The Instigator
rogue
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
bluesteel
Con (against)
Winning
24 Points

The two party system is detrimental to the interests of U.S. citizens.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
bluesteel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/12/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,950 times Debate No: 14026
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (4)

 

rogue

Pro

Definitions:
two party system: http://dictionary.reference.com...
detrimental: http://dictionary.reference.com...

The two party system is flawed in many ways. It causes sectionalism as regions are often divided by the two parties. It causes people to vote for a candidate just because they are part of a party instead of actually knowing where the candidate stands on issues.
bluesteel

Con

Thanks for the topic rogue.

==Burden of proof==

As the instigator and pro, my opponent has the burden to prove that the two party system is intrinsically detrimental to the interests of U.S. citizens. If I prove that her objections are attributable to factors other than the two party system itself, then she fails her BOP.

==My case==

C1) Parliamentary vs. Presidential governments

The U.S. has a presidential system of government, where the people directly elect a President, a Congressman, and a Senator. Most other countries, like England, have a parliamentary system of government, where people vote only for legislators and the political parties then form coalitions; whichever party forms a coalition large enough to garner a majority of seats in the legislature gets to appoint the prime minister. Presidential governments inherently lead to a two party system, whereas parliamentary systems inherently lead to more than two parties. The two party system is not to blame and cannot change unless we change our form of government.

C2) Open primaries

Open primaries, like those recently passed in California by ballot initiative, solve all the problems with the two party system. My opponent cites increasing partisanship but this is due to voter apathy. Because so few people vote in primaries, organized and extreme partisan groups can easily sway a primary election and ensure that the least moderate candidate runs in the general election. This recently happened when the Tea Party ousted moderate Republican Bob Bennett during a primary in Utah, for example. Open primaries allow anyone, regardless of party, to vote for their top few candidate choices, eliminating the sway of highly polarized yet organized minorities. Rank order voting systems and public financing of elections can further curb problems in our electoral system.

C3) Not even a two party system

The U.S. has more than two parties. According to the Cato Institute, between 16 and 23 percent of Americans are Libertarian. http://www.cato-at-liberty.org... Even if Independents don't vote for a third party, the fact that the two major parties have to woo these 20 percent or so of swing voters means they must offer proposals that appeal to a wide variety of people.

C4) Talent deficit

Private sector wages have ensured that most of the best and brightest pursue CEO jobs rather than government jobs. As Robert Reich laments in the Supercapitalism, we have witnessed the death of the corporate statesmen. Few people ever make the transition from the private sector back to the public, and the people become mistrustful of the career politician. Many problems in government can be attributed to this talent deficit, rather than to the two party system itself.

==Rebuttal==

R1) Partisanship

My opponent says, "It causes sectionalism as regions are often divided by the two parties."

But:

1. Divisions are inevitable. In a three party system, people would merely be divided three ways, rather than two. Divisions by region would still exist.

2. Adversarial systems lead to parties representing the best interests of their constituents, in the same way that our adversarial legal system leads to lawyers representing the best interest of their clients.

3. My opponent must provide evidence that people are less divided in countries with more than two major parties.

R2) The myth of the rational voter

My opponent says, "It causes people to vote for a candidate just because they are part of a party instead of actually knowing where the candidate stands on issues."

1. My opponent must provide evidence that people are more informed about candidate's stances on issues in countries with more than two major parties. This is her burden of proof.

2. No evidence is provided that people don't know where candidates stand on issues. Most people do know where candidates stand on the issues they care most strongly about.

3. Interest groups solve. Interest groups send newsletters and advertise on TV where candidates stand on certain issues that are important to that interest group. NARAL makes it well known when a Democrat is pro-life, for example. The AARP makes it well known when a candidate plans to cut Medicare benefits. The NRA makes candidates' stances on gun control widely available.

4. No person could ever be perfectly informed about a candidate's views. According to Barry Schwartz's The Paradox of Choice, when people have too much information, they become overwhelmed. They prefer mechanisms for simplifying their decision-making process. The two party system is a simple solution for people who don't want to do copious amounts of research into their candidates' political histories.

5. Most people voluntarily exercise their right not to vote. The problem is with low voter turnout and voter apathy. Making the system more complex (with more parties) will only raise the cost of becoming informed and voting, leading to even lower turnout.

6. My opponent must prove that people always vote the party line. This is definitely not true in local elections or for Independents. This, again, is her BOP. I personally voted for Meg Whitman for CA governor, in spite of being a Democrat, because I think Jerry Brown is an idiot who is beholden to the unions, like the CCPOA.

I look forward to my opponent's response.
Debate Round No. 1
rogue

Pro

rogue forfeited this round.
bluesteel

Con

Extend case, vote con
Debate Round No. 2
rogue

Pro

rogue forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
rogue

Pro

rogue forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Shtookah 6 years ago
Shtookah
nooooooooo
Posted by rogue 6 years ago
rogue
I feel really stupid that I have to do this but I really have to forfeit the debate because I started school again and I don't have the time or effort to put into what would be a great debate. If I can't give my all, I'd rathe not do it at all. I apologie to Bluesteel immensely. I hope someone else decides to argue my stand in the future because this could have been a really great debate.
Posted by annhasle 6 years ago
annhasle
@ m93samman

Just because the system hasn't changed doesn't mean that the system itself is correct or beneficial. That simply proves that change within the U.S. political system is either incredibly gradual or close to non-existent.
Posted by m93samman 6 years ago
m93samman
BoP is on pro, you really can't win the resolution and, honestly, I don't think this is debatable. We've had a 2 party system for 300 years, if it's detrimental to our interest we would've heard about it by now.
Posted by BlackVoid 6 years ago
BlackVoid
Eh, I would accept but I can only think of one real argument. If this is still open tomorrow and can think of something else I'll take it.
Posted by Shtookah 6 years ago
Shtookah
Damn, wish you were con.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by TheAtheistAllegiance 6 years ago
TheAtheistAllegiance
roguebluesteelTied
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Vote Placed by Maikuru 6 years ago
Maikuru
roguebluesteelTied
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Vote Placed by m93samman 6 years ago
m93samman
roguebluesteelTied
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Vote Placed by darkkermit 6 years ago
darkkermit
roguebluesteelTied
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