The Instigator
Stephen_Hawkins
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
imabench
Con (against)
Losing
10 Points

This house believes that proportional representation should replace Plurality systems

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Stephen_Hawkins
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/27/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,991 times Debate No: 22362
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (16)
Votes (5)

 

Stephen_Hawkins

Pro

This is the tournament debate. Rules have already been set out, and linked in comments. The BoP is shared.
FPTP = First Past the Post
PR = Proportional Representation

I shall attempt to prove two things: Firstly, that FPTP is flawed, and secondly that PR is the best alternative.

The Flaws of First Past the post

Firstly, plurality elections tend to lead to a situation where the government is elected on a minority of votes cast. If we look at recent UK elections:



We can see that the popular vote is always a minority and not a majority. Moreover, if all countries had FPTP, then most countries would be elected on a minority of votes. Because the government is claiming mandates on minority of votes makes the legitimacy of a democratic government dubious at best. The lack of legitimacy promotes undemocratic government, and shows plurality systems to be flawed.

Also, if you look at the first graph, you can see how the Lib Dem party is repeatedly underrepresented. Repeatedly and consistently have the Lib Dems recieved less seats, even with a rough 20% of the votes. On average, a conservative seat costs 35,000 votes, Labour 33,000, yet Lib Dem a staggering 120,000 votes per seat. This kind of event is something that would constantly occur in a nation with more than two political parties with any sort of following. This is blatantly undemocratic, and shows FPTP to be flawed.[1]

Furthermore, votes aren't even of equal value a large amount of the time. Cameron's constituency in Witney[2] gives him 60% of the votes, with 40% more than the next highest competitor. Any votes against him there are wasted in FPTP, but in a PR system they can go to other parties and candidates. As voters realise their votes are wasted, this creates two things: firstly, it creates public apathy. Less and less people are inclined to vote simply because their vote doesn't count[3]. A system that disregards people's votes is simply unreasonably flawed.
Moreover, the second problem is that votes go to a specific party because they want to vote against a different one. Libertarians may vote for republicans simply so the democrats do not get power, or a Green may vote Labour to stop the conservatives. Campaigns turn into a "the other party is rubbish" instead of "we're the better party", and becomes simply about degrading the others. Tactical voting is a serious problem in FPTP, but not in PR:



FPTP is the only system where tactical voting is a serious problem, in AV or AMS it is smaller, but in PR, it is not a problem at all.

Finally, the way that FPTP more or less stops other successful parties forming. There is a serious problem with political atrophy (as well as apathy), meaning a stangant situation where new political ideas are stifled. This is especially prominent in the USA, where only 2 parties recieved any electoral votes. FPTP stifles new political ideas, as well as the return of old ones, and prohibits the development of new parties.

As I have now discussed the many flaws of the Plurality system, I will present my case: The Proportional Representation alternative. The system, which is used in most modern democracies, is an incredibly popular, incredibly democratic, and incredibly successful system. I hope to justify all these three.

Firstly, the system means that voters would be given more choices. This would be an increase from the one or two that FPTP promises to a much larger and open political stage, with many more parties. This means that other parties with more conservative values, or more liberal values, or libertarian values can jump onto the main stage. This would promote democracy, and show how Proportional Representation would be a better system.

It would also balance the value of each vote. Under STV[4], the Lib Dems would gain roughly a 100 seats, making their seat number a lot more aligned with the voting population, and make them represent many times better.

Furthermore, if STV was adopted, then one can vote for a candidate inside one's own party. Instead of incredibly long debates about who should represent what party, you can vote for who you want to represent you, not have some delegates choose you want to vote for. The system would be many times better, and many times more democratic.

My final argument comes in the form of this video, by John Cleese. In 1983, the SDP/Liberal Alliance, with 26% of the vote, got 23 seats. 23 seats in Parliament. Labour, with 28% of the vote, got over 200! "This system is not fair. Not fair to the voters. It took 40k votes to elect a labour MP, 33k voters to elect a conservative, and it took ten times that number, 240,000 voters, to elect 1 SDP/Liberal MP."

