The Instigator
darceem
Pro (for)
Winning
16 Points
The Contender
negrodamus
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points

The Two-Party System Doesn't Work

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
darceem
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/29/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,143 times Debate No: 14200
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (6)

 

darceem

Pro

Resolution
====
The predominant two-party system in the United States does not work, and has led to a chaotic governmental gap that results in a severe lack of results on all three branches of our federal government and in local governments, easily skewed media perceptions which promote uninformed and voting and Duverger's Law, and an increase in cognitive biases in voters and politicians (namely Confirmation Bias, Bandwagon Effect, Herd and Ingroup biases, and Selective Perception).

Claims
====
- The two-party system discourages an actual representative democracy by limiting the pool of possible and plausible candidates.
- The two-party system encourages media bias and uninformed voting by giving simple labels to large and varying social, political, military and economic ideals.
- The two-party system encourages social cognitive biases that decrease critical thought on candidates and depletes the ability to judge a candidate for office on actual abilities, credentials and promises but rather on immediate impressions and assumptions made based on their own parties standing and the candidates party standing (biases I will cover and prove are listed in definitions).

Definitions
====
Two-Party System: A style of political separation in which two parties maintain the great majority of control.
Representative Democracy: A style of democracy in which citizens may vote for representatives to make important decisions and expenditures with the expectation that they will act on the will of the people.
Duverger's Law: a principle that asserts that a plurality vote will eventually foster the creation of a two-party system
Bandwagon: a cognitive behavior in which when making decisions, there is a tendency to jump on the most popular option when you hold little information
Herd/Ingrouping: a cognitive bias in which people automatically agree and support people whom they have determined are a part of their "group"
Confirmation Bias: a cognitive bias which asserts a tendency to agree with people and opinions that confirm their pre existing beliefs
negrodamus

Con

Framework:
1.The pro made a huge mistake by making the resolution so convoluted and sprawling. The pro must prove every facet of the resolution true beyond a shadow of a doubt -- even if she didn't post an argument pertaining it-- to truly affirm it, so if she can't, don't vote for her.
2. The pro must prove that a more fragmented, parliamentary style system of representation solves every harm that she brings up better. If a faulty two party system still works better than the alternatives, you can't affirm the resolution.

First, arguments pertaining to the resolution.
1. The two party system does work; how does it not work? America is the most wealthy, powerful, and free nation on earth. Earlier this year we had a midterm election for Congress, and American citizens who were worried about unsustainable were able to vote the party which best represented their interests into a majority in the House.

2. My opponent needs to prove to you how the two party system undermines the judiciary branch.

3. My opponent also needs to prove to you how the two party system undermines the executive branch-- how are the EPA, CIA, SEC, and other executive branch agencies suffering a "severe lack of results" specifically because of the two party system?

4.
" Duvergers law"- for those who don't know, the theory that in two party systems, the party which wins the legislature/executive branch has free reign to govern, and ignore the worries/complaints of minority gruops.

aThe winner of a two party election doesn't get free reign to govern. As we have seen the last two years, the minority party can greatly impede the legislation of the majority party through the fillibuster in the Senate. The health care bill, the jobs bill, and the Wall Street Reform Bill were all bipartisan compromises, as the democrats coudn't have passed them without Republican support.
Refuting "claims"

1."two party system discourages an actual representative democracy by limiting the pool of possible and plausible candidates"
a)How? There are a variety of third party candidates that exist, and run for office, including
The Tea Party
American Heritage Party
Green Party
The American Socialist Party
Alaskan Independence Party
American Nazi Party
...
you get the point.
If voters wanted these candidates to represent them, they would vote them into office. If they don't, they're choosing who they want to elect, which upholds representative democracy. It's not like John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi are hiding in voting booths with guns, telling prospective voters "if you don't vote democrat or republican we're going to blow your head off".

"the two party system encourages media bias and uninformed voting by giving simple lables to large and varying social political and military ideals"
a)My opponent confuses causation here-- all the problems she brings up stem from the media, not the two party system.
b)Non Unique-- the problems she brings up exists in other political systems too. Countries with one party, authoritarian rule have far worse problems with media bias, stereoptying/scapegoating various groups and ideals.

