The Instigator
Varrack
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Complicated_Mind
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

The Electoral College Should be Abolished

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Complicated_Mind
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/19/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,828 times Debate No: 68553
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (17)
Votes (4)

 

Varrack

Pro

In this debate, Pro will argue that the Electoral College should be abolished. Con will argue that it should not be abolished.

Electoral College - The system or body of people representing the states of the United States, who formally cast votes for the election of the president and vice president every 4 years.

Abolish - To repeal by the proper means of amendment through the U.S. Constitution.

First round is for acceptance only and the burden of proof is shared.
Complicated_Mind

Con

I accept to the terms of this debate, and look forward to an insightful and cordial debate with Pro.

Pro will be affirming that electoral college should be abolished. I, as Con, will be negating his case and I will also be attempting to prove that electoral college should remain in place.

Good luck to the both us us, and thanks to my opponent for the opportunity to debate such an important topic.
Debate Round No. 1
Varrack

Pro

Thanks for accepting my debate Con!

Minority vote per state bears no weight

In the Electoral College (EC), every state votes one way or the other, meaning that the presidential vote for that state is determined by over 50% of the voters voting for that candidate. This makes it so that if 51% of the voters in a certain state vote for one candidate while the other 49% of voters vote for the other candidate, then the 51% is what determines the outcome of that state’s decision. Immediately we see a flaw in this system, the 49% of the votes don’t count as a vote towards the president at all. That minority vote has no effect whatsoever on the outcome of the election.

As we examine the politics of each state, we notice that each state votes differently based on how urban and how rural the state is. States with more urban populations tend to vote Democrat, while rural states trend Republican. Let’s take Illinois for example. Illinois virtually always votes Democrat because of the urban population of Chicago. Since most of the people in that state live in Chicago, the state is solid blue and Republican voters in the rural part of the state are always swept over by the overwhelming vote in Chicago. This is the cause of why many people do not vote at all, because they know their votes will have no effect since a very urban city such as Chicago is also representing their state. Even some Democratic voters know that participating in the election is pointless seeing as how their state is already solid blue. If we abolish the electoral college, more people will vote in the presidential elections.

Swing states are the ones who really determine each election. In the last several elections, the only states whose votes make a difference are Virginia, Florida, and Ohio. The major flaw of the electoral college is that if you want your vote to count the most, you need to move to a swing state. If you remain in a solid state, your vote will have a much lesser effect if any on the next president.

Unequal population representation

We know that citizens in toss up states are the ones who decide the outcome of each election, but the people in “safe” states have a bit of a chance if and only if their electoral votes exceed those of other states which have less votes in relation to population. As of the 2004 election, Colorado had nine times the population as Wyoming, but only three times the electoral votes[1]. The weight of a vote in Wyoming is more than the weight of a vote in Colorado. The Constitution guarantees ever state, no matter how small, at least three votes in the EC. Small states wield a disproportionate share of clout when choosing a president. This may be a little too generous for smaller states. Some people argue that the EC keeps larger states from getting too powerful in elections. However, a popular vote would make sure that no state, large or small, would ever get too powerful. It would be a perfect system in this regard, unlike the EC. A vote in Wyoming would be equal to a vote in California. Such it is that the number of electoral votes is inaccurate to the population of each state. Yet, the EC has done this so that a minority President can be elected.

President with minority vote still gets in

In the 2000 Presidential Election, George W. Bush was elected despite the fact that he did not win the popular vote. Although Al Gore won 560,000 more votes than Bush[2], Bush grabbed 30 states while Gore took the remaining 20 plus the District of Columbia. This clearly shows that the EC is an inaccurate representation of democracy and won’t always elect the candidate with the popular request to take office.

In fact, it is possible to win the presidency with 21.91% of the population voting for you and 78.09% voting against you[3]. This is possible because the EC grants small states more electoral votes in proportion to the population of those small states in relation to big states.

Third party candidates get nothing

Third party candidates are hardly ever represented in the EC. In fact, some third party votes usually tweak the voting outcome of a state, pushing both the Republican and Democrat candidates below 50% so that a Libertarian or Green candidate can get 2 or 3% of the vote. In some state elections, the outcome has been 49% - 49% - 2%. Since none of the candidates received majority vote, a runoff election is triggered making it so that in a future election only two candidates are on the ballot, while the third party runner is discarded and does not receive a single electoral vote. If a direct popular vote replaces the EC, a third party candidate will receive more of the vote, maybe 100,000 votes nationwide and 1% of the nation’s vote. This is much more fair to that candidate because at least he or she was considered in the results of the national election.

In short, there is not one mob rule in this system, but fiftymob rules. A winner-takes-all system based on the region of space you are living in is unfair to the people living both in that space and outside of it. The whole nation will benefit from abolishing the Electoral College and all of the problems that once existed with it will be gone.


Sources

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...

2. http://www.dflorig.com...

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

Complicated_Mind

Con

====INTRODUCING THE AUDIENCE TO THE DEBATE====


Thanks, Pro. I would like to clarify, as I am negating changing the status quo, my opponent has to not only justify changing what has been the most dominant voting system used in the US for centuries, but also has to prove *ALL* my points wrong and that his proposed system would be more beneficial, also given the changes it would pose on American politics. I will also confront his points in order to add validity to my own arguments, so take that into argument points as well, voters. Changing such a system is no small matter, and must not be treated as such. Now onto my arguments. My apologies for the rushed format, I had little time to post my argument as I am very busy tomorrow.