Thank you for reading. I plan on adding to my arguments in the next round, and look forward to reading the response.


1 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
2 - http://www.guardian.co.uk...
3 - http://www.electology.org...
4 - http://tinyurl.com...

imabench

Con

hawkings, the link didnt work, ill post the pictures in my round it wont chew up any character space
Debate Round No. 1
Stephen_Hawkins

Pro

The pictures do not work to link properly, and I will instead link into my own profile. I extend all arguments, but realise this was an honest mistake, and hereby ask that this round be ignored in the judging.

http://www.debate.org...

That above is a link to the images used. I also ask my opponent to pm me if he meant any url not working.
imabench

Con

First off, I apologize for my round 2 argument, that was supposed to be in the comments section, my bad.

A plurality election is any election where 3 or more candidates are running for an election, where the winner only needs a plurality of votes to win. Only difference between a plurality and a majority win is that whoever wins the plurality only wins the most votes which is less then 50%, whereas a majority win is an election where a candidate wins over 50% of the votes and thus is the democratically elected pick to be elected. For example,

1988:
George H.W. Bush = 53% of the popular vote
Michael Dukakis = 47% of the popular vote
^
Majority election where the winner had over 50% of the vote

1992:
Bill Clinton = 43% of the popular vote
George H.W. Bush = 38% of the popular vote
Ross Perot = 19% of the popular vote
^
Plurality election where only the person who gets the most amount of votes, but doesnt have to have a majority (>50%) of all votes cast

Plurality systems are commonly used in the US and the UK where two main parties and an outside third party can compete for an elected position.

The system the Pro is arguing for in this case is Proportional Representation, a system where the proportion of elected officials accurately represents the votes cast for an ideology.

First off, proportional representation can only be applied towards Congressional or Parliamentary elections, not presidential elections, so plurality elections are already very important if a minor party or an independent wants to make a presidential run.

Secondly though, the main issue of this whole debate is the issue that Plurality systems do not represent the proportion of votes cast towards an ideology as much as proportional representation does. However plurality systems that cause disproportional representation is attributed to the geography of the voters and where the votes are cast from, not the voting system itself.

Heres an example, lets pretend in an election held in and around London goes as such
Labour Party = 2,700,00 votes = 54%
Tory party = 2,200,000 Votes = 44%
Liberal Democrats = 100,000 Votes = 2%

Seat goes to the Labour Party

Now lets pretend in another city we see similar results, lets take Liverpool
Labour Party = 2,200,000 Votes = 44%
Tory Party = 2,750,000 Votes = 54%
Liberal Democrats = 100,000 Votes = 2%

Seat goes to the Tory Party

But now in the far off country side, similar results to the last two elections in other cities
Labour Party = 250 Votes = 25%
Tory Party = 150 Votes = 15%
Liberal Democrats = 600 Votes = 60%

Seat goes to the Liberal Dem Party

Each party rightfully earned a seat in the house. But proportionally there is an issue, if we tally up all the votes each party got we see something concerning

Now out of 10,051,000 votes cast,
200,600 = Liberal Democrat
4,900,250 = Labour
4,950,150 = Tory

Now each party got a seat, yet the Liberal Democrat party is clearly lacking compared to the other two parties, in fact Liberal Democrat voters only make up 2% of the total vote, yet they still got a seat through plurality elections. Had there been a proportional representation system in place, then the Liberal democrat party wouldnt have a seat at all, meaning that either a representative of the Tory party or the Labour Party would be elected to represent the countryside town even though they voted in a majority for a Liberal Democratic representative.

To summarize this whole example, in a proportional representation system the countryside town would be forced to be represented by a party that the people did not want at all, which goes directly against Democracy and its ideals.

