficult to maintain or publicly justify a system that permits abuse and corruption". This corruption is devastating to the democratic process as noted social advocate John Samuel states "The subversion, misuse and abuse of power tends to undermine the process and content of the democratic process"
sub point b) Transparency allows voters to maintain confidence in our democratic system according to John Wonderlich of the sunlight foundation "Public knowledge of the money flowing into our politics is absolutely fundamental to public accountability in campaigns and elections, [because] without it we can"t properly" maintain confidence in our democratic system". Voter confidence is essential because as Lonna Atkeson of the University of New Mexico notes "If voters do not have faith in this most fundamental aspect of a democratic society " then the legitimacy of representative government might be at risk" and If we can"t even trust are representatives then we have completely undermined the entire purpose of the election process.

Thus for all the aforementioned reasons I urge a con ballot.

Debate Round No. 2


This round is my rebutal speech.

Moving down my oponents flow.
1. Increased ads raise voter turnout.
The first thing we need to look at is in the evidence that my oponent presents, it is a survey from 2000, before the citizens united decision. It argues that while when a voter sees more ads they are more likely to vote. Well as this survey was taken at a time before the citizens united decision was enacted, it is no longer a revelant survey. The oponent might try to argue that an ad is an ad, but looking at the evidence i provided which is a survey which directly corelates with people being less likely to vote as a result of the influence of super pacs (look at my first point in my case), you can see that now with the C.U decision in place, people are less likely to vote because of Super Pacs making my evidence more relevant and it also has a bigger impact so this point should be moved over to my side of the flow.

2.C.U decision allows voters to make more informed decisions.
First off i would like to cross apply my first argument with voter turnout by saying that if people are less likely to vote as a result of the C.U decision, than they are clearly not making informed decisions as they feel like their voice is being drowned out by these super pacs. Also i would like to bring forward the information in the survey that 73% of the people surveyed said there would be less corruption without super pacs. If people feel like there is corruption b/c of super pacs, they arent making more informed decisions as a result because they don't know whether or not to believe these ads that super pacs are releasing.

3. C.U increases transperancy.
Sub point A:My opponent is arguing that because super Pacs are transparent they lessen the political corruption that the Super Pacs themselves are causing. His argument is a completely ridiculous as it states that the transparency of Super Pacs lowers political corruption. However, the political corruption that it lowers is being caused by the Super Pacs, if the Super Pacs didnt exist there wouldnt be a need for the transparency to lower the political corruption.
Sub point B: My opponent claims that the transparency of Super Pacs allows people to know where the money from our politics is coming, however, this is the same case scenario as his sub point A. There wouldnt be a need to know where this money is coming from if there weren't super Pacs. All my opponent's third point is doing is defending super pacs, it is not saying why they either don't harm or how they benefit the election process.
For these reasons I strongly urge a pro ballot.


anonynomous forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


I feel as if this debate is over as my opponent has shut down his account therefore votes should go to my side of this debate.


anonynomous forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


I feel I have won this debate as I have successfully refuted my opponents points and my opponent also dropped to rounds. I urge you to cast a Pro ballot.


anonynomous forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by 1Percenter 5 years ago
What are the rules?
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