The Instigator
bigbass3000
Pro (for)
Winning
24 Points
The Contender
dkerwi8993
Con (against)
Losing
19 Points

The U.S. system of presidential primaries is contrary to democratic values

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/10/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,985 times Debate No: 3173
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (13)

 

bigbass3000

Pro

Resolved: The US system of presidential primaries is contrary to democratic values.
Presidential Primaries-A preliminary election in which the registered voters of a political party nominate candidates for office and include caucuses.
System-An organized and coordinated method; a procedure.
Contrary-opposed,
Democratic Values-Are composed of ideals of democracy, which are part of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence and other important writings.
Overview 1: According Stephen J. Wayne professor of government, Georgetown University, the criteria for a democratic election is that there must be political equality, meaning everyone has a right to vote, at the very least the one person, one vote must apply to the elections and Universal Suffrage meaning the right of all citizens to vote. Unless all adult citizens have an opportunity to vote, then the election results must not be said to reflect the views of the entire country. Lastly they must have a meaningful choice, meaning if there were only one candidate for an office or if all the candidates had equal qualifications and voiced essentially the same views, then there would be grounds for claiming that the voters did not have a meaningful choice.

Con.1 Front Loading
Frontloading is when primaries are pushed back to a earlier date. The problem is when you push primaries back; the candidates can't get their voice out enough to the voters. Take for example Super Tuesday are you seriously going to have enough time to get every single person to know full well what you stand for in one week. Take a analogy, you would not make a kindergartner take a Harvard law test, it is too early and too soon, to have all these primaries so close to each other. Besides it hurts voters too, because they have to get to know a candidate, who is having trouble enough to get to know you. This takes away a meaningful choice as Stephen J. Wayne said and when you have little time to pick a candidate it is not giving you a real chance to actually learn something. As elections are very important especially to those who are voting and taking away that meaningful choice is just not democratic.
Con.2 Super Delegates
Super Delegates are top party officials such as senators, former presidents, etc. They are bad because they don't have to follow the people. They get to choose whoever they want to vote for, which they can even go against the whim of the people. Also there is a big problem with super delegates being lobbied from the candidates. 40% of Barack Obama's Super Delegates are bought and paid for. This goes against democratic values because the super delegates are corrupt. If it truly were democratic, then they would not have to give 694,000 as Barack Obama has to his delegates. This system is corrupt and should be deemed undemocratic right there, because it goes against political equality because according to Stephen J. Wayne, he states in his own words about political equality, "It also means that all votes count equally, that no individual, group, region, or jurisdiction should gain extra representation or exercise extra influence.", Super Delegates are getting extra attention, because the candidates have realized they can be bought and paid for.
Con. 3 Iowa
Iowa is a very funky system, they violate the one person, one vote, idea, that very vote should be counted equally because in Iowa they have a very bad system. Their system is composed of districts, the problem with it, is in this system you could have 90% of the population of Iowa voting in one district, but the other opponent wins all the other districts, so he wins. So to make it simple the system they have is based on past participation, but it is done by districts, so that means it is a 90-10 vote for Obama, but Hillary won, because she won more districts. Now they will win the popular vote, but they will not win more delegates, which is what really matters. This goes against political equality in that you could win 90% of the vote and the 10% vote is worth more, is that democratic.
Con.4 Caucuses
Caucuses are like mini primaries, they are part of the system, because the delegates that come out of them go to the same place, the national convention. The problem is very simple, Caucuses don't have absentee ballots. The problem with this is that, many individuals want to vote in the caucus, but because, there is no absentee ballot, it excludes voters in the military, voters, who work during caucuses, voters who are at home with sick children or family members, and voters who have difficulty leaving their homes. All of these individuals want to vote, but because they don't have absentee ballots, it prevents Universal Suffrage as Stephen J. Wayne said and it is undemocratic. It is a simple problem, with a simple solution, but it still has not been changed. Also Caucuses eliminate the secret ballot, meaning according to Tova Andrea Wang. [Democracy Fellow at the Century Foundation]. "Has America Outgrown The Caucus? Some Thoughts on Reshaping the Nomination Contest." The Century Foundation. Issue Brief. October 22, 2007. p. 5. "Voters at Democratic caucuses, and sometimes at Republican ones, have to state their preferences in public, in front of their neighbors. There are good reasons, however, that there is a secret ballot in the United States: it allows voters to resist pressure to vote for a particular candidate, and it allows citizens a zone of privacy about their political views.", The problem is it prevent you from making a meaningful choice, because you are just going with the crowd and thus is undemocratic. Lastly, in certain states such as Nevada, they have caucuses on the Sabbath as the Rev. C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, put it in a statement this week, "In a country that values religious liberty, no person should ever be forced to choose between practicing their religion and participating in their democracy." This is not a hypothetical problem; Nevada has one of the fastest‐growing Jewish populations in the country. All in all caucuses are confusing contests, that have a impact on the race, but tarnish voter rights. Everyone who votes should not have difficulties when it comes to voting, they should have an easy way of voting, Caucuses are not easy, even for the ones who are not disabled.
Con.5 Military
According to "Voting Can Be A Real Battle For U.S. Troops And Others Overseas In The 2008 Primaries."
The Century Foundation. November 29, 2007. http://www.tcf.org....
"U.S. Troops in Iraq and other places around the world are center stage in this year's presidential elections. But when it comes to casting votes for the candidates, American soldiers and other U.S. citizens living abroad often face daunting obstacles. A new report from The Century Foundation sheds light on this problem, which has received surprisingly little public attention. It also warns that with a frontloaded primary system and a large number of caucuses, U.S. military personnel and other citizens living abroad could find it more difficult than ever to have their votes count." The problem with this is from this very same article only 1/3 of all of the votes overseas were counted in primaries. As Stephen J. Wayne said" The exclusion of any group of citizens because of any characteristic other than those directly related to their capacity to exercise an informed and intelligent vote (such as being literate and having the mental capacity to make an intelligent voting decision) naturally weakens the representative nature of the system. The more people excluded for whatever reason, the less the government can be said to reflect the consent of the governed." So it obviously weakens a representative government and thus makes it undemocratic. Also, many overseas voters did not make the deadline, because their ballots did not get to them in time.
This is to start, can you beat it, hahahaha, jk
dkerwi8993

