The Instigator
Dill777
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
MyDinosaurHands
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

Term limits are completely against what democracy stands for

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
MyDinosaurHands
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/11/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,721 times Debate No: 69639
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)

 

Dill777

Pro

Democracy for the purpose of this debate should be define as referring to representative democracy, where the public gives their power up for elected individuals to lead the nation, state, or something of a similar nature for them. Countries such as the United States and the UK currently follow the essence of this system in some way, with their own twists on it.

The Argument:
If you live in the US, you most likely know that each president is limited to two terms in the white house and no more than two. This has been constitutional law since the 22nd amendment was first passed by congress in 1947, and then ratified by 1951. The supposed intention of this amendment was to prevent one individual from presiding over the executive branch for an extended period of time during their life, like a king. However, term limits whether practiced here or elsewhere directly contradict the very principle of democracy, wherein people elect the men and women who lead them. The purpose of democracy is to ensure that people can place who they think is best for the job in office, and represent their best interest. Term limits inhibit this system, as they block someone from serving after they have already held a position for a certain time. If the public believes that person should still hold that position, than by the very core of democracy they should retain it. To suggest otherwise is somewhat anti-democracy, truly.
MyDinosaurHands

Con

I think it is fair to say that the BoP is mostly on Pro here. He has a blanket statement to defend, that term limits are completely against what democracy stands for, whereas I only need to show that it is not completely anti-democratic. It could be shown that it is somewhat anti-democratic, and I would still win. That said, let's go.

MONOPOLY
If we allowed elected officials to retain their positions for as long as they live, we would run into several problems. First is the fact that people tend to be more comfortable with what they know, meaning people are naturally more likely to vote for an incumbent. This can lead to a stagnant government. You've got the same people holding the same positions, with the same ideas. When you forcefully shuffle the field in terms of election options, you also shuffle the field in terms of ideas. And that is what a democracy needs to survive: fresh ideas. Much like a population needs diversity to be able to adapt to changing conditions, a democracy needs a varied government to be able to act efficiently.

Furthermore, we need to consider the political and financial benefits a long term elected official has. The longer one is in office, we can presume the more of an advantage they generally have in terms of campaigning. They've got a political network already set up, they know more advisers, marketers, managers, etc than a newcomer might. Their 'war chest' is likely to be larger after many years of collecting donations. Basically, allowing people the possibility of unlimited time in office makes the battle for potential challengers an uphill one.

These two realities combine to make one that is anti-democratic. Instead of our representatives being chosen based upon ideas and skills only, they are now chosen based on ideas and skills in conjunction with political power and the tendency to stick with what you know. Instead of really choosing the best candidate for the job, we choose the candidate we are most comfortable with, and who has the most advantage unrelated to his/her skill set relative to his/her opponent's skill set.

CAREER POLITICIANS
One of the biggest problems today in our country is the career politician. Instead of focusing on passing real legislation, failing and succeeding along the way, our politicians would rather not mess with doing actual work, and essentially prepare for re-election 24/7. They do this by going over talking points, exploiting gaffes into 'scandals' for their own party's benefit, lying about the other party, and basically posing. Instead of actual representatives, we've got a bunch of posers.

Despite the fact that doing nothing is not exactly admirable, a career politician would rather do nothing meaningful because that might mean taking a risk or taking away their talking points. Why should immigration reform be passed in earnest when you can use it as a platform to hurl insults and accusations at your opponents? Republicans are blocking immigration reform! They're racists! Democrats are granting amnesty to criminals! They're soft on crime! It would be better for our country if work was prioritized over posturing, because these differences of opinion could meet in a compromise, one which actually does something for the country. The country gets nothing real out of fruitless arguments.

If our representatives had term limits, they'd spend less time worried about posing for the next election and do actual work. Obviously this would be especially so in their final term, but the atmosphere it would inspire, one where work is prioritized over looking good, would likely affect representatives who are not in their final term.

CORRUPTION
The longer elected officials remain in office, the more likely we are to encounter examples of some kind of corruption. One simple reason for this being that the longer you spend around a certain system, the more you understand it. The more you understand a particular system, the easier it is for you to exploit it, perhaps illegally. Further, the more times you are elected, the more confidence you may have in your mandate from the people, that no matter what you do, you are likely to get re-elected. This would be more easily avoided if you swapped out your options for representative every once and a while.

My opponent brought up the Presidency in his first round. I believe this problem would be especially prominent in the executive, seeing as the entire executive branch is centralized around the one man. A President being re-elected many times over again would have to be very popular. This popularity, this support, might allow him to do certain things that would be detrimental to the nation long-term.

