The Instigator
seekerofthetruth
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Reformist
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

That Government Transparency is necessary for the existence of a Democratic Nation

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/27/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 276 times Debate No: 85615
Debate Rounds (5)
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Votes (0)

 

seekerofthetruth

Pro

New to this.... just wanted to see people's opinions on the Philosophy of a Democracy. I'm totally open to be proven wrong, but at this point, I hold these notions:

1. A democracy is a political system whereby the power is held by the people through elected representatives (of the people).

2. These representatives of the people are not separate to the people, rather speak on and judge on behalf of them.

3. If there is information that the representatives know, then If they don't share it with the rest of society, they no longer become representatives and internal to the system of government, rather external and misrepresent- this is because it then contradicts the system of a democracy; that is, the power is no longer with the people, rather, with those elected officials. This only becomes a problem when, given the fact that the system of electing is partially built on trust, this power becomes unevenly distributed throughout society

4. If there is government secrecy, the democratic system of government topples

Please refute me if you will; Only hoping to learn and refine my perspective on the world. Thanks!
Reformist

Con

I accept this challenge

However 1-4 are your arguments and not your definitions

If those were definitions there would be no way for you to lose
Debate Round No. 1
seekerofthetruth

Pro

I see your point... I have set my definitions within those arguments... If that is the case, and your conclusion is true, then may I be able to hear your set of definitions, to understand where you are coming from?
Thanks
Reformist

Con

I'm not really going to use definitions because that will lead to semantics

My main argument is that a government has our best interest at heart and it will make decisions to keep our country safe.

Ill let you rebut that claim and then we can start the arguement
Debate Round No. 2
seekerofthetruth

Pro

The claim that a government has, at heart, what is best for the citizens is an assumption- this may not be the case... I'm not saying that they don't have your best interests at heart, but I'm just saying that in order to make such a claim, there needs to be some evidence to back it up... Or at least the measures that government has in place to ensure that they do.
Reformist

Con

The government always has our best interest because they are the ones running the country.

The government itself is tasked with keeping the country going. Now of course there are a few bad apples but that doesn't make the entire system a failure.

Transparency for the government will put even more distrust into the hearts of its citizens

They need to do whats necessary, whether good or bad, to keep us safe and people in the streets calling them murderers isn't helpful and is actually counter productive. A citizen needs to live in this country and be happy. He doesn't need to know all the extensive things that we do.

Government should always be for the people and by the people but there needs to be a middle ground. We already elect representatives to represent us we dont need to keep bugging them or provoking them to do what we want all the time. Sometimes the government knows more than we do because, lets face it, most Americans arent really the sharpest knives in the drawer
Debate Round No. 3
seekerofthetruth

Pro

Refutations

1. The government always has our best interest because they are the ones running the country - I don't think that is in any way a deductive or inductive argument. To state such a cause and effect is a massive leap of faith. The problem with this leap of faith is the fact that it allows room for manipulation and enslavement- If there is a means of countering this, then maybe you may have a point. However, the problem with this is that stating that the democratic system eliminates manipulation and enslavement due to elections creates a problem if transparency doesn't exist...

2. Now of course there are a few bad apples but that doesn't make the entire system a failure. - I never said it makes the entire system a failure... I'm just saying that it's anti-democratic if the government is anti-transparent (Of coarse, I'm open to changing my views if more notions are put forth)

3. Transparency for the government will put even more distrust into the hearts of its citizens - No justification given whatsoever... In fact, the current disillusionment with the government's anti-transparency and increasing figures of people choosing not to vote is evidence enough to show the disillusionment people have (this is very generalised) with the current political system... People are disengaged and detached, and the fact that there isn't transparency isn't really aiding the resolution of this

4. They need to do what's necessary, whether good or bad, to keep us safe and people in the streets calling them murderers isn't helpful and is actually counter productive - Whether they need to keep us safe or not isn't the point... It's whether government transparency is necessary for a democratic nation to exist. Red Herring. And also, if the government has murdered people (hypothetically), then people are justified in calling them this in the streets. You also don't mention how it is counter-productive in any way, does it not breed change?

5. A citizen needs to live in this country and be happy. He doesn't need to know all the extensive things that we do. - Again, no evidence to back up any of the statements you're making and no explanations given as to why a citizen doesn't need to know all of the extensive things that he government do.