"don't judge on actual abilities, credentials, and promises, but rather on immediate impressions and assumptions made based by their own parties standing and the candidates party standing"

a)Candidates are judged on who they are. Meg Whitman was eviscerated in the California Gubernatorial election because of her stiff demanor during debates, and a credibility sapping scandal involving an illegal immigrant she hired as a housemaid. John Kerry arguably lost the 2004 presidential elections because the infamous swift boat ads called his military service and integrity into action. Countless candidates--democrats lost their seats in the midterm elections for voting for the stimulus package and the healthcare bill.

b) Voting on party lines guarantees accurate representation in Congress. When you vote for a democratic or republican candidate, you have a pretty good idea how they will vote on given social/economic/foreign policy issues.

c) Primaries check.

d) Are you saying that voters shouldn't choose the criterion they vote on? Why do you get to tell me how i should evaluate candidates.

e) Non Unique-- my opponent has no proof that voters woudn't vote based off their preconceptions of a certain party even in a non two party system.
Debate Round No. 1
darceem

Pro

Refutes to Framework
====
1. Is it truly "convoluted"? It's simply an extreme statement, which I plan to fully defend.
2. I never made a statement in my resolution or my opening argument on possible solutions because there are many - it is not my intention to argue solutions today so I hold no burden to prove any solutions. Maybe another time.

Refutes to Con's Opening Arguments
====
1. First off, that's a misconception. Most powerful regarding military, certainly. However we are not the most wealthy. Ranking by GDP, the United States would be. But let's do some math here. The United States GDP is about 14,000,000,000,000 (Aneki, [1]). However, our National Deficit is equal to that number. Take into account also the recession, our limited federal and state budgets, unemployment, and many other factors, and the United States is no longer as rich as our GDP would lead you to believe (after all our GDP only measures domestic product and isn't a comprehensive look at actual wealth). Even on the GDP argument, our total GDP may be hightest, but on GDP per capita, the United States doesn't even make the top ten (CIA Database, [2]). And on your argument that the United States is "most free", it's difficult to measure, but that is incorrect too. The USA ranks at about the 8th most free country the world. Number one is Estonia, a country which runs on a multi-party, coalition government system (StateofWorldLiberty, [3]).

2. Simple. The two-party system creates an avenue (through pitting the two parties against each other and offering simple labels) for a "spoils system" which is principle of appointing people to office base on their party loyalty.

3. I wasn't talking about agencies but rather elected officials.

4. I will refute your sub-numbered points as I would agree with that definition.

a. You brought up a couple of things that I believe prove my point perfectly. The use of the filibuster - this is not to keep things balance but rather to give a cop-out to the minority party. It's an antagonizer at best and has nothing do with collaboration. The second you listed, that isn't cooperation. That is coercing. Cooperation would assume that from the beginning both sides were actively working together to reach a common end. In reality both sides were working against each other and the compromise was only made to shove it through and pass. It would be difficult to find any real cooperation in how those bills passed.

5. Of course there are third parties, but how often do they win? The Republicans and Democrats do not invite them to their debates (thereby holding their power) and third parties are generally ignored. They're regarded as distractions to help other parties win (their effect is noticeable on occasions from split votes but never from actual victory). There are only two independents in our Senate. Our Senate is split into a Democratic and Republican caucus. The words on everyone's mind is "Democrat" and "Republican". I spoke with someone who doesn't vote and told them I had voted third party and their response was "I didn't know you could vote for anyone else". Third parties exist but our system is designed to ensure they will never win any big election and the Democrats and Republicans will retain most of the power and public eye.

6. I will refute the sub-numbered arguments.

a. I never once said it caused anything. I said it encourages, which it does. The more simple you make something the easier it is to take advantage of. The media may ignite these party separations but the separation must exist to begin with.
b. Yes, but not to the same extreme. I direct you again to Estonia. Look at some of their headlines in political news. They rarely refer to a party or even a person but rather to the country as a whole (EUPolitics, [4]). They have a much more positive media that concentrates on successes whereas American media tends to concentrate on the plight of the two parties and the negativity.

7. ...

a. No, Meg Whitman was considered a very radical, stereotypical Republican candidate and that's why. It's just as difficult for you to prove they vote based on actual facts and consideration. However consider the bandwagon effect. Even if they SAY it's because of character, where do you think they learned about that character? Through media and friends who agree with them. (Not that I would use Meg Whitman as a good example since she's one big walking guffaw after another). The minute you give labels, people know where to go. When you give things names, it becomes easier for people to become attached. And then comes the ingroup bias, in which now people will take everything their candidates and media say, and take it at face value. Do you honestly think people actively research both sides. They make their decisions ahead of time and then do the work after they've already made their decisions, and then it just become a confirmation game. Of course there are no real polls or statistics on this and even if there were, they'd be about as reliable as asking a two-year-old if they stole a cookie. No one is going to tell the truth, and it's probable they've convinced themselves they're telling the truth anyway.