Imagine, a President is so popular, he's been elected 4 times. Would it not be possible that with such enormous and lasting support, such a President could push forth laws that benefited him? Perhaps term extensions. Why bother voting every 4 years if we like this guy? Let's make it 6 years. Hell, 8 years! What, he wants to stack the Supreme Court in his favor? Sure! What's that, he wants to give his veto power some extra power? Why not?

This kind of expansion of power in a 2+ term President is supported in the idea of extra time=extra corruption. The longer the President is in control, the more experience he has with the system, meaning he knows how to play it, bend it to his will. Not only this, but the people who elect a President to that many terms are much more likely to be complacent towards their guy. If you've got the same person as President for 16 years, it might be easier to take his rulership for granted, and therein take some of his corrupt and anti-democratic power expansion for granted.


WHAT'S TO GAIN?
Now I know some of the things I have mentioned can be categorized as slippery slope arguments, particularly corruption. Despite that, there is no reason to not guard against such slippery slopes when there is nothing to be gained in doing otherwise. There are over 300 million people in our country, the idea that we'll be unable to find suitable replacements for our representatives who can no longer hold office more is silly. It's especially silly when we decide to enable the copious amounts of career politicians we see today.




The BoP is negated. I have shown that at the very least, term limits are not anti-democratic, as they inspire legislators who actually serve their people instead of themselves. Add that to unfair advantages in what should be fair elections to determine the best man for the job, and potential corruption, and it is clear term limits are a good idea, especially for a democracy.

Thanks for reading.
Debate Round No. 1
Dill777

Pro

'MONOPOLY'

People traditionally vote for the incumbent, that is true. However, it is not an absolute constant. If a leading government official has been in office for some time and they have failed to stop or, contributed to, issues such as rising unemployment and declining GDP, among other things, the public takes notice. For an example, I will point to the Obama Administration in America. President Barack Obama has presided over the nation since 2009, and was re-elected in 2012, defeating challenger Mitt Romney. This would seem to show that people are more likely to vote for incumbent officials, which is the case in some occurrences. However regardless of whether you support President Obama or not, his administration has been increasingly controversial, and its popularity has fallen considerably since his first day in office. As a matter of fact, it has been found in several nationwide polls that if the 2012 election were held in the past one and a half years, Mitt Romney would defeat the incumbent President by a landslide. Why? That would be because a majority of the public have become increasingly dissatisfied with his administration and his actions, with disapproval of him on the rise, even some who voted for him in the past are experiencing a sort of "buyers' remorse". It can be inferred from such data that even if there were no term limits and President Obama ran for a third term he would most likely not be re-elected. So basically, what I mean to say is, if a national leader is making choices considered to be poor or hazardous, even without term limits, they are likely to lose that office. If a leader is making good choices, or choices that are considered/proven to be beneficial, then he or she should have every right to retain office if so chosen by the public to do so. Fresh ideas are not necessarily good ideas, what matters in democracy and overall is not if ideas are fresh, but whether they are good and beneficial.

An incumbent might have more connections than a challenger, that is a possibility. However that ignores another possibility that a challenger may have also held other positions, campaigned in other elections, and established connections that may even more than match that of the incumbent. They also have a potential boost in their track record and that of the incumbent, it isn't as impossible as your wording suggests.

The reality is that in the end, democracy prevails. If a man is a bad leader, it may take time, but it shall be seen, and he shall be removed by the people. If a man is a good leader, he has every right to continue to hold the office he was elected for if the people do so give him their vote. Why should a popular, effective leader be forced to leave office, upon which he may be replaced with other candidates that could be even worse? Why force the public to select from the best of evil? To deny the people the right to elect a leader if they so believe him fit for office, and to deny a just leader the right to hold office if the public so sees him fit, is truly anti-democratic.

