The Instigator
bigbass3000
Pro (for)
Losing
9 Points
The Contender
Vi_Veri
Con (against)
Winning
53 Points

The US system of presidential primaries is contrary to democratic values.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/27/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,060 times Debate No: 2967
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (18)

 

bigbass3000

Pro

Resolved: The US system of presidential primaries is contrary to democratic values.
Presidential Primaries-Of or relating to a president or presidency, A preliminary election in which the registered voters of a political party nominate candidates for office.
Contrary-opposed, as in character or purpose:
Democratic Values-Are composed of ideals of democracy, which are part of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence and other important writings.
Observation 1-We must limit this debate to the democratic values of the United States.
Overview 1: What is a presidential primary is a question to be answered? Both major political parties (Democratic and Republican) officially nominate their candidate for President at their respective national conventions, usually held during the summer before the election. Depending on state law and state party rules, when voters cast ballots for a candidate in a presidential caucus or primary, they may actually be voting to award delegates "bound" to vote for a candidate at the state or national convention, or they may simply be expressing an opinion that the state party is not bound to follow in selecting delegates to the national convention. In addition to delegates chosen during primaries and caucuses, state delegations to both the (Democratic and Republican) conventions also include "unpledged" delegates. For Republicans, these include top party officials. Democrats have a more expansive group of unpledged delegates called "super delegates", who are party leaders and elected officials.
Con.1 Front Loading and Elitism
Sub Point A Definition
The definition of front loading is to concentrate costs or benefits in an early period. Front loading has incrementally evolved since the primary system began in earnest in 1968.Each election cycle, more contests have been held earlier as states have tried to outmaneuver each other for attention and influence. In 2000, by March 14, two-thirds of the delegates had been allocated. In 2004, by the second Tuesday in March, 71.4 percent of the delegates were Committed to a candidate.1 to put it another way, in 1980, only one state had a primary or caucus by The end of February; in 2000, nine states did; and in 2004, nineteen states held contests by that time. In addition to the problems presented by bunching many primaries into a small time frame—making it difficult for candidates with relatively less financial support to communicate their messages in a multitude of locations—reaching an early verdict also has downsides. Concluding the nomination process in the winter, for all intents and purposes, leaves the parties, nominees-in waiting, and voters with a vacuum for the many months until the conventions in the late summer. That gap tends to induce the anointed candidates to focus on raising private money while the public's attention subsides, reducing the amount of time that might be more productively devoted to debating the major issues confronting the nation. This messes with equality, because it does not give the little guy a shot and justice to provide adequate ground for.

Sub point C-Elitism
Most commentators are arguing that having so many primaries at once and so early—a large portion of which will be in big, delegate rich states—deprives voters of having a real choice among candidates. That is because only candidates with large amounts of money to pay for costly advertising in so many different locations will be able to compete. The early onslaught of contests in far flung states, many in expensive media markets, will mean only the best-funded candidates will have a fighting chance at the outset, perhaps driving a larger proportion of candidates out of the election earlier than ever. This messes with the value of diversity in the race, because of course if it down to one, is that diverse. Also, it infringes on the rights of others, with this simple act. When people have to make a decision quickly, without choosing the best person for the job, it leads to bad legislation from the person, who is getting elected. Thus it will cause elitism, which is where society is ruled by elites and the role of citizens is merely to ensure smooth and peaceful circulation of elites. Meaning only the elite members of society will be able to be leader, thus makes a deliberate democracy, where the elites vote on everything, without caring about the whole population, thus it is ruled by a minority, not a majority. The whole idea is against liberty and equality, because no one would ever be equal and the elites can stop the liberties of others, while pushing their agenda.

Contention 2-Closed primaries
"Once a direct primary system is instituted, the key question is often that of access to the primary ballot. Should there be an "open primary" system, in which any voter can vote for candidates from either party? Or should there be a "closed primary," in which participation is limited to persons who have registered their political affiliation with the party at an earlier date? Advocates of the open primary argue that a citizen should not be forced to disclose his or her party affiliation, and that the citizen should be given an opportunity to vote in the primary contest he or she considers most meaningful. It is also wrong, they argue, to exclude independents from the nominating process by a closed system. This messes with liberty in that an idea that each ought to be master of his or her life to the domain of collective decision making. First, each person's life is deeply affected by the larger social, legal and cultural environment in which he or she lives. Second, only when each person has an equal voice and vote in the process of collective decision-making will each have control over this larger environment. ", Liberty is infringed upon, thus it is against democratic values of liberty. Only twenty states out of 30 have a open primary system, meaning more than half of all of the states of our nation have liberty.
Contention 3-Superdelegates
Sub Point-What they are
"The super delegates, who make up 20 percent of the 4,049 delegates, exist to prevent the party from nominating an unelectable outsider — not to stop it from choosing between two mainstream candidates. Obama is ahead in pledged delegates, those chosen by the voters. But Clinton had a lead of slightly more than 100 in super delegates, giving her the overall advantage. All 398 members of the Democratic National Committee are super delegates. So, too, is every Democrat in the House and Senate, as well as every Democratic governor. There's also a category of distinguished party leaders, including former presidents and vice presidents, and 76 add-on delegates (three in Pennsylvania, two in New Jersey, one in Delaware) who haven't been named yet.", The entire idea of representatives, rather than the people choosing a candidate souly because they feel they can win is just not democratic at all. It attacks equality to the gut, in that a candidate could come in with more votes and not get the nomination.

