The Instigator
Georgia
Con (against)
Losing
8 Points
The Contender
ArmedTortoise
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points

voting should be compulsary

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/7/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 9,703 times Debate No: 9978
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (18)
Votes (3)

 

Georgia

Con

I believe that voting should not be compulsary as it is not a civic duty but a civil right. Making voting compulsary can be seen to infringe basic rights of freedom of citizens ie many Jehovahs Witnesses believe they should not participate in political events forcing them to vote explicitly denies them their freedom of religious practice. Also there is random votes if people are made to vote and many people have no interest or knowledge of the candidates running.
ArmedTortoise

Pro

I thank my opponent for the opportunity to debate.

First, definitions;

Voting: 'a choice that is made by counting the number of people in favor of each alternative' [1]

Compulsory: 'Obligatory; required' [2]

My opponent's case, while superficially plausible, does not stand up to observation. The resolution, as stated, does not address the circumstances surrounding the 'voting'. I affirm, therefore, that voting should be made compulsory in the following circumstances;

1. Three people are on a boat, lost at sea. All three of them are about to die of starvation, but there is only enough food for two to survive until help comes. It is decided that the only way to survive is to vote on who should be sacrificed in order for two of them to survive. Clearly, in this case it should be compulsory for all of them to vote because if one person voted, he would just vote for somebody else, which is unfair because two people would have no say in whether they live or die, and if only two voted it would also be unfair and they would be likely to vote for one another, ending in a stalemate.

2. A madman breaks into a building full of innocent school children, as well as their carer, waving a gun. He threatens to kill them unless they all vote on whether his previous girlfriend should take him back or not. If they vote no, he will turn the gun on himself, if they vote yes, he will drop the gun, turn himself in and try and win her back. However, if they do not vote, he will turn his gun on all of them. Clearly, in this case the carer should force the children to vote, for their own sake.

As my opponent's arguments do not address either of my scenarios, I will leave it up her to show how I am mistaken in inferring we should make voting compulsory in both these cases.

[1] http://www.google.co.uk...
[2] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Georgia

Con

I thank you for accepting this debate.

Sorry, i did not specify