'CAREER POLITICIANS'

You are telling me that the government isn't passing legislation, and is instead constantly focusing on being elected? How curious, yet if I check around, there were over 8 bills made into law on the day of December 19 2014 alone. 8 bills in one, single, day. I'm confused, I thought they were busy slandering eachother constantly? Regardless of that, let's focus on your intention of this statement here. Look, legislating is a very complicated process, at times it can be rather difficult to get things passed. You can't expect them to be one hundred percent effective every term , it's unrealistic. Consider the state of congress after 2012, you had a House with a thin majority of Republicans, and a Democrat dominated Senate. With a layout like that, of course you'll see some gridlock and inactivity. Hell even members of each party respectively don't always agree with their 'allies'. For example, in the GOP you have the establishment Republicans such as John Boehner and Mitt Romney, then there's conservative firebrands like Ted Cruz. In 2013 Ted Cruz went on that filibuster which helped lead the the shutdown, do you judge him for not getting anything done when he can't get any support? Or if you support the Democrats, do you judge them for not pursuing active legislation because of their conflicts with the GOP also contributed to the shutdown? Well, let me restate what I said earleir. Legislating is a very complicated process, you can't expect yourself to get everything done in a few terms. It takes a long time to work towards a goal, which is one reason why term limits would only cause problems.

Their talking points are to get a message out, yes part of it is to support them for re election and whatnot. Debating is a core facet of democracy as well, each issue was meant to be debated and drawn out so that the best achievable outcome by the legislative could be achieved. It also enables voters to hear the stances of party members and legislators and consider things(such as: which of these parties is more in tune with my interests/ideals? which candidate fits my idea for a better America more closely? Who can I trust with the future of my nation?). However they also are urging the public to consider that their vote will help to shape the future of the country, and they want them to vote for their side. Why is that? Well that would be because they need support from their side to get things done, so really if legislators are to actually work as you say they don't, they need that support from their party to get their goals accomplished. So it would only make logical sense for them to attempt to futher their support as well as the support of those who would assist in accomplishing their goals. If term limits were introduced for congress, well you could expect an absolutely unstable mess I assure you. Things would grow incredibly inconsistent, which would hurt, not help, legislation. It would also still be against democracy, as it is a needless limit on the right to choose who you believe should lead the future, and to be the leader of the future if you are so chosen by the public.

To be frank, if term limits for congress were implemented, legislators will not have the time to accomplish what they were elected to. The old representatives would be suddenly replaced with a batch of new fresh fraced idealists who may be inexperienced, and could also contribute to gridlock. On the negative side, in a final term of office, the representatives would not be concerned with public approval. This means there would be no reason for them to hold back on doing things the public would not approve of, and they would attempt to do so. Why not? They don't need to be re elected, so they'd go all in. Which in the end could lead to us being on the short end of the stick. The desire to remain within public approval so as to be re elected is an incentive to work towards the public interest. Which in turn is actually pro-democracy, as it furthers the interest of the people.

Well that's a very interesting scenario of the President you got there, however none of that would ever happen. It's all unconstitutional, and it takes effort nationwide across state governments and congress to amend the constitution, and for the scenario you gave to even happen would take several amendments. Basically, it will never happen, so your scenario is invalidated.

If a leader ruins the nation truly, the people will grow to see it. Even in nations like North Korea where a dictatorship is in place, the amount of people who want to end the tyranny grows. The only real thing stopping them is the belief that he is a god. Here, we elect our leaders, so we can stop them if we wish, with more ease. By the way, 300 million people does not mean 300 million politically educated people.

http://www.washingtonpost.com...;
MyDinosaurHands

Con

POOR CONDUCT
My opponent has demonstrated very poor conduct. He has been unnecessarily rude and sarcastic. The following are some examples I've picked out:
"You are telling me that the government isn't passing legislation, and is instead constantly focusing on being elected? How curious, yet if I check around, there were over 8 bills made into law on the day of December 19 2014 alone. 8 bills in one, single, day. I'm confused, I thought they were busy slandering eachother constantly?"
I understand the point of this statement (which I will get to eventually), but I think we can all see that the point is not serviced by the sarcasm. Without actually being necessary to the point, the sarcasm is just an example of poor conduct, which I respectfully request the voters dock him points for.
"Well that's a very interesting scenario of the President you got there, however none of that would ever happen..."
Ditto
"By the way, 300 million people does not mean 300 million politically educated people."
Ditto

MONOPOLY
"So basically, what I mean to say is, if a national leader is making choices considered to be poor or hazardous, even without term limits, they are likely to lose that office."
This conclusion is based on the idea fact that if Obama were to be up for election against Romney right now, he'd lose. This obviously disregards the fact that when it comes time for Obama to leave, his approval rating might be higher, meaning he'd win a hypothetical third term. This point isn't really central to the debate, however. What is central is the above quoted idea.

Basically my opponent is countering the idea that incumbency provides too much of an advantage with his Obama fact. That is one instance, I would counter with multiple instances that contradict that.
[3]
There are 435 Representatives and 100 Senators, all without term limits[1][2]. While Obama might have lost a hypothetical third term, that does not refute the fact, represented here, that incumbency provides a huge advantage.