Minority States - Sparsely populated states that are generally rural.

====MY CASE====

C1: REPRESENTATION AND FOCUS: This premise is quite simple, yet crucial to this debate. All states, no matter how unpopulated, needs proper representation. With the most common system preferred by the public being "whoever gets the most votes overall by the people wins" way, this would be impossible to achieve. The Dakotas, Alaska, Vermont, Montana, Wyoming, and other such states all have small populations no matter how you look at it. Clearly, their votes would be minimized completely, and would be greatly overpowered by more populated states. This is simply unjust in every definition of the word. They would NOT be represented.


As another important point on representation and focus, the president would have a hard time determining solutions for regional concerns as no representation would be given to minority states. They would pursue national interests, which would prevent regional progress. With EC, all regions are represented, and therefore is more fair to a considerable amount to the country, which lacks large populations. The simplistic 'more votes wins' plan contradicts the concept of individual liberty.

If my opponent is for such a flawed system, then, by his logic, we should abolish the Senate as well. Where do we stop by this rationale? Must we cast a ballot on EVERY decision made in the Senate? In what regards should this stop? My opponent must draw a line.

C2: MODERATION: This loosely ties into my first contention. It should be obvious that if popular vote was the system of use in political elections, democrats would almost exclusively campaign in significantly populated blue areas, whereas republicans would almost exclusively campaign in significantly populated red areas. Smaller rural and sparsley-populated regions, as mentioned above, would get little to no voice in elections. These areas would suffer dramatically.

Also, swing states encourage moderation.

If you think about it, many policies will pass in one area of country, and not the other. Some moderation is good. Some campainging strategies seen as ultra conservative from hardcore liberals would pass in the South, and not pass in the North, and vice versa. It is generally predictable how different parts of the country will vote on things. If they are definitely blue, or definitely red... it's just obvious. However, swing states are a different story. Since they are unpredictable and basically vote from scratch, then both candidates are forced to moderate their policies in order to appeal to a neutral audience.

Lastly, bear in mind that since there is one swing state per region, the candidates will be able to make sure that they are able to confront regional concerns rather than only national concerns. This also help prevents candidates from simply going to populated areas to campaign.

C3. CREATES A CLEAR WINNER IN CLOSE ELECTIONS: For this argument, in order to create more substance to my points, I shall provide an example(s) which more than proves my point:

We all (hopefully) know how close the election in 1960 between Kennedy and Nixon was. More than 68 millions voters cast their ballots [1] and Kennedy came out in the popular vote as less than 2/10ths of a percent ahead of Nixon [2]. We should all know of the accusations from both sides about vote-stealing and the cries to recount the votes.

With such close results, there would no doubt that the votes would have to be recounted in a direct elections. This would've taken months, and created more potential opportunities for fraud. This would therefore hinder the election.

But because the Electoral College divided one big national election into 50 individual state elections, recounts were only pursued in a few states where the vresults were closest. And because Kennedy had a huge lead in Electoral votes --- 303 to 219 --- [3] Nixon would have had to win just about all the challenges to change the outcome of the election. Clearly that wouldn't happen, so most recounts were soon dropped. The EC took what had been a virtual tie in the popular vote and turned it into a clear-cut victory for Kennedy.

There have been multiple times in American history where the candidate with more overall votes beat the other by less than 1% (e.g. Garfield, 1880, Nixon 1968, Cleveland 1884, etc.) [4] . If we had a direct election, we would have to verify the results by using a national recount. With EC little to no recounts would actually be counted. This prevents unnecessary complications and potential fraud opportunities.

Most times, the EC produces a more notable margin of victory than the popular vote results. This makes the elections more obvious, and provides an opportunity to the president (winner of the election) to get ready for his new job as president.


C4: THE EC SUCCESSFULLY AVOIDS CONFUSION. But an important result of the EC is that it has led to the development of two political parties that strive for broad appeal. Most other democracies have dozens of parties, many with very narrow agendas. With such an amount of parties, it is hard to reach agreement on virtually anything. But the EC requires a candidate to win a majority of electoral votes. If there were three or more parties, that would seldom happen. Because of this, American politics evolved to have two national parties, each of which needs to appeal to as many people as possible.

A common argument against the EC revolves around third party candidates not being properly represented. However, more than two candidates would not only lead to confusion, but it would be impossible to please enough people to justify putting the winning candidate in office.

With that, I hand this debate back to Pro.

====SUMMARY====

In this debate, I have showcased the following points:

-All states, no matter how unpopulated, needs representation.
-Swing states encourage moderation on all fronts, and discourages extremity from any party.
-Prevents confusiong, fraud, and other harmful things to society as well as successfully determining close elections with confidence.
-The Electoral College helps prevent confusion on nearly all fronts.

It should be noted I am saving rebuttals for the next round. Thanks. I put lots of effort in considering all the circumstances clinging onto me in real life.



====SOURCES====

[1]: http://www.ushistory.org...;(near the end of the final paragraph)
[2]: http://uselectionatlas.org...;(the chart shows a .17% popular vote difference, showcasing less that 2/10ths of a percentage point).
[3]: http://uselectionatlas.org...;(look at the chart)
[4]: http://uselectionatlas.org...;
http://www.270towin.com...
http://www.270towin.com...



Debate Round No. 2
Varrack

Pro

Thank you for the arguments Con.

For my R3 case I will rebut my opponent's arguments from R2. I hope that he will be able to respond to my R2 arguments as well as counter-rebut my R3 ones.

