The Instigator
UchihaMadara
Pro (for)
Losing
20 Points
The Contender
lannan13
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

The Military Draft should be abolished

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 11 votes the winner is...
lannan13
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/15/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,686 times Debate No: 61761
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (89)
Votes (11)

 

UchihaMadara

Pro

This debate is for Round 1 of the Official Tier Tournament, hosted by the site's vice president, Bsh1.

1. First round for acceptance

2. No new arguments in the final round.

3. By accepting the debate, Con agrees to define the Military Draft as "a policy allowing the govenment to engage in the compulsory enlistment of citizens into military or naval service; usually employed during times of war."

Good luck, Lannan.
lannan13

Con

I accept the debate.
Debate Round No. 1
UchihaMadara

Pro

Thanks, Lannan.
The burden of proof in this debate is entirely on me to show that the military draft should be abolished (i.e. that the government should not be allowed to forcibly conscript citizens under any conditions). My constructive case will be somewhat brief.

C1) Rights Violation

I doubt that my opponent will contest the notion that one of the primary roles of a government is to protect the rights of its citizens (though I will certainly provide more elaborate philosophical support for that premise if he chooses to contest it). The most fundamental natural right of all is ownership over your own self, and, simply put, the military draft is a clear violation of this. By forcing me to do *anything* against my will, the government is effectively violating my right to self-autonomy. Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule; we allow ourselves to be coerced into paying taxes, following speed limits, and servicing jury duty, but only because these minor restrictions are necessary for more effective protection of our rights. It becomes Con's burden of proof, then, to show that a military draft is similarly necessary for the protection of our rights. However, I will pre-emptively bring up a point that basically renders any such justification of the military draft's rights violation to be unfeasible: there is oftentimes a significant chance of death involved when it comes to military conscription-- a significant chance that the government would have *directly* caused a violation of my right to life. In other words, there is virtually no way that the military draft's rights violation could be "necessary for more effective protection of our rights, as it just brings yet another fundamental right into jeopardy. Therefore, the military draft is , indeed, an unjustified rights violation, so by keeping it legal, we are allowing the government to directly violate the very rights that it exists to protect; this is completely contradictory and serves as sufficient reason on its own to abolish the military draft.

C2) Utilitarian Critique

Con may attempt to undermine my rights-based critique of the military draft by appealing to utilitarian benefits of enforcing it. To avoid having this debate devolving into ethical discourse (deontology vs utilitarianism), I will show that the enforcement of the military draft is untenable even from the utilitarian standpoint. Firstly, it has been noted by reputable research institutes as well as military leaders themselves that an army composed of volunteers who have joined of their own volition is far more effective than a conscripted army: "The all-volunteer force has had immense success in drawing highly motivated individuals... America's military leadership is adamantly opposed to instituting a new draft. The generals and admirals argue that a draft would weaken mission capability and create enormous structural and management problems. Morale and force cohesiveness would suffer intensely, particularly with a two-caste military." [1].
Secondly, the social tension created by the possibility of yourself or your loved ones getting drafted to the battlefront at any time is quite damaging to a country's national morale and unity, as seen from the numerous draft riots that have occurred throughout the United States' history of military conscription [2].

=============================

In conclusion, I have offered two compelling reasons to abolish the military draft: it contradicts the purpose of government, which is to protect our rights, and even from a utilitarian standpoint, the military draft creates a net loss in utility. Con must refute both of these arguments in order to negate the resolution. As of now, the resolution is affirmed.

[1] http://www.heritage.org...
[2] http://www.press.uchicago.edu...
lannan13

Con

Contention 1: The right to raise and maintain a military.


"The Congress shall have Power To ...raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years...." Article 1, Section 8 Clause 12

"The Congress shall have Power To ...provide and maintain a Navy...." Article 1, Section 8, Clause 13

"The Congress shall have Power To ...provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress...." Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16

Here it shows in the US Constitution, that the US federal government has the right to raise and maintain a military. Back when we had the Articles of Confederation the federal government had to ask for the states to fund and donate troops, but the US could not do that since they had no money. In 1820, the Supreme Court, in the Houston V. Moore case, supported this when it rule that the federal power of the militia,

"may be exercised to any extent that may be deemed necessary by Congress."

In 1908, the US Congress passed the Militia Act (AKA the Dick Act), which established National Guards for the states. In Federalist Paper number 23 Alexander Hamilton stated,

"These powers [of the federal government to provide for the common defense] ought to exist without limitation: because it is impossible to foresee or define the extent or variety of national exigencies, or the correspondent extent & variety of the means which may be necessary to satisfy them."