"Fresh ideas are not necessarily good ideas, what matters in democracy and overall is not if ideas are fresh, but whether they are good and beneficial."
I think it reasonable to conclude that if a challenger with fresh ideas is elected, the people judge his ideas to be good. The opinion of the people being the bedrock of what justifies action in a democracy, a challenger with fresh ideas who is elected has had his ideas judged to be good by the standard of democracy. So it's not as if these fresh ideas are going to be bad.

A stale idea is not necessarily a bad one, I agree. However, it is more likely to be detrimental, because as the world changes, we need people with ideas that have changed with it. People who have inhabited the world of politics for decades can often lose sight of the change in the world, and what it requires. This is defined in psychology as functional fixedness[4], where one gets stuck in a certain viewpoint, and loses problem solving efficiency as a result. I think we can all see how this is more likely to be a problem for career legislators as opposed to citizen legislators (that's just a term for politicians with term limits). Being in the same environment, with just about all the same people, can reduce creativity and induce functional fixedness.

"..a challenger may have also held other positions, campaigned in other elections, and established connections that may even more than match that of the incumbent."
The key word there is may. An incumbent, with the time he or she has spent in the political world, winning multiple elections, forging alliances, etc, will undoubtedly have political capital. So you've got people who do have political capital versus people who might have political capital. We can see how that match-up might turn out, and we see how it does in the form of the US Congress' re-election rate.

"To deny the people the right to elect a leader if they so believe him fit for office, and to deny a just leader the right to hold office if the public so sees him fit, is truly anti-democratic."
I agree. However, I have also provided some reasons why term limits are good, such as the breaking up of political monopoly, introduction of fresh ideas, and more I will reaffirm later in this round. My role in this debate is to negate my opponent's statement, that term limits are completely undemocratic. That means he must be right about everything. Clearly, he is right about some things, but not all, meaning I should get your vote.

CAREER POLITICIANS
"How curious, yet if I check around, there were over 8 bills made into law on the day of December 19 2014 alone."
Picking one day out of a whole year can provide unrepresentative results. While the 113th Congress may have had that productive day, they were not very productive in general. They were the second least productive Congress in history, second only to the 112th Congress. This fits in with the idea I posited in my first round of argumentation: Congress is busy slandering each other and scoring political points to do anything meaningful for the country. Why? Because they're worried about their careers as politicians. And we should be worried about their careers as politicians, as case studies have shown that the longer a congressmen is in office, the more likely he/she is to act in a corrupt manner[5].

"Legislating is a very complicated process, you can't expect yourself to get everything done in a few terms. It takes a long time to work towards a goal, which is one reason why term limits would only cause problems."
My opponent never defined how long these term limits we'd be talking about were. To now bring up time as an issue is unfair to me. What if they had a 4 term limit? 8 years sounds like a decent amount of time to get something done. What if it was 2 term limits? 4 years? A little more questionable. But the time of term limits wasn't defined, so we can't really debate these points.

"On the negative side, in a final term of office, the representatives would not be concerned with public approval. This means there would be no reason for them to hold back on doing things the public would not approve of, and they would attempt to do so."
A) These supposed rogue representatives would be held in check by their colleagues who are not as liberated as they.
B) It's unlikely power-hungry people are going to run for a position they can only hold for a few years.

"Well that's a very interesting scenario of the President you got there, however none of that would ever happen. It's all unconstitutional.."
Most of our Presidents have violated the Constitution, and all modern Presidents have[6]. You've got Obama's executive action on immigration, which goes beyond prosecutorial discretion and essentially into lawmaking[7]. You've got Abraham Lincoln and other wartime Presidents suspending free speech and horbeas corpus rights. You've got things like the new deal from FDR, which took an unconstitutional amount of control in the private sector[6]. All of these men were elected multiple times. FDR was elected four times.

"By the way, 300 million people does not mean 300 million politically educated people."
No, but my point is that there's a ton of people in America, and there are bound to be tons of qualified candidates as a result.


Sources:
[1] http://www.house.gov...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://www.politifact.com...
[4] http://psychology.about.com...
[5] http://ourgeneration.org...
[6] http://www.wsj.com...
[7] http://www.washingtonpost.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Dill777

Pro

'POOR CONDUCT'
My apologies if I offended you, however I was under the impression that this was a debate, not a chat over some tea. I may have been sarcastic, however I would hardly consider that poor conduct. Now if I were to insult you, call you a moron, or use other derogatory terms, then I would be illustrating very poor conduct. However anything I said was to illustrate a point, which goes along with the goal of a debate anyway. By the way, the time you are using to point out flaws in myself is time you could be using to actually defeat my argument. In a live debate, you would be wasting that valuable time which could cost you in the long run.

