The Instigator
Mikal
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
bladerunner060
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

The DDO presidency should be abolished

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
bladerunner060
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/6/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,240 times Debate No: 72490
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (116)
Votes (3)

 

Mikal

Pro

Stealing this format because I like it. Props to the original owner which I think is bsh.

Resolved - The DDO presidency should be abolished

Team Debate

Pro

Mikal
Bluesteel

Con

Blade runner
Airmax

Rules:

1. Forfeiting results in a loss of conduct or possibly the debate
2. Any citations or sources must be used within the character limit of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final round
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling or semantics
6. No K's of the topic
7. My opponent accepts all of the following definitions and waives his/her right to challenge these definitions
8. The BOP is shared
9. First round is acceptance only. This debate has been set to be impossible to accept, so if you wish to do so, say so in the comments.
10. Violation of any of these rules or of any of the R1 set-up merits a loss of a conduct point and due to the severity of the breach may merit an entire FF of the debate.
bladerunner060

Con

I (we) accept, and look forward to a fun and friendly debate!
Debate Round No. 1
Mikal

Pro

Welcome DDO to a Debate of monumental proportions. I would like to thank airmax for accepting this debate and advise him that next time he may want to find someone to help him and not use his alternative account and break his own policy. No really, thanks Eddie and Max for taking this. With the upcoming presidency I think it’s a discussion worth having. This debate consists of

4 hall of fame members
3 former DDO Presidents and a Chief of Staff
3 DDO Moderators
3 Jews and a honorary Jew
4 guys that are sexy as fuk

We have the best lineup of people to be discussing this, so let’s get it poppin.



= Framework =

Note in round 1 that this is a shared BOP. This is a comparative debate between having a presidency and not having a presidency on DDO. Both sides will present cases to support their position. This is not a debate about changing the status quo, and will be a theoretical debate examining the benefits of having a presidency and not having one. Bluesteel and myself will examine the impact of the current presidency and present a case based on the negative impacts it is.


R1) History of the Presidency

To really understand the history, we have to review how the presidency started. The presidency itself was a joke at the time of the first election. It was between Ragnar Rahl and Danielle and was mainly a popularity contest between the two, that was riddled with jokes and humor. After the first election, the presidency continued and followed this same line of logic which was basically a popularity contest. This was until Innomen was elected and everything changed.

A1) The Change

When Innomen was elected he changed the job forever. As a moderator and president he was able to serve as a liaison between Juggle and the community while positively impacting the position. The issue is that we have to differentiate the criteria for why he was able to do that. The real reason he was able to impact the community in such a way was because he became a moderator. He was able to work with Juggle, push for updates, directly communicate with them, and this continued throughout his presidency. Airmax was elected under the same circumstances in a way. Both Innomen and Airmax added value to the presidency for the first time since it began, but this was strictly because of their positions as a moderator. The moderator positions coupled with the presidency inflated the value the presidency had and made it seem relevant, where as the real impacts where that of moderation and not the presidency itself. The presidency was a facade, and added a "face" of DDO.

R2) Moderators are the real presidents

To do what Innomen and Airmax did, one would have to be a moderator. The issue is that under airmax’s rules, one cannot be a moderator and president at the same time. The real presidents are the moderators. The changes that we saw innomen and airmax bring were because they were moderators and were able to talk to Juggle and deal with them directly. The moderator position has effectively taken away the viability and need for a president as it does everything the president was intended to do. The importance of the presidency came from the presidents having the position of moderator, when you remove that position from the presidency the net value of it drastically decreases because it's less impactful and defaults back to a popularity contest.. Everything in advance has to be ran through the moderators anyway, so the president has no real power on the site other than being a figurehead.

The key things the President did were: (a) communicate with Juggle, (b) deal with community problems, and (c) push site updates. Airmax now does all three, and Juggle is too absent to want to get to know anyone new. They won’t even give the other moderators airmax has chosen access to the admin site because they are willing to deal with airmax and only airmax. So there’s no point in electing a President who is only a figurehead.

In addition, as some of the best and most responsible members become moderators, that leaves no good candidates for president. Eventually, the only people left who can run for president are going to be complete trolls, like bubba, which will finally completely destroy the position. We should get rid of it before we’re stuck with an election between two terrible candidates.

R3) No real power

Presidents have no real power, and any member can do what a president can. Want to run a tournament? Just do it. No need to run for president and make it part of your platform. Want site updates? Write up a proposal and give it to airmax. No need to run for president. Want to see every debate voted on? Do what blade-of-truth did and start the Supreme Council of Determination to make sure every debate gets one vote. In fact, people promising to do things only if they become president results in the site losing out. When bladerunner lost the election, he completely gave up on his efforts to make sure that every debate got a vote (this was because it was a campaign promise). If he’d done this like blade-of-truth did, for the mere sake of it, rather than because he was president, he wouldn't have given up just because he lost some meaningless election. People who want to act for the betterment of the site should do it, regardless of whether they win some meaningless election.

Assuming there *are* important tasks the president performs, we should just abolish the presidency and create specific positions to do those things (e.g. Juggle Liaison or Tournament Director). The specific problem with the “president” is that they are assumed to represent the site, so it causes more drama than having more specific positions. And there’s no accountability on their campaign promises, whereas if people were elected or appointed just to do one specific task, they would have to do it or they’d lose their position.

R4) Unnecessary Drama

It’s election time and the post and threads are already coming. Needless spam and messages in the main forums that compel us to slam our head into our desk on a daily basis. Even if we adopted rules and limited the number of posts, the mass pms will go out. Private messages to all types of members, voting squads, lobbying new members, and alliances will be formed and it can possibly lead to a divide in DDO which happened during my election and which will happen again.

Being a participant in one of the messiest elections in history I can attest to this personally. The issue was not how the election was carried out , but the participants that were running in it. Eddie ironically who is also in this debate was the incumbent. Any time where you have two high tier members running against each other and who both want the position, it will lead to some heated and unneeded drama that takes quite some time to heal. This was the first election in the history of DDO where there was 2 major members running for office and where it was an election that challenged the incumbent. The damage it can cause to the site is monumental.

The president is also under a lot of scrutiny. If YYW became president, for example, and started another thread where he said something like that he was having a bad day and ended up fighting with someone, everyone would start obsessing about how YYW reflected poorly on the presidency, just as people obsessed on a daily basis over myself and how I affected the presidency. It was a *constant* distraction on the site, that went beyond even the election. Threads cropped up on a daily basis asking for a recall. This stupid popularity contest distracts us from what the site is actually about: debating and discussing real substantive issues. Let's run a hypothetical where YYW get's elected. Think about people that hate him like wrich and others. Can you imagine the threads that will crop up as a result of his winning the election. This is by no means a reflection of him as a person or his ability to lead as I believe he would do an amazing job, but this goes to show how the presidency can distract from the real content within the site and highlights the drama that can come from it.