Proportional Representation = Politicians represent populations that may prefer a different party than that of the candidates but overall all parties are represented proportionately

Plurality System = All places, small or large, get to elect politicians who represent their political preference but the total proportion of elected officials to not align with the voting trends of the population.

Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages, but Plurality systems are better democracy wise because in Plurality systems the populations still get to choose who represents them whereas in Proportional representation politicians are selected based on how the entire country votes, not on how a particular town or district votes. This means that centers of heavily concentrated populations have the power to determine the political ideology of the voters within the city and in the less populated areas around the city in proportional representation systems.

I believe I have made my point, if there are any arguments I overlooked I will address them in the next round.
Debate Round No. 2
Stephen_Hawkins

Pro

I shall address my opponent's rebuttals whilst reinforcing my own arguments:


My opponent gives an example of how PR can only be applied to a Congressional or Parliamentary system, and not a Presidential election. This could have been a very good, strong argument, if it weren't for the fact that there is no justification for the statement.

The Geography of Politics

Further, my opponent seems to claim that the problem for the Lib Dems is their geography. However, the real problem is that they come second in a lot of constituencies. The Lib Dem party consistently come second, and there is consistently someone gets elected on a minority of votes. In Bromley and Chislehurst, Camborne and Redruth, Cambridge and Bournemouth East[1], the Lib Dems consistently come second. And this is something that happens in hundreds of consituencies. Probably the worst story is that of Lib Dem representative Julia Goldsworthy. In Camborne and Redruth, she gained15,903 votes, but came second to Conservative representative George Eustice, who gained 15,969 votes. This means that almost 16,000 voters for the Lib Dem party are not represented. Add in Labour's unrepresented 7,000 and UKIP's 2,100 and you have around 25,000 voters not being fairly represented, contrasting the 15,000 who are: a blatantly unrepresentative, undemocratic system. If STV was in place, a version of PR, then multi-member consituencies would come to exist, and drastically reduce the number of wasted votes in Parliamentary Voting and Constituencies Act 2011.[2] This could be used in conjunction with PR to make the seats balanced. However, the only way for a constituency border system to be so imbalanced as my opponent suggests is if the setting of the borders was intentionally unfair, and therefore both voting systems would be equally superficial.

Further, PR would solve the problem of the Lib Dems coming second by giving them seats as per the number of votes they get, even if they come second, to let them be fairly represented. To allow the voter to be represented by someone they voted for.

Finally, in regards to these hypotheticals about geography, borders are constantly adjusted to keep the population of a constituency roughly similar to other areas. For example, the borders of constituencies in Britain were changed last year to accomodate for any changes[5].

Moreover, the largest constituency is 110,000 (second largest 90,000) and the smallest 55,000[3], so the geographical advantage is a moot point. Only 9 out of the 650 constituencies are outside the range of 60,000 to 90,000 seats.

However, in this situation, STV would still be better! As it is multi-constituency, each seat is worth the same number of votes. So in the third constituency, the seat shall only be worth two or three seats (if that), while the largest worth a hundred seats, meaning more representation to take into account that it is a larger constituency. Plurality systems would actually make it worse as it would mean that you're vote's value depends on your constituency.

This is another problem with plurality votes, as you're geography seriously affects your vote's value. If you live in a place such as Witney, where over 60% of the votes consistently go to Conservative, also known as a 'safe' seat, then your vote has no value there: you cannot get your party or politician in to represent you. However, if you are in Camborne and Redruth, where the votes are really close, your vote is valuable beyond belief: your vote can actually affect who gets a seat in Parliament, and therefore how the country is run. This geographical discrimination disappears under STV, because each constituency holds seats dependant on the number of votes there are. This is known as Gerrymandering.
Image 5 - Gerrymandering.
These diagrams represent how gerrymandering works: the diagram on the left represents 4 ungerrymandered constituencies, each with 50% of the voters Red and 50% Blue. The one on the right represents 4 gerrymandered constituencies. This leads to the blue winning 3 seats, and red winning 1, so the blue voters win, even though they got the shared number of votes. in fact, there could be no blues in the bottom-left constituency, and blue would still win, while red would lose. This is incredibly easy in plurality, but in PR, which holds multiple MP constituencies, the reds would be represented fairer, making the system much fairer. This is a turn on the geographical aspect.