Rebuttals

Re: Representation and Focus

State-by-state representation will not be needed in a national popular vote because each vote would be individual and would have no accordance with the state that citizen lives in. It is unfair to give a voter more value in an election simply because they happen to live in a state with smaller borders. If that state's borders were expanded for some reason, or the voter moved to a larger state, then the vote's value would drop. Small states would be over-represented. This is much less fair for people living in big states - their votes don't count as much toward the result as small states do. A national popular vote would eliminate thisproblem and ensure that every vote is equal the next. States need not be relevant in a national election.

Regional concerns would be more prevalent in large states versus small states, since there is more space in larger states for problems to arise. The fact that Rhode Island has one regional concern would be of much more proportion to California with its five thousand regional concerns.

There is no reason to abolish the Senate because the Senate serves the purpose of representing the states several times a month on many different issues, not like the EC which is only used every four years for one issue only: the next president of the U.S. The Senate can address each state's issues without needing to ask the state which candidate the majority of its citizens support.

Re: Moderation

With the EC, candidates tend to only campaign in the states that matter: swing states. It would be pointless for a Republican candidate to campaign in a solid blue state and vice versa. With or without the EC, there is no reason for a candidate to visit a small town because there are few people living in that town that would affect the election outcome. Since rural areas already trend red, campaigning there is pointless.

Candidates will moderate their policies regardless of whether there are swing states or not. It may be true that swing states will be appealing to candidates, but if there is no EC at all then the candidates will want to moderate their policies to appeal to all of America, not just a few states. Even if that was not the case, it doesn't matter a whole lot whether a policy is moderated or not. America will vote on what it wants, and that will make America happier because a popular vote is a direct representation of democracy in comparison to a flawed EC.

Re: Clear Winner

To dissect this argument, we must first find out why it is being contended that a clear winner in an election would be better than a close one. Two factors have been brought up: recounting and votes and a number of fraud attempts at a result of it.

Recounting

My opponent has attempted to paint recounting in a bad light. However, recounting in a direct popular vote would not be all that bad. We must first consider that the new president isn't inaugurated until late January[1], leaving plenty of time from election day in early November to the day the president-elect takes office. 2½ months is enough time to recount a nation's votes, seeing as how the votes on Election Day are all counted in one sitting. Also, the only time the nation would recount every person's vote would possibly be if the election was as close as the 1960 Nixon-Kennedy one. Even if there was a difference of a million votes between the candidates (such as the 2012 one), the election still wouldn't be close enough to trigger a national recount. Only in rare settings where the votes are really close would a recount be considered. To add, a recount would be much less likely in a national popular vote because there would be a single large national pool of votes instead of 51 separate pools.

Fraud

Since fraud was brought up, it'd be proper for this subject to be addressed by the other side. It was claimed that a long recount time would risk further fraud opportunities. But because it is a baseless assertion to say "a recount would take months and months", there is no point in taking this argument seriously. We know that in each election, the votes are counted in one day, so fraud opportunities would not be higher. In fact, they would be lower because recounts would be less frequent as I pointed out earlier. Fraud attempts would actually be more frequent with the EC because the people committing fraud would know that if they did it enough, it might tip the vote balance of that state causing the entire state to go for the other candidate. In a popular vote, this wouldn't happen because each vote is individual and would have no effect on the state that vote was casted in. Fraud attempts would only give a candidate a few extra votes and there would be no risk of an entire state switching its votes because of it.

Re: Confusion

It is another baseless assertion that the two-party system would collapse because of a loss of the EC. If no candidate received 270 electoral votes in the EC, one from the three candidates with the most votes would be chosen by the Senate anyways. In a national popular vote, the candidate with the most votes would be elected as chosen by the people. Also, since few people vote for the party they know is going to lose, there would be no reason for the people to begin voting for third party candidates more often without the EC.

Your turn, Con!


Sources

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...

2. http://www.archives.gov...
Complicated_Mind

Con

I thank Pro for his thoughtful rebuttals on my argumentation in this round. I will now now return the favor in this round. As a sidenote, the last round will be counter-rebuttals (rebutting each other's rebuttals). I look forward to continued intellectual discourse.

With the risk of sounding redundant, since I am arguing for the status quo and Pro is against the status quo, my opponent has to completely disprove *all* of my points to be 'wrong' for him to win. Failure to do so will result in a loss for Pro.

If the conclusion from the voters is that PV (popular vote) and the EC (electoral college) are equally efficient, EC wins as it is already in place.

Now onto rebuttals.

I will respond paragraph-by-paragraph to my opponent's case.

====REBUTTALS====

Minority votes per state bears no weight

I. The result would be the same either way. The majority, even if slight, gains additional point(s) to the winning candidate. Failure to disregard minority votes in big states (such as California, Texas, Florida, New York, etc.), will be unfair to the majority votes in small states. The reason for this being that the minority votes in California, for example, would greatly overpower the majority votes in small states (e.g Wyoming). This would completely undermine sparsley populated states and therefore would make them virtually voiceless on *all* votes. In order for representation of rural states, this part of the EC needs to be in place. This point will be further elaborated on below.


II. In this paragraph, my opponent argues that lots of people in non-swing states are discouraged from voting as their vote does not count. It is a baseless assertion to make such a major claim without backing it up with ANY data. It does not make a difference either way. Non-swing states are decisively blue or red, so they will vote for the same candidate regardless. My opponent has to *undeniably prove* that enough people would vote against the majority candidate in the PV method to change the result in the election for this argument to hold any relevance whatsoever. I can garauntee it will not as non-swing states are called solidly blue or solidly red for a reason. Changing the voting system will make no difference.