R5) The results are meaningless and undemocratic

By lobbying noobs with 3 or more debates, a candidate can win even if every other member of DDO opposes them. We can implement minimum post counts, but they can just get these n00bs to spam the “XYZ Post Wins” threads in the Misc Forum until they reach the post minimum prior to the election starting. These n00bs don’t even know the candidates, so the election results are even more meaningless. Wrich would say this is the silent majority winning out, but it’s really the least active, involved, and knowledgeable members deciding who the president should be.

Running this strategy in my presidency, I proved this to be the case. No matter how you restrict the voting criteria, you can target members to vote for you and lobby them silencing the people who genuinely know whats happening on DDO.


Conclusion)

What we have to realize is that the position itself is not that important. It’s a popularity contest that elects a face of DDO. The only issue is that it holds no real power. Any member can accomplish anything a president can and the only reason the position is even considered prominent is because 2 moderators held it. Moderators are the real president, and only they can appeal to juggle and get the changes we want to see. Everything has to go through the moderators as is, and everything must be done with their approval. The president is an unneeded middle man that serves no purpose. If we cut it out today we would notice no different as max is the real face of the site and is the one who makes all the real calls. By cutting out the election, we are cutting out a position that serves no purpose while mitigating the harm and spam that comes from the elections.


All in all, the presidency is pointless.
bladerunner060

Con

Hi everybody! Thanks to everyone who reads this debate. Thanks to my partner, airmax, for helping me with this, and I'm glad we have bluesteel and Mikal as our opponents. They're fine debaters and well-respected debaters. I'm sure this will be a great debate. That said, let's get into this!


Framework


This is, as our opponents note, a shared BoP debate, a comparison between having and not having a presidency. In R2, our opponents did not give readers any benefit to there not being a presidency. It seems they feel if they can convince us there isn't value in the presidency, the notion of its abolishment should be supported. We reject this paradigm; this is a shared BoP debate. They must provide reasons why an absence of a presidency is a good thing in its own right.


B1) A Site Without a President?

The point of the presidency is to have someone elected by the community. This sets us apart from many other online communities, where there's ONLY moderation, and what the moderators choose to do is uncontestable.

Without an election there is no central voice of the community at large, nor is anyone directly responsible to the community for the direction of the site. There's no process to contest moderator action and no clear way for the community to put initiatives they want into practice. The trial system was not kiboshed by moderation, it fizzled because the administration which was its greatest champion fizzled.

A site without a president gives no voice to the community. What Pro advocates is for a site where what the mods say goes, without reference to what the community wants being necessary. And you have two mods opposing it! The presidency is about influencing Juggle towards things not necessarily moderation related.

The point is that a motivated and responsible president can do good things based on the role provided them, regardless of being a moderator and that while any member can work to improve the site, they often don't. Members have great ideas, but the President should inherently feel a sense of responsibility towards making the most of them, and most do.


R1) History

The history of politics on DDO is fascinating. But it's largely irrelevant to this discussion. We're debating the presidency as it exists now.


R2) Moderators are the real presidents?

Moderators can't run. Airmax believes there's value in keeping the roles of president and moderator distinct specifically because of the value he feels the presidency has. It tends to confuse the roles otherwise. Bladerunner concurs. This is a rule coming from the moderation side.


It's not true that only moderators can contact Juggle directly. The president and the moderators BOTH have the ability to contact and petition Juggle.

The president brings things to Juggle that he or she was elected to bring. The community has expressed their wishes through their vote. A recent example is TUF's presidency. When TUF was president, he was able to push through several major site updates, including the winner-takes-all voting system and the additional gender options. In times of greater Juggle involvement the membership President plays an important and crucial role in offering member feedback to Juggle in a simplified and coherent way.

Our opponents believe that the "real" presidents are the moderators. We feel they think that because they have a fundamental misunderstanding of what the role of the president is. As bladerunner noted during his tenure, the presidency is an advocacy and diplomatic position more than it is one of direct authority.

The notion that "everything in advance has to be ran [sic] through the moderators" is false. Is it true that to get moderator support for an initiative, contacting them in advance is a good idea? Of course it is. Is it also true that many initiatives require mod assistance to pull off? Also true! But that's because they have different roles. Not everything requires moderation approval.

Our opponents list the three things that they feel are the role of the presidency:

(a) communicate with Juggle
(b) improve the community
(c) push site updates

We've changed the phrasing on their version of (b) slightly and would also like to add

(d) a conduit to moderation.
and
(e) diplomat for the site

The President plays an important role in allowing the moderators to gauge public opinion of moderator actions, helping individual members respond to or contest moderation, and plays a role in welcoming new members, helping them understand the community. As a result of the implosion of the elected administration from January, airmax has picked up some of the proverbial slack. But airmax is unelected. The community did not get a voice in choosing him, and can't use their votes to influence his position.

The value of a president is directly related to how good they are at their job. A good president can use their advocacy and diplomatic position well. A bad or unlucky one flounders. But that's not a problem of the position, that's a problem of that administration.

Pro says we should get rid of the presidency before we're left with untenable candidates. This whole argument is problematic. First, because former mods can run (for example, Ore_ele). Second because it ignores the fact that we get productive and intelligent new users all the time. Third because it's not appropriate to single out a member as lacking value. Fourth because there is not an infinite number of moderator positions. This entire argument is simply invalid.


R3) No real power?

Many professional organizations don't have "real" power. Organizations like the National Registry of EMTs and the American Board of Radiology certify people and are recognized by most, yet have no "real" power to enforce their recommendations. Their power stems from the respect they've earned as agencies and how they reflect the will of their members. The power of the DDO presidency is similar.

The role of president is elected. While another member can do this by being actively involved, being elected by the membership gives greater weight to the voice of the president. The President is inclined by responsibility and by the mandate of the membership to be involved and to improve the site. Any member can be welcoming to other members, but the president feels a responsibility to be. This extends to actively attempting to find solutions to problems and working with Juggle or moderation to improve the site.


B2) On Voting and Site Effort

Given that I (bladerunner) didn't have presidential responsibilties, when my wife went into the hospital I took a hiatus from pretty much the whole site. I intended to take a short break from regular voting because I wasn't obligated to any more--that break was longer because of personal stuff. My wife's health is of more importance to me than a voting intiative on DDO, and I'm not going to make apologies for that.


However, I don't see this as a failure of the position of president.

Had I been president, then what happened in my life would need to be balanced with the responsibilities I had taken on, because they would have been obligations that I took seriously. When they are not obligations the moral calculus becomes much simpler. That is true generally of other members, as well. How many tournaments that aren't "official" flounder? How many ideas wind up fizzling out? The value of the presidency is in organizing these efforts, and taking on the responsibility of ensuring follow-through.