b. Oh does it? I voted for Obama thinking he would support LGBT rights (since many consider that a principle of the Democratic party) and yet it took two years just to get Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal and he did nothing but sign the paper and then gloat. It doesn't guarantee anything. The only thing that could guarantee accurate representation would be to get candidates that have to explain more of their motivations (because they can no longer fall back on party labels) and to get voters to actually research candidates rather than assuming they'll do what their party wants. Just look at the match-ups of political ideology here on Debate.org. It's a small selection yet you'll be hard-pressed to find even three people who agree 100% on every little thing. So to assume that a major party can agree with 50% of voters (a good two million or so), is highly unrealistic.

c. The primaries don't give you any selection. All those candidates are still selected by the party and I guarantee they place charisma and good looks (good looks being relative to the audience) over experience and abilities in many cases.

d. I'm saying that if you can't use the power to vote responsibly, then maybe our country isn't mature enough for a democratic style of elections.

e. Again, I have no interest in arguing solutions and other party systems. But I do have proof. Like I said, statistics in this area don't exist. Social studies, however, do. And I listed above only a handful of all the biases that can influence us in situations such as the two-party. I've demonstrated with the country of Estonia that freedom tends to come from multiple plausible choices (rather than two major ones and a bunch of completely unlikely ones). I believe I've adequately compared a two-party and multi-party system considering that was never the intention of the debate.
negrodamus

Con

Framework:

1. My opponent concedes that she must uphold every part of the resolution.

2. It doesn't matter whether it's your "intention" to argue solutions. The only way to evaluate anything-- a food, a person, or a political system-- is by comparing it to alternatives. For instance, if the resolution was "Chemotherapy is bad", you could talk about how it causes your hair to fall out, and you feel naseus, and a host of other problems. However, these are just minor complaints when you consider that-- most of the time-- the only alternative to chemotherapy is death. Similarly, in today's round, unless my opponent can prove that a non two party system would solve the harms that she brings up in her case better than our current system, she can't win today's debate.

Covering refutations to my refutations

1.
a) Just because our Per Capita GDP isn't in the top 10 doesn't make America an incredibly wealthy nation. In his book the Post American World, Fareed Zakaria explains that America's high productivity, strong service sector, and highly developed nanotech/biotec industries will ensure that we are the world's most dominant economy for the remainder of the 21st century
b) Empirically, the two party system promotes political stability, which fosters sustained economic growth, according to Yi Feng in the British Journal of Political Science.

2.
a)That's not true. 87% of state court judges are elected in popular elections [www.okbar.org/public/judges/judgesoutline.pdf - Similar]
b) Why shoudn't we have a spoils system? If a republican electorate elects a republican to represent them in Congress, why shoudn't their congressmen appoint a judge who reflects the viewpoints of the majority of his constituents?

3. The executive branch refers to the agencies which comprise the executive branch, along with the president and vice president. If my opponent can't prove that somehow the two party system undermines the functioning of these agencies, she hasn't fully affirmed the resolution, and lose today's round.

4.
a)
i. Whether or not their cooperation was friendly or coerced doesn't matter. We should evaluate the legislature by the bills they pass. And there was plenty of "real cooperation". In each of these bills, the Democrats started with centre left pieces of legislation, and the Republicans obstructed these pieces of legislation until they were center right. Considering that the American electorate rewarded the Republicans for this behavior during the midterm elections, the legislature is clearly doing it's job; producing legislation which reflects the views and concerns of the American people. America's Two party system has consistently produce this bipartisan compromise.

ii. Non two party systems have the same problems with antagonistic behavior; the parliament in Iraq hasn't passed a single bill in a year because of squabbling between the two coalitions, South Korea's parliament broke out into a brawl over the South Korea U.S Free Trade Agreement, and Isreal's Prime Minister Ehud Barak cannot negotiate with the Palestenians for a two party state because such actions would fracture his fragile coalition. Unless my opponent can prove that non two party systems are able to "work together better' and produce better legislation than two party systems, then she can't win this argument.

5.
i. They don't win, because no one wants them to win. "The word on everyone's mind is 'Democrat and Republican'. Exactly. Because most American's identify themselves with one of those two contrasting systems of belief, and ethics. Just because there are not more third party candidates in office doesn't mean that Americans would vote more of them into office if they had more publicity. And the fact that your friend said she didn't know she could vote for someone else just proves that she is ignorant, not that the two party system is flawed.

ii. When the two party system fails to reflect the viewpoints of a large minority of Americans, the minority of Americans is loud and brings attention to their cause until one of the major parties begins to adopt parts of their platform. For instance, when the tea party first emerged their beliefs were way to the right of the GOP's base. However, after the movement gained momentum, the Republican party shifted further to the right and took a harder stance on fiscal issues to appease them. The two party system is very receptive to the interests of voters who are willing to make themselves heard.