Con

It Is still a primary, people still have the right to vote

It is because I agree with Mike Leavitt that I negate the resolved: Resolved: The US system of presidential primaries is contrary to democratic values.

I will accept all of my opponents definitions

I will also place 2 burdens on the affirmative.

The affirmative must prove to you.. in order to vote for the affirmative he must prove at least two democratic values being infringed on to win the round

Also the affirmative must show it being opposite not opposite in some cases... so to win that democratic value... he must show it is completly opposite

To His first point He Brings up Frontloading which ultimatly can not be applied to this debate for one major reaso... we are talking about the US System of presidential primaries...were talking about the system itself not what states do to try and get ahead. He also states, well thats hurting the people getting to know the candidate....well heres the problem with that there are other ways to know a candidate. websites, and other non biased news states... and front loading isnt the problem, we have debates the people are knowing the issue

To his second point- Superdelegates- we can look in the history of the United states and find that super delegates have never swung the vote... now as my opponent has and probobly will expand on the current democratic race between senators Obama and Clinton.. however this is in the future and we can necessarily say its the systems fault

Point 3- Iowa- This is not true... Iowa is a caucus witch is like an enriched town hall meeting... here everyone gets their vote everyone is heard and it is fair

Point 4- Absentee Ballots- ok even if there is no absentee ballots in a caucus it is chosen by the state...so that needs to be taken with the state and the way they implement it...so again now were blaming implementation and not the system itself

Point 5- Ive attacked absentee ballots and also Iraq soldiers are being treated equally if they dont make the deadline there not counted just if you were to miss a caucus or a primary its all fair and everyone is getting equal justice