B3) Multiple Positions

Pro suggests abolishing the presidency and having positions for each of the things the president does. There's no reason to do this and reason not to. Having multiple elections certainly wouldn't solve any of the drama issues regarding site politics. But Pro doesn't tell us that there would be elections; they use both the notion of elections AND appointments. But who would do the appointing? Pro doesn't tell us, and it seems Pro wants us to just accept this idea as better without looking at how it would be implemented. This is an ill-formed alternative.


Right now the president is elected, and can appoint based on the presumption that they have the mandate. The accountability that Pro seeks is present exactly as much as Pro calls for--a poor or absent Tournament Director can be removed from the position. An elected Tournament Director would need to be recalled or voted out of office. An appointed one would be the moderator's choice, rather than the community's. This solves nothing.


R4) Unnecessary Drama

Whether the drama is unnecessary is rather the point of this debate. Politics is always messy, whether it's national, local, or a website on the internet. To a certain extent it's a feature rather than a bug, because the messiness comes from people having strong opinions on the path moving forward.


B4) Presidential Scrutiny

The president is under additional scrutiny specifically because they've taken on responsibiltiies. Moderators come under scrutiny as well. The difference is that the scrutiny feels harsher to the president because the president is accountable to the membership. If a president acts poorly, the community questions whether they do not want that person as president. The community has the power.


R5) The results are meaningless and undemocratic?

The notion that the results of an election are undemocratic is absurd on its face. It's dismissive of new members and of what democracy is. We reject this argument as simply invalid. A discussion on qualifying criteria is important, but a distraction from the contention.



Conclusion


The reality is that the presidency is all about influence. They are elected to influence the moderator and Juggle. Both are welcome to being influenced by the president more than any other individual based on their elected status. Their mandate from the community also makes them more likely to follow through on plans. The presidency can be tarnished, but the president can have a positive effect if the right person is in office.
Debate Round No. 2
Mikal

Pro

== Rebuttal ==

Framework

The absence of a net detriment is a benefit. If we prove the presidency either is: (a) net detrimental or (b) has little to no benefit (and therefore does not justify the time and effort of having an election), then we have fulfilled our BOP. Also, it’s just not true we have to prove abolition is good “in its own right.” Abolishing the Final Solution in Germany would have been good not “in its own right,” but because it stopped something detrimental (the Holocaust).

R1) A site without a president

1. Max & blade say that without an election, the community’s voice won’t be heard. However, DDO is small enough to have a *direct democracy,* rather than a representative democracy. DDO members can directly voice their concerns in the DDO Forum; they don’t need a president to do it for them. In fact, *turn* this argument against them. Max often consults the president about major site issues to get a flavor for what the community would want. This is an *inferior* solution to holding a public forum (direct democracy) because the president’s opinion on the matter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the site. Since it’s not hard to just ask everyone, we shouldn’t be relying on representative democracy to suss out public opinion.

2. Max & blade say without a president, no one would question moderation. However, wrich and garbanza disprove this, as do bladerunner and TUF. Wrich and garbanza question moderation all the time, but they are not president. And bladerunner and TUF never questioned moderation during their tenure, but they were both presidents. Having a presidency does not ensure moderation will be subject to a critical eye, nor does the absence of the presidency prevent members from questioning moderation in the DDO Forum.

3. Max & blade say the trial system died because it didn’t have an advocate to push for it. This is a mischaracterization of what happened. Bluesteel (who was not the president at the time) submitted a *detailed* trial system proposal to airmax, who said he needed to think about it for awhile. The proposal languished, and airmax ultimately never approved it.

Also, *turn.* This proves why direct democracy is better. A lot of users at the time of the last election wanted a trial system. If airmax felt accountable to them, instead of to a single president, he wouldn’t have ignored the proposal simply because Mikal had stepped down. He would have felt accountable to all the users who wanted a trial system, not just to Mikal.

4. Max & blade say the president’s role is to influence Juggle. However, Juggle does not want any further contact with new people. They won’t talk to a new president, nor will they approve admin accounts for the new mods airmax has appointed (bladerunner, whiteflame, bluesteel, etc.). They have no interest anymore in talking to anyone except max.

Our case

C1) History

The history is important because it shows that the presidency was a joke and a distraction before Juggle took over and max and innomen turned it into an advocacy position. They both used the presidency to get powers as moderators. Now that airmax is our moderator and Juggle point person, we don’t need a presidency. The presidency’s value has returned to being a joke and a distraction.

C2) Moderators are all we need

1. Max & blade cite that TUF was able to push site updates. There are three problems with this. One, TUF had pre-existing contacts at Juggle, but Juggle is no longer interested in talking to new people or doing site updates. Second, this version of the story ignores the role of direct democracy: bluesteel and many others were raising a huge stink about strategic voting and the seven point system, which is what *motivated* Juggle to do the last update that they ever did to the site. Direct democracy works. Third, because TUF did this without bluesteel’s or anyone else’s input, there are still flaws in the system (e.g. people think “choose winner” on the ballot means they can choose a winner based solely on conduct or S&G or any other criteria, whereas bluesteel advocated that the ballot should have said, “the better debating was done by (Pro or Con). If this update had happened with more community involvement, it would have been better.

2. Max & blade say it doesn’t matter that having so many moderators (bladerunner, whiteflame, bluesteel) and sub-moderators (raisor, F-16) might constrict the pool of presidential candidates so much that eventually, there is no one qualified to run. Granted, Ore_ele and YYW are both qualified candidates, but Ore_ele would be disqualified had he not stepped down as moderator due to time constraints. We need to abolish the presidency before we hit a point where 2001bhu is the only viable candidate, or until someone abuses the system and destroys the office in a way that is non repairable and causes damage to the community in a way that can't be fixed.

3. Max & blade say the president’s main role (because Juggle is no longer a factor) is *advocacy.* But that advocacy happens behind closed doors, in a private PM with airmax. *Turn,* it would be more transparent and fair to have direct democracy and perhaps adopt more formal ways to raise proposals on the DDO Forum. On a personal note (from bluesteel), when I was first on the site, I felt really marginalized by not being part of innomen’s inner circle when he was president. I would raise issues in a public forum, but then they would go to some secret committee - to see if innomen wanted to consider the issue in more detail. The presidency encourages behind-closed-doors decisionmaking.

Turn 2, direct democracy decreases bureaucracy. You don’t have to convince a chief of staff or inner circle, who has to convince the president, who has to convince airmax, who has to convince Juggle. Abolishing the presidency cuts out two of those steps.

C3) No real power

Nothing max or blade say here is something you couldn’t do as a regular member. Regular members get influence by gaining respect. Gain respect by posting smart and good things in the DDO Forum, as part of direct democracy. Be a leader, without needing a silly popularity contest.