6.
a) The media would be even less informative if our political landscape was dominated by feuding factions trying to build coalitions in a parliament. Making politics simple to understand is a good thing, because if it was too complicated, Americans busy with 50 hour work weeks and multiple children woudn't have time to even try to follow politics.

b)
i.Estonians refer to their country as a whole because they are culturally homogeneous-- a demographic factor which is correlated with unity and nationalism. America is comprised of a very heterogeneous culture, which creates conflict. Where there is conflict there is negativity, and criticism. But that is the fault of our nation's demographics, not our two party system.
ii. A positive media isn't necessary good. Hitler and Stalin both presided over tame, positive medias, it doesn't mean their countries were any better off. A negative media is good if it holds the government and private corporations accountable for their actions.

7.
i.Meg Whitman is not radical...I don't want to get into a semantics debate, but if you google "meg whitmans political views" you will see that she is fiscally conservative, but socially moderate-- i. ea moderate Republican.

ii. My opponent complains that "once you give people labels", Americans become sheep and vote for who their friends vote for. This argument applies just as much to a non two party system as a two party system. Do you think if the "socialist party" and "american nazi party" had more members, and were prominent in the American political landscape, people woudn't stereotype them? Would abolishing a two party system lead to people researching harder? No; it's hard enough to research and understand the views of the Republicans and the Democrats on every major issue. Do you really think that if there was 20 major political parties in the United States, people would research every single on of them?
b)
i. The fact that it took Obama two years to pass DADT has nothing to do with him not representing you; it simply took two years to get the military establishment and the republicans on board.
ii. A non two party system isn't any more representative than a two party system. To pass any legislation in a democracy you need a majority. More parties means that parties have to form coalitions to make a plurality and pass legislation. It's the exact same result as a two party system-- but a two party doesnt have to deal with all the bickering, fighting, and wasted time that comes with coalition building once candidates are in office.

c) Voting on party lines isn't voting irresponsibly. Voters typically vote on the issue most important to them-- like you voted for president obama because of your concerns on LGBT issues. A two party system telegraphs what each parties position is on these key issues, so voting for a party which will reflect your most important beliefs and values isn't voting irresponsibly.

e)
i. Analysis and statistics do exist, like the evidence I cited under economics.
ii. Cross apply my earlier analysis; if other political systems are worse than the two party system, my opponent cannot claim "it doesn't work".
Debate Round No. 2
darceem

Pro

2. That's not true. My burden is to prove my resolution. I don't have to compare to exact solutions, especially when there are many different kinds of solutions. Most reviews you read review only the product itself - it does not compare. While it's certainly a viable method, it's not a requirement.

Refutations
====
1. You said America was the wealthiest, meaning it is the number one wealthiest nation. You can not revise your statement to only "wealthy". It certainly is wealthy, but so are nations such as Liechtenstein, which is a constitutional monarchy. In fact, let's look at the top ten countries in the GDP per capita (as based on the CIA Factbook). Liechtenstein is number one, and has a constitutional monarchy (one in which the head monarch retains a lot of power). Qatar is an absolute monarchy. Luxembourg is a parliamentary democracy with three major parties (and many moderately successful third parties). Norway also has a multi-party system. Political parties are illegal in Kuwait. Singapore is a single-party state. Brunei is another absolute monarchy. Andorra is a multi-party system. Ireland has many many political parties, and the biggest don't identify on the political spectrum like American parties do. The only country that comes close to a two-party system is Liechtenstein, but a great majority of power rests on an unelected figure. And it should serve as a lesson about third parties - once one or two get control, they have little chance. There's only one surviving third party in Liechtenstein.

2. But 100% of the judges in our Supreme Court are appointed by the President. Which is what I was referring to. The same is true for immediate cabinet members. And it's not based on political ideologies, it's based on political loyalties. The spoil's system was first coined after Andrew Jackson appointed I believe Henry Clay to his cabinet. It wasn't based on ideology, but rather on the fact that Clay had helped Jackson win by dropping his name out. Jackson always purged many lower ranks to make way for people that fit his ideology. Now what of this breeds cooperation?

3. The Executive Branch refers to the President and Vice President and their immediate Cabinet members and executive officers. They may run many agencies, but that's akin to saying every person who's a member of the military is a member of the Executive Branch as well. But let's concentrate on the President. Obviously that's the role that's most effected and the role most people are familiar with. Did you see the 2008 election? I've looked into how it was treated, how it was regarded, and it's the biggest evidence of what the two-party system does to separate this country and turn elections into a tug-of-war game with no actual substance. It's very easy to degenerate something when it's two teams working against each other. Both were eager to insult, demean, and lie about their opponent to get their way. It also showed how simple it was to ignore the multiple other candidates.