So, to conclude on that point, the PR promotes democracy substantially more than plurality systems.

Before moving to new arguments, I want to point out arguments conceded:
STV allows the vote value of each seat to become more balanced, and the plurality system unfairly unbalances them.
STV allows one to vote for a candidate inside one's party, and is therefore preferable in a Parliamentary system.
STV allows other parties and ideas to access the political stage with more ease, and allows other parties to form.
STV makes tactical voting unnecessary
Plurality promotes political apathy and atrophy

With this in mind, I await my opponent's rebuttal.

1 -http://en.wikipedia.org...(UK_Parliament_constituency)
http://en.wikipedia.org...(UK_Parliament_constituency)
http://en.wikipedia.org...(UK_Parliament_constituency)
http://en.wikipedia.org...(UK_Parliament_constituency)
2 - Douglas Amy,Behind the Ballot Box: A Citizen's Guide to Voting Systems.
3 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
4 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
imabench

Con

Geography in Politics
"However, the real problem is that they (The Liberal Dems) come second in a lot of constituencies"
Ok but it shows that Geography is still the issue because almost throughout the country there are more people supporting another party then them.

"This means that almost 16,000 voters for the Lib Dem party are not represented. Add in Labour's unrepresented 7,000 and UKIP's 2,100 and you have around 25,000 voters not being fairly represented, contrasting the 16,000 who are: a blatantly unrepresentative, undemocratic system"

Well what would be the alternative? The Liberal dems had barely less votes and if they got the seat then it would be 16,000 Conservatives and 7,000 labour party supporters and a couple others and in the end you have even LESS democracy then before.

"If STV was in place, a version of PR, then multi-member consituencies would come to exist, and drastically reduce the number of wasted votes"
STV = Single Transferable Vote, is a system where voters dont just vote for ONE candidate, they vote for EVERY candidate in order of preference. It is a form of Proportional representation

The problems with this system is that it makes it significantly harder to count votes, not everyone has a ranking order of candidates where they support 1 candidate and despise all the others, it could force people to end up supporting people they despise, and it allows voters to use their votes to gang up on candidates they hate unfairly.

Lets take a Ron Paul fan who hates Romney (I can name a few on this site alone), he loves Ron Paul and hates Romney, so he votes for Paul, then Gingrich, then Santorum, then Romney. But the election comes around and Ron Paul is the first to go, so now that same vote goes to Gingrich. Gingrich though has to drop out too, so now that same vote goes to Santorum. What just happened was that one single person cast three votes against a single candidate, and its somehow legal.....

STV allows 1 person to vote 2, 3, 4, or even 5 or more times depending on the number of candidates on the ticket... If you look at the Ames Iowa Straw Poll there were 10 candidates on the ballot
http://en.wikipedia.org...
If the Ames Iowa Straw Poll was to determine a winner than it would be possible for one person to vote possibly 9 times while others are limited only to one.

Point is, STV gives a hell of a lot more voting power to people who dont support a leading candidate then it does people who do support a leading candidate. Plurality systems are strictly 1 person = 1 vote which is perfectly fair.

"PR would solve the problem of the Lib Dems coming second by giving them seats as per the number of votes they get, even if they come second, to let them be fairly represented. To allow the voter to be represented by someone they voted for."
But the problem is the voters DIDNT VOTE FOR THEM, they voted for someone else and they won fair and square but now because other places saw the same thing that justifies having a candidate from the losing party represent a population of people who wanted somebody else in the first place? Thats not fair to the people who voted for the winning candidate and are still being represented by someone who got less votes.