An example of non-swing states voting the same either way: California, the most populated state in the country, is only 34.6% red [1] while multiple states have voted red (Alabama, Mississippi, Alaska, etc.), in the past seven elections [2]. It can be determined reasonably by this that the result would stay the same no matter what in such states.

III. Every vote counts in every state. If it weren't for people going out of their way to vote red in Texas, or blue in California, then the elections would be completely different. As such, it is important to vote no matter what state you are in. Pro has made another baseless assertion.

Unequal population representation

The House of Representatives is lawfully set to be 435 [3]. To get the number of voters each representative serves we take a census once every decade. Once the census is taken, the powers population is divided by 435. By law, each state, no matter how unpopulated, needs at least a single representative in order to be voiced in the election.


Without such a rule, minority states, such as Wyoming, would have no say in the election. They would be overpowered in a PV and would be completely voiceless. We cannot have this, as every state needs to be heard. Wyoming only has a population of 582,658, [4] but each member of the House represents, on average, about 700,000 [5] people. Wyoming has to be given a slightly disproportionate number of representatives in order to have ANY say in the election at all. If given an exactly proportionate amount of electoral voters (0) or abiding by PV rules, Wyoming, (and other unpopulated states) would be non-existent as far as the election and campaigners are concerned. This is unjust, as 582,658 people wouldn't be heard, which is contradicting individual liberty.

This is also the case with every state with a population under 700,000. That means with PV (or an exact proportionate number of representatives) the District of Columbia, Vermont, and Wyoming would all be COMPLETELY disregarded as they all have populations below 700,000 [6]. Moreover, these are the only three places with a disproportionate amount of voters.

My opponent will have to justify giving no representation to multiple states in order for this argument to hold any value.

President with minority vote still gets in

I. As stated above, every state needs representation, so PV is actually the one contradicting democracy as it leaves millions voiceless. Also, such occasions such occasions as the 2000 elections are a rarity, and only have happened four times in US history. With the exclusion of the 2000 election, the last time such an event happened was in 1888 [7]. Before that, it only happened twice, both more than a century ago. Further, no plans are without flaws such that I have shown PV has an equal amount or more, I have proven my point. Perhaps improving the EC itself will be in order, but not abolishing the entire system that has successfully led this country for centuries in exchange for a much more flawed system than an un-fixed EC.


II. Con, with the help of a YouTube video, has asserted that it is possible to win the presidential election with only 21.91% of the population voting for you. This is actually very unlikely given that the EC almost always reflects the popular vote (40/44 times) [8]. Lastly, as explained above, small states need a *slightly* disproportionate number of votes to have ANY say. With PV they would have NO say. As such, PV would be much more harmful to the voting of minority states.

Third party candidates get nothing

Similarly to above, the result would not be changed dramatically regardless. Regardless of the system in place, third party candidates will not recieve enough votes to make a significant difference in the election. The winning result, whether Pro wants to admit it or not, will be the democratic or republican candidate. As such, the EC mitigates pointless votes to third party candidates and makes it so all votes count toward the only two actual realistic choices. Additionally, technically third parties would be represented in EC as well, however they wouldn't recieve enough votes to be in the two most dominant parties, therefore this point is irrelevant as third parties are given a fair chance to make a difference in the election even with EC in place.


This does not justify changing the status quo which has been in place in the United States for centuries.

====Conclusion====

I have achieved the following:


-Proven my opponent's arguments wrong/irrelevant.
-Shown how many of Pro's arguments can be turned around on the PV.
-Demonstrated that many faults in the current EC system would be worsened further in a PV election.
-Proven that completely terminating the status quo would be more harmful than beneficial.
-No system has no flaws, however the PV has many more flaws that the EC.

====Sources====

[1]: http://www.nbcchicago.com......


[2]: http://thehill.com......

[3]: http://history.house.gov......;(go to the paragraph titled "current practice")

[4]: http://quickfacts.census.gov......

[5]: http://walberg.house.gov......;(under "how many people do congressman and senators represent?")

[6]: http://www.infoplease.com......
http://quickfacts.census.gov......

[7]: http://www.factcheck.org......

[8]: http://www.factcheck.org...
Debate Round No. 3
Varrack

Pro

This has been a thrilling and insightful debate, Con. My gratitude goes out for the arguments provided and hope that this will wrap up nicely and give readers a more informed examination of the EC.

Disagreeing with the claim that I must prove every single argument my opponent provides wrong to win, I don't believe that voters must choose my opponent's argument over mine because they feel there was one flaw in it even if it is overall stronger than my opponents' arguments. Although I am challenging the status quo, I believe that rule is a bit over the top given how unfair of a disadvantage it would push on me. No such rule was stated in my opening round and I will not comply to it since it is not how debates work on this site regardless of whether the status quo is being challenged or not. It is up to the voters to decide, and if they believe one side was stronger than the other then they will so vote by the proper means.

Rebuttals

Re: Minority votes per states

As a democracy, it is much more important that the people themselves are properly represented rather than the states are. As mentioned earlier, each state is different with boundaries that are bigger or smaller than others. If we define an election's results by state boundaries rather than individuals, then the people's individual liberties are being violated. In the PV, there would be no minority or majority votes based on borders, but each vote would count for itself, equal to every other vote in the whole country. With the EC, we have to make some peoples' votes count more or be "represented more" because of the states they are living in, but it is completely unnecessary to because we could have a much more simple system such as the PV.