4. I must disagree. Would you also say that even though thousands died in the Civil War, the South finally gave in and compromised with the North so it's alright. Forced compromise is never good. It just builds animosity and makes absolutely no one happy. I'd also like to point out that you seem very center right yourself - I'll cover your ill-fated optimism that the American people were voting because they're happy with the Republicans in a moment. Your examples are countries with severe social animosity that I doubt those situations have anything to do with political parties. Look at a country that isn't in the middle of a religious battle: Britain. A very sprawling multi-party system and their parliament is downright boring. You can watch some of their meetings. They go at it sometimes, but it's always in a polite and almost comical matter and there is FAR more cooperation when compared to our Congress.

5. I'll cover your ill-fated beliefs about the American people now. Third parties don't win not because people don't want them too, but because they don't get the money, publicity, or attention the major parties do which is because, paradoxically, they aren't major parties. If I could identify one reason the American people decided these would be the two major parties, it would probably be age since they're certainly the oldest (their ideologies have changes drastically, even completely switching in the early 1900's, but the names are oldest). It has nothing to do with the parties themselves or their ideologies. Now to burst your bubble. The Republican party did not win because people prefer Republicans. Look at the pattern of Presidents and Congress in the last couple decades. It's following a distinct pattern. After Obama we'll get a Republican President. After him we'll get a Democrat. It's because we're a country of contrarians, and rather than finding an alternative solution, people just vote the opposite and hope that works. The two-party system fosters that by making it ten times easier. It's not that people are happy with Republicans. It's that they're unhappy with the country, and blame the people in government, so vote for the immediate opposite.

6. I again refer you to Britain, which also has an excellent political news segment.

7. The political parties are our nations demographic. A demographic is nothing more than a label to describe ones cultural and ideological beliefs. What do you think a political party is? That wasn't positive media either. Just because something is portrayed in a positive light doesn't make it positive. It's the attitude and tone of the portrayal.

8. For California, she was radical. And the only social issue she was "liberal" on was abortion. That by no means makes her moderate, especially since abortion isn't a huge issue in California. And while of course it will always happen (you can't fix human beings unfortunately) the more parties you have the more their views will differentiate and the more people will search based on views than labels. Also, nothing will be as popular. Right now everyone hops on with Democrats or Republicans. If you have, say, five major parties, then people may be more careful in choosing since nothing is a heavy majority. And you remove the contrarian factor I talked about earlier. And yes, it does. It was fairly obvious for two years he wasn't doing anything about it but briefly mentioning it every time someone handcuffs themself to the White House.

9. No, voters vote based on who is in their party and who their political pundits tell them to vote for (whom they watch based on their party). There's a startling number of people that can't even explain why they believe something because they pick either Democrats or Republicans based on one or two issues and then agree with that party on everything. So they aren't voting based on their beliefs. They're voting based on one or two opinions, and the rest of the beliefs are made for them.

10. A commentary is not a statistic.
negrodamus

Con

2. Yes, but implicit in every review is a comparison between that product and another product. For instance, if a certain mp3 player is said to have "a lot of memory", the only way that judgement can be made is by a comparison with other similar products. I'm not asking you to give a plan, or a specific solution-- im just asking you to demonstrate how other political systems solve better than the two party system.

Refutations:

1. Whether or not America is "the wealthiest" nation or not is besides the point. The point is that America's two party system provides the political, and social stability we need to sustain long term economic growth-- which is one way the two party system "works".

2. Yes, 100% of the judges on the supreme court are nominated by the president? So? This would happen even if we didn't have a two party system. You're right, the spoils system "isn't based on political ideology", its based on favors-- favors which would occur in any political system.

3. Just because you didn't like the 2008 election doesn't mean it wasn't substantive. There were two key issues; the healthcare bill, and the economy. Since the American people thought Obama could help the economy and pass a healthcare bill he was elected. There was plenty of substance. But further more, adding more "teams" into the election doesn't solve anything-- the same negative, caustic tactics would still be used, and instead of a "two way tug of war" we would have a "twenty way tug of war", which would not in anyway improve our nations political dialogue.

4.
i. Once again, forced compromise occurs in every single political system. Just because there are more political parties with more clout doesn't mean they all hold hands and sing "kumabaya" and become best buddies.
ii. I am not center right. And why else would the American people vote for the Republican party? The Republicans won the House because right now, the Republican agenda is more popular than the democratic agenda-- which is the essence of representative democracy.
iii. There is not "far more cooperation" in Britain; the Conservative party and the Labour party are at each others throats. It just appears like there is more cooperation because of the country's unicameral legislature, where legislation can be passed through a simple majority; which makes it very easy for the ruling coalition to push through legislation. We can't do that because the senate protects minority rights through the filibuster.