" borders are constantly adjusted to keep the population of a constituency roughly similar to other areas."
Yes but that keeps the number of people equal, not the number of political affiliations equal.... It is possible to make it so that one area creates a roughly equal amount of political affiliations and then others with a TON of one affiliation which would cause misrepresentation. At this point geography becomes the issue again and not Plurality systems.

"Only 9 out of the 650 constituencies are outside the range of 60,000 to 90,000 seats. "
The problem with geography though is that in Proportional Representation votes can carry over to other districts if the goal is to have a house that reflects the voting proportions of the populations.

2 districts have 75,000 seats
In 1 district Liberals get 60,000 of them, Tories get 14,000, Labor gets 1,000
In the other district the Tories get 26,000, Liberals get 25,000, Labor gets 24,000

Liberals = 1 seat = 84,000
Tories = 1 seat = 40,000
Labor = 0 seats = 25,000

The point is even in districts of equal populations the geography of the political affiliations of those people could be vastly different and result in misrepresentation, even though the districts have close to equal populations.

Geography affects both the plurality system and STV when the goal is proportional representation because proportional representation results in candidates representing districts who wanted someone else, whereas plurality systems chose people with the majority fo votes to represent districts at the expense of proportional representation.

Before moving to new arguments, I want to point out arguments conceded:
STV allows the vote value of each seat to become more balanced, and the plurality system unfairly unbalances them.
Even though I argued in round 2 how STV allows candidates to be elected even though a population prefers someone else

STV allows one to vote for a candidate inside one's party, and is therefore preferable in a Parliamentary system.
Even though you can vote for the candidate inside one's party in ANY voting system

STV allows other parties and ideas to access the political stage with more ease, and allows other parties to form.

Even though in plurality systems independents are allowed to run and get votes and form as long as they can get support from voters just like in STV

STV makes tactical voting unnecessary

By allowing people to be able to vote more times than others for the sake of proportional representation at the expense of one person getting only one vote....

Let me end on this, Proportional representation sacrifices equal say and election fairness for equality in an elected house comparable to the voting population, and thats it. Plurality systems allow districts to chose their leaders by preserving one man = one vote and protecting democracy at the expense of the political affiliations of the elected house being comparable to that of the population.
Debate Round No. 3
Stephen_Hawkins

Pro

I think my opponent's response comes down to a simple statement: "Well what would be the alternative?"

In regards to this, I wish to state the alternative: STV. In STV, constituencies become multi-seat constituencies. If I create a scenario:

Conservative votes: 30,000
Lib Dem : 25,000
Labour : 20,000
Other: 500

In Plurality systems, the conservatives would get 1 seat, and therefore have only 40% of the population represented by the party they voted for. In contrast, in STV the conservatives would get 2 seats, labour would get 1 seat, and Lib Dems would get 1 seat.

The Iowa Straw Poll

The Iowa Straw Poll supports and not criticises the idea of STV. Firstly, let me remind the listeners that in STV, you do not have to vote for 10 candidates if numbered, so if there are candidates you hate equally, you don't have to vote for either of them. STV doesn't take away the right to not vote, it grants you the right to keep voting. Further, if one votes Paul, Gringich, Santorum then Romney, you're actually giving more votes to Romney than if you just didn't vote. My opponent says that what happened is that 3 votes were cast against a single candidate, but in truth what happened is compromise. Let's say that the voting was like this:

vote 1: (Mark)
vote 2: (Mark)
vote 3: (Mark)
vote 4: (Paul)
vote 5: (Paul)
vote 6: (Paul)
vote 7: (Paul)
vote 8: (Luke)
vote 9: (Luke)
vote 10: (Dan) vote 11: (Harry)
vote 12: (Matt)

Paul is an extreme socialist, and Mark is an extremely libertarian conservative. Luke is a centralist.

