The Instigator
yeeunk
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
NorthDebater
Pro (for)
Winning
2 Points

resolved: in democracy voting ought to be compulsory

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
NorthDebater
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/5/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,398 times Debate No: 38526
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)

 

yeeunk

Con

Benjamin Franklin, the United States" first ambassador to France and signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution once said, "Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of nature." Our right to choose our leaders is not an obligation, but a freedom we enjoy as citizens of this country. It is for that reason that I will be negating this year"s resolution.
Democracy " "a form of government in which people choose leaders by voting" " Merriam Webster Online Dictionary
Compulsory " "Obligatory, or required" " Merriam Webster Online Dictionary
My value, or weighing mechanism for this round, will be that of Freedom of Expression. This is defined by the Collins English Dictionary as, "the unrestrained right to voice ideas and opinions."
Contention 1: Freedom of Expression is critical to Democracy
Freedom of Expression is critical in a democracy because it ensures that the people have the ability to speak freely and without consequence from government. George Washington once said, "If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."
Many countries limit the freedom of expression, which ultimately hurts the democratic process as a whole. My example for this is Iran, a country where individuals are not allowed to speak out against their leadership. Accordingly, many ballots were fraudulent in the 2009 and 2010 elections, and the people of Iran rioted because they felt their voice was not heard.
Another application proving this point is that of the deterioration of Soviet democracy. Even though Soviet democracy was very-closely based on Athenian direct democracy, the people"s inability to speak freely directly limited their ability to influence their government. Because of this lack of exposure, the Soviet Union became very corrupt and ineffective, eventually spiraling into economic ruin.
Contention 2: Compulsory vote harms Freedom of Expression
Voting is effectively an act of expression, since an individual uses their vote to tell the government who they want to elect as their leader. There are three reasons why compulsory voting hurts freedom of expression.
1) There is no actual difference in outcome. Thus, there is no government interest in compulsion. In a 1999 study by Highton and Wolfinger at the University of California, Berkeley, the survey data from the experiment showed that there would be no tangible change from compulsory voting. Even though non-voters trend towards specific interests, these interests are already being accounted for by special-interest groups and lobbying organizations.
2) Compulsion rewards political incompetency. Instead of freely expressing the desire to not vote, voters will be forced to vote for a "least bad" candidate. According to Professor Jason Brennan at Georgetown University on November 7, 2011, "If we really want to help America, we shouldn"t force citizens to vote. We should encourage citizens to vote well or not vote at all."
3) Voting is against many people"s religions. Specifically, Jehovah"s Witnesses, the Amish, The Worldwide Church, and many Anabaptists are prohibited by their religions from voting. To force these groups to vote not only hurts their choice not to vote, but their freedom of religion as well.
NorthDebater

Pro

Bill Clinton once said "A great democracy does not make it harder to vote, than to buy an assault weapon" In some countries, unfortunately, this is true. By making voting compulsory, you are making voting more accessible to the people. The young, and the minorities are unrepresented, which makes an invalid democracy. This is why I stand in firm affirmation in today"s resolution. Resolved "In a democracy, voting ought to be compulsory".
I will now be defining key terms in the resolution:
Democracy: Government of the people, by the people, for the people.
Voting: A formal expression of preference for a candidate for office or for a proposed resolution of an issue.
Ought: Used to indicate obligation or duty.
In today"s debate I will be valuing democracy. I will be defining democracy as the following: Government of the people, by the people, for the people.
As Abraham Lincoln stated, a democracy should be by the people, for the people. Is it really "of the people" if only just a little more than half of the people actually vote? Is it then by the people? The answer is no, because they do not vote, therefore they don"t even have a say in their government. There are a lot of reasons for this, such as: people don"t have a chance to vote, therefore they don"t want to spend their time voting, young people think voting isn"t important and so on. A democracy isn"t legitimate if it is not by the people.
My value criterion in today"s debate is consequentialism. It is defined as:
"The view that normative properties depend only on consequences. This general approach can be applied at different levels to different normative properties of different kinds of things, but the most prominent example is consequentialism about the moral rightness of acts, which holds that whether an act is morally right depends only on its consequences.
Contention 1: A negative outcome is empirically wrong
My opponent will be arguing that if we implemented compulsory voting, it will cause some sort of riot, or informal votes. Thirty-one nations from all over the globe have compulsory voting, and even in countries with individualist tendencies on part with the United States, voter turnout has increased and none of the horror stories have ever materialized. Compulsory voting laws change civic norms in spite of existing attitudes. And will there be informal votes? Yes there will, but keep in mind that informal votes are casted every year, and voting isn"t even obligatory. Informal votes are in fact, not a big problem. Really, this is a problem that will never be solved, informal votes happen, no matter what.
Contention 2: By making voting a civil duty, it makes it much more available.
Compulsory voting does place a duty on citizens, but states with compulsory voting typically reciprocate with institutional mechanisms reducing compliance costs. (Weekend voting, ease of registration, widespread use of absentee and postal ballots.) This means that the people who did not have an opportunity to vote, now do. Everybody has a right to vote, but everyone must have the right for the chance to vote.
Contention 3:
Jessica Rettig said that "A lot of people out there seem to be more interested in voting for an American Idol contestant than for a primary candidate". In Australia, the case that I know the best, these nonvoters who are being drafted into the political system were referred to pejoratively as "Donkey Voters" {Who vote for candidates based only on their order on the ballot}. But in fact, once they have to vote, they may work a little bit harder than they normally would have otherwise to know what is going on.
Not only the youth in a democracy will now be fairly represented, but they will be educated as well and will be more likely to become a part of a legitimate democracy. The only way that the people will truly be represented in a democracy today is by making voting a civil duty. That is the only way that our government will be of the people, by the people, and for the people. If voter turnout rate stays as it is today, it ruins the idea of democracy. Everybody has the right of an equal chance to vote, and that is exactly what we are doing here. For These reasons I strongly urge an affirmative vote.
Debate Round No. 1
yeeunk

Con

yeeunk forfeited this round.
NorthDebater

Pro

NorthDebater forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
yeeunk

Con

yeeunk forfeited this round.
NorthDebater

Pro

Forfiet, what a shame. I thought we would at least get a second round. Well, Goodluck Sir.(:
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by NorthDebater 3 years ago
NorthDebater
voting is open, vote away!(:
Posted by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
I am definitely going to want to vote on this debate...
Posted by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
I'd accept this debate too...
Posted by yeeunk 3 years ago
yeeunk
can you destroy me? i am really unexperienced debator so....
Posted by BennyW 3 years ago
BennyW
I saw this debate and was thinking you were pro and had already thought of ways to destroy you, so I guess I'm glad you're con.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
yeeunkNorthDebaterTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
yeeunkNorthDebaterTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Nigh-full forfeit. I didn't bother reading the cases in their entirety, since this debate didn't get far off the ground, so I'm not presently awarding argument points.