5. How can you speak for the American people? You just assume because you find faults with the two major parties everyone else should too. That's simply not true; most Americans are center left, or center right, and the Democrats and Republicans align with most of their political beliefs. When people do want a third party candidate they elect them; like libertarian Ron Paul, and Independent Senators Barney Frank/Joe Lieberman.Unless you can provide empirical evidence that a large quanity of Americans are dissatisfied with the major party platforms, this claim has no weight in today's round. And yes, presidents tend to alternate in parties, but why is that a bad thing? You yourself explain it; when people aren't happy with whats going on in the country, the voters in the middle blame the party in power and vote for the other party? How is this not democratic? And how would things be any different in a political system with more parties?

6. Only because the BBC is funded by the government. Extend my turn that the media would be even more ineffective in a non two party system because they wouldn't be able to distill the key issues for voters, because a non two party system is so convoluted and complicated.

7. My opponents response is non responsive to either of the arguments I made.

8. This is devolving into semantics. But I have four points.first, voters will vote for/against candidates on character issues, not just political ones. Second, while my opponent would like to believe the emergence of 5 or 6 major political parties would result in people researching their parties more, that's absurd-- no one has time to do deep, in depth research on 6 different parties ideologies, and stances on every important issue. And finally, not that it matters, but my opponent is completly wrong about DADT; the Republican party filibustered the bill the first time he passed it, and the pentagon obstructed the bills progress as well. Finally, my opponent doesn't respond to the fact that two party systems are just as representative, if not more, than non two party systems. Instead of having to form coalitions after they're elected, our two parties compete with each other for centrists, and non aligned voters to create what are in effect "coalitions". Sorting this out before the parties takes office saves time, and prevents caustic bickering, which is a reason you should prefer our two party system.

9. First, I think it's pretty insulting that you are implying that the American people are so stupid. People don't vote for who their pundits tell them to, they choose the pundits they listen to based on who they vote for. You confuse causation. Second, the reason people pick either the democrats or the republicans based on one or two issues is because those are the one or two issues most important to them. They are voting based on their beliefs.

10. It's a commentary based on empirical analysis of the economic growth of nations with two party systems, and nations without two party systems.

11. My opponent doesn't respond to any of my arguments about how all the problems she brings up are not unique to a two party system; no matter what political system we have there will be partisan bickering and uninformed voters.
Debate Round No. 3
darceem

Pro

2. There is a basis perhaps but as you said not one that has to be direct. I'm fairly sure that I've made an adequate implicated comparison.

Refutations:

1. And how does it do that?

2. It's not based on favors, it's based on party loyalty which increases the more parties are pitted against each other which increases further the less competition there is. It's like how as say, football progresses, people get more interested. In the pre-season only the hard core fans are interested. Then as it moves on you get more an more people paying attention up to the Super Bowl where even people who usually don't care about football gets excited. When you eliminate other forms of competition, people naturally get more competitive. That and with fewer contenders you're less likely to watch your P's and Q's. It's a monopoly effect - if there are many reasonable choices then people are more likely to abandon a company that does something distasteful. If there's only two and they're radically different, people are far more likely to keep their pick and simply defend the inadequacies.

3. It's the 2010 election and people had their opinions on health care long before that election or even before health care passed. And you bring up another point. People expected Obama and the Democrats to fix the economy. Is the economy fixed? Some people say yes, some say no. You know where that major separation is? In parties. The Republicans capitalized on things like unemployment and gas prices to try and get people to their side. Which is another issue with parties - the fewer you have, the easier it is to simplify a complex issue down to a black and whit one. With multiple parties, there's more room for gray areas. With parties, everything tends to be black and white. There's no talk of the economy improving. No talk of the economy in this area or that. It's either "the economy is good or it isn't" and both parties use this simplification to try and win voters which is very easy because most voters have minimal knowledge of how the economy works and will mindlessly quote their favorite pundit to pretend they do. Just as a sub point, and yes this would apply to multiple parties as well - parties love to make people feel smart. Even if they're not smart. It's how they get voters. Just more evidence that voters don't make decisions based on facts most of the time.