To My Case Im going to bring up on Major Contention

Primaries are in line with democratic values

As Chair of the history department at the university of hartford Warren Goldstein reports Instead of big money and party brokers having locked up the nominations early on both sides, in this season the voters, turn out to be key. Turnout is way up breaking record in some states. This means expansion. The fact is Upcoming primaries are going to matter especially on the democratic side as super tuesday did not produce a clear winner

And Sub Point b- The alternatives

We have to look at this realistically.... what would we have if we didn have primaries...go back to closed door smoke filled rooms to where a random person can be selected the candidate... now we have it where people learn about the candidates... and are getting to know them more personally

In conclusison Primaries are the best option and uphold democratic values
Debate Round No. 1
bigbass3000

Pro

first off, Frontloading is part of the system, because states are doing it, but the system is allowing it to persist, which thus impends on the democratic value of a meaningful choice. Since the established procedure this year is a condensed primary season, it prevents individuals from a making a real meaningful choice as Stephen J. Wayne said, now onto my Iowa arguement.

Jeff Greenfield. [Senior Political Correspondent, CBS News]. "The Brigadoon Complex: Where The Iowa Caucuses Went
Wrong." Slate.com. December 31, 2007. http://www.slate.com....
Then there's the missing principle of "one person, one vote." More than 40 years ago, the Supreme Court told the states they had to follow that rule in drawing legislative and congressional districts. The court told Georgia it had to dump its "county unit" rule for electing a governor—a process modeled on the Electoral College, that gave rural areas power out of all proportion to their populations. But the Iowa Democratic Party hasn't gotten the message. Rather than simply tabulating votes, its precinct caucuses calculate "state delegate equivalents," using a mind‐numbing formula based on past votes
for Democratic candidates for president and governor. What this means, in effect, is that beyond a certain point, it doesn't matter if your candidate can turn out 200 or 10,000 participants in a particular precinct, because that precinct has only so much delegate‐purchasing power. It matters not just
how many participants a candidate can turn out, but whether he can turn them out all over the place. A candidate who won a lot of the precincts narrowly would wind up winning a bigger portion of the delegates than a rival who piled up votes in one corner of Iowa—even if that corner yielded a higher overall number of supporters. It's all the disproportional representation of the Electoral College, in miniature. And that was the price for forming the Union, not a guide for running elections.

What this means is that Iowa's system is a little different and impends on the one person one vote principle, it impends on political equality siad by Stephen J. Wayne, Now onto Super Delegates, he says, they have never went against the people, however, that is contrary, Hillary won Massachusetts, but senator Kennedy of that state is for Barack Obama, so they have gone against the people. Their are many examples, on is Alabama, where Obama won, but got one less delegate, which is the decider. The mere fact that super delegates are autonomous in the system is undemocratic, because it impends on political equality, by impending on the one vote one person idea. http://www.cnn.com...
http://www.cnn.com...
And then there is lobbying, because they are part of the system, and Barack Obama has given 690,000 dollars to 40% of his delegates, is not democratic, to have them in the system.
Now onto Caucuses, he says, it doesn't stop anyone from voting, but that is contrary to his thoughts, it violates free and fair election codes according to the U.S.
http://usinfo.state.gov...
It violates the secret ballot, as defined voting by secret ballot ensures that an individual's choice of party or candidate cannot be used against him or her.
two, it violates the absintee ballot, because they don't have one, allowing those who will not be able to vote on election day to cast their ballots prior to the election. One major example is in Nevada, http://www.washingtonpost.com....
Consider the Nevada caucuses set for this morning. Saturday is celebrated as the Sabbath by Jews and Seventh‐day Adventists. Synagogues hold Shabbat services on Saturday mornings and, perhaps more important, Orthodox Jews are prohibited from driving or doing other activity that could be viewed as work, which would include participating in caucuses. As the Rev. C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, put it in a statement this week, "In a country that values religious liberty, no person should ever be forced to choose between practicing their religion and participating in their democracy." This is not a hypothetical problem; Nevada has one of the fastest‐growing Jewish populations in the country.
Some people cannot vote on certain days, because of their reasons, and because caucuses are part of the system and elimnate this it is bad for universal suffrage. Disregard my opponents arguements, because, one they are not that important and two the reason why voter turnout is high, is not because of the system, but because of the people running in it. A african American and a woman are the reason for high turnout, look to the republican side, the Republican ticket is wrapped up already and it is a close race, but is that because of the system, no. The system is hurt in these ways to recap. It infringes on political equality with Caucuses and Iowa. It infringes on a meaningful choice with frontloading. It infringes on universal suffrage with caucuses and against free and fair elections. Super delegates have gone against the people, because they are autonomous it is against democratic values. Vote Aff
dkerwi8993