In this form, Paul would be elected, even though he barely achieved a third of the votes. However, let's then suppose that all of the fringe votes (for Matt, Dan and Harry)'s second was Luke. Say he's the 'compromiser' who neither group loathes, but neither group's favourite. If there were 3 seats up for grabs, then Mark would get a seat, Paul would get a seat, and Luke would get a seat, which would mean that no-one's vote is wasted. In plurality system, Paul would get elected, and the other 2/3rd, who are the majority, would not get represented. This shows clearly how STV is more democratic than plurality. In plurality, however, the tactical voting would instead mean that Luke, who is very popular still, does not get represented.

My opponent says STV "gives...a lot more voting power to people who don't support a leading candidate". I'd say plurality doesn't give voting power at all to minority groups. After all, look at the American voting seats: all republican or democrats. It's nearly impossible for a minority party to get into a position of power.

My opponent goes on and says "they won fair and square". I agree, in plurality, someone always wins. Is this fair though? Is it fair that, in a democracy, the minority rule, not the majority? I contend that it isn't fair, but is in fact unfair. My opponent says it isn't fair on the winning candidate, but I do not see why: the winning candidate gets his seat, the same as in plurality. The only difference is, the other parties get another seat as well. It's not the second best candidate instead of the best, it's the second most votes and the most votes. It's allowing the majority of people to be represented.

Referring to the picked up arguments

independents
are unfairly discriminated against, as major parties can easily dominate them, and force them out of the running. Examples of this is simply by looking at how many seats independents get. And what's the point of voting for an independent when there's only two major parties, the natural state of a plurality system? People vote Conservative because they don't want Labour in power. Lib Dems aren't popular for their ideology: they're popular purely because people don't like the two major parties. Minority parties are disriminated against in the plurality system, and not given fair representation.

Candidates are elected in America, if I remember correctly and forgive me if I am wrong, through the delegates, not the general populace. If people are voted in by the general populace, through open list either way, which is commonly seen as being a form of proportional representation, hence affirming the resolution.

Tactical Voting has been addressed in this round, so I accept that this has been picked up.

To conclude, Proportional Representation is more democratic. It allows minority views to be represented, while stopping minority views from dominating the entire political landscape. It stops events such as gerrymandering, tactical voting, and other undemocratic tactics, and finally it allows democracy to be done. Plurality voting is something which we need to notice has too many flaws to be in place. Let's follow the route of France, Spain, Germany, Italy, and dozens of other democratic countries by making our democracy PR: By making our democracy democratic. For these reasons, I sincerely urge a vote PRO.
imabench

Con

"I think my opponent's response comes down to a simple statement: "Well what would be the alternative?""
Damn, I must have messed something up I was aiming for "Plurality systems equate to one man=one vote"

"In Plurality systems, the conservatives would get 1 seat, and therefore have only 40% of the population represented by the party they voted for. In contrast, in STV the conservatives would get 2 seats, labour would get 1 seat, and Lib Dems would get 1 seat."
So now we have 4 people running 1 position? You cant have 4 mayors or 4 congressmen to a single district who all disagree ideologically because the whole point of the election is to pick one person to represent a place and picking 4 people who all disagree on how to handle a situation would cause chaos over minor issues. Nothing would get done

"STV doesn't take away the right to not vote, it grants you the right to keep voting."
Yea, it allows some people to vote more than others...

"If there were 3 seats up for grabs, then Mark would get a seat, Paul would get a seat, and Luke would get a seat, which would mean that no-one's vote is wasted"
You cant just add seats to a position where an election was designed to fill just ONE spot though.

"look at the American voting seats: all republican or democrats. It's nearly impossible for a minority party to get into a position of power."
Well theres a good reason for that, and its because people identify more with Republicans, Democrats, or a moderate combination of the two ideologies more than independent parties do.... Plurality systems allow independent parties to run but if those independent parties are fringe groups who are poor at campaigning then the fault of why they didnt win lies in their strategy, not in the system of voting that still gave them the chance....