If we stopped disregarding the minority votes in the EC, then yes, it would be unfair to the majority votes in small states only if we kept the EC. In the PV, the concept of minority and majority votes would be completely wiped away, which would be more fair for everyone. Unfairness would not exist because state boundaries would not be considered. No one would be under or over-represented in the PV.

It may not be possible to show how many more people would vote in the PV (since a PV has never been established), but it is a valid conclusion to make considering how overrun some peoples' votes are. If a voter knows that a solid state is not going to be affected by his or her single vote, then they are indeed discouraged from voting at all. What is the point of voting when your vote will have no effect whatsoever on the outcome of an election? In a PV however, everyone's vote will count equally towards the result regardless of who that voters' state neighbors are. In a solid state in the EC, someone's neighbors define one's vote, not the actual voter himself.

It doesn't matter whether California is 34.6% red or 49.9% red; it's minority representation would not count at all. Only the vote that exceeds 50% counts. If every state in the Union including D.C. voted 49% for Candidate A and 51% for Candidate B (per state), then Candidate B would receive 538 electoral votes and Candidate would receive 0. This is in fact unfair representation and a violation of the concept of free democracy.

Re: Unequal representation

Again, states do not need representation in an election, the people do. The state of Wyoming would not be represented in the PV but the people will. There is no reason to base elections off of states rather than the citizens since that would contradict individual liberty and would give more power to areas and boundaries, not people. The U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and all subsequent amendments pertain to or protect individual rights. Why is it that individual liberty seems to disappear when it comes to the EC?

It is true that in the EC, Wyoming would have to have a disproportionate amount of representatives to actually have a voice in the election. Instead of receiving 0 votes, it receives 3 votes, which over-represents it. If Wyoming happened to have a civil war and split into East and West Wyoming, then each half would receive 3 votes, giving the citizens even more of a vote that counts toward the result of the election. The Constitution grants every state, no matter how few people live in it, at least 3 votes in the EC[1].

For the EC to perfectly represent the popular vote, it would have to give an electoral vote for each vote cast. Easily we recognize that the PV does just this, but without the "electoral" in it.

Re: President with minority vote

The fact that a minority represented president has been elected four times shows that the EC is unjust as it does not follow the popular vote that well. True, it may not have occurred that many times, but it could always occur again and shouldn't be disregarded simply because probability is low. The upcoming 2016 election has the potential to turn into another minority voted president, just as much as the 2020 one does and every one after. The PV would eliminate this once and for all, as the PV would perfectly represent what the people vote and want. Do we as Americans really want to keep such a flawed system where the possibility of a candidate with less than a quarter of national vote can get elected? To what extremes do we have to go just to protect "under-representation" of small states that could completely be avoided in a PV?

Re: Third party candidates

Every candidate deserves to be recorded in a national election, with each of their votes for them properly displayed. It doesn't matter if they win or not, since only one candidate wins, so for a third party candidate to not even be able to make the slightest mark on an election or leave behind the lowliest legacy is disheartening. As said before, runoff elections sometimes happen in the EC because of a third party candidate who was a bit more influential than normal. In this case, if the top two candidates are in a tight enough race, then sometimes no one will reach 50% and a separate election is scheduled for a latter date where the third party candidate is dismissed. Everyone deserves to be represented, but unfortunately not everyone is because of the EC that we have.

With that, I conclude my arguments for this debate and hand the last round over Con. Thanks to Complicated_Mind for participating in this debate with me and may he have good luck in the voting.

[Note: All but one of Con's sources from the last round led to the homepage instead of the actual source. If this problem could be addressed before the end of the debate that would be appreciated.]


Source

1. http://www.usconstitution.net...
Complicated_Mind

Con

Thanks, Pro. We do agree Pro has the bigger BOP, but by how much is where we disagree. I will now counter-rebut Pro's R3 rebuttals.

1A. Representation and focus


As I have stated before, common sense dictates that small states would be entirely overpowered and voiceless in a popular vote. Pro has failed to give viable reasons that such a result wouldn't occur. Pro uses the majority of this section to assert that small states would overpower big states in EC; however, my R3 rebuttals alone refute this. Only *three* places have a disproportionate amount of votes (District of Columbia, Vermont, and Wyoming) as they all have populations below 700,000. Each representative represents, on average, rougly 700,000 people. This means if given an exact number of proportionate representatives, these three places will be completely buried under all the other states, and would therefore be voiceless.

Again, this contradicts individual liberty. I urge to audience to bear in mind that there are only THREE places where disproportionate votes occur; but it is in the best interest of society. EVERYWHERE needs representation.

Pro may claim a vote in a big state doesn't equal to a vote in a small state, but overall that is untrue. Regardless, my opponent's negative assertions, seemingly aimed at many small states, only applies to three places. As such, no justifiable reason has been given to completely disregard these three places; there would be no representation due to lack of population in PV, and there would be representation for those three places in EC.

"The fact that Rhode Island has one regional concern would be of much more proportion to California with its five thousand regional concerns." -Pro.

This argument is completely irrational. The disproportionate issue that my opponent is referring to doesn't apply to Rhode Island; it has a population above 700,000 [1], therefore they recieve an exactly proportionate number of representatives.

Considering the above statement, my opponent's following claim: "The fact that Rhode Island has one regional concern would be of much more proportion to California with its five thousand regional concerns," is completely false and should be disregarded as Rhode Island is represented proportionately.