On voting and side efforts

Bladerunner says that if he had been re-elected as president, he would have continued his efforts to vote every unvoted debate, despite his wife’s health issues, because he would have taken on a responsibility to do so as president. Frankly, while admirable in a misguided way, no fake position on a website is worth sacrificing time with your ailing wife. We seriously need to put things in perspective here. People take this position *way too seriously,* from people saying Mikal’s mere status as president was ruining the site for them to Eddie saying he’d sacrifice time with his ailing wife to be on here to fulfill his obligation to vote on debates. No one should care this much about this position. I don’t want a position that causes people to sacrifice for it, when it is meaningless. The elections come during finals week for most schools. I don’t think it’s worth it for people to sacrifice grades and other important parts of their lives for something so trivial.

In addition, max & blade never respond to the fact that blade-of-truth has upheld his promise to vote every unvoted debate without being elected president. The position is not necessary to getting things done on the site, and if you want to contribute, you should. You shouldn’t hold your efforts hostage and say you won’t do them unless you win a popularity contest.


C4) Multiple positions

We’re dropping this. Our advocacy is that for big site issues, we should use direct democracy. For smaller things, we should have a system like the mafia mod list or tournament director list, where people wait their turn to do the position. Or they should simply take on a leadership role themselves (e.g. blade-of-truth and voting efforts).

Lastly, this ties into our point that moderators have replaced the presidency. Bladerunner’s campaign proposal would have appointed people to oversee voting issues and a Forum Ambassador to oversee the Religion Forum. Instead, we got bluesteel appointed as Voting Mod and whiteflame/raisor appointed as Religion Forum moderator. This is preferable because at least the moderators have real powers.

C5) Unnecessary drama

The drama just isn’t worth it. Although he likely won’t admit it here and will say something more diplomatic, bladerunner still hates bluesteel for “going negative” in the last election. There’s no reason for a stupid fake position to create this type of animosity between users on the site. It’s unnecessary. Think of all the upcoming drama with YYW being a top candidate and wrich coming into every single thread to snipe at him. It’s going to be so unpleasant.

Max & blade say the president is under more scrutiny because they have more responsibilities. But the scrutiny and attack threads usually just end up being personal, and have little relation to the power that the president actually wields. With more power legitimately comes more scrutiny. But the president has no real power. So the increased “scrutiny” is just a distraction and excuse to personally attack the president for his or her normal, non-presidential activities on the site.

C6) Undemocratic

People are inevitably going to lobby new members who don’t even know the candidates. This is the biggest flaw in max & blade’s case. They spend the entire rest of their case waxing poetic about how the president represents the site’s entire opinion and is the only vehicle for advocacy. And then they concede that the election can be easily determined by lobbying new members who would vote for whoever contacted them first and don’t have *any* idea who the candidates are. I personally don’t want airmax assuming that the president represents my opinion, when the election is so easily swayed by unknowledgeable voters. Mikal was able to do so; imagine the damage if 2001bhu did it.
bladerunner060

Con

Thanks to our opponents for their response.

Framework


Pro tries to claim that they don't have to show why not having a president is a good thing in its own right, and then pulls a Godwin by attempting a parallel between the presidency and Nazi Germany. Their obligation is not solely to show bad things about the presidency. They must show us that abolishing the presidency is a good thing.

Their suggested alternative of a "direct democracy" is an attempt to do this, but the resolution was not "The DDO presidency should be abolished in favor of a direct democracy", and we object to this shifting. It makes it appear as though they recognize that merely abolishing the presidency would not be as good an outcome as they'd hoped, and are trying to change the terms of the debate midstream to favor themselves. Pro gives us no clear guideline as to the implementation of this "direct democracy". Without these details, the proposal is ill-formed. Suffice it to say: A direct democracy will not work, and is not on the table as an option.


A site without a president

The president is elected by the membership. DDO is not a direct democracy and it's not possible for everyone to contact Juggle individually. Moderation is a private affair--airmax is not going to put every decision of his up for a public vote. Likewise, Juggle does not want to have to deal with the entire site every time they want to discuss a change.

We never argued that without a president, no one would question moderation. Such a claim would be absurd, which is why we didn't make it. We argued that what the moderators do becomes uncontestable, and that it doesn't have any necessary reference to the community's desires. We argued this because it's true.

The claim that bladerunner and TUF never questioned moderation during their tenure is false. That Mikal and bluesteel aren't aware of what questioning occurred is part of why it's important to have a president. Moderation, to repeat, is a private affair between the moderator, the member involved, and the president of the site, who acts as an intermediary and advocate where appropriate. Their election in that role is an indication of the community's trust in them FOR that role. Without the presidency, that role no longer exists.

Pro claims that "Having a presidency does not ensure moderation will be subject to a critical eye, nor does the absence of the presidency prevent members from questioning moderation in the DDO Forum." Whether moderation is subject to a critical eye is up to the president in question. It's not a fault of the office if the occupant fails in their duty. As to the forum, while that's a place for discussion certainly, it does not impact final moderator decisions.

As to the trial system, what we actually said was that "The trial system was not kiboshed by moderation, it fizzled because the administration which was its greatest champion fizzled." Pro seems to want us to forget that bluesteel was part of the Mikal administration, which is the very administration that imploded. Unrealistically expecting instant gratification may have contributed to that.

Airmax has made it clear that he has reservations about a trial system. What would change that is having a detailed plan, and follow-through on that plan via a president and staff who are duly elected and perform their job. Airmax does not answer to the community, he answers to Juggle; which has been our point. There is no way to force a direct democracy on Airmax, nor would there be any person who could go "above his head" as there currently is.

Pro's point 4 seems to be based on the idea that Juggle will never ever invest resources in the site again. Pro cannot say this with any certainty. Juggle's interest and willingness to invest resources has always waxed and waned. At present it has waned to its lowest point. But to abandon the system because of that harms our chances at getting them to invest again.


History

We maintain that the history is irrelevant.


Moderators are all we need?

1. Pro again makes sweeping claims without support. They claim that what motivated Juggle was that "bluesteel and many others were raising a huge stink". Pro has no grounds to assert this, largely because Pro hasn't had contact with Juggle. Airmax and bladerunner have. The president brought the changes to Juggle, including implementation, and Juggle acted on it because the president took it seriously. The presidency worked. Pro wants to claim that it was the efforts of the non-administration folks which got the update, while at the same time bemoaning the fact that the system wasn't implemented as those folks wanted. If it was their input which caused the change, then it would be their input that implemented the change as well.

2. Pro's bare assertions and attacks on other members simply don't have a place in this debate. There are plenty of fine candidates, and the number of moderator positions is not infinite. As such, it's perfectly reasonable that we will always have good candidates for the position. Pro's merely attempting to smear individual members and make an attempt at scare tactics here.