'MONOPOLY'
"This conclusion is based on the idea fact that if Obama were to be up for election against Romney right now, he'd lose."
It was an example I used to provide some evidence for my already stated point, I can bring up more if you'd like. Bush could also be another supporting example, if you believe polls at least.

"This obviously disregards the fact that when it comes time for Obama to leave, his approval rating might be higher, meaning he'd win a hypothetical third term.
"
However I based my hypothetical match-up on presidential approval polls which show a downward trend in his popularity[1], making it a likely assumption or an educated guess. Assuming that the approval rating would go up for 2016 however, is an unlikely assumption, unless there is something to back it up.

"Basically my opponent is countering the idea that incumbency provides too much of an advantage with his Obama fact. That is one instance, I would counter with multiple instances that contradict that."
It was a supporting example, which you had yet to provide.

"There are 435 Representatives and 100 Senators, all without term limits[1][2]. While Obama might have lost a hypothetical third term, that does not refute the fact, represented here, that incumbency provides a huge advantage."

What it refutes is the assumption that incumbency provides a large enough advantage so that if someone holds an office for a long time, they will always be re-elected, or that they will be re-elected for many many years, even if they are disapproved of or if they have done considerable harm to the nation. By the way, it should be considered that the issue of congress is due to voter apathy. The voter turnout for the 2014 midterms was the lowest it has been since World War Two[2], when you have a minority of americans choosing our leaders, that creates issues like this, however that's another issue entirely. Plus, congressional elections are done in seperate states and districts, national polls like this lump a bunch of random people from different states together.

"I think it reasonable to conclude that if a challenger with fresh ideas is elected, the people judge his ideas to be good."
Yet that does not apply to an incumbent official? This is where my point lies, that if people judge someone's ideas and abilities to be good, then they should be able to hold office. Term limits block someone from running for a position even if the public judge him to be good, which is why I stated that they are anti-democracy, as they block the right of the people to choose who they find to be suitable for leadership.

"The opinion of the people being the bedrock of what justifies action in a democracy, a challenger with fresh ideas who is elected has had his ideas judged to be good by the standard of democracy. So it's not as if these fresh ideas are going to be bad."
What I mean to say is, being fresh does not make them inherently good. Someone with "fresh ideas" may be elected just because they have distance from a former official with old ideas that the public disliked, however that does not make the fresh ideas any better than the old ones. The new options may be bad, however the people can't select the old option because of term limits, even if they think it is good. That my friend, is a large part of what makes term limits anti-democracy, as I have stated.

The link which you provided also states that functional fixedness can sometimes be a good thing, which goes along with why incumbent officials should not be universally blocked from seeking more than a certain amount of terms. The older idea might be better than the new idea, and the people like the old idea and want to elect the person who supports it. According to democracy, they have every right to do so. However, term limits block their ability to do this at some point, which again is why they are anti-democracy. It has also been ignored than an incumbent might support the new idea, and the challengers want to return to the old idea. Let's say the old idea is detrimental, however the incumbent cannot be re-elected due to term limits, etc. Term limits can force people to choose from the lesser of evils, while democracy allows all options to be considered, thus they contradict.

"The key word there is may. An incumbent, with the time he or she has spent in the political world, winning multiple elections, forging alliances, etc, will undoubtedly have political capital. So you've got people who do have political capital versus people who might have political capital. We can see how that match-up might turn out, and we see how it does in the form of the US Congress' re-election rate."

Typically the ones who run for a major office do have connections already, and they are the ones who are able to actually step up to the election. So it is very likely that someone who challenges the incumbent will have connections, and depending on the voter turnout, it is likely that whosoever is the best man for the job, or is perceived to be, will be chosen.

Even if there are some benefits, they are still against what democracy is. That is what this debate is about, and I believe that regardless of the few benefits that may be present, term limits are still inhibitors to democracy. Thus I believe I should get your vote, because I have shown why that is true.

CAREER POLITICIANS
In the past, previous congresses have been plenty active. If this was a matter of terms, why was congress productive before and not now when term limits have never been imposed upon congress? There are a lot of factors involved, to assume it is something that would be solved by term limits is unfounded.

