The Instigator
AnimeFanTony
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
untitled_entity
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

ToC:Resolved in a democratic society felons ought to retain the right to vote.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/17/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,764 times Debate No: 9234
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)

 

AnimeFanTony

Pro

I look for ward to this debate and hope my opponent does too.

Value: Democratic society
Value Criterion: Maximizing political participation

Definitions:
Democracy:government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system
Felon:a person who has committed a felony
Ought:used to express duty or moral obligation

Contention 1: A democratic society can not be legitimate if the people in it are not voting. This is because the definition of democracy dictates that we let every competent adult vote. If we bar felons from voting then we are not truly a democracy.

Contention 2: Furthermore if we continue to disenfranchise felons then not only are we undemocratic but we are also racist. This is because in America the majority of felons tend to be minorities. In fact according to the Department of Justice for every 15,000 felons sentenced to prison 450 were white 1,356 were Hispanic and 3,188 were black. Therefore as one can clearly see felon disenfranchisement excludes a whole class of people from the voting process. As stated in my previous statistic the two major minorities that make up the majorities of felons in America are blacks and Hispanics. Due to this the voices of these two groups of people is not generally heard. So if one were to vote neg. this could in effect lead to the genocide of minorities as their voice would be stifled in the government. This proves that supporting felon disenfranchisement supports racism.

Contention 3: Not only does felon disenfranchisement supports racism but it can change the result of important elections. Blacks and Hispanics generally vote Democratic. As these minorities make up the majorities of felons felon disenfranchisement favors the white dominated Republican party and skews the results of elections. An example of this would be my state of Florida in the 2004 election. If felons had been allowed to vote there is no way that George Bush would have won the presidency. Though Gore had the popular vote Bush had more electoral votes which enabled him to win. However if felons had been allowed to vote Gore would have had not only the popular vote but the electoral votes necessary to win.

Contention 4: Additionally felon disenfranchisement is not truly a punishment. Disallowing felons from voting does nothing correct their behavior or to prevent them from committing a crime again. If anything it further separates them from society. This is injustice for if a man committed a felony in his late teens and is kept from voting from every election each time a new political figure come to power he will have to remember the mistake he made as a teen. He may be a reformed and upstanding member of society yet he will still be unable to vote. For these reason I support the affirmative of this resolution.
untitled_entity

Con

I look forward to this first round of the ToC, and thank AFT for instigating this debate, I look forward to a great debate.

I will post my argument and then rebut my opponent's contentions in subsequent rounds.
I will also provide a few definitions for this round.

* Democratic - representing or appealing to or adapted for the benefit of the people at large [1]
* Society - an extended social group having a distinctive cultural and economic organization [2]
* Felon(s) - A serious criminal offense, which, under federal law, is punishable by death or imprisonment for a term exceeding one year. [3]
* Ought - used to express obligation. [4]
* Retain - to keep in possession or use. [5]

Hence a democratic society would be a group of people or culture sharing a representative or other directly - elected government.

Observations: Felons in this sense can and will represent both incarcerated and ex - felons. The burden of proof rests with PRO to prove that it is acceptable and morally correct to allow both the privilege to vote.

Value : Societal welfare - The well being of a society in matters of health, safety, order, and economics. However this debate will mostly focus on safety and order. It has been noted that the value of a democratic society hinges on whether or not the constituents are safe. When there is disorder and lack of safety the value of democracy is depleted.
Value Criterion : Utilitarian punishment - A punishment that serves to benefit the most amount of people after its implementation.

Contention 1 : Right vs. Privilege
-- In today's society it seems as though the line between rights and privileges have been significantly blurred. It is a privilege, not a right to vote and felons ought to recognize this. A 'right' is something that is generally inherent - 'right' to life, 'right' to die, etc., however, when a person is born, they are not guaranteed a right to vote. For example, children and the mentally unstable are not permitted to vote. If we allow felons who often times commit egregious crimes to vote we might as well let well - read 4th graders do the same. Voting is a privilege that is earned. This privilege is earned when one reaches the age of 18 and is responsible and competent enough to make a good decision. Felons lack in this maturity and responsibility, and therefore should not be granted the privilege to vote.

Contention 2 : Rational thought process
-- Felons have blurred the line between right and wrong and in the process have stripped other citizens of life, liberty and other unalienable rights. This is heinously unfair and should not be tolerated. When we cannot trust felons to function as average/contributing members of society then they cannot be trusted to make decisions that concern the well - being of others. Felons have shown that they do not follow through with rational decisions and cannot be trusted to differentiate between right and wrong. As a result, there is no guarantee that they will make the right decisions when it comes to voting and on other issues.