6. We already elect representatives to represent us we don't need to keep bugging them or provoking them to do what we want all the time. - But what if they aren't truly representing us? And to say that we shouldn't be vocal about what we want is antithetical to the liberties that the democratic system portrays.

7. Sometimes the government knows more than we do because, lets face it, most Americans aren't really the sharpest knives in the drawer - Whether Americans are intelligent or not is beyond the fact that there should at least be the option of knowing these things. I don't think the matter of transparency can be negated by your judgement on the intelligence of the American population.

...

And let the discussions continue :)
Reformist

Con

I will explain now why your refutations are wrong

1) Its not a massive leap of faith. If your job is a plumber you are tasked with plumbing a toilet. Are you going to somehow sabatoge the toilet? No? That's the same logic as the government trying to ruin the country for the citizens in a democratic nation because in the end they want reelection. Manipulation can happen, but not enslavement but if it is manipulation it does not conflict with the definition of democracy

Democracy: a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives: (Oxford Dictionary)

Because of this I do not see how manipulation can destroy a democratic nation because according to the definition its a system of government where the population elects representatives

2) You still haven't explained WHY a government without transparency is somehow anti-democratic.

3) Yes transparency in everything the government can/will do will create distrust and disgust. When everyone didn't know we were torturing muslims in Guantamo we were good. Then we realized what was happening and there were riots and protests

http://www.discoverthenetworks.org...

4) Again you still haven't explained how government transparency is against a democratic notion. Ive already explained why it isn't against it in 1) and when the government kills terrorist leaders with few civilian casualites we should be thanking them not bashing them

5) Again no explantion why a citizen NEEDS to understand what the government does. BoP is on you since you didn't specify that in your arguments. I hope you knew that

6) If representatives aren't representing us then elect another one.

7) Again complete transparency does NOT help the common citizen. It actually hurts them

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Source:
https://www.bing.com...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
Debate Round No. 4
seekerofthetruth

Pro

1. Your example diverts the nature of a government. Obviously, if your job was a plumber and your sole aim was to fix a toilet, it would be clear whether the toilet works or not. Conversely, to say that a government's role is to lead a country and its people into prosperity is something that can have conflicting ideas in terms of the definition of prosperity. So, clearly, you have misconstrued the nature of the government and the fact that the results that the government bring are not black and white, binary or twofold.

Also, whether the government manipulates or doesn't manipulate is beyond the point. The point is whether transparency is necessary for a democracy to occur.

2. I did in my first argument. I asked if you could provide alternate definitions to those that I was posing, however, your arguments turned more into Red Herrings and straw mans.

3. Thanks?

4. Observational selection is no means to put forth an argument. You've used one example and given your previous example about Guantanamo bay, self-annihilate your argument...

5. It's not a matter whether a citizen needs to understand what the government does or not... It is simply a debate about the nature of transparency and its coherence with democratic ideologies... The straw mans are multiplying

6. Yes, however, how can we ever know if they are representing us or not given the nature of the anti-transparency... this is an issue.

7. How? The article doesn't seem clear in the argument is making. Also, hidden agendas must be considered.

:)
Reformist

Con

1) The role of the government is to help regulate the country and keep it going. The country isnt broken like your toilet yet it needs constant nurturing like a gardener does to a plant. Without the government the economy would wilt

What do i mean by this

Democrats are usually big government people

Republicans are small government people

Without big governement the economy takes a beating

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So big government is generally good for the citizens because the better the economy the better its citizens.

Transparency can hurt in mulitple cases because sometimes we need to do things that are neccessary for good even if the average american doesnt know about it

2) Again you didnt explain how no transparency conflicts with the definiton of democracy which, again is: a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives

No government transparency does not conflict with this definiton. We are still electing members to represent us in the USA.

3. Thanks? Why are you thanking me. Because of that there is more anti american people in the world.

4. Its not observational selection. This is a debate. You need to prove why your stance is true. And you havent so far.

5. And.......... you still havent provided an explanation why its against democracy. I feel like im repeating myself

6. Even if theres almost no transparency we know what bills they are voting in and vetoing out.

7. Did you even read the article? Read it again because i think you skimmed over it

Overall it was nice debating you man

Source:

https://www.bing.com...

https://02varvara.files.wordpress.com...

https://www.bing.com...
Debate Round No. 5
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