"My opponent never defined how long these term limits we'd be talking about were"
Term limits would cut short any plans a legislator had in store, since there are new things to deal with all the time, among other reasons. So it's regardless of the length.

A)If they have their districts/states locked up for re-election, they could go with their idea
B)If someone is truly power-hungry, they will go for whatever position they can get their hands on.

"Most of our Presidents have violated the Constitution, and all modern Presidents have"
However your scenario included things that were already explicitly set up by the constitution or forbade by it. It is already made so that Presidents are elected every 4 years, and the power of the veto is already, absolutely, defined. To change such a system would require a constitutional amendment, which is very difficult and takes time if it even happens. For example, the 22nd amendment which limits the President to two terms was passed by Congress on March 21st 1947, it was not ratified until February 27th of 1951. It takes Congress and the states to change the constitution, why would they both give the executive more power when that threatens their own?

"No, but my point is that there's a ton of people in America, and there are bound to be tons of qualified candidates as a result."
That's like saying there are tons of people with left hands, so there are bound to be tons of left handed people in the world.

[1]http://www.realclearpolitics.com...
[2]http://time.com...
MyDinosaurHands

Con

BOP REQUIREMENTS
At this point in the debate, I'd like to reaffirm the burden on my opponent. He has to defend the statement: Term limits are completely against what democracy stands for. I need to show that statement to be false. So if I properly defended the following statement: Term limits are what democracy stands for; or even: Term limits are mostly against what democracy stands for; I have have fulfilled my burden of proof. That is why I have no problem acknowledging that term limits have some faults.

This said, my arguments this round will not respond to everything in the previous round, as it's getting quite tedious to address every 'quote and respond'.

PS
I will not be responding to my opponent's response to his poor conduct. I trust voters on this site know poor conduct when they see it enough to not keep beating this over their heads.

DROPPED ARGUMENT
My opponent never responded to the following fact:
The longer a politician is in office, the more likely he/she is to become corrupt. Obviously this is against democracy stands for(what democracy stands for corrupt government?). So, this fact alone fulfills my burden of proof.

INCUMBENCY
"An incumbent, with the time he or she has spent in the political world, winning multiple elections, forging alliances, etc, will undoubtedly have political capital. So you've got people who do have political capital versus people who might have political capital."
This was in response to my opponent's statement that a challenger might have political resources to match an incumbent. Obviously my response shows that it would seem logical to assume that in general incumbents would have an advantage not related to their worth as a representative. This logical assumption is verified given that the data shows incumbents having an average money advantage of 12:1 in the Senate, and 9:1 in the House[1][2].

INCUMBENCY AND VOTER APATHY
My opponent had this to say about my meme-esque picture regarding Congressional re-election rates:
"By the way, it should be considered that the issue of congress is due to voter apathy. The voter turnout for the 2014 midterms was the lowest it has been since World War Two[2], when you have a minority of americans choosing our leaders, that creates issues like this, however that's another issue entirely."
Statistically speaking, voter apathy does not appear to be the sole reason for the massive advantage incumbents have. For the 40 years prior to 2014, voter turnout rates have been higher than they were in 2014[3]. Despite that, there has been no discernable change in incumbent advantage in these 40 years. House re-election rates have hovered comfortably at 90%, and Senate rates at 80%[4].

I believe that this, in conjunction with statistics related to Congressional inefficiency and massive spending advantages, shows that incumbency is a major advantage. This being the case, term limits would be good for democracy, as there'd be less elections with incumbents, and less time for said incumbents to build up advantages not related to their worth as a candidate.

"Plus, congressional elections are done in seperate states and districts, national polls like this lump a bunch of random people from different states together."
Yes, they're lumped together. But that is only fair as they are lumped together when they work. Despite the fact that the Congress has an 11% approval rating, 96% of the dysfunctional Congress came back. That's the incumbency advantage of a career politician. As I've already shown, it's not going to be blamed by voter apathy, because this has been a problem even during times when voters weren't apathetic.

COMPETITION
Based on the advantages demonstrated with incumbency, one might assume that when an incumbent is up for election, there are less candidates than there might be if there was a vacant seat to be filled. This assumption would be correct; studies have found that seats made vacant by term limits draw 50% more candidates than it otherwise would[5].

The benefits of this for a democracy should be clear. Democracy is all about providing the people a diverse set of options. The more options you've got, the better the competition there is. The better the competition, the better the person who comes out on top. That's survival of the fittest. Term limits give us that by throwing more candidates into the races. This increased competition could also decrease voter apathy; more contenders=more competition=more excitement.