If DOC, Wyoming, and Vermont, on the contrary, all recieve no representation, they would be disregarded as the president and other important figures will be focusing only on the big states.

My opponent has not properly refuted this.

1B. Abolishing the Senate

My opponent fails to provide a viable reason why the PV method should not be used in the Senate, but should be used in the EC.

Pro's argument on this is all opinionated and baseless. "The Senate can address each state's issues without needing to ask the state which candidate the majority of its citizens support." -Pro.

Key question: why? Why can the Senate go without the PV method, while the presidential election HAS to have PV, rather than the current and more efficient status quo? My opponent's argument on this is weak, and doesn't warrant much response as I have already covered everything on this section.


2. Moderation

Here, my opponent starts by asserting swing states are the only states that matter, and are therefore the only places that candidates campaign. This is both false and fallacious. Candidates campaign in every state with the EC, because every state matters with the system. With PV in places, candidates would likely not give Wyoming the time of day. Further, my opponent relies on another fallacious argument for this section: with EC, democrats wouldn't visit solidly red states and vice versa. This premise is simply proving my point. As I explained in round three, most states are solidly blue or red regardless of what system is in place.

Since my opponent has failed to refute that states will stay the same part regardless of the system, then my point stands. Additionally, since Pro has failed to defend otherwise, there is no justification given here to go through the struggles of changing the status quo as this part of the election will remain the same, as conceded by Pro.

In this section of the debate, Pro claims candidates will moderate their policies no matter their location. However, the degree of moderation will be different. Candidates will have to appeal to independent voters in swing states; thus encouraging moderation. Even if slightly moderated, Texas will always lean red, and California will always lean blue. As such, swing states are different and vote from scratch. Not only do they represent every region from the US, but they provide NEUTRAL representation from each region, thus creating a fair election.

Pro's assertion that in a PV candidates will try to appeal to all of America is false. As I have repeatedly asserted, they will try to appeal to states with high populations. Since most states are solidly blue, or solidly red, who will win in PV simply depends on if there are more democrats or republicans; with swing states holding so much weight in EC, neutrality wins, and a more thoughtful voting process is considered when electing.

3A. Recounting [Clear Winner]

One of Pro's main arguments on recounting revolves around the rarity of the situation. This was part of my point. PV would fail to confront such a situation in the efficient way that EC confronts this problem. As such, the 1960 Nixon-Kennedy election had a .17% difference in the PV. (See source two in round two). Though all 68 million voters ballots were counted in one day, it showed such a closeness in how many votes there were per candidate that cries of fraud were called out as well as vote-stealing from both sides. In a direct election, it would be impossible to please the public in such an election; a .17% would simply be too close. People would be pissed off, and there would always be the lingering question of whether or not there was some type of fraud that cause a candidate to supposedly be .17% ahead of their opposition.

Due to these problems, a system needs to be in place to prevent such an issue from occuring. The EC is fair for a plethora of reasons I have already stated in this debate, and should be utilized in such rare occasions. It is overall beneficial to the election process for its fairness and overall accuracy. Lastly, it helps settle such a dispute, and there is less conflict than if Kennedy were elected because he had 2/10ths of a percentage more votes.


3B. Fraud [Clear Winner]

Here Pro fails to grasp the basic point I was trying to make: I never denied such cases where a recount would be in order in PV were not too common. However, I was arguing in the case that there would be one, PV would be a hindrance while EC would be nothing but helpful. As stated above, it would take months and months of recounting the votes in order to please the public; as such, EC is the only right option in such a situation. This WOULD lead to fraud chances as there would be no decisive president to quite a time with the PV method given that the public would be pissed.

Also, Pro fails to give viable reasons on why fraud is reduced with PV; clearly there would be an equal opportunity of fraud regardless of the system. As such, unless Pro gave legitimate sources to back up the EC encourages fraud, this premise should not be taken seriously. PV would give lots of chances for fraud in such cases; Pro fails to prove otherwise. He actually concedes, and only points out its rarity, which I never denied.

Additionally, in the 1960 election, a few fraud votes COULD have made a difference considering the election was so close.

4. EC avoids confusion

Pro fails to properly confront either of my two main points here:

1. >3 parties would make the overall view of the election too divided to please the people, as more than half would likely oppose the president. Having two main parties mitigates such confusion.

2. >3 parties causes confusions in other countries.

Source

http://quickfacts.census.gov...

Debate Round No. 4
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
RFD (Pt. 1):

Just going to lay out some general issues to start.

I think there were a lot of aspects of this debate that were made more difficult as a result of two things: a lack of evidence, and hyperbolizing.

The former is due to the assumptions of both debaters, which leads them to make a lot of points that are viewed as a sort of conventional wisdom. Word to the wise: don't treat anything in debate as conventional wisdom unless it's as basic as "death is bad." Assume nothing about your judges, and support all the points that you want to win, whether through logic or evidence.

The latter is a symptom of debate in general " we all like to make our points stand out, and a great way to do that is to make a big impact. The problem is that, if you can't access that impact, you're out of luck. That requires links and evidence, which, as I said, was lacking here. It's usually much easier to meet the standards for lower-tier impacts, and those secure impacts can mean a lot.

