The Instigator
shadowsnf
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Flipz
Con (against)
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in a democracy voting ought to be compulsory

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/30/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,069 times Debate No: 39704
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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shadowsnf

Pro

Hello, I am here to state that compulsory voting SHOULD be compulsory. Please debate and give advise. Here is by affirmative constructive:

" One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by you inferiors." This is a famous quote from the philosopher, Plato. Because I agree with Plato, I support the resolution.

Please note that my value premise, democracy, is the most important value because democracy, in this case, is a duty of citizenship. According to the Harvard Law Review in 2007 called, " The Case for Compulsory Voting in the United States," in volume 121 page 591, " Individuals who live in a democracy benefit from the fact that the country they live in is democratic. Given the benefits, citizens have a duty to vote, which is an essential part of that democracy."
My value criterion is civic duty. Christine Pelosi, who is an American Democratic Party Political strategist, states that " voting is a civic sacrament-the highest responsibility we have as Americans."
Contention 1- Self- Responsibility.
A- Compulsory voting improves life and political decisions. Citizens will most likely pay attention to candidates and their speeches and make a more informed choice; according to Stephan Bauschard, who is from Harvard University.
B- Accurate vote results for polls. Since more people would vote based on watching the candidates speeches, there would be more accurate votes. If there wasn't compulsory voting, citizens would just guess which one is better and there would be inaccurate results.

Contention 2- Reduces the burden on citizens
A- Compulsory voting reduces access barriers to citizens. Voting is difficult because of work and long distances from a voting booth, and lack of transportation. The society will work to reduce barriers. The government knows that there are houses and families that are miles away from a barrier, but having barriers closer to most citizens is better than having the barriers far away from all of the citizens. For example, voting usually happens on weekends where countries have mandatory voting. Those who do not turn out due to access barriers are often minorities and poor individuals, Failure to account for these perspectives in politics undermines the legitimacy of democracy itself.
B- With mandatory voting, more opportunities will have to exist for citizens. Compulsory voting would create more opportunities for citizens to show responsibility, to truly express your opinion, and to have a more friendly environment of politics. Also, the voter isn't that pressured because voting is still by a secret ballot.
Conclusion- Without compulsory voting, we wouldn't be as civilized to participate in America It is our duty to vote; the government has done so much for Americans that it would be disgraceful if we didn't pay them back by voting. Also, gas would be spared because of the closer access barriers and we all know how much of a pain gas can be. Compulsory voting makes us whole.
Flipz

Con

Hello, Storm. I accept your challenge and look forward to a great debate. I will begin by offering my own arguments first and then move on to addressing your contentions later in my post. Compulsory voting should not be law in a democracy, especially certain democracies like the United States.

First, compulsory laws violate the spirit of a democracy, which cherishes freedom of expression. To act is to speak, and in the United States, we cherish freedom of speech because we believe that progress happens through multiple perspectives working vigorously for a common good. A prohibition on criticism inhibits our political goals. Compulsory voting would be problematic, especially in the United States, because a non-act (not voting), would also be protected under freedom of expression. Some religious practices too, which are protected in the United States, include non-voting, so ostensibly, compulsory voting laws inhibit freedom of religious expression as well.

Second, enforcement would be financially catastrophic. There are only a few countries in the world that have "enforceable" (Australia, Argentina, Brazil, etc.) voting laws, and few of these actually live up to the enforceability their laws claim. These countries, however, have much smaller population than the United States and still see voter turnouts well below 100%. In a country of over 300 million people, with far more rural living space than many other democracies, keeping track of who votes requires a whole new federal department, not to mention that individual states" frequent state and municipal elections would require smaller departments below the newly created federal one. This means thousands of new employees on the government bankroll at least, not to mention billions in funding when the United States" national debt has already surpassed $ 16 trillion.

Third, compulsory voting laws at best add no advantage to democracies and at worse, create bad policies. To prove that compulsory voting laws have actually strengthened the democracies in which they are current applied, you need to show a cause and effect relationship, specifically demonstrating that the voters who would not have voted normally without the laws have in fact positively changed policies. I will admit that this is a high burden to meet. At the very same time, you must also realize that the reason why many people don"t vote is because they simply are not interested. In the United States where capitalism and lax campaign finance laws have negatively impacted elections, you can bet that compulsory voting will result in bad policies, as people who remain mostly apathetic to politics are very easily influenced through the media, by the loudest, most virulent voices. We are already seeing this today as Tea Party extremists have been pushed by financiers and pundits to implement terrible ideas, like the government shutdown. Compulsory laws do nothing to change dedication to or interest in politics. The last thing we need are millions of impressionable, disinterested people herded to the polls to decide an election.

Now, regarding your offense,
First, your Contention 1- Self-Responsibility
A. Stefan Bauschard is a debate coach from Harvard, not a political scientist or sociologist, so I do not think he really qualified to be making predictions about how people would react to compulsory voting laws. Unless you post his reasoning, I cannot identify the fallacies.
B. I"m not really sure about the value of the "accurate poll" argument. Besides, research a little into the sub-science of polling, and you will realize that there are many mechanisms dedicated to accurate predictions and identifying the likely voters from unlikely voters. On realclearpolitics, for example, the polls can be identified by LV (likely voters), RV (registered voters), and A (anyone). LV, of course, produces the most accurate prediction while A is the least accurate.

Second, your Contention 2- Reduces the burden on citizens
A. You overestimate the burden and you don"t solve this problem: 1. No-excuse early voting is possible for most states. And, absentee voting is possible in all states if you are surely unable to make it to the polling station on Election Day. 2. Your plan doesn"t provide any kind of additional infrastructure to solve this problem. Simply making it illegal not to vote will not help those who have trouble voting already because of geographical location or disability; in this case, you are putting a greater burden on citizens because of the legal penalties.
B. I don"t call being forced to vote having more "opportunities," as it sounds like you are taking opportunities away. For clarification, see my offense above.
Debate Round No. 1
shadowsnf

Pro

shadowsnf forfeited this round.
Flipz

Con

Shadowsnf has forfeited. Please extend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
shadowsnf

Pro

shadowsnf forfeited this round.
Flipz

Con

shadowsnf has forfeited. Please extend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by WyattEarp19 3 years ago
WyattEarp19
This looks interesting...
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