You can see here that Hamilton saw the fact that the nation would face troubles at anytime. If we had a military like we did under the AOC (this is what I'll be referring to the Articles of Confederation from this point on), the US would face the utmost peril. Hamilton and John C. Calhoun both believed that maintaining an Army during peace time would do well in times of emergency. Such as 9/11 or even Hurricane Katrina. (http://www.heritage.org...) The Draft has even been ruled constitutional as well. (https://supreme.justia.com...)

Contention 2: Draft ends Wars Quicker.

For this Contention I will bring up two examples; the Civil War and the Vietnam War.

During the Civil War, the US originally let the states handle the draft, which led to the 1862 Draft riots. The initial draft ended up giving the Union 3,000 troops in 3 months. I will give you a quotation from Major Bull showing the need for the draft in the initial months of the Civil War.

"We can never conquer the South in this way, don't you begin to realize it? How now about the war being over in three months? But I'm sick of this subject. We've been here, begging for reinforcements from a population of twenty millions, and have received two brigades, the aggregate of which is probably three thousand men, not more."

During the Civil War, the draft provided the Union Army a total of 168,649 men to the Union services to help the Northern forces. (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

Now though the great and powerful United States lost in Vietnam, it is the draft that actual helped bring the war to an end. The draft helped encouraged anti-war protests all over the nation and help keep the nuclear option away from men like General Curtis LeMay who wanted a nuclear strike on Vietnam as McArthur wanted on China. The draft raised a total of 2 million for our forces. (http://spartacus-educational.com...)

Contention 3: Draft helps mixes society.


In speaking of the draft during Vietnam, Noel Koch a former speechwriter for president Nixon wrote "The draft shattered class distinctions. It mixed high school dropouts with college graduates, rich with middle class and poor." He went on to say "Class lines blurred and so did racial lines. The military did more to advance the cause of equality in the United States than any other law, institution or movement. Not for nothing did 'Bro' come into common usage in the Vietnam era." (http://www.washingtonpost.com...) We even can see that it brings the nation together emotionally as well. (http://abcnews.go.com...)
Debate Round No. 2
UchihaMadara

Pro

My opponent has taken the initiative to strengthen his position by providing an opening argument even though I have the full BOP. Now, in order to successfully affirm the resolution, I must defend at least one of my opening contentions *and* refute all of Con's contentions.

R1) Right to Raise and Maintain a Military

The central problem with Con's argument, here, is that the resolution is *not* specific to the United States; thus, quotations from the Constitution and Supreme Court decisions alone are not enough to serve as support for his large claims, such as that the government's power to raise a military "ought to exist without limitation"-- Con must present actual evidence and reasoning to support such assertions. I have provided two reasons to believe that a military draft is unjustified in any circumstance; Con has only showed that a military draft is technically justified according to one specific interpretation of one specific country's constitution. This contention does not negate the resolution at all.

R2) Draft ends Wars Quicker

Con claims that enforcing a military draft ends wars quicker, supporting this with the examples of the US Civil War and the Vietnam War. In the Civil War example, it is stated that the Union was unable to obtain a sufficient amount of troops until a draft was implemented. However, this observation goes directly against Con's case... it shows that "the people" were largely against going to war, and that by implementing a draft, the government was essentially overriding the majority rule and violating the institution of democracy. Con's own example supports the abolishment of the military draft by indicating that it is contrary to the fundamental tenets of democracy! Con shoots himself in the foot even further with his Vietnam War example, openly admitting that the military draft upset American citizens so much that they initiated the anti-war protests which led to the end of the war. This simply feeds back into the anti-democracy point even more! (i.e. the military draft often goes against the general will of the people). Perhaps the draft does end wars quicker, but the entire point of ending a war quicker is for the greater good of the people, and the anti-democratic nature of the draft ultimately makes it a gross disservice to the people.

R3) Draft helps mix Society

Con argues that the egalitarian nature of the draft helps eliminate class distinctions in society. However, this egalitarianism only applies on the battlefield; once everyone goes back home, wealth disparities reappear, and class distinctions continue to be a part of society. This is made obvious by the fact that USA still has and always has had noticeable class distinctions, just like any human society. The draft provides no significant demographic benefit.

================================

In conclusion, all three of my opponent's contentions have been refuted (and one of them has even backfired on him). Since Con has not yet addressed either of my contentions, the resolution remains affirmed.
lannan13

Con

Contention 1: Rights of the Government vs. the Rights of the people.

