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Voters should have to pass a test before voting.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/13/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 675 times Debate No: 54584
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
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Voters should have to pass a test before voting.

The premise of this debate is that, prior to voting on any political matter, members of the public should have to pass a basic test to ensure that they have a proper understanding of the issues on which they are to vote.

In this debate, I will be for this motion (Pro) and my opponant will be against (Con).

Format of debate:

Round 1:
Pro to set out rules and format of debate, Con to accept debate and agree to rules and format.

Round 2:
Pro and Con to make their cases for and against the motion.

Round 3:
Rebuttals against each argument made in round 2.

Round 4:
Brief addressing of rebuttals and opponants overall argument, and closing statements.


In the event that either debator forfeits a round, that debator will lose the debate at that point. Voters should then vote for the opposite debator.

Thank you, and I look forward to an interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 1


This topic has been of particular interest to a lot of people at the moment, due in part to the upcoming vote on Scottish independence. However, it is also a subject which can generally be applied to a political vote of any type.

To take the independence vote as a simple example, for the purpose of this debate (as it is a simple yes / no vote as opposed to deciding on a vote for a particular political candidate or party), my proposal is that not everyone who meets the current voting eligibility criteria is, in fact, qualified to vote.


Firstly, let's look at age eligibility. This catagory speaks for itself in that it is rather foolish to believe that simply because someone has reached the legal voting age, that they will automatically have the correct information required to properly decide on their voting choice. It is also highly unlikely particularly in the case of young / new voters, that the person will have the proper life experience and perspective to be able to digest political information and correctly assess it in relation to any potential effect on their life which casting a vote in any particular way may cause. Now, this may be discounted if it wasn't for the fact that their vote effects not only themselves, but the public at large. Although it is true that due to the current 'age of the internet', and social media use, many young people (and people in general) are now more politically active and aware than they may have been in the past, there is still no safegaurd to ensure that voters of any age are in possession of the correct information and facts required to cast an informed vote, leaving the informed public at risk of being left with a system which has been voted in on their behalf but which may not be the system which is best for them.

Residency Status

The same objections can be applied here as can be applied to the age criteria. Simply, it is not enough to assume that because someone is a citizen eligible to vote in any particular country or region, that they will automatically be in possession of the full and correct information required in order to vote favourably for their country or community.

Prejudice / Bigotry

As we are I'm sure all aware, many party political campaigners, when an election is upcoming, will canvass the public with propaganda material, intended to sway the public to vote for their particular party. This material often 'plays on' well known fears or prejudices which some members of the public are known to hold. Here are a few examples of such material from past / recent political campaigns:

Although this is from a blog, the content to pay attention to is the picture of a racist poster produced by the UK Conservative party in 1964, in which they encourage voters to vote for them if they do not wish to have black people as neighbours-

A more recent example of such bigotry can be shown here, this is a poster produced by UKIP (UK Independence Party) who are openly known in the UK to be very racist. This link shows a poster which was recently distributed by UKIP in which they use prejudice and misinformation to convince the public that immigrants are coming to steal their jobs. It is also worth noting in this article that a former member of UKIP speaks of how he left the party due to their overt racism -

I believe that this shows the ways in which members of the public may end up casting a vote merely on the basis of misguided fear, misinformed bigotry, or simply because they may be racist. This is encouraged by particular parties, however I argue here that if the public had to prove that they were informed on the real issues (e.g. the economy, employment and so on) that perhaps this would convince a greater number of 'bigot voters' to vote according to the real issues and for the party which would bring about the best change for the public. It would also hopefully reduce the number of people who believed such bigoted scare tactics, once they were properly informed.

Inaccurate campaign information:

For this section, I would like to return to the orginal example of the upcoming vote on Scottish independence.
This vote should be a simple issue, it is a simple yes or no vote, as opposed to the public being asked to choose between many different political parties or candidates.
However, although there are now only a matter of a few months left until this vote takes place, much of the Scottish public remains undecided.
Of those who have decided which way they intend to vote on this issue, the majority can be said to be ill informed.
This is due to much of the information which has been distributed to the public via popular media being inaccurate on even downright false. This has been shown to be particularly true in the case of the NO campaign, also known as the Better Together campaign. The NO campaign has also attempted to further their particular claim by employing various celebrities to speak on their behalf. This may have the effect of leading members of the public who are fans of said celebrities to trust these politicians and assume that the information distributed must be factually accurate when in fact much of it is not.
It is my contention that again, a simple test prior to voting would encourage the general public to demand greater qauntity and quality of real, factual and correct information priot to voting, and would also ensure that the campaign is being fought based on the real issues and not simply on the basis of propaganda.

Here are some examples which prove that inaccurate information has been spread during the independence campaign:

I would write more to support my argument, but I am unable to at the moment, so I will leave you with these basics on the issue for now.

It is my contention that due to these and many other reasons, it would be beneficial to everyone if all voters had to pass a simple test on some basic facts before being allowed to cast a vote.

Thank you and I look forward to the rest of this debate.



apieceobacon forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Con has forfeited the last round. As such I cannot write a rebuttal here.

As Con's last round was forfeit, I stand by my case made in the previous round.

Please vote Pro.

Thank you


apieceobacon forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


The_Gatherer forfeited this round.


apieceobacon forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by AKiwi 3 years ago
Hello The_Gatherer. I would like to debate you on this same topic after this debate is over. I'm only sixteen and I am currently not eligible to vote. I disagree with the idea that any testing should be done to decide a persons eligibility to vote, but I would like to learn more about why you think this should be done and weather you think that everyone should be able to take this eligibility test, no matter their age. If they pass, then they are obviously informed enough to vote independent of their age. I would also like to hear more about what people would be tested on specifically and weather this would have any impact on the demographics that are choosing to vote, i.e. would some demographics be un fairly represented in voting. Anyway, I'm not totally opposed to your idea but I would like to debate you on it, mainly out of interest.
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