This is my case, whoever takes this debate, please, don't debate me on definitons or democratic values, the last debate, did not help me at all, so please debate my ideas. I will debate you and I want to share ideas too.
Vi_Veri

Con

Sorry, posting this from a university lab computer. I've been having computer problems and my computer is now getting a fixer upper. Promise to post my full argument next round. My computer should be fixed by then.
Debate Round No. 1
bigbass3000

Pro

Madonna & Young in 2007,
G. Terry Madonna [Professor of Public Affairs, Franklin & Marshall College] and Michael Young. [Managing Partner of
Michael Young Strategic Research]. "America's Hit or Miss Primary System." Real Clear Politics. March 24, 2007.
http://www.realclearpolitics.com.... Accessed February 25, 2008.
Increasingly, the consequence of the furious frontloading trend became apparent. Presidential nominations now relied on
a hodgepodge of haphazard primaries and caucuses in both parties that effectively ended competition by mid March. Any
state choosing delegates after March was holding a meaningless contest.
Now in 2007, the dam has finally broken as states rush pell‐mell to join the delegate hunt. The rush to frontload the delegate
selection process has produced its ultimate denouement; some twenty five states with more than half the national
population are likely to move their primary dates to February 5.
Some commentators have referred to the impending February elections as a "national primary," but if it's a national primary,
it's one in which half the states will be AWOL. It could more accurately be called the "hit or miss primary," with
more than 40% of the population effectively disenfranchised.
A real national primary with all states participating is worth considering, but this hit‐or‐miss‐Rube Goldberg‐style primary
now impending works even more mischief than our present system. It will make presidential campaigns even longer, require
candidates to begin running even earlier, compel them to raise even more money, and provide even fewer opportunities
for late entrees and dark horses.

The New Republic in 2008,
The Editors. "While We're Kvetching About The Primary Process…" The New Republic. February 27, 2008.
http://www.tnr.com.... Accessed February 26, 2008.
It's becoming clear that, barring an unlikely collapse by either Clinton or Obama, neither candidate will secure enough
delegates at the ballot box to lock up the nomination. This is thanks to the superdelegates—elected officials and DNC
members whose votes at the convention are not bound by their state's primary or caucus results. They account for onefifth
of all delegates, meaning that a candidate must win more than 62 percent of all normal (or "pledged") delegates in
order to secure the nomination outright. In a contest as close as this year's, that's a high bar to meet.
Superdelegates have been around since the early 1980s, when Democrats decided that their previous tweaks to the nominating
process, twelve years earlier, had put too much power in the hands of ordinary voters, whose recent choices
(George McGovern and Jimmy Carter) were less than stellar. This undemocratic twist to the process always had the potential
to be a cure worse than the disease, but it's never made a difference until now.

Juat to take up space
Vi_Veri

Con

I would just like to express to my opponent that America is the only country with primaries. All other "democratic" nations have their parties nominate a runner. Instead, we as the people get some say as to who gets to run on the democratic ticket here in America instead of it all being the parties' decision (because they are the ones, after all, who are putting money and time and advertising...you get the picture, into the candidate). Primaries are a privilege, not a democratic right. Parties are giving us the privilege of helping them decide who gets to run on their money and time. Other parties don't even run primaries (like the Independent party), so Democrats and Republicans are giving us a choice where as these other parties are just choosing for themselves. Primaries weren't even a process until the progressive movement.

Therefore, the primaries can't be anti-democratic values when America is promoting its citizens in helping choose who the parties have run on THEIR tickets.

Points of a Primary:

A. So that Democrats or the Republicans can decide on who is running with their party title.

B. Second, the Democrats and Republicans want someone who will be able to beat the other party's candidate.

C. The process of parties choosing their candidates is necessary in a 2 party system or there would be dozens of people running (like there were for the primaries) and the person who wins might have, say, 15%. Then huge majorities of people, like Evangelical Christians who make up a large percentage of our population, who usually vote alike will get their candidate in even if they are some wack-job most people think is insane.

D. Primaries are just for parties to see who they should spend time and money on. Seeing who the population likes helps.

As for people with money only getting into office, why don't we have a look at Obama. He has only served a small amount of time (as compared to the rest of his opponent, Hillary Clinton) in the government. He is pretty much a small fish. He actually failed in his election to the House of Representatives and is still on our ballot to become president because THE PEOPLE like him.