I didn't drop my opponent's contention. I only renamed the contention into something else showing how the federal government trumps the individual. My opponent states that I have to prove how this works in multiple cases besides just the United States, but there is a long list of countries that have the draft from Iraq to Iran, Pure to Chile, and from China to Afghanistan. If you want a greater list of which nations have the draft then I will refur you to this link. (http://teenadvice.about.com...)


Subpoint 1: Utilitarianism


I couldn't think of where else to put this, but this argument actually works for my favor. Though the US does have a large volunteer military force it didn't always use to be that way. The federal government here in the US used to be very week as it had to depend on the donation of troops and funding from the states during the time of the AOC. The main duty of the government is to protect the people living within it's boarders and Thomas Hobbes was a firm advocate of such a theory. (http://en.wikipedia.org...) We can see that for Utilitarianism that the government has a duty to protect it's people and in order to do so the government must maintain a large standing Army even in times of peace to defend against foreign foes. During times of war it may be necessary to use the draft to put on the battlefield in order to protect it's citizens back at home. It's obvious that in World War 2, only war could stop Adolph Hitler and if we needed to draft people for the war we would have needed to as we saw that appeasement did not work. With the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few we can truely see that the needs of Jews suffering in concentration camps outweigh rebellious college kids. To quote President Ronald Reagan, "The Govenrment's duty is to protect the people, not run their lives."



Contention 2: Draft ends wars quicker.

This is not a contradiction as you see in Contention 1, Subpoint 1, that the government's first duty to the people is to protect them. They do this via the draft and maintaining their military. When you apply the theory of Thomas Hobbes it does not matter how the government treats it's people, but as long as they're saffe that's all that matters. It can be anything from a 1984 society to a modern day US. The reason people are against the draft is, because they hold individualism to much and think of themselves not the group as a whole. The government does the opposite and thinks for the group as a whole and has to protect the group. When the draft was last done it is done by a draft lottery where they place people's birthday's on balls and put out so many balls (say around 150 for a nice even number) a year and if they get your birthday you go. This is a very random thing and they are not just going through the phone book and saying Joe, Jerry, and Jeff are goin g to be drafted. (http://en.wikipedia.org...(1969)) My opponent has not actually refuted my orginial point here so please extend both wars across the board.



Contention 3: Draft mixes Society


My opponent is wrong when it comes to the battlefield. Outside of the battlefield all of the military is paid the same, Privates from the upper class are paid the same as a Private off the streets. They also have great benefits like paid for housing, food, transportation, health/dental care! (http://www.militaryfactory.com...) The military gives you great types of benefits and will even pay for your college as stated in the post 9/11 GI bill. As you can see it doesn't matter where you come from in the military you will be treated the same and will be given outstanding benefits!


In conclusion, one can see that I have negated all of Pro's points and have defended my own points. His own Contention even works against him. Thus the resolution is negated.


Debate Round No. 3
UchihaMadara

Pro

== AFF CASE ==

C1) Rights Violations

[Includes R1]. Con claims he has shown that the federal government's rights trump individual rights. The problem with this is that we are not just talking about legal rights issued by the government to its citizens-- we are talking about *natural* human rights. Con's argument from constitutionality only shows that there are some extreme cases in which the government can retract the legal rights it has issued. However, natural human rights such as those of life and liberty can *never* be retracted in the same way; they are extensions of our personhood-- to take them away from someone would be to de-humanize them. Thus, Con's rebuttal simply doesn't hold. I have demonstrated that the military draft is a violation of basic human rights, and Con has failed to show otherwise, instead giving an off-topic rebuttal that only pertains to legal rights. This contention alone affirms the resolution.

C2) Utilitarian Critique

Con has virtually dropped this contention. In response to my sub-point regarding voluntary armies, he simply says "it didn't always used to be that way", and then goes off on some irrelevant tangent about how a government has the responsibility to protect its people. But what does this have to do with my original argument? I showed that a voluntary army works *better* than a conscripted one-- by avoiding a military draft, the government can fulfill its responsibilities *more* efficiently. Con does nothing to contest my point. Additionally, he does not even mention my other sub-point about the general societal harm caused by the military draft from the social tension it generates. This contention, too, can affirm the resolution on its own.

== NEG CASE ==

R2) Draft Ends War Quicker

Con cites the theory of Thomas Hobbes, saying that "it does not matter how the government treats it's people, but as long as they're saffe." However, Con gives us absolutely NO reason whatsoever to believe in Hobbes' theory, so it cannot serve as sufficient justification for overriding the majority rule of the people. By citing such a thoroughly anti-democratic and dictatorial political philosophy, he simply contradicts his other contentions, which are based in democratic ideals such as Constitutionality and Equality. That, combined with the fact that it is now too late in the debate (final round) to bring up philosophical support for Hobbes' philosophy, leaves Con with no choice but to concede this contention.