4.
i. You remove the "black and white" premise, you remove the active, mindless competition and what do you have? Compromise. I'm not expecting everyone to be friends. However there has to be methods of removing what increases that strenuous relationship to begin with.
ii. No it's the essence of a two-party system. But thank you for bringing up that word - popular. Popular doesn't mean good does it? It doesn't mean that anything will actually get done. It just means someone is liked. It doesn't denote experience or anything. And in this case, it's a contrarian thing, as I said before. People are going to mindlessly switch back and forth. Every election it's the same "No third party is going to win so I have to vote for a major party, but I don't like how things are going right now so I'm going to vote for the opposite". Again, look at our track record. We switch from one party to the other every one or two administrations. This isn't a healthy way to function. Clearly either neither one is any better than the other or the American people are fickle and don't know enough to deserve voting rights. If you give them some more options we might break this chain and start voting based on characteristics because, once again, we remove the black and white. It's easy to choose when you base your logic on "I believe this way and this party is the opposite of me".
iii. Filibuster is another thing I don't agree with - as you can see it's well abused and it seems like a whiny tactic so if one person disagrees they can halt all productivity for as long as they desire and is yet another problem with a two-party system. If we're going to have things like that in place, then we can't have two parties pitted against each other like we do.

5. How can you?

6. Yes they would. I would not feel sorry just because the media would have to work, and make more time to give an equitable amount of time to ALL the party runners instead of two, and make time to issue all different points of view instead of the "black and white" (again). I would not feel sorry that they can't waste time on petty issues like they do now that encourage voters to vote based on completely irrelevant things.

7. How so? You made a statement about Meg Whitman. I refuted it.

8. Well then fewer uneducated voters would vote, which I don't think is such a bad thing. Everyone wants number numbers numbers. But the fact is, numbers don't mean anything if 50% of them aren't informed. If 100 people take test, that doesn't mean anything if half of them fail. If we give people more, then those who have no interest in KNOWING about the candidates will scurry off. Most likely, these are the ones that didn't research the candidates we have now. You give more work and suddenly people can't just base their decisions on "one or the other".

9. As an American person, I can testify, that American people are pretty stupid. For the couple of well educated people I know, I know several more who registered American Independent because they thought that was the same as just dependent, who doesn't even realize there are other candidates to vote for, who thinks that the Green Party is the "marijuana party". I'm sorry that it's so hard to accept, but the American people are very irresponsible and very uninformed about their voting.

10. But it's still a commentary.

11. I have too. Stating that I have not does not make it so.
negrodamus

Con

First lets look at why the Con wins the line by line in today's debate, and then move onto the four biggest reasons you should vote for the negative.

1. Framework: My opponent concedes that some comparison between alternatives is necessary for a valid evaluation, but for virtually all of the complaints she brings up in today's round, she fails to show you how other political systems would be less susceptible to these problems than the two party system. I wasn't asking her for a plan, or specifics, simply generalized, practical reasons that other systems would be better. She doesn't provide them. At the point when the pro cannot prove that the two party system is worse than the alternatives, she cannot win the debate.

2. My opponent concedes that the two party system is key to political stability, which has been empirically shown to bey integral to consistent economic growth. If the two party system helps grow our economy, it does "work".

3.My opponent fails to prove that the two party system undermines the executive branch and the the judicial branch.

i. Under the executive branch, my opponent is unable to show you how the two party system undermines the function of important executive branch agencies--like the CIA, EPA,etc. She has also not proved how the two party system undermines the office of the president; whether we have a two party system or a system with 20 parties, the party which wins the presidency will be able to fill the cabinet, and other posts with members of their own parties.

ii. My opponent further unable to prove that the two party system undermines the judicial branch. Supreme court and federal district court judges are nominated by the executive branch-- so even if there was more parties, one party would still control these nominations. My opponent hasn't given you any evidence how partisanship undermines the rulings or function of the judicial branch. Thus, she hasn't met her resolutional obligations.

3. My opponent's aren't able to show you how the two party system isn't representative of Americans political beliefs. My opponent claims that "most voters have minimal knowledge of how the economy works and will mindlessly quote their favorite pundit to pretend they do", and that "voters don't make decisions based on facts most of the time", do nothing to prove that the two party system doesn't represent people's beliefs. How is this the fault of the two party system? People aren't ignorant because we have a two party system. Having more parties would just make the debate more complicated, and harder to understand-- if people are "stupid", and can't vote properly in a two party system, people would magically become smarter and more knowledgeable if we had a 10 party system?