" someone always wins. Is this fair though? Is it fair that, in a democracy, the minority rule, not the majority?"
When it comes down to a SINGLE seat in an election where nobody has more than 50% of the vote, then yeah you just have to make due. You can pick the person who represents 40% of the vote, 30% of the vote, 20% of the vote, or 10% of the vote.... The democratic thing to do when there is only ONE seat to fill is to pick the person who represents the population the best compared to everyone else, that would be the person who gets the most votes, who would be the one with 40%, because anyone else would be representing even LESS of the population, and THAT is rule by the minority.

"independents are unfairly discriminated against, as major parties can easily dominate them, and force them out of the running. Examples of this is simply by looking at how many seats independents get."
Have you seen the independent parties in the US alone? You have the Democratic Socialist party, the Communist party, the Nazi Party, etc who from the get-go dont appeal to a lot of people to begin with. Then you have Libertarians and their kind who do appeal to people but cannot get the funding or strategy to actually win. Its not a matter of they CANT win, its that they simply dont know HOW to win.

"Lib Dems aren't popular for their ideology: they're popular purely because people don't like the two major parties."
1) Well that sort of explains why they dont have much support
2) Being popular is one thing but if you cant organize and campaign effectively to win the election then blame the party not the system.

"Minority parties are disriminated against in the plurality system, and not given fair representation."
Minority parties arent kept off the ballot because the other major parties bribed or fixed the election. Minority parties dont lose elections because allegedly the system is designed against them. Minority parties lose debates because
A) They dont appeal well to people as well as the main parties
B) They fail to campaign or fund raise properly
C) They do not have a clear cut Ideology that is unique and not comparable to any of the other two parties

"Candidates are elected in America, if I remember correctly and forgive me if I am wrong, through the delegates, not the general populace"
People do vote for the candidates, the delegate system is simply a tool to measure who is winning and by how much...

There are only two scenarios where Proportional Representation can be implemented, and each has a bad downside.
- 1 - Make it so that the composition of the Elected representatives are identical to the support each party has vote wise. Downside = Due to geography certain places would be forced to be represented by representatives a majority of the population does not want

- 2 - Make it so that all candidates running who get enough votes ALL GET ELECTED and all of them now represent a number of people in an election designed to pick ONE person. Downside = By adding seats to have votes not get wasted you are packing the elected government with so many people that 3 or 4 people now represent a single group of people, all of those elected differ ideologically and clash over how to handle any issue.

Plurality systems determines a winner to an election where more than 2 major candidates are running based on who gets the most votes. Downside = If the voting is close enough then it is possible that a candidate could win the election even though he has possibly barely under 50% of the vote.

So for the final time:
Proportional Representation in a fixed number of seats: A candidate could be chosen to represent a district that supported a different candidate who recieved more votes than that person

Proportional Representation in a non-fixed number of seats: Elections name multiple candidates winners to hold what was originally ONE position and now there are multiple people who differ ideologically on many issues holding the same position and would struggle to get anything done

Plurality systems: One man gets one vote and in elections where multiple people are running a single winner is elected each time who represents the population the best, not by the majority, but by the best compared to the other candidates

Plurality systems are better because the thing about Plurality systems is that they are democratic most of the time.
If someone gets 51% of the vote, another gets 25% and the third gets 24%, then thats considered Democratic, fair, and just......
However if someone gets 49% of the vote, another gets 26%, and the last one gets 25%, then suddenly according to the Pro Plurality systems becomes a system that discriminates against independent third parties and isnt democracy at all because the majority of the population isnt represented....

Plurality systems are the best, they fairly determine who wins an election based on how many votes they get from a popualion of people who each only get to vote one time and one time only.