3. It would be more transparent to air everything to everyone at all times. It would also be unworkable. Pro doesn't address the privacy of moderation, nor does he outline why it's "more fair". We would argue it's less fair, in fact. It's not fair to air everyone's dirty laundry publicly, nor is it fair to hamstring honest responses by making them public to all. Pro suggests "perhaps adopt more formal ways to raise proposals on the DDO Forum". How would we implement this? Pro doesn't explain, they just expect us to accept it would be better.

"Behind closed doors decisionmaking" is sometimes necessary, and is at times more productive. The president can balance transparency with privacy. Not having a president means we lose that balance. Pro's plan simply will not happen with airmax as moderator, because there are things that airmax will not air publicly.

Pro claims direct democracy decreases bureaucracy. "You don’t have to convince a chief of staff ... who has to convince the president, who has to convince airmax, who has to convince Juggle. Abolishing the presidency cuts out two of those steps."

Again, the president can contact Juggle, so one of these steps is nonexistent. Pro replaces convincing an administration with convincing the entire site, and then leaves the advocacy up to airmax, who has no obligation to listen.

Additional point: Having a presidency also protects and helps minorities. When TUF pushed the gender options, it was a benefit to a minority of the site. But it was a good thing. He pushed it because he recognized it was a good thing. Even if a direct democracy was implemented, there's no guarantee that minorities would have any hope at getting their voice heard. The president represents us all.


No real power

Pro's arguments have already been addressed in our R2. We already acknowledged that a "regular member" could do many things. Pro fails to address the inherent respect and responsibility of the office of president, and ignores the power of the mandate.


On voting and side efforts

Pro's failure to read our argument is frustrating. What I said was "what happened in my life would need to be balanced with the responsibilities I had taken on, because they would have been obligations that I took seriously". I would have continued my efforts, but certainly that would have had to be balanced against what my wife needed. Almost certainly, the efforts would have suffered, because of course they would!

The point being made, that Pro seems to attempt to handwave away, is that the presidency is a responsibility and it comes with obligations. While general members may take individual obligations they've chosen seriously, the president is responsible for the site as a whole, not just the parts they prefer to focus on.

C4)

Pro wants to fold this into the not-fully-explained "direct democracy".

Discussing whether or how a plan would have worked out is a rabbithole. The system which wound up being put in place was not precluded by the existence of the presidency--so if it truly is better, there was nothing stopping its implementation. But without a president, the system I had proposed couldn't have been implemented.


Unnecessary drama

It's unfortunate that Pro felt the need to make this personal. We will not respond to the points about bluesteel's election conduct, except to say that's not a problem of the office of president. People are responsible for their own actions.

Pro claims the "scrutiny and attack threads usually just end up being personal". That wasn't the case in previous administrations. How his administration conducted itself, and the response it got, was largely their own choice. Pro seems to not understand that their behavior in "non-presidential activities on the site" still reflects on them as president of the site. There are no "non-presidential activities" on the site for the president.


Undemocratic?

Pro seems to argue that Mikal chose a route that "so easily swayed" the election "by unknowledgeable voters". Here it seems they would like us to hold the position responsible for their actions. Unfortunately, such an objection does not hold, particularly given that they also demonstrated that such tactics aren't really tenable long term. Pro fails to recognize that the same issues would be present in their own proposed "direct democracy". It is a feature of democracy that people get to choose, not a bug. As we said before, while the qualifying criteria is an important discussion, it's not relevant to the motion.


Conclusion

Pro's objections fail. Simply abolishing the presidency would make the site worse off than it is now, and even if we accept Pro's proposal of a wholly new alternative system to replace it, it's unworkable and unlikely to be implemented. The presidency has done good, and can continue to do so. The DDO presidency should remain. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
Mikal

Pro

== Framework ==

Con concedes our analysis that removing a bad thing is a good thing. It doesn’t matter that Con doesn’t like our Nazi example. Here’s another one: removing a splinter from someone’s finger is good because splinters in fingers are painful. There’s no need to prove that a splinter-free existence is “good in itself.” Regardless, Con concedes that our direct democracy argument meets even their ridiculous framework.

Con claims that direct democracy is a counterplan. (1) We’re allowed to run a counterplan, and ironically, Con’s framework demands that we run a counterplan to show why the alternative to a presidency is better. (2) The obvious alternative to electing a representative to make decisions for us is to have a direct democracy.

Con objects that there are no clear guidelines about what a direct democracy would be. We’ve explained that major site decisions would be made by the site’s membership, not by the president alone. Even if Juggle got more involved in the site, members could draft a proposal for site changes, we could have a thread soliciting feedback, the proposal could be updated in light of feedback, and then it could be submitted to Juggle for approval.

A site without a president

(1) Juggle

Con says that we can’t have everyone contacting Juggle. This is true. The site’s official proposal would be adopted by direct democracy, and airmax would submit the proposal to Juggle.

Regardless, Juggle is a non-factor now.Con says that a lot of our arguments are premised on Juggle’s lack of interest in the site and that might change in the future. (1) Airmax said that Juggle has literally said: we don’t want to deal with anyone but you, Max. We trust you and aren’t interested in dealing with anyone else. [1, Hangout conversation] As a result, Juggle won’t even approve an admin account for bladerunner, who they know, so there’s no reason they’d be willing to talk to a brand new president, who they don’t. As far as Juggle is concerned, TUF is still president. [http://www.debate.org...] (2) Juggle’s interest in the site depends on its profitability, and they’ve realized that their improvements haven’t boosted the site’s profitability. At first, they were willing to invest in hopes that membership would explode, but it didn’t. So they added the Opinions and Polls sections to artificially boost membership, and then left. According to airmax, they barely even respond to his emails anymore. [1]

Con claims that Juggle will be more involved in the future. Force them to provide evidentiary support for this claim. Generally, the present is the best evidence of the future.

(2) Moderation

Con suggests that airmax sometimes consults the president about moderation issues. However, this was only true before there were sub-mods. It’s not as true anymore because airmax consults his sub-mods about issues relevant to them. Airmax has said that he likes to solicit other’s opinions on issues, which is why he sometimes consults the president. [1] Airmax has also said that the extent to which he consults the president depends on who the president is: Airmax told bluesteel multiple times that Mikal would be consulted only infrequently about major site decisions because airmax didn’t personally trust Mikal’s opinion. [1] As president, Bladerunner got consulted more about site issues because he and airmax have a close personal friendship. Airmax has an inner circle of people he trusts. Sometimes the president will have a seat at the table; sometimes he won’t. It is completely at airmax’s discretion.

Furthermore, on major site issues, if an opinion needs to be solicited, it should reflect the opinion of the entire site, not just the president.