As for "Super Delegates," why shouldn't the party who is investing time and money into this person get a say in who they want elected? These are the people that will have to work with him or her, pass bills with him or her. They are also the authorities in their fields and were voted into office by the people (so hopefully the people respect their decisions because they are the ones who are making and passing the bills on behalf of us, aren't they?).

If you really wanted equal voting, you would set a standard and not need authorities aiding their parties in the elections (or the electoral college). As for a source on people's knowledge about basic civics (how government works), there was a study conducted by the Election Study. A short quiz was given with a percentage of correct answers removed from the study at the end. It amounted to 6%. If our citizens don't even know how the system works, how are they arguing that they have a right to make an uniformed decision.

John Stuart Mill gave the best answer to this argument in Chapter 10 of his classic work Considerations on Representative Government:

"The spirit of vote by ballot- the interpretation likely to be put on it in the mind of an elector- is that the suffrage is given to him for himself; for his particular use and benefit, and not as a trust for the public. . . This false and pernicious impression may well be made on the generality, since it has been made on most of those who of late years have been conspicuous advocates of the ballot....
Mr. [John] Bright [a prominent 19th century British Liberal political leader] and his school of democrats think themselves greatly concerned in maintaining that the franchise is what they term a right, not a trust. Now this one idea, taking root in the general mind, does a moral mischief outweighing all the good that the ballot could do, at the highest possible estimate of it. In whatever way we define or understand the idea of a right, no person can have a right (except in the purely legal sense) to power over others: every such power, which he is allowed to possess, is morally, in the fullest force of the term, a trust. But the exercise of any political function, either as an elector or as a representative, is power over others."

As for closed primaries, it is quite simple. You do not want someone voting for both parties because you have party loyalties. With party loyalties comes rivalry (which is an obvious fact. I hope we know this). And who is to say that someone might not try to sabotage the other party by voting for a candidate of theirs who has no chance in Hades while still getting to vote for their candidate.

It has nothing to do with Elitism or Anti-Democratic stances. Primaries are a privilege granted by the parties to have us aid them in choosing who will run with their money. If you don't want to vote for someone who runs primaries, you have other parties that would absolutely love your vote.
Debate Round No. 2
bigbass3000

Pro

Since, this is my last speech, I will explain, to my opponent, why I win today's round. One superdelegates are elected by the people, but some are bias, take Bill Clinton for example, he was almost impeached and of course he is going to be for clinton. Second, she is saying that closed primaries are good, but they infringe on Universal Suffrage, meaning, everyone has a right to vote. Excluded a group from the process on unbased facts, just assumptions is dangerous and seen as a blanket to cover primaries. two the definition of a democracy is majority rule. Elitism proposes the idea that the governemt is run by the elites, thus it is a minority rule, not majority. Three superdelegates have the power to sway votes to whoever they want. Now they may not do it, or not, but they have the power to do it. Lastly the mere fact of the superdelegates and what my opponent said we should be glad the party gave it to us. But all primaries are is a coverup for the behind the scenes work by the party to pick whoever they want, and that is the major reason it is undemocratic, because they have the power to do so. Vote Aff, I only regret, that I could have debated more, but my opponent has computer issues, but I will live with it.
Vi_Veri

Con

Despite my opponents attempts to break the NAFF Rules of Conduct (In stating that he won a round without letting the voters decide); I intend to progress by discussing arguments.

My opponent said that there are Super Delegates who are biased. What my opponent doesn't recognize is that there are also groups of voters that are biased. I'm sure that the average person carries a biased towards one candidate or they wouldn't vote for him or her in the first place. That is the political process, I'm afraid, biases of people being counted to see which one wins. Should a candidate not be allowed to vote themselves because they have a biased towards themselves, then? We have even seen through the years that some states carry biases (Example: Arizona voting Republican and Illinois voting Democrat).

What my opponent must understand is that primaries are separate from the constitution, therefore they can't be "unconstitutional" or "undemocratic" because they are not a part of the process. It is a process to help the parties choose a candidate for their run in the general election. You can't assign that to something that parties do to help themselves.

I'll re-quote myself as my opponent might not have recognized my point before, "I would just like to express to my opponent that America is the only country with primaries. All other "democratic" nations have their parties nominate a runner. Instead, we as the people get some say as to who gets to run on the democratic ticket here in America instead of it all being the parties' decision (because they are the ones, after all, who are putting money and time and advertising...you get the picture, into the candidate). Primaries are a privilege, not a democratic right. Parties are giving us the privilege of helping them decide who gets to run on their money and time. Other parties don't even run primaries (like the Independent party), so Democrats and Republicans are giving us a choice where as these other parties are just choosing for themselves. Primaries weren't even a process until the progressive movement."