I thank the Pro for a wonderful and splendiferous debae, and I thank the voters for reading :D
Debate Round No. 4
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Man-is-good 4 years ago
Man-is-good
Changed vote on sources. Pro not only had the assistance of multiple sources but graphs and other pictorial representations to boot, in contrast to Con's meager points.
Posted by Man-is-good 4 years ago
Man-is-good
Okay, we can do that as well.
Posted by imabench 4 years ago
imabench
just ask her to clarify her RFD im sure she isnt trying to votebomb this
Posted by Man-is-good 4 years ago
Man-is-good
I suggest someone counter Scarlet's vote...
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
Preferential Voting is EVIL. EVIIILLLL

And regarding the STV, I wasn't contending with you on that; on second reading, it is definitely something which I should have addressed. Thanks for that piece of advice.
Posted by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
Okay, you say BoP is shared. I'm still going to give the edge to the status quo. In other words, "it's what we've been doing so every knows how it works" has a small weight in it's favor even if you two agree it should not.

In the US, it's usually called "the Australian ballot" or "preferential voting." I've never heard STV. The rule is to spell out and explain anything that isn't a standard dictionary word used in the standard sense. If you don't do that, you cannot complain if people do not read or vote on your debate. That's okay is it's what you intend. Two specialists can debate a topic without expecting anyone else to follow it. It's only if you want a general readership, which I took to be the case here.
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
"The BoP is shared" first paragraph.
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
Sorry: STV is a common abbreviation in any politics discussion I've ever had, and I've got used to people knowing what I meant when it was used. Regarding BoP, though, it was stated in the first round explicitly "burden of proof is shared".
Posted by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
The lack of definitions was inexcusable and made this a poor debate. "STV" was not even spelled out, let alone explained. The two debaters were not trying to convince readers, but were only talking to each other. Put the lack of clarity together with references to both British and American politics that few people will readily comprehend, and you have the makings of a debate that few readers will wade through. Nonetheless, it was a well-argued debate with lots of thought.

The big problem with STV is getting voters to understand it. San Francisco implemented the system locally and is now talking about repeal because of the confusion. I gather places that have used it for a long time (e.g. Australia) have passed beyond that problem. The issue didn't come up in the debate, so it didn't count.

The American presidential system elects delegates rather direct votes for candidates. Most states require by law that delegates vote for their associated candidate on the first round of delegate voting. If no candidate gets a majority of delegates, voting goes to a second round and delegates are then released so they can vote for other candidates. If I recall correctly, Warren Harding (c. 1920) was elected as a compromise candidate the last time it went beyond the first ballot. It goes until there is a majority. This was not an issue in the debate, but it is interesting as a compromise system.

I thought the debate was close. Pro had the burden of proof, and for me that was decisive. The arguments were not strong enough to affirm the resolution.
Posted by Man-is-good 4 years ago
Man-is-good
I am also giving Pro a point for spelling and grammar considering Pro's better organization at times during this debate though.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
Stephen_HawkinsimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:20 
Reasons for voting decision: Arguments too good on both sides. The reason I give sources as he actually had them, con only had one wikipedia link. Pro had more sources as well as better ones.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 4 years ago
Man-is-good
Stephen_HawkinsimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:43 
Reasons for voting decision: Hmmm....It is interesting to see that Pro made a number of points: that plurality systems do not represent a pure form of democracy due to a) tactical voting, gerrymanding, and other issues b) unfair representation of minor parties and so forth. As Con showed, to a certain extent, there were a number of flaws: an assumption of a purely democratic model (Con's point that the poor performance of minor parties in garnering votes is legimitate
Vote Placed by ScarletGhost4396 4 years ago
ScarletGhost4396
Stephen_HawkinsimabenchTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The rebuttals of the PRO just seemed better, and he had more abundant sources.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
Stephen_HawkinsimabenchTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The challenge expands the abbreviations but does not define any of the key terminology on voting systems. Later Pro fails to define STV. This makes the debate painful to decipher. Pro loses S&G. Knowledge of British politics is assumed, and I didn't know it well enough. The American system was not described quite right, but close. Arguments were close, with good points on both sides. Con is helped by Pro having the burden of proof. Arguments to Con.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 4 years ago
1dustpelt
Stephen_HawkinsimabenchTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I just felt like it.