Airmax says that TUF and Blade did question moderation, just in private. That’s precisely the problem. Without the discussion being open, it’s just a conversation between friends or associates. Regardless, Con concedes this point by conceding that the moderation can and will be questioned regardless of whether there is a presidency.

Lastly, Con says that some moderation issues cannot be made public. Our direct democracy point does not require that every single moderation issue be made public. Just ones where airmax would normally solicit an opinion (as opposed to moderation issues that are more objective). It’s not fair that a policy that depends on opinion is determined by input from only one or two people who happen to have been allowed into airmax’s inner circle. As explained above, the inner circle might not actually include the president, depending who the president is.

(3) The trial system

Con’s response is that direct democracy fails because airmax can ignore the wishes of the community since he answers only to Juggle. The same is true of the president: Max can ignore the president. The difference is that it’s harder to ignore what the entire website wants compared to just the president. Because we can vote with our feet (and leave), he is somewhat accountable to us. It's easier to ignore a single person's request in private compared to dismissing the wishes of the entire community.

The trial system write-up was a very detailed and workable proposal. Airmax rejected it because Ore_ele didn’t care much about it. Assuming there is a proposal that you want airmax to adopt, do you really want to see the proposal rejected merely because the current president doesn’t care that much about it? That seems unfair and marginalizes people not in the inner circle.

1. The fact is that TUF used up the last update Juggle was willing to do, without soliciting community feedback. He decided what he wanted and implemented it. It’s great that he took the initiative and that Juggle was willing to implement the “choose winner” system. But there are major issues with judge voting and with the descriptions of the point categories for both the choose winner system and the 7-point system. We have limited political capital: there are a limited number of updates Juggle is/was willing to do. The presidency allows a single person to choose how to use up that political capital, without community input. Regardless, Juggle is a non-issue now.

2. It’s ironic that Con implies throughout Round 3 that Mikal was not a good candidate, but then asserts that a good candidate will always run and be elected. Cody_Franklin was elected and then went AWOL his whole term. The past suggests that there will not always be good candidates.

3.
Con says the president can balance transparency with privacy which is false. It makes airmax feel more transparent to include the president in some inner circle conversations. Just because airmax feels like he’s being more transparent doesn’t mean he is. There is an implicit understanding between max and the president that the president cannot air his grievances publicly or he will not be welcome back into the inner circle. It’s essentially regulatory capture: the semblance of democratic decisionmaking, with no real risk of actual democracy seeping in. We’re not saying that all moderator decisions have to be made public, but let’s not pretend that a private decision is somehow public and transparent just because the president sat in on the conversation.

4. Con drops our point that the Voting mod and Religion Forum mod have replaced the two major initiatives that bladerunner wanted to adopt as president. Mods have rendered the presidency unnecessary and superfluous.

(4) No real power

Con concedes this point. This is a huge loss for them. Juggle is a non-factor. The president might have some input on some moderation decisions - if and only if the president happens to be someone that airmax trusts. There’s no reason to have a position with no real power. We’re a debate website, guys. Let's focus on debate. We would rather have fun with YYW on the site than see countless threads from Wrich trying to start drama with him over the presidency.

(5) Private efforts

Eddie concedes that he would have sacrificed time with his wife because of obligation. He says he wouldn’t have voted on every unvoted debate, but he would have tried to fulfill some part of his “responsibility.” Honestly, a fake presidency on a website isn’t worth that. Let’s put this in perspective.

If you have the time to devote to DDO and the desire, then do it. Blade-of-truth did and has performed spectacularly with the Supreme Council of Determination in getting votes for unvoted debates. You don’t need to win a popularity contest before doing something like BoT did. But if you don’t have time, then you shouldn’t feel obligated to a fake position on some website.

(6) Undemocratic

Con says that we would hold the position of president responsible for our actions during the election. Yet, Ore_ele has explained that every single past president has lobbied new members, some more successfully than others. Airmax has admitted that he used the same tactics when he ran for president, just to a lesser extent than Mikal. [1] It wasn’t just Mikal’s team either. Bladerunner’s campaign team was so eager to get any vote they could, they brought jifpop back to the site for a horrifying two hours (before he finally left again).

Underview

The biggest impacts we’re winning are: (1) the presidency is undemocratic because it can be so easily decided by lobbying, (2) the presidency has and will cause massive drama (Con concedes that if YYW is elected, Wrich and others will wreak havoc), and (3) that if airmax is going to make a decision based on someone’s opinion, it is better that it is the site’s opinion, not one person’s opinion.

All our other points prove the presidency is unnecessary. Not every moderation issue has to be made public, but some major issues are of public concern, and max shouldn’t get to dismiss those proposals just because the president doesn’t care about them. If you’re not in the inner circle, those types of decisions will seem inherently unfair. Abolish the presidency to avoid drama and undemocratic decisionmaking.


bladerunner060

Con

Framework

If Pro had shown that the presidency was a lopsidedly bad thing on par with the Holocaust or a splinter, they would have fulfilled their burden. We maintain they failed to do this--at the very least they concede one good thing (TUF's updates), if nothing else.

Pro set this debate as a shared BoP debate. Normally, when the status quo is in place, the one advocating against it has the BoP. Pro set up this debate in such a way that the BoP is shared, but wants to only have to show some negatives to win the day. Nigh-every system has some negatives; we concede that as trivially true. But our framework isn't "ridiculous", it's basic and standard. Pro has utterly failed to show that there would be benefit in simply abolishing the presidency, and has likewise failed to establish their so-called "counterplan" as reasonable. While Pro may claim it's "obvious", it remains both unworkable and not on the table under airmax's moderation.

Pro's basic framework lacks detail or rigor, and fails to account for the fact that such a system requires airmax's approval. Airmax is not going to give approval to such a half-baked scheme, which is why it's not on the table. At the risk of cracking wise, if blue-sky hypotheticals are allowed (and ignoring that this would, if serious, be a new argument), we propose that the presidency be kept, with a million dollar stipend to every member. Wouldn't that be great!?


1

Pro concedes that everyone cannot contact Juggle. Their proposal puts burdens on airmax that they don't have the ability, authority, or responsibility to. This debate is on whether the presidency should be abolished. It is, of necessity, a practical debate. If airmax is not willing to entertain their demands, Pro has no counterplan.

Pro cites a hangout conversation. You can't cite something that can't be referenced--that's not how citations or sourcing works. Here, Pro wants us to just take their word that they've provided airmax's words accurately and the proper context and rather shamelessly is aiming for source points. We would argue that "citing" a Google hangout that isn't recorded is worse than having no citations at all. Airmax is on this side of the debate, and believes that Pro is, at best, misremembering or misconstruing the context of the "quotes".