R3) Draft helps mix Society

Con claims that because the government distributes benefits equally to all soldiers after they leave the army, the draft helps mix society. This is completely different from what he initially argued, which specifically pertained to the egalitarian nature of army life. Anyhow, it does not really matter, as this new argument of Con's is defeated by the same rebuttal-- severe wealth disparities are *still* around and have not changed much at all since the last time we had a draft enforced. This shows that the class integration effect of the draft, if existent, is insignificant and does not even come close to outweighing the harm I have showed that the draft creates (i.e. rights violations, unmotivated/resentful soldiers, social tension, etc).

== CONCLUSION ==

Both my contentions have practically been dropped; thus, it has been established that the military draft is a violation of human rights, and that there are significant utilitarian benefits from not enforcing it. Meanwhile, all three of Con's contentions abjectly fail to negate the resolution. The res is affirmed. Vote Pro!
lannan13

Con

Contention 1: Rights and Utilitarianism

My opponent brings up the natural rights that you are given from birth, which John Locke defines as Life, Liberty, and Property. ( http://www.fee.org...) I agree with Locke, but what Pro forgets to mention to you is that though Locke argued for these rights, he also stated that the government also had a duty to protect it's citizens. By not creating a draft and protecting it's citizens then you could possibly get an invasion from an outside force like the great Mongolian Empire (when it existed) where they would rape and pillage or you would have what occured in China at the rape of Nanking. (http://www.historyplace.com...) So you see here that without having to abridge some rights then the rights of all can be completely abridged as they were in China.

My opponent claims that a voluntary army works better than a conscripted one then it is time for the government to step in and maintain the military. I made this point loud and clear in my last round so please extend it.

Contention 2: Draft ends the war quicker.

Though Hobbes did advocate for a Monarchy instead of a Democracy his theory is still applicable. This is to help defend it's innocent people back at home in order to keep them safe from the war and to protect their rights from things like the events that occured at Nanking. Pro still does not refute here how it does end the war quicker, but insists to go on a tangent to argue that the draft doesn't support Democratic ideals and attacks Hobbes. Pro has dropped the original argument so please extend this across the board.

Contention 3: Draft mixes Society

My opponent is mistaken as the benefits still take place during their military tenuer and after they leave. This is to ensure that they are not left behind in the economic world and most of the time the soldier (or whatever branch they join) ends up walking away a lot better then they enter the situation in.

==Conclusion==

Pro said with his own words that the BOP is on him and that I only had to win one Contention, this was said at the beginning of his Round 3 argument, in order to win. I have shown how he has dropped several arguments on how the draft is good and his own contention have even failed as I have shown that the government's first duty is to protect the people.

Thank you and please vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
89 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
REAL SCORE(S)
(Pro - Con)

Judge voting (whiteflame, thett3, Mikal, Blade-of-Truth, YYW)
28 - 7

Select Winner voting
42 - 35

Elo limit (3000) voting
17- 6

Elo limit (2500) voting
20 - 8

.

Take your pick...
Posted by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Hope that makes sense. It did/does to me. That is part of the reason why I voted the way I did. But like I said, that was not the only reason. In fact not the major decider.
Posted by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Honestly, I thought that was self explanatory in terms of why the draft is employed in the first place. That's why I deemed it as such.
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
Con never made any compelling case that a lack of volunteers would be a substantial problem. You're making arguments for him.
Posted by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
I will reply here.

A volunteer army is best.
A draft army is good.
No volunteers (i.e. the reason the draft is employed) is no army.
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
UM- I know that a volunteer Army is better, because when you voluentell someone to do something they aren't going to do it as well as someone who volunteers for it. I agreed with you on that.
Posted by thett3 2 years ago
thett3
It's not even that you lost it. Lannan sort of responded to it and while I wouldn't agree that he defeated it, if the judge thought his rebuttal was sufficient that's perfectly fine. But to say that the contention is irrelevant is ridiculous.

The resolution says do X

X and Y are mutually exclusive.

Y is better than X.

Negate the resolution and do Y.