Con

My Opponent is completly flawed in many arguments

Front loading is not part of the system; implementation is not the system so please dont take this argument into consideration and if it was a problem (which obviously the party doesnt think it is) or it would have done something about it by now

The caucuses are probobly the most pure form of democracy as Dave Yoder (staff writer) reports Caucuses are the most purest form of democracy theres no politicians no spin doctors no sound bytes just a bunch of people in the neighboorhood getting together and running the world for a night

The Electoral college is not the system of primaries Just because something isnt perfect doesnt mean its against democratic values...my opponent is completly flawed in this point.

In the case of Lopez Torres vs the New York Board of Elections the primaries have a first amendment right at least now we meet the candidates and get to see where the coming from and vote on them....at least were not back in the old smoke filled rooms

Lobbying- Is this a fault of the system or the candidate... read his statistic Barack Obama did that.... the system is not at fault here

Secret ballot- ive proven why caucuses are democratic
Absentee ballot- alright again my opponent not looking at the system itself...The states choose if they want a primary a caucus or whatever the system didnt tell them you have to have a caucus.

Religion and saturday morning- again a calender problem by the states not a fault of the primaries

Voter turnout is by both people getting involved and diversity but still this means the systems working according to the US Election board from 2000 - 2004 voting was still up....and who did we have then a bunch of white men and 2 african americans... people are getting involved in politics

However, I ask you to read this debate my arguments are very valid while my opponent cant even look at the system itself...he is very flawed and by him not being able to even prove democratic values theres no other way to vote but to the negative
Debate Round No. 2
bigbass3000

Pro

Front loading is part of the system, the system is created by the people and the people are pushing primaries to earlier dates, condensing them. It takes away a meaningful choice, which my opponent concedes to, so he agrees with me.

Now onto the caucus arguement, he gave a person, to say caucuses are pure democracy, but they eliminate the secret ballot, which violates a person's privacy, he concedes to this point, by not arguing it well.

I never mentioned the electoral college

And according to that case, a smoke filled room is still democratic, judge is that democratic. No, it's not, the people's voice is not heard.

"Lobbying- Is this a fault of the system or the candidate... read his statistic Barack Obama did that.... the system is not at fault here", The system has super delegates, who are autonomus and can be bought, because they can be bought, it is undemocratic, they represent 20% of the people's voices.

Secret ballots are not democratic, because they violate this free and fair elections, which is based on the U.S. principles of democracy, go to the site I posted.

The probelm, is they don't have absintee ballots in caucuses, so they are being restricted from voting. The mere fact they don't have absintee ballots is against free and fair elections.

The voter turnout is high because of the candidates in the system, not the system, the system is not causing voter turnout, this should be dropped from the round.

My opponent is flawed, in the fact he can't even rebut caucuses. It still stands in the round. Super Delegates stand, Caucus, Iowa, Front loading stands. He did not rebut any of these arguements, well at all. Vote Aff
dkerwi8993

Con

dkerwi8993 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
bigbass3000

Pro

I guess, I should rap the debate up. Voting issues, my opponents case falls, look to my case and my rebutals. I beaten all his arguements to the point and for this reason, vote Aff please.
dkerwi8993

Con

dkerwi8993 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by dkerwi8993 9 years ago
dkerwi8993
would just like to apologize to my opponent....no internet... so vote aff
Posted by bigbass3000 9 years ago
bigbass3000
No super delegates are selected by the democratic party. The people vote in some and then they are selected, but some can be denied even if elected.
Posted by The_brick 9 years ago
The_brick
caucus are where Delagates are selected and I'm pretty super delagates as well
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