I'm not sure how you can argue something not democratic if it is not a democratic process but a helpful tool for the two political parties and more like a tradition started in the late 20th century. The original process of the parties just nominating their candidates themselves collapsed in 1824, and since 1832 we hold the national conventions.

Primaries are just a place for people (and the party) to deliberate on whom they wish to run. It is not needed (Technically, but it helps a great deal. Things would be a big show of candidates if we didn't have them or we wouldn't even get a choice at all and have the parties nominate candidates themselves.) nor was it put into the Constitution.

Closed Primaries are not going against Universal Suffrage. You are allowed to vote, just like in the general election, for ONE candidate. Because of checks and balances in the system, you can not vote for both parties because it is highly unlikely that you enjoy both parties (and the high risk of sabotage as I mentioned in my last post).

The reasons Independents (I am one myself) can't vote in a Closed Primary is because it is the Democrats choosing their runner and the Republicans choosing their runner. Those parties wish to issue the privilege of letting their loyalties vote for their opinion of who has the best chance in the General Election. The Independents (along with all other parties) would be able to vote in the closed primaries if their party had many candidates that it was wanting to sort through and decided to have its loyalties used as a test run to see who would do best.

Now, I must stress, not all primaries are closed primaries (but I am not against closed primaries, as stated above).

As for Elitism, again, I quote myself for my opponent with an addition at the end of the quote,

"It has nothing to do with Elitism or Anti-Democratic stances. Primaries are a privilege granted by the parties to have us aid them in choosing who will run with their money. If you don't want to vote for someone who runs primaries, you have other parties that would absolutely love your vote." (addition) If considers this Elitism, they can always vote for the party who chooses for themselves who gets to run (more of an Elitism than having the people have somewhat of a say in a PARTY'S PROCESS OF CHOOSING A CANDIDATE FOR *THEIR* TICKET.)

I have stated a number of times that you can not consider a process like this Elitism. The Republican or Democratic parties both wish to choose a runner...they turn to the people and yet consider their votes of more importance... Big deal, I say. It's their decision in the long run. It's their ticket. The citizens are the one's who get completely equal votes in the General Election (which IS part of the original plan).

My opponent said, quote, "But all primaries are is a coverup for the behind the scenes work by the party to pick whoever they want, and that is the major reason it is undemocratic, because they have the power to do so."

Is this by any chance a conspiracy theory? I'm not sure if my opponent is using facts here. For an example of my reasoning here: Some people believe in ghosts. Some people don't. Either could be right, but we don't have the facts on that. Therefore, my opponent can not make that assumption.

So that my opponent knows, anyone can run for president. They do not have to run under the Dem or Rep ticket (and so they don't have to be a part of the Rep and Dem circle). But yes, the Dems and Reps have more money, and their candidates always win (mostly because of popularity mixed in with the funding). That is why so many candidates want to run under their tickets, and that is why they need something like the primaries.

I apologize to my opponent for our short debate due to my computer difficulties, but I know our voters will be able to assume their own educated opinions from what has been presented.

Regards,

Vi
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Vi_Veri 9 years ago
Vi_Veri
byebyepats, good sir, this is debate :) I never established what I believe and don't believe outside of the debate. I just establish the argument. Who is naive now?
Posted by Patrick_Henry 9 years ago
Patrick_Henry
I think Pro's pretty naive, but this is the second time he's done this debate because he couldn't actually establish that any of those things he's brought up are actually "Democratic values"
Posted by byebyepats 9 years ago
byebyepats
Con is just nieve. I guess she still believes in the american dream. Anyone can become president. Nieve. One day she will wake up.
Posted by Vi_Veri 9 years ago
Vi_Veri
;) Because Con has the better argument.
Posted by byebyepats 9 years ago
byebyepats
how in the hell is con winning this?
Posted by Vi_Veri 9 years ago
Vi_Veri
By chance, what do you mean with that latest comment? Could you please expand and inform me as to who is NEG (con or the one that is holding the negative view of the primaries?)
Posted by Chuckles 9 years ago
Chuckles
i hate running this topic. it's hard to get a real Neg case running that can truly beat aff. all the PF resolutions had been really wide topics, and then all of the sudden this resolution that's so narrow. You have to think and debate in a different style on NEG.
Posted by danny445 9 years ago
danny445
You must have a death wish! good luck
Posted by Vi_Veri 9 years ago
Vi_Veri
Oh I've got this one - I've always wanted to argue with Chuck Norris
Posted by danny445 9 years ago
danny445
I would take this debate, but the first thing that I saw was chuck norris giving me the evil eye. no way...
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Vote Placed by Vi_Veri 8 years ago
Vi_Veri
bigbass3000Vi_VeriTied
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bigbass3000Vi_VeriTied
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