It's a perfectly valid and time tested method of debate. To say that Y is irrelevant it absurd.
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
@thett:

IKR. I am lost as to how anyone thought I lost the volunteer army contention...
Posted by thett3 2 years ago
thett3
"Regarding, the volunteer army point by Con. I will admit this was interesting. However, this debate was about the draft and so while interesting it is irrelevant. "

LOLOLOOL is this a joke? Dude, if a volunteer army is better it turns half of Lannans impacts. Pro definitely could've sold the story better, but he did a decent enough job to weigh it. How you can say that arguing about the effectiveness about a volunteer military LITERALLY THE ALTERNATIVE TO A DRAFT is irrelevant and then make a thread telling people how to vote is beyond me
Posted by thett3 2 years ago
thett3
Lol a 6-5 ballot in favor of aff and neg wins because of source votes. The sad thing is sources barely mattered in this debate at all
11 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
UchihaMadaralannan13Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by Mikal 2 years ago
Mikal
UchihaMadaralannan13Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: this is an offset of dyslexic source votes, and a few people voting on a 5 scale metric. I do feel as if pros sources supported his impacts more but I am never one to award sources, but due to other people going on a 5 scale metric, for this specific debate I am going to give sources to pro since others are doing the same for con. Both had viable sources but with pros arguments being more impactful, I feel his sources added to his arguments. Rest of the RFD in the comments.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
UchihaMadaralannan13Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct, S&G, Sources - Tie. If you'd like me to expand on why then I will, but I feel it's pretty obvious to all parties that these categories are tied. Arguments - Pro. Originally, Pro had a full burden, but it shifted into him having to only maintain one contention while defeating all those presented by Con. Interesting, yet Con didn't challenge this shift, so it stands. With that said, Pro fulfilled his burden. First, he showed how Con's constitution argument was too specific and didn't cover the entire scope of the resolution. Con never overcame this but instead just shared a list of countries which have drafts. Pro then showed how the draft was counter-productive to democratic notions while also showing that the draft ended wars quicker but for all the wrong reasons. Lastly, Pro defeated Con's contention about equality by showing that the financial classes still exist. Con, instead of rebutting that, simply showed that their pay is the same. For these reasons, Pro won arguments.
Vote Placed by TrasguTravieso 2 years ago
TrasguTravieso
UchihaMadaralannan13Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con maintains the Federal Government trumps the individual, Pro counters that the rights at play are previous to and above any government. I'm not sure I buy into the concept of natural rights in general for different reasons, but this clinched the debate for me. If Con were to show that the draft does not infringe upon the rights of citizen, or if he showed that it was an obligation for them rather than an imposition by the State, this might have gone otherwise, but as it is I lean towards Pro.
Vote Placed by YYW 2 years ago
YYW
UchihaMadaralannan13Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: PRO argues that the draft violates people's rights. CON's constitutional point showed that individuals do not have the right not to be conscripted. PRO returns to that point in the third round with discussion of 'natural rights' but he's talking about normative rights rather than positive rights -and CON rebuts that doing so jeopardizes national security. This point is tied. PRO offers that a volunteer army is more effective than a conscripted army, but doesn't show how or why. CON showed how in some wars that is not the case; implying that it depends on the nature of the conflict. CON also argued how it is in a country's interest to have a draft, with sufficient historical evidence. PRO talks about "social tension" and conflicts that with individual "emotional turmoil." CON posits some empirical benefits of joining the military; specifically of a pecuniary nature. As a judge I have to weigh "emotional turmoil" over "paying for college." CON wins, with points 2 and 3. Good clash.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
UchihaMadaralannan13Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.
Vote Placed by JasperFrancisShickadance 3 years ago
JasperFrancisShickadance
UchihaMadaralannan13Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: I don't know too much on this subject but I saw how Con had better rebuttals and most definitely had most reliable sources. I think Pro lost this debate due to not as much effort and source support. Pro's first argument of the debate, entitled 'rights violation,' got me to wonder because I could think of many ways the government does what Pro calls "violate" our privacy/rights besides military drafting. Con's first attempt in arguments were very convincing but he contradicted the resolution of the debate by stating all the quotes and facts concerning the USA, although the whole time, they both seemed to be going back and forth on the res. I believe Con had the best defense against Pro's claims that he was contradicting and for me that tops off my decision for giving him points for arguments. Close debate!
Vote Placed by Truth_seeker 3 years ago
Truth_seeker
UchihaMadaralannan13Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro could've made a strong case if he had used sources 1st round, but since he didn't, his case was unconvincing. Con directly quoted from the Constitution and further gave an example of why drafts worked in the past. Con lists the benefits of drafts. Third round, Pro claims he has burden of proof, but never responds to Pro, simply states "contention does not negate the resolution at all." Pro makes claims such as "to take them away from someone would be to de-humanize them" but he never cites the Constitution to address Con's sources.
Vote Placed by Pfalcon1318 3 years ago
Pfalcon1318
UchihaMadaralannan13Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: In comments
Vote Placed by thett3 3 years ago
thett3
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Reasons for voting decision: See comment