FUNCTIONAL FIXEDNESS
My opponent smartly followed my source and plucked out some contradictory information.

The key thing to note here is that functional fixedness is helpful in familiar scenarios. The problem for career politicians is that the world is constantly changing, and being stuck in problem-solving techniques that work in old scenarios could be detrimental.


MISC
I said this:
"Most of our Presidents have violated the Constitution, and all modern Presidents have"
My opponent said this:
"However your scenario included things that were already explicitly set up by the constitution or forbade by it."
And the Presidential violations of the Constitution are in contradiction of things "..already explicitly set up by the constitution or forbade by it."
The point being that there is a disrespect for Constitutional limits in the executive branch. Based on this (and the fact about the relation between time in office and corruption) it is reasonable to assume that we'd see more breaches of the Constitution the longer a President is allowed to remain in office. Obviously breaches in the Constitution, the gatekeeper of our democracy, are anti-democratic.

I said:
"No, but my point is that there's a ton of people in America, and there are bound to be tons of qualified candidates as a result."
He said:
"That's like saying there are tons of people with left hands, so there are bound to be tons of left handed people in the world."
This is simple logic. We know that if you get enough people in a room, one of them will be a part of politics. Based on this, we know that the more people you get, the more politicians you're likely to get. It's kind of like buying McDonald's fries during those monopoly deals. The more fries you buy, the more monopoly thingies you will end up collecting. The more people we have, the more politicians we have. The more politcians we have, the less likely it is that we won't be able to find new ones that are good replacements for the ones we kicked out with term limits. This seems especially true when you consider the 'Competition' argument above.


Sources:
[1] http://www.opensecrets.org...
[2] https://www.google.com...
[3] http://www.nytimes.com...
[4] https://www.opensecrets.org...
[5] http://www.cato.org...
Debate Round No. 3
Dill777

Pro

Dill777 forfeited this round.
MyDinosaurHands

Con

https://www.youtube.com...

Links that I posted used to appear as videos right in the debate. If anyone can tell me why that is changed, and if and how I can fix it, that'd be great.
Debate Round No. 4
Dill777

Pro

Dill777 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Greg4586 1 year ago
Greg4586
I was on the fence about this issue before I saw this debate, but after I now support term limits
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
RFD (Pt. 1)

I'll start this off by explaining how I saw the debate, which should probably reveal some of the frustrations I had in reading it.

The first question I'm asking myself is very basic: what does democracy stand for? I get a number of indirect answers to this question, but no one makes it abundantly clear a) what democracy is, b) what upholds democracy, and c) what is against democracy. These might sound like basic questions, but they really do need an answer, one that's clear and present throughout the debate. My perception is that democracy is a government of the people, by the people, where the people maintain power in how a government is run.

Maybe that's why I have some cognitive dissonance with the topic to begin with. To me, what it takes for a people to be democratic is for them to have control over who is in our leadership positions. I don't see how that requires that we have a multitude of ideas among our electable representatives, at least not directly. Don't get me wrong, I can see the problem with over-limiting what the people are capable of electing " if you have only one candidate, that's not really a choice. But I'm left wondering, is any loss of potential candidates harmful to democracy? What is it about that loss that harms democracy? Or, is this particular loss uniquely harmful to democracy and, if so, how?

I don't see this being discussed anywhere in the debate. Pro makes no effort to answer the above questions, which are integral to his analysis and meeting his basic burdens. Con makes no effort to challenge him on these, merely affording Pro a nebulous burden of "be[ing] right about everything," which isn't quite true either " Pro only had to win those arguments that addressed democracy and the effects of term limits on it, specifically. Con starts to get into a deepr burdens analysis in R3, but I still don't get a specific idea of what arguments Pro has to win in order to win the debate.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 2)

The discussion of what it takes to have a democracy (e.g. how many candidates have to be available, what thought spectra they have to encompass, how experienced they should be, etc.) seems to take a backseat to each debater merely trying to find holes in the others' arguments. That's probably the biggest problem here " I never get sufficient perspective on what must be accomplished by Pro in order for him to win. Pro keeps emphasizing the word "anti-democracy" in R3, and starts to get into some explanation of where the focus should be in the debate, but is never really specific on what satisfies and what fails to address democracy as an idea. In fact, I thought this would have been a great way to skirt out from under most of Con's arguments, since almost all of them are based on the idea that democracy is harmed by things like corruption, but it's unclear just how corruption leads to less democracy. It may lead to a corrupted republican government, but not necessarily harm to the process of democracy.

