The Instigator
oboeman
Pro (for)
Losing
9 Points
The Contender
CiRrO
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

The process of voting should not be used to establish federal laws in the United States

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/28/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 821 times Debate No: 4527
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (7)

 

oboeman

Pro

Greetings,

In this particular debate, I will be arguing that, because voting is a flawed method for establishing federal laws in the Untied States, the act of voting should not be used in the United States House or Senate.

Definitions:

Voting – casting one's preference for a particular measure or resolution.
Flawed – having an imperfection of defect.
Federal – of or relating to the central government.

Federal laws are created in the United States House and Senate.
I am arguing that merely voting on a particular measure is a flawed method to create a law. Merely voting means that the majority wins. My main case in this debate will be the following: "What is popular is not always right; what is right is not always popular." This quotation depicts that there is a "right" (and therefore a wrong, as well) that is present. Similarly, there is also a "popular" (and therefore an unpopular, as well). The process of voting fails to take into account what is "right" or "wrong," but merely what is "popular" and "unpopular." This, in my view, is wrong; and what is wrong should, ideally, not be implemented into federal level.

Because voting is largely subjective, necessitating its voters to determine what may be preferable to them, instead of what is indeed right, the process of voting if inherently flawed.

So how do we determine what is right? Well, logically, what is right can be deduced via debate by those involved in the particular measure that would otherwise be subjected to a vote. I can get into this in subsequent rounds, but I would also ask that my opponent read a previous debate I have had, regarding a universal truth, as parts of it may be relevant in explaining and deciphering what is correct.
http://www.debate.org...

As well, my opponent in this debate should be in favor of the process of voting to establish federal laws in the United States.

Again, in this debate, I am arguing that voting is a flawed mechanism for establishing federal laws in the United States. Because it is flawed, it therefore should not be used.

I look forward to the debate.
CiRrO

Con

My argument is simple:

I. Voting will ultimately be used.

There is no other way to implement an action (i.e. the establishment of laws) without a vote being done. Essentially, since the US is a democratic republic, other forms of decision could be unconstitutional. Like, having only one person decide what is right. In essence, voting will always be used on the fact that either: A) The other system is ineffective, B) It undermines democratic ideals.

II. Rousseau's "General Will" argument

According to this theory the general will or majority ultimately has the power. A society can only function if there is some sort of power base; in the US that's the congress passing laws by majority vote.
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Rebuttal:

"Federal laws are created in the United States House and Senate.
I am arguing that merely voting on a particular measure is a flawed method to create a law. Merely voting means that the majority wins."

My Response: It is not a flawed system, it has worked for centuries. You, on the affirmative has no other system to replace voting.

"Because voting is largely subjective, necessitating its voters to determine what may be preferable to them, instead of what is indeed right, the process of voting if inherently flawed."

My Response :Most likely what is right for them is good for them. Subjectivity is essentially your downfall. There is no way to say what is right. It's up to the people to decide. You will say that there are certain truths, like trees grow in the amazon. However, that is true, but in this debate you are talking about truths that go beyond physicals. E.g.: The Chinese eat fetus soup. How can we know for sure that its wrong or right? Its up to that particular culture or people to decide. Therefore, voting is the democratic ideal in the US, the majority rules. Now, you will say, but whats "right" isn't always what the majority votes for. Then I say, its impossible to know whats "right" since right is subjective, and furthermore the majority has the rules and decides what is right.

"So how do we determine what is right? Well, logically, what is right can be deduced via debate by those involved in the particular measure that would otherwise be subjected to a vote."

My Response: Again, subjectivity. However you say debate. Lets go on this for a sec. Essentially you say debate turns to truth. Well, debates go on for weeks or months in congress before the final vote. Link this to my 1st contention. (Ultimately voting would be used)

*I place an affirmative burden on my opponent: He must propose a back up plan to the voting system. The debate is not just about principles, its about the application and thus the implication of those principles.
==============================================================================

I reserve the right to add more arguments if necessary

Thank you ladies and gentlemen
Debate Round No. 1
oboeman

Pro

Alright, I would like to initiate by thanking my opponent, CiRrO, for accepting this challenge, and I hope for a fun debate.

I will supply an affirmative burden.
As well, understandably, a system more ideal than voting that I will propose will not only be principally more ideal than voting, but also applicable to implement.
Basically, the more ideal system I propose entails the use of more vigorous debate. Simply, instead of halting a debate before it comes to a conclusion and then voting, the House and Senate should COMPLETE a debate in progress. For example, let us assume federal lawmakers were considering whether or not to implement a law regarding universal health care. Likely, most of the democrats in congress would vote for it, while the republicans the contrary. However, some type of debate would be pursued regarding the particular bill, but this debate, likely, would not come to a conclusion. That is, both sides (proponents and opponents of the bill) have not reached any type of mutual conclusion. Logically, if a debate were to be pursued vigilantly, with everyone having the chance to debate and create rebuttals against other claims, congress would be able to deduce, with mutual agreement, a shared conclusion to the bill. However, my point is, with voting, there is no mutual agreement throughout congress, meaning that, for a particular bill, the "correct" side could be in the minority OR the majority. Let us assume briefly, that there is a vote in the Senate that comes to 60-40; my point is, perhaps 60% of the people in the Senate are wrong on that issue. Simply because a majority rules in favor/opposed to a particular bill, it by no means declares them right.

Therefore, my proposed view of establishing federal laws entails the theme of mutual agreement being reached upon the conclusion of a debate, in which those that turn out to be incorrect on a particular take of a bill realize that their logic is flawed. Through vigilant debate, with the goal of politicians being to establish truth, mutual agreement can be obtained. However, if such logic is used to deduce a debate on a particular issue, other alterations must also follow. Such changes would include the elimination of appeals to emotion, innuendo, and sanctimonious prattle in congressional debate.

"There is no other way to implement an action (i.e. the establishment of laws) without a vote being done. Essentially, since the US is a democratic republic, other forms of decision could be unconstitutional. Like, having only one person decide what is right....The other system is ineffective....It undermines democratic ideals."

I negate. There are other ways to establish laws, as to which I will explain.
I also concur, that the United States was founded upon democratic republic principles. However, I find this irrelevant. Allow me to explain: as explained in my opening round, I made clear that I was debating that the "act of voting should not be used in the United States House or Senate." Notice how I used the word "should." This word is reminiscent of the fact that, regardless of what method is currently being utilized, something else may be ideal. Quite frankly, simply because past endeavors to establish federal laws in the Untied States have led to the process of voting does not mean that the system is ideal or even infallible. Constitutional boundaries do not set viable parameters for what is ideal at our current time in this country, and therefore the subject of unconstitutionality in a particular form of decision-making is erroneous and invalid in this debate. As a side note, I am not even contending whether my proposed form of decision-making at the federal level is "unconstitutional" or not. I am only arguing here that, whether constitutional or not, it is irrelevant, as long as it is ideal.

I am also willing to argue that my proposed view of law establishment at the federal level would likely PROMOTE democratic values. Here is why: as mutual agreement can more readily be met with my proposed system, everyone would have a say, as it is their truths that matter in debate, not their quantities. People can say whatever they want, and that only becomes implemented in the debate, adding to it. Consider this: it is far more likely that one's voice through debate is heard, than one's single vote.

"According to [Rousseau's] theory the general will or majority ultimately has the power. A society can only function if there is some sort of power base; in the US that's the congress passing laws by majority vote."

Perhaps the majority CAN ultimately have the power, but it does not always have to. This power base, however, can be utilized in a more rational manner; that is, the system I have proposed as an alternative to federal voting. Let us assume, hypothetically, that there is a measure in congress to ban all after-school-activities in the United States. Of course, this would be absurd and spark outrage. Hypothetically, what if this bill passed, and all after-school-activities were made illegal? Does this necessarily mean it is the correct decision? Absolutely not. Obviously, this hypothetical was an extreme, but still, I hope you can get the basic picture of why the correct decision is not always made by the majority.

"[Voting] is not a flawed system, it has worked for centuries."

Again, I negate. Though it may have "worked" for centuries, it always has the potential, at any given time, to falter, given the nature of the process itself, and produce flawed results. This was evident in my showing that the majority does not always yield ideal, or even accurate, results. The system I have proposed would produce ideal decisions, considering all would agree due to mutual conclusions reached.

"Subjectivity is essentially your downfall. There is no way to say what is right. It's up to the people to decide."

There leaves no room for subjectivity if all come to mutual agreement and share a common conclusion. Indeed, it is up to congress to determine what is good for the country regarding a particular bill, such as universal health care. By pointing out flaws in the logic of others, and speaking in order to determine truth, mutual agreement can be obtained. For example, if a mutual agreement were obtained in the Senate, it would be similar to a vote of 100-0.

There are two main types of truths (i.e. an inherently true or false statement). First, there are those that are known to be either true or false. Second, there are those whose status as true or false is unknown. Of course, some statements may be certainly known to some groups of people, but unknown to other groups. Referring to your trees in the Amazon example, our society knows that it is true/false (obviously being true). Referring to your Chinese example, that would be unknown to our collective society; but still, the Chinese either do or do not, regardless of what others say. It is still, nonetheless, inherent. Simply because a particular culture decides differently does not change the fact.
I have already made evident how the correct decision regarding a federal bill should be obtained (i.e. via mutual agreement and shared common conclusion to a debate). What is shown by a majority vote is what is more popular, not necessarily what is right.

"Essentially you say debate turns to truth. Well, debates go on for weeks or months in congress before the final vote."

Indeed, vigilant debate should be what establishes truth and ultimately the decision upon a particular bill in congress. Debates, however, utilizing a logical course, would be significantly shorter through the elimination of appeals to emotion, innuendo, sanctimonious prattle, and other irrelevant fallacies created by politicians. Ultimately, this would maximize debate efficiency and outcome.

I await your rebuttal,
Oboeman
CiRrO

Con

I have one argument, of why it is impossible to affirm.

[Definition - Voting]

1. a choice that is made by counting the number of people in favor of each alternative.
2. a method for a group such as a meeting or an electorate to make a decision or express an opinion

Now, why does this lead to a negation, simple:

My opponent has expressed this: "Basically, the more ideal system I propose entails the use of more vigorous debate. Simply, instead of halting a debate before it comes to a conclusion and then voting, the House and Senate should COMPLETE a debate in progress. For example, let us assume federal lawmakers were considering whether or not to implement a law regarding universal health care. Likely, most of the democrats in congress would vote for it, while the republicans the contrary. However, some type of debate would be pursued regarding the particular bill, but this debate, likely, would not come to a conclusion. That is, both sides (proponents and opponents of the bill) have not reached any type of mutual conclusion. Logically, if a debate were to be pursued vigilantly, with everyone having the chance to debate and create rebuttals against other claims, congress would be able to deduce, with mutual agreement, a shared conclusion to the bill."

My Response: Voting will always be done. Looking at the definitions of "voting", even my opponents proposed plan is voting, for it is "a method for a group such as a meeting or an electorate to make a decision or express an opinion". Once the congress comes up with said mutual agreement, then they all have voted pro/con for a proposed bill. After all the debates have be done, what will happen? According to my opponent they will have a mutual agreement. THAT IS VOTING, because each member has either agreed or disagreed with the bill (Like I said before).

Thank you ladies and gentlemen.
Debate Round No. 2
oboeman

Pro

Nonetheless, my argument still stands. In my opponent's Round 2, he states that voting will still be used, regardless of the better form of law establishment I have proposed. However, he has failed to refute the claims I have made regarding such a new form of law establishment, and therefore I must assume he is in agreement with my proposal.

Assuming my essential assumptions are correct, our only point of contention resides in voting technicalities. As my opponent has said in his Round 2, "even my opponents proposed plan is voting," but then goes on to use his own definition of the term "voting." I have already supplied a definition of voting in my Round 1. I will repeat:

Voting - casting one's preference for a particular measure or resolution.

This definition basically means that the lawmakers would cast their own preference for a particular bill. However, the term "preference" in the definition conventionally is used to describe a state of arbitrary judgement, and therefore does not require the lawmakers to deduce, with mutual agreement, the conclusion to a particular measure or resolution.

The definitions I have supplied at the initiation of this debate must be used throughout, as, considering I started the debate, my arguments are based upon their given meanings.

Again, my proposed plan of more ideal law establishment does NOT entail casting one's preference for a particular measure or resolution. Instead, a collaboration of logic and deductive reasoning should be used to obtain mutual agreement in the congress, regardless of the personal views put forth (cast) by the politician. No casting (i.e. depositing) of a preference (i.e. individually favoring a choice) is used to establish law, as that does not require mutual agreement and a shared conclusion.

As well, voting (i.e. casting one's preference for a particular measure or resolution) allows results contradictory to mutual agreement. This is so, considering the fact that people may prefer different things, on an individual basis, rather than what may be best and ideal for the country. Therefore, voting is a flawed mechanism for establishing federal laws in the United States; because of this flaw, it therefore should not be used.

After all of the debating in congress in complete, a moderator (i.e. speaker of the house, for example) would make sure everyone in the house would concur with a bill by asking for further debate. If there is no further debate or points of contention apparent, mutual agreement can be assumed. Again, this process does not entail individual preference, as individual preference may differ from what is best for the country.

I await your refutation, and the remaining rounds of the debate.
CiRrO

Con

Ok, so the basis winning basis is topicality and technicalities.

I will prove the major point that you cannot vote pro because his way is still voting.

"Voting - casting one's preference for a particular measure or resolution."

My Response: My opponents definition of voting is so one-dimensional. Voting doesn't always have to based on preference, that's why i gave my own definitions of voting. E.g. Senator Lieberman voted for the Bush Tax Cuts, however he admitted to the press he was personally against them. He admitted that it would help stimulate the economy, BUT HE WAS PERSONALLY AGAINST IT. now with this example in mind, my opponents definition of voting cannot stand. You must look at my definitions.

[Definition - Voting]

1. a choice that is made by counting the number of people in favor of each alternative.
2. a method for a group such as a meeting or an electorate to make a decision or express an opinion

Now, back to my main point.

My opponent's proposed plan is still voting. Why? Because each person is giving their consent to a proposal. They are voting pro or con. Doesn't matter if its reps vs. dems, or everyone together. ITS STILL VOTING. Therefore, you cannot affirm the resolution.
Debate Round No. 3
oboeman

Pro

Indeed, apparently this debate has come down to the realm of technicalities.

"My opponents definition of voting is so one-dimensional."

First of all, regardless of how unconventional my Round 1 definition may seem, my arguments are based off of it. I am sure that, in an extremely general sense, "voting" may entail much more. However, I based my Round 1 definition according to the type of voting which has the potential to develop flawed results. The definition I supplied only covers that, and thus I created my definition accordingly.

"Voting doesn't always have to based on preference, that's why i gave my own definitions of voting. E.g. Senator Lieberman voted for the Bush Tax Cuts, however he admitted to the press he was personally against them. He admitted that it would help stimulate the economy, BUT HE WAS PERSONALLY AGAINST IT."

Indeed, voting DOES NOT always have to be based on preference. HOWEVER, voting always has the POTENTIAL to be based off of individual and arbitrary preference. That is my point; as long as the system of voting allows for the potential to have its voters base their votes upon mere preference, the system can readily produce flawed results. I am arguing, again, that because of this flaw, it should not be used in the United States government to establish federal laws.

Of course, though, there may be some instances where congressmen such as Lieberman attempt to vote for the right thing instead of the individually preferable thing. (By the way, I am not saying that Lieberman's decision was logically correct; I am merely saying that this is an example of a politician that did indeed step outside of the lines of the individually preferable, in ATTEMPT to do what was right.)

"now with this example in mind, my opponents definition of voting cannot stand. You must look at my definitions."

As I said, my definition MUST stand, as, even though it may not fit with every type of considered techniques of voting, my definition only entails the casting of "one's preference for a particular measure or resolution."

If this definition of voting were to continually be utilized in the federal government, it would threaten the viability of mutual agreement and shared conclusions to federal debates. Simply because there are those politicians that may step out of the normal boundaries in attempt to do what they consider to be right, there is the potential for any number of the other congressmen to not do the same; hence the flaw.

However, irrelevant as they may be to this debate, I will analyze your definitions anyway. The first definition you supplied essentially re-states my definition in a different wording. The second definition you supplied is much more general, and does allow room for mutual agreement, as it does not describe the techniques of the voting process.

Still, however, you must abide by the definition I have utilized in this debate, given in my Round 1, as I have initiated the debate, and thus my arguments are based off of the definitions given. Even though my definition given in my Round 1 of voting might not entail every aspect or cover every possible definition of the term, it is still essential to the debate. All other definitions of voting, though perhaps covering more of its dimensions, are currently irrelevant in this particular debate.

I have postulated the following throughout the debate:
What is popular is not always right; what is right is not always popular.

I have affirmed the resolution:
The process of voting should not be used to establish federal laws in the United States.

Therefore, considering that all debates on this site are voted on, it would be correct to vote PRO. Although, since voting has the potential to be flawed, there will be the potential that the vote on this debate will not accurately represent that which is right. However, considering that this debate will be voted on anyway, I ask readers to vote PRO. I have successfully rebutted incoming arguments, as well as having succeeded in vigilantly defending my arguments regarding the initial resolution.

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate, and enthralling discussion was produced. The debate was fun,
Oboeman.
CiRrO

Con

Ok, I'll take my opponents definition of voting, however I still win on topicality.

Even with my opponents definition, which uses the word preference, it still comes out in my favor. Why? Because, once the government has come up with said mutual agreement, after the debate, all people agree. Meaning, they have the same preference. Thus, they are still voting after the debate period. Link my above idea that even all agreeing is voting because a person's or people's ideas are being implemented from their opinion or "preference". My opponent tries to allude that the method to get up to the end is different because longer debates take place and people agree. THEY STILL VOTE, therefore, voting would still be used in the Us with or without my opponent said plan.

Thus, I urge a negation.

Thank you ladies and gentlemen.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by oboeman 8 years ago
oboeman
I apologize for having to post in the comments section, and I hope it is not too much of a problem. It is fine with me if you add subsequent comments.

I just figured that it is more important to further the establishment of truth and logic in a debate, as much as possible, before concluding, than leaving points un-clarified.
If you would like to continue with any further comments, I would be glad to read them or rebut them.

Who knows, perhaps we could even pursue mutual agreement.
=P
Posted by CiRrO 8 years ago
CiRrO
wow, lol, I don't mind u making your comment another round, but, that's sort of unfair.
Posted by oboeman 8 years ago
oboeman
In attempt to further the establishment of truth in this debate, I feel the need to write in the comment section:

All congressmen agree, after mutual agreement, on what is best universally for the country. To the contrary, there is the POTENTIAL that they do not individually agree. That is, they may personally be against it. For example, they themselves may not gain from a particular bill, and thus they might be personally against it, on an individual level. However, that bill might be beneficial to society, and therefore should be implemented.

What is best for the society does not necessarily dictate individual preference.
This was evident in your Lieberman example.

"Casting one's preference for a particular measure or resolution" should not dictate federal law establishment. And considering that that was my given definition of voting, I have proven this process to be flawed, and thus should not be utilized in order to establish federal laws.

In addition, my plan does NOT entail voting. It is imperative to remember that everyone is still entitled to their individual view (preference) regarding a bill, even though they themselves may have agreed on what is best for the society as a whole through mutual agreement.
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
Aaaaaaaaaaand in the House of Reps and the Senate, things are decided by the majority.

GG.
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zach12
oboemanCiRrOTied
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oboeman
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