4. My opponent tries to prove that our two party system undermines Congress' ability to democratically represent the American people, and produce legislation which represents the views of the American people, but the Con has proved why she is wrong.

a. There is gridlock and contention even in parliamentary systems, because different factions have to negotiate and fight amongsthemself to create a majority and pass legislation. No matter what political system we had, this gridlock and rancor would exist.

b. My opponent flat out concedes that our representation on congress is democratic. She complains that "popular doesn't mean good...[or] that anything will actually get done. It just means someone is liked." Exactly! That is the essence of democracy! What the majority wants gets passed. Just because my opponent doesn't believe with the political mainstream in the U.S, doesn't mean that our congress doesn't properly represent the majority of Americans.

c. The fillibuster isn't unique to the two party system, its not a reason to vote for the pro. If anything, the situation would be worse in a multi party system-- right now the Republicans can fillibuster in the senate. If we had five parties, the four parties in the minority could fillibuster. Would that really improve the situation?

d. My opponent has no response to the fact that most Americans align themselves with the two major political parties, and that those who don't are able to vote for the party of their choice--like Ron Paul the libertarian, or Chris Dodd and Joe Lieberman, the two independent senators.

e) My opponent concedes that despite our two party system, voters still take the actions of candidates into account when they vote, and not just there party. She doesn't respond to the fact that John Kerry arguably lost the 2004 elections because swing voters questioned his integrity and military service, or the fact that a myriad of congressmen and senators lost their seats in the 2010 midterms for voting for legislation their constituencies were not in favor of- like the healthcare bill and stimulus package.

6. The con also wins on the issue of the media; my opponent doesn't respond to the analysis I made earlier in the round about how if the media had even MORE political parties to cover, the American people would be even less informed. She says that the "the media would have to work, and make more time to give an equitable amount of time to ALL the party runners instead of two" , if we had a two party system, but my opponents cannot just assume that if we abolished our two party system, the same two party systems she decries for its inaudecacies now would suddenly change.

7. My opponent argues fewer voters would be for our democracy-- which is completely elitist and undemocratic. The essence of a democracy is that everyone is equal-- are less educated people less important, or not worth as much as more educated people? While uneducated people voting may create poor policy outcomes, that is irrelevant. Democracies are judged on participations, not outcomes.

So, at the end of today's debate, the con clearly wins for four reasons:
1. I have proven that virtually all of the problems my opponent brings up in today's debate are present in ALL political systems, not just the two party system.

2. I have proven that the two party system is superior to multi party systems when it comes to the economy, and that citizens would be even more uninformed by a media in a multi party state.

3. I have proven that the two party system represents citizens as good, or better than multi party systems.

4. The pro has not upheld the entire resolution-- they are unable to prove how the two party system undermines the judicial branch or the executive branch.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by negrodamus 6 years ago
negrodamus
can some people who haven't just joined the site vote on this debate?
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
The resolution seemed to be about two-party systems in general, since Pro claimed Estonia as an example. Consequently, the major two-party countries like the United States and Japan have to be shown to "not work" while the major multi-party countries like France and Italy do work. That seems to me a hopeless task. The resolution might be improved by saying the US should now have more Parties. For what it's worth, it seems to me after reading the debate that the number of parties, N > 1, is probably not a key factor in success. The ruling coalition seems to have all the defects of a ruling party in a two-party system.

This was a well-structured debate, with good point-by-point follow up by both sides. Pro chose the wording "doesn't work" and Con did a good job of establishing that the wording implied a requirement for strong proof. "Doesn't work" does not mean "could be improved." Pro had to show the system is largely not functional, and beyond that the reason was it's two Party structure. That burden was not met.
Posted by rogue 6 years ago
rogue
Thank you for debating this Pro. I tried to have this debate earlier and then didn't have time to invest in it so I had to forfeit.
Posted by darceem 6 years ago
darceem
Here's a working Aneki link":

http://www.aneki.com...=*&unit=*&order=desc&orderby=fb126.value&dependency=independent&number=5&cntdn=n&r=-77-79-80-81-82-83-84-85-86-87-88-89-90-91-92-93-94&c=&measures=Country--GDP&units=*--$&decimals=*--*&file=richest
Posted by darceem 6 years ago
darceem
I forgot my links, sorry. Here they are no.

[1] http://www.aneki.com...=*&unit=*&order=desc&orderby=fb126.value&dependency=independent&number=5&cntdn=n&r=-77-79-80-81-82-83-84-85-86-87-88-89-90-91-92-93-94&c=&measures=Country--GDP&units=*--$&decimals=*--*&file=richest

[2] https://www.cia.gov...

[3] http://www.stateofworldliberty.org...

[4] http://eupolitics.einnews.com...
Posted by adealornodeal 6 years ago
adealornodeal
I'm on a ski trip right now, so I can't accept. If this doesn't get accepted till New Year's though, I'll probably take it.
Posted by darceem 6 years ago
darceem
But that's not nearly as extreme as my actual view point.
Posted by Johnicle 6 years ago
Johnicle
Semantics could kill you. The topic should be something like "The two-Party system weakens American democratic ideals."
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