And that's the main problem here: Pro carries this burden, not Con. I might not be certain what that burden is by the end of the debate, but I have some idea of what it likely should be. Pro's arguments just focus on the need for options in democracy, but I'm left completely befuddled on how that links to the idea that democracy is demonstrably harmed by this. Maybe it is, but I need that link to be clear:

Democracy stands for giving the people the choice to elect whatever representative they wish. They don't need all the candidates, just the real stand outs that create a substantial marketplace of ideas. Allowing all candidates that are of great interest to the general public into the pool of candidates upholds democracy. Forcing some of them out on the basis that they've been in too long reduces the capacity of the people to elect that representative government of their choice. Ergo, term limits suck for democracy.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 3)

That's not a complete listing of the points, but that needed to be the shell. I needed more elucidation particularly on what democracy stands for, and I just didn't get it. As such, Pro lets Con define some of what democracy stands for and against, with corruption, voter apathy, and a generally broader set of new ideas. I'm not fully buying any of these, and, in my estimation, the first and last might not even be on topic. But voter apathy has the strongest link to the resolution of them all " democracy requires participation, and if participation decreased, democracy is inherently harmed. Really, though, I can be buying any piece of any of these and still be voting Con. The word "completely" in the resolution sets the entire burden of proof squarely on Pro's shoulders, and without making the substantial effort necessary to clarify his burden, it's difficult to determine what undermines it and what doesn't. Any possibility that Con's points even partially undermine Pro's case is significant enough for me to vote Con, and since all 3 of them do (at least in part), that's how I end up voting.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
Posting arguments that you were unable to post within the 72 hours allotted is cheating.
Posted by Dill777 2 years ago
Dill777
I've had a rather busy day today, if I may I would like to briefly overview the points given by my opponent that I was unable to respond to properly.

'BOP REQUIREMENTS'
Truly the entire point of this argument is to show that term limits are (Pro) or aren't (Con) against democracy, so for the last round (two rounds in the case of my opponent) we will focus on proving our side as opposed to nitpicking eachother's statements to death. So it will be up to me to prove to the voters that term limits are against the principles of democracy, and that they rather inhibit it. My opponent will attempt to disprove my statement (That term limits are completely against what democracy stands for) and to relieve the burden of proof which is upon him, laying it upon myself. I shall attempt to provide evidence that my statement is true, proving it, and relieving the BOP upon me. So I as well have no problem admitting that term limits might have some benefits, though they also have some faults. This debate will not further be about that, it will be about the burden of proof, proving or disproving the statement.

PS: I trust that the viewers will be able to judge for themselves my 'conduct'.

'DROPPED ARGUMENT'
My opponent's statement which I failed to respond to (partially due to character limit) is somewhat true, however it is not an absolute. As a matter of fact someone who is new to the political system may be more prone to corruption than someone who has experience, and will succumb to it while in office. Personally I would say this could be solved via methods other than term limits, but let's not spend our efforts debating that now that the debate is nearly over. Lastly, democracy does not stand for corruption, this is true. However democracy does not stand against corruption either, it's an irrelevant factor in this debate. Democracy regards freedom to choose your leaders, or lead if chosen. Corruption is not inherently anti-democracy, though people are against it.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 1 year ago
Blade-of-Truth
Dill777MyDinosaurHandsTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Con. Pro forfeited two rounds in this debate, which is rarely acceptable conduct in any debate setting. S&G - Tie. Both had proper spelling and grammar throughout. Arguments - Con. This was an excellent debate, aside from Pro's unfortunate conduct in certain places, and one that I would have loved to see fully fleshed out. With that said, Pro placed a large burden on himself and Con was able to use that to his advantage. In R3, we see Pro drop a key line of argumentation, which was, to be honest, his only real mistake up to that point. However, Pro then forfeited the remainder of the debate. Leaving Con to stand unchallenged and thus failing to maintain his BOP as Pro. Purely argument-wise, both of you performed well, especially Con. Ultimately Con wins arguments. Sources - Con. Both utilized sources, but I found Con's to be far greater in quantity and both equally solid in quality. Thus Con takes sources, but only slightly. In the end, this is a clear win for Con.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
Dill777MyDinosaurHandsTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments. The source vote is actually used to note the two conduct violations from Pro - both the forfeits, and the extension of Pro's rebuttals in the comments. A snide attitude he may have, but that is not a conduct violation (that that he really needed a third). Still, I felt two violations warranted two points, and so I'm affording both to Con.