The best example I can see of both of these issues is with regards to swing states. Pro claims that, in status quo, this is where presidential candidates spend all their time. Of course, that's hyperbolizing; they spend a great deal of time in these states, and the majority of their money. It's not hard to find the support for that, but generally it seems to be missing.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 2)

There are some other issues worth addressing here, though I'm going to focus on burdens. I'm really confused by the way this piece played out. Con argues that Pro has to defeat every one of his points to win, and I'm not sure why. Where and why does that burden come into the debate? I'm not sure why Pro necessarily bears a larger burden in this debate solely for advocating for a change from status quo, though, as Con points out, this portion of the burdens debate goes dropped. I'm left with the impression that Pro carries a significant burden and must show a substantial benefit, though I don't know how substantial it has to be because I don't know the harm of changing from status quo, something Con could and should have clarified. Overall, the burdens debate is just wonky.

But I digress. Onto the arguments. I'm going to use the flow of Con's final round, since it includes all of the arguments of the previous rounds in some way, shape or form.

Contentions 1A and 1B:

So, there appears to have been an impasse here that starts early and continues throughout. I think a large part of the problem here is that both sides are being too general in what they're arguing for. Pro argues for what he terms as "individual liberty," while Con argues for the representation of... let's call them "minority states." I'll evaluate each case separately, and then bring them together for comparison.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 3)

Pro:

"Individual liberty" wasn't the best terminology. This isn't about liberty. The liberty to vote is the same no matter whether we're talking about PV or EC. They have the same liberty of having their votes counted. What's different is their level of representation, which you show is not equal. For those states that have fewer than 700,000 people, it's higher than for those who have more. I think this point could have been made clearer by arguing that, even if states have more than 700,000 people, there is a disparity, and perhaps even a larger one in those circumstances. It's important to clarify that this has a larger effect than just on those three states.

Con:

Your case here is a bit of a head scratcher. What I'm reading is that these three states would have less representation as a result of not being given extra representation through the EC. I understand that, but it seems your point is based entirely on them losing a voice completely. Why? How? When Pro is telling me, over and over, that their voices are represented by individual votes and not by the weight of their state. PV, as far as I can tell, would absolutely allow for a voice to continue. The question is, how does their reduced representation through the loss of the EC affect that voice? What does it do to harm the people in these states?

Comparison:

I don't have a clear answer to that question from Con, and that's a problem for me. I get two sort of explanations early on that don't get expanded on throughout the remainder of the debate: that this is a slippery slope against all representative government, and regional interests would be ignored in favor of national interests. The former point gets a decent response from Con (that they're two very different issues with different reasons for existing), not to mention that it's just generally unimportant (I don't know why abolishing the senate is bad) and the link between the case and this slippery slope is unclear.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 4)

The latter point is just confusing to me, mainly because I'm missing an internal link. Why is the individual voting process inherently removing interest in regional progress? Maybe for these three states, there's a reduced interest. I could see that, if I saw a little extra work put into this point. The argument should have looked something like this:

States with small populations need a significant voice in presidential elections in order to garner attention
If that voice is replaced with the voices of individuals, then that voice is necessarily reduced
That reduction causes those in these states to become inconsequential in presidential elections as compared with larger states
Presidential candidates will campaign less and spend less in these states, leaving these citizens uninformed and treating their voice as worthless
Whomever becomes elected will only pander to those states that play a significant role in re-electing them, spending on regional issues only in those areas
Ergo, national funding for these three states plummets, leaving them high and dry

These pieces all need to be there. They're all links and internal links that describe the case you're going for here and provide the substantive information needed to reach your impacts, not to mention explaining why those impacts matter. As it is, your case just sounds like you're arguing for the rights of states, which isn't very strong when I'm getting no evaluation for why states should have rights. I know that's not what you're actually going for, but you're making it far less clear than it should be.

So, while I don't find Pro's case exceptionally potent here, especially since he often confuses liberty and equality, it is clear from his case that there is disproportionate representation that favors at least 3 states. The impact of that is nebulous, though Pro asserts that it's a loss of something significant and important. So this is a win for Pro, though it's not a strong one.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 5)

Contention 2:

I'm not going to break this one down as I did with contention 1, mainly because I feel this is more straightforward. Both sides assume a lot. Con assumes that the unpredictability of swing states breeds moderation, and that moderation is beneficial. I don't particularly find Con's explanation of how swing states breed moderation, which appears in the final round, very convincing, mainly because it just seems to gloss over the topic (say it with me: moderation happens because they're trying to garner the votes of people on the fence, and candidates are more likely to garner their suppose with less extreme positions). Pro asserts that PV also moderates due to having more people to pander to, and argues that moderation may not be a good thing because... people will vote for what they want? Not really sure what's going on with that latter point.

Still, I get something of an explanation from Con that, in a sidelong fashion, explains why moderation happens under EC, and I get an explanation for why PV doesn't reach it, though I don't fully buy it. But that's the only warrants I get on this argument, and therefore I believe moderation will happen. Since both sides, to some extent, accept moderation as beneficial, I buy that it's beneficial, though I have no idea for what or why. So... it's a win for Con, but I'm scratching my head here.

Contentions 3A and 3B:

I agree with Con that these are wins for him, and basically the most solid points in the debate. That's not saying a lot, though " I don't feel that I get any weight for either of these positions, just a more solid impact. Nonetheless, I'm getting that a recount would take far more time, cost more, and be incredibly draining with a PV system. Maybe it's less common, though since both seem to be pretty uncommon, it would have to be an incredibly distant possibility for that to make a big difference. And since both of you present an example of it actually happening, it doesn't seem
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 6)

I think the fraud point could have been phrased better. It was the phrasing that led to uncertainty, since the focus appeared to be on incidence of fraud rather than its success. I think Con had to win the recount point to win this point, but since he manages to do that, I buy that this is an issue. The question is, what's its impact? I don't know how or if this would sway an election, but I buy that fraud is something bad that we generally don't want.