Contention 3 : Disenfranchisement is a utilitarian punishment
-- By not allowing felons or ex - felons to vote, we are providing a punishment that benefits the most amount of people. Seeing as felons do not make up a vast majority, restricting their privilege to vote promotes the societal welfare of other citizens.

When felons decide to tear apart the social and moral fabric and infringe on societal welfare of other citizens they should be expected to lose privileges. By denying incarcerated felons as well as ex - felons the privilege to vote we are ensuring that the voting base can make rational, well - thought out decisions. Not ideas actuated through impulse.
Debate Round No. 1
AnimeFanTony

Pro

AnimeFanTony forfeited this round.
untitled_entity

Con

Forfeit noted. I will now rebut my opponent's contentions.

"Contention 1: A democratic society...."
A democratic society can also not be legitimate if the people's rights are not protected. Among these rights are the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If one man is to strip another of these rights he too should be punished for his actions and have some of his privileges and rights inhibited.

"Contention 2: Furthermore if we continue..."
Unfortunately, it is not the fault of the government that more minorities are criminals than whites. Supporting felon disenfranchisement, in no way supports racism. You're comparing apples and oranges. If a felon is disenfranchised, they are disenfranchised color - blind. Whether they are Asian, White, Hispanic or Purple does not matter, if a felony is committed, all felons should be punished in the same manner - because if they weren't that would be undemocratic as well. The point about the voices of the two minority groups being stifled is a baseless conjecture, Barack Obama is president. Despite what can be assumed about there being a smaller voting base many hispanic - Americans don't vote due to lack of citizenship.

"Contention 4" - Basically continuation of Punishment
restate his sentences

"This is injustice for if a man committed a felony in his late teens and is kept from voting from every election each time a new political figure come to power he will have to remember the mistake he made as a teen." Actually, that is justice. It's like telling a toddler to sit in the corner and think about what he did;it forces them to pay for their mistakes for the rest of their life. People don't change, and a felony is serious. No matter how good a felon's life is
after prison, a felony is serious and they should have to live with a "dumb" or regrettable decision for the rest of their life. By not having a say in the way the country is run, they are reminded of their faulty reasoning. They proved by committing a felony that they don't deserve a say seeing as they are incapable of deciphering between right and wrong.

Reinforcement of my points:
-- Due to the fact that voting is a privilege and not a right, felons should be stripped of this privileges due to their poor decisions and unreasonable actions.

--Felons have proved that they are not entirely capable of making a rational decision and therefore could harm the will of the people.

Felons have destroyed the social fabric and infringed upon another man's rights. They should be severely punished for doing so and if disenfranchisement is a beneficial and workable policy then it should continue in existence. Furthermore, due to the fact that my opponent has not clarified if he is advocating for the suffrage of incarcerated felons, ex - felons/paroled felons one can assume that he is advocating for the voting privileges for all of the above.

It is unfortunate that AnimeFanTony forfeited in the previous round. I look forward to the next round and further rebutting my opponent's points.
Debate Round No. 2
AnimeFanTony

Pro

AnimeFanTony forfeited this round.
untitled_entity

Con

Wow.I was looking forward to a great debate. I don't feel as though I need to post another argument here, I summed up my points and they were not refuted. Due to the fact that my arguments stand on their own I have negated the resolution and hope that you VOTE CON.

Thank - you.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by untitled_entity 8 years ago
untitled_entity
RFD:
B/A: CON
Conduct : CON. Pro forfeited the entire debate except for the opening round.
Spelling and Grammar : TIE. No egregious errors on either part.
Convincing Arguments : CON. I showed that felons should not be able to retain the right to vote and refuted my opponent's arguments. My arguments were never refuted.
Sources : TIE. PRO provided statistics without citation and I provided definitions and forgot to include the links.
Posted by untitled_entity 8 years ago
untitled_entity
Uh...do you want to reword that res. with ought?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by philosphical 7 years ago
philosphical
AnimeFanTonyuntitled_entityTied
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Vote Placed by simpleton 7 years ago
simpleton
AnimeFanTonyuntitled_entityTied
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Vote Placed by untitled_entity 7 years ago
untitled_entity
AnimeFanTonyuntitled_entityTied
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