Airmax has earned Juggle's trust and understands their goals and the way they operate. He asserts that if he said what Pro attributes, it wasn't with regards to the presidency, but in regard to the specific position he holds, as a sort of de facto site management administrator. Juggle certainly would like him to remain in this position, and no site election will replace him as such. Juggle will interact with the site's elected President; this is an actual verifiable quote from Airmax (as channeled through bladerunner for this team debate).

While Juggle may be less inclined to give new admin access, this doesn't mean anything regarding how likely they are to interact with a new president. All it means is that they trust airmax to continue to do the job as he has, and to find other methods where necessary, and so far they have found this to be sufficient. How this ties in with the presidency is anyone's guess. But it doesn't have anything to do with whether or not they would trust a new president.

It's worth noting that bladerunner HAS had contact with juggle, so Pro's claim that "as far as Juggle is concerned, TUF is still president" is just false. The failure of Juggle to update the elected officials page does not mean that they aren't aware of election results. That Juggle has in general waned in their interest has not been contested.

We did not make the claim that Juggle will definitely "be more involved in the future." What we said was that "At present it has waned to its lowest point. But to abandon the system because of that harms our chances at getting them to invest again." We never contested that it was at its lowest point, and we cannot guarantee that it will increase. Pro would like us to assume that the present is the way things will always be, and that's simply nonsense; it goes completely without any support whatsoever. I urge the readers to compare our actual claims against their actual claims, and ask who has made claims they cannot support?


2

It becomes tedious to point out false claims but nonetheless:

- The "Inner circle" no longer exists in the way Pro presents it and hasn't for a year at least.
- The president is still involved despite the presence of sub-mods.
- The "close personal friendship" airmax and bladerunner have was more a result of the presidency than it was an effect on the presidency.

Pro fails to address the fact that the forums will not influence final moderator decisions (such as bans). Consider this point dropped.

Pro's failure to understand the relationship that the president and the mod can have is unfortunate. Airmax solicits opinion from the president on every major decision (i.e. not-spam), if that president has shown themselves to warrant such trust.

This entire argument seems to stem from Pro's frustration that they didn't get immediate cooperation from moderation--they fail to understand that such cooperation needs to be earned; the membership gives the mandate, but it's how the president handles that mandate that determines whether they're effective in the job. Part of that is patience, and a lack of unrealistic expectations.

It appears Pro is taking their experience as somehow reflective of universality, but problematic behavior in a president results in harm to their ability to do their job, things like: airing private conversations with Mikal or someone else kept vague and stripped of context being passed off as quotes, and attacks on specific members.


3

1 - Pro claims without warrant or evidence that it's harder for airmax to ignore the site than to ignore the president. Considering the president can contact Juggle directly, Pro's failure to give any evidence for this point, and the fact that immediately after arguing this Pro gave us a case where airmax rejected a site-popular proposal because the president didn't care for it, it can rather safely be dismissed. Pro's "vote with our feet" point is just as valid with a president as without it, and so is irrelevant.

The trial system is a distraction; we don't have the space to get into a detailed analysis of its strengths or weaknesses. Pro would like us to just assume it was an awesome plan. Without support for that argument, we can't.

Pro argues that TUF used up "the last" update from Juggle. Yet, they offer no support for that except that at present Juggle has not been involved.

2 - The argument we presented was that good candidates would exist, as a response to Pro's argument that we would run out of good candidates. Pro now argues that since bad candidates may win that means "there will not always be good candidates". Pro had claimed that good candidates wouldn't exist, not that they wouldn't win. The latter is a feature of democracy. What wins is what is voted for, good or ill, and is as much an issue with their supposed counterplan as it is with the presidency.

3 - Pro argues that our point regarding transparency and privacy is false. They offer no evidence for this. During bladerunner's tenure, he made moderation more transparent (an example: http://www.debate.org...). He couldn't do this without moderation's help.

4 - Pro argues that we "dropped" 4. Given that we did address it, this is confusing. We made the point that we don't know how well the alternative system would have worked, but that it wouldn't have been available without a presidency. Pro completely drops this point in their rush to claim we "dropped" theirs.


4

We really wish that Pro would either read more carefully, or would not twist our statements. We did not "concede" this point. We argued that Pro fails to understand how the power of the presidency works. We argued that the power of the presidency was in influence more so than direct authority. I guess it was dropped by them?


5

I'm rather done discussing how I would have acted while my wife was hospitalized. That Pro would rather I NOT recognize the responsibility that comes with the presidency is rather indicative of how they treated the presidency while they were the administration in power.


6

Pro wants to keep pushing the narrative that it's undemocratic to lobby newer members. As we said, qualifying criteria are important, but irrelevant, and are a part of any system that involves democracy.


Conclusion

One election does not a systemic problem make.

The criticism that the presidency can be so easily decided by lobbying can be resolved by changing voting criteria and is non-unique. Saying that abolition is the solution is overreacting to the problem. Decisions can be based on the site in general AND on the president's input. Pro would remove the president completely; given that moderation issues require discretion in many cases, the president is necessary as another opinion based on the position they hold as elected by the membership.

It's worth repeating that every opinion has value and each is treated as such. The president's value is as useful way to gauge what actions should be taken - not a sole determination indicator as Pro would like to argue.

Pro has presented some problems with the presidency. They have also demonstrated a failure to understand what the role of the president is. The presidency has done good things, and can do good things again. Pro has failed to show that's not the case. Pro has failed to show that simply abolishing the presidency would be a good thing in its own right, thus losing the resolution, and has failed to give us a counterplan that would work, thus losing their case.

Please, keep the presidency in place, and keep the voice of the community heard.

Thanks to everyone who reads this long debate!
Debate Round No. 4
116 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by bsh1 1 year ago
bsh1
RFD, Part 2

I don't buy Pro's claims about it being undemocratic, overdramatic, or powerless. I reject Con's assertion that allowing certain users to vote is undemocratic, as that seems totally nonsensical. Isn't democracy about people voting? It is therefore a contradiction in terms to say that it is undemocratic to have people vote. I also buy Con's point that the drama is only pointless if the election is pointless, so Pro's contention seems a bit question-begging. And, I think, while the president may not have hard power, he or she can utilize soft power in a variety of ways.

So, I see benefits to Con's alternative, but I'm not getting the same for Pro's. I need to have a reason to vote Pro, not just to not vote Con. Thus, I negate.

I do have one criticism of Con's line of argumentation. I think, since Airmax was on Con's team, it was unfair of Con to use his unwillingness to take certain actions as an argument. While I know this wasn't the case, it has the potential to look like Airmax is just prohibiting certain options in order to win the debate. I therefore didn't really feel comfortable with all the talk of what Airmax would or would not entertain. But, this didn't really factor into my decision any way, and even if it had, it wouldn't have changed the outcome.

It was an excellent debate on an important issue. It was nice to see such a high-quality discussion on DDO politics. Nice job!

I vote Con.
Posted by bsh1 1 year ago
bsh1
RFD, Part 1

I find my vote coming down to something very simple, despite the multifaceted nature of the discussion. I buy Con's arguments re: the BOP. When the harm is not "lopsided" as with removing a splinter, I need a reason to buy into Pro's alternative, and not merely a reason to not buy into Con's alternative. I also agree with Con that Pro's counterplan was ridiculously underdeveloped. It is easy for Pro to critique the status quo, because the details are known, but when Pro presents a nebulous alternative, it's easy to shift goalposts or dodge substantive discussion. So, a lack of clarity in the counterplan is both unfair to Pro and signficantly lacking in warrants as to why it ought to be preferred. Given that, Pro doesn't uphold their BOP.

I do think Con generates some positives for their plan (TUF's updates, a single voice for the usership). The updates point was really undercovered by Pro, and I buy that it would be chaotic if everyone attempted to contact juggle or if all non-moderator decisions were put to a direct vote. I also buy that, as unelected authorities, the mods are not best positioned to represent the community. Therefore, I see utility in the presidency as a singular embodiment vox populi--a democratic liaison with Juggle who can act on behalf of the community.
Posted by Genghis_Khan 1 year ago
Genghis_Khan
Wtf when I saw it, you hadn't voted...

screw technology.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 1 year ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
I did. What are you talking about?
Posted by Genghis_Khan 1 year ago
Genghis_Khan
Why didn't F16 vote...?
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 1 year ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Another thing I wanted to add, it is the president's JOB to be diplomatic enough to gain Airmax's trust so that he/she can advocate for the memberbase. Saying that Airmax won't automatically trust every president is like saying that not every president can do their job well, so the position should be abolished. You don't start off with "trust" provided to you based on your position but you have the opportunity to gain that trust if you play your cards right - which the president needs to do. When the community elects a president, part of what they look for is the ability to gain this trust.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 1 year ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Advice for Pro (cont):

You also seem to misunderstand what the current purpose of the presidency is. This is pretty much open to contention since the position changed so much over the years. I think some research and clarification would have gone on a long way in keeping your offence on topic.

Garbanza and Wrichcirw can question moderation but they don't have the credibility that a president would hence there is still a *large* power imbalance.

Overall, after reading this debate, I'm convinced that a counterbalance to website moderation in the form of elected representatives is crucial.

The presidency should remain. It serves its purpose when occupied by a competent member.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 1 year ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Advice for Pro:

When bluesteel made the forum thread arguing for the abolishment of the presidency, I signed up immediately not wanting to see more annoying commercials about some new member's platform. I was expecting Pro to gain the edge here but this was the biggest, most colossal wreckage that I've seen in a hotly contested debate.

Main thing Pro should have impacted more is how the unnecessary drama pre-election, the multitude of threads from unknown members, multiple attack threads. There is tremendous ground there that could be argued SO much better than "bladerunner hates bluesteel." Running that argument was a poor strategy because without evidence, the final word on what bladerunner thinks rests with bladerunner. From the start, that was a losing argument. All blade needs to do is simply deny that he hates bluesteel.

You did well to argue that the president's influence with Airmax rests with Airmax and while it was central to Con's offence, it was also the best refuted of all your refutations.

The major, major mistake you made was laying the faults of your administration at the feet of the position. Innomen, Airmax, TUF, bladerunner all contributed to the presidency in their own ways. "Look at how much drama I caused, look at how I destroyed site unity, therefore the presidency is bad" is a borderline nuts argument. I don't blame you for anything that happened. I wasn't even on the site when you were president so I couldn't care less. But seeing that argument in a debate, it felt like the single worst argument I saw. What you really, really should have done was take an objective stance, generalize a bit and talk about the how over the course of many presidents, the position has not been worth the effort. "I abused the system, therefore the presidency should be abolished" feels like a bank robber claiming that he robbed a bank therefore the financial system should be disintegrated.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 1 year ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Advice for Con:

I think Con should have argued that direct democracy is not mutually exclusive with the presidency rather than spending so much time trying to say that they cannot present a counterplan. Also, your framework was poorly argued. Pro can absolutely win the debate by showing a net harm to the presidency. Honestly, your framework argument felt like semantics. Also, refuting some of Mikal's rants about the presidency may have been a path to a clearer win than declining to respond to some points but I can see why you would want to do that. The refutation to the history point could have been expanded a little more.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 1 year ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
RFD (Part 10):

== Summary ==

So, I have four Pro impacts: Mods are all we need, presidents have no real power, unnecessary drama, and presidency is undemocratic. The first two points are negated by Con pointing out the real job of the president which Pro misconstrued. I"ll grant Con that the presidency has the potential to be abused and that lobbying new members may not reflect what the active core of the site wants.

To weigh against it, I have from Con that the president is a counterbalance to the moderation team " an elected representative that speaks for the community rather than Juggle, and through diplomacy and influence can advocate for the what the memberbase wants. They emphasize the importance of having someone who is accountable not to Juggle but to the members. The scrutiny point drives this home.

Further Con argues that the president feels an obligation to see things through that they took on, TUF and blade being examples. Most of these impacts stand almost undamaged.

Overall, this is a pretty clear Con win. I think there is value in the Pro position but the arguments made just didn't hold up to Con's rebuttals.

VOTE: CON
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by bsh1 1 year ago
bsh1
Mikalbladerunner060Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a wonderful debate, and it was a great read. I think, for me, the decision on who won came down to something very simple: the BOP argument, and how that interplayed with the counterplans. My full RFD is in the comments, but I just wanted to congratulate all four of you on a substantive and interesting discourse. If you have any questions regarding my RFD, I would prefer to be contacted via PM, because I cannot be relied on to check the comments of this debate with any regularity. Good debate. I vote Con. I think that Con also had better sources and grammar, but it wasn't significant enough for me to assign those points.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 1 year ago
FuzzyCatPotato
Mikalbladerunner060Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro was winning on the undemocratic presidency point, the drama point, and the direct democracy alternative. Mikal is proof positive that uninformed voters can alter an election. The drama shown here seems unnecessary and community-harming; to claim that it's a feature would require some redeeming factor. The direct democracy alternative is the final problem for a Con vote, though. Effectively *all* of Con's benefits of a presidency (if any still exist after Pro attacked them) can be gained by direct democracy, including site petitions, site changes, etc, with the benefits of transparency, reduced bureaucracy, etc. Con's responses were unconvincing, since uninformed voters' decision should not be given weight, since drama had no redeeming factors, and direct democracy has clear benefits. Con's example of TUF was particularly taken apart by Pro. That said, the multiple positions alternative (while potentially promising) was destroyed by Con, and rightfully dropped by Pro.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 1 year ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Mikalbladerunner060Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Comments 98-107.