Contention 4:

The issue of third parties is something of an oddity. Both sides seem to agree that their status as distant thirds is not going to change, so confusion doesn't stand up to reason here. I buy that it matters insofar as third party candidates feel better seeing that they've scored some form of points, and that they may not feel that through an EC where they're unlikely to garner anything beyond the basic votes, but I just don't see it as something of any substantive benefit. Maybe there's something there, but it requires more explanation than it got. So this is a win for Pro, albeit a small and confusing one.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 7)

Conclusion:

So there's a lot in this debate, but almost all of it is nebulous fluff. Sure, I know that equality, fairness and representation are all very good, general concepts for what we want when it comes to voting, but none of them get impacted out for me here. It's all sort of just assumed that they're good things, that we should have equality for the sake of... equality. Or representation for the sake of... representation. These are good things, in theory, though I can think of a number of turns that could have been used to make them out as bad. The same holds true for many of Con's arguments. The difficulty of holding a recount on a larger scale, for example, isn't necessarily bad. Sure, it's bad for some people, but not necessarily in total " some people would appreciate the fact that recounts would involve every vote, ferreting out flaws in the system as a whole and accounting for everyone's vote, not just the close states, in the process. Moderation doesn't have any obvious benefit, and I can think of turns for it.

All of these points seem obvious, but they're not. Again, assume nothing about your judges. If your main impact is equality, take the time to make it something no one can ignore. Explain why it is that we value equality, and what its loss does to a society, especially in the space of voting. These are things that we dismiss as simple and unimportant, yet they can often be the most complex aspects of any debate, and the most necessary.

Thankfully, it seems I don't have to look at burdens. I can't see a significance to Pro's case at all, despite him winning some of the arguments. Con's case has minimal significance through his later impacts, and weak as they might be, they're the only solid things I can grab onto in this debate. Even if I'm not sure that they're significant enough to net him the win, uncertainty favors the debater without the burden of proof. Hence, after a lot of thought and wavering, I vote Con.
Posted by 16kadams 1 year ago
16kadams
(4) Senate: Pro really needed to argue this a lot stronger. If one branch of government used DV (the House uses it, but the senate does not because it wants a check and balance), then why shouldn't either the senate become DV or the senate just be abolished and we have one huge house? Con wins this.

(5) Two party system: I really like how this was argued. It wasn't that a two party system was the best or only way to do it, but that not having a two party system really undermines Pro's case. Pro wants every president to have a majority (over 50%) of the votes to win. But abolishing the EC--as Con proves--would likely mean more third parties could emerge as potential players (basically republicans always lose because libertarians... FVCK). lol anyway. This means--in most elections--50% of the population will NOT support the president. Thus, Pro's entire point--majority rule--would not exist in reality. It would just be a larger minority!

I think I covered almost anything. Con wins. Good job to both
Posted by 16kadams 1 year ago
16kadams
Excellent debate.

(1) Small states: Both sides used small states in order to justify their position. Pro argued small states were overrepresented, and thus the system *unjustly* gives a person living in a small state more power than a person living in, say, Texas. Con essentially argues the opposite. In another system, small states would have *no* representation and the EC gives them *some* representation. Now, it essentially boils down to which is worse: small states being overrepresented versus small states being over Representative. I am forced to conclude that having *no* representation is worse than having too much representation. In one scenario (no representation), democracy is non-existent. In the other (over representation), there is still *some* democratic principle standing. Thus, the EC in this case wins the argument.

And I could technically stop here, as Pro must win *every* argument to win. But I will continue so he knows where he did well/didn't do well.

(2) Minority candidates: Really a good argument. Con for the most part demonstrated this happens rarely and does not undermine democracy. Though, it did happen recently--in 2000, as Pro pointed out. Although he should have spent more time explaining why it was a bad thing (so technically Con won this point), Pro did prove that it did actually occur. Thus, he wins--though when it comes to making a decision, Con wins via the BOP Pro has.

(3) Clear winner: Pro claims he proved a direct system would reduce the amount of recounts, but he really failed to develop the point. So he did not. Really, Con wins this point. Con didn't say fraud *is* happening, but that people would accuse it of occurring. Thus, it would force a recount. And as fraud may be *suspected*, it means a recount will be much more through and time consuming than a basic one day count. So Con wins here.

......
Posted by Varrack 1 year ago
Varrack
You're certainly welcome, it was definitely a challenge and very thought-provoking. I will search for some honest voters if any are available.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Sandra888 1 year ago
Sandra888
VarrackComplicated_MindTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro won the most important argument. He proved that EC gives too much power to small states, and rebutted successfully that PC destroys representation of small states. I give arguments to pro, as I think that argument alone is enough to prove that EC should go.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
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Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 1 year ago
16kadams
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Reasons for voting decision: Comments. Allah loves you both.
Vote Placed by Paleophyte 1 year ago
Paleophyte
VarrackComplicated_MindTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Excellent debate by both parties. Tied in all respects except arguments. Arguments were very close. Pro and Con both made excellent points and both did well on rebuttal. Con's contention that Pro must defeat all of Con's points is without merit. Pro must give a better overall reason to change the status quo than Con must to maintain it. That said, I felt that Con made slightly better arguments. Pro didn't go for the jugular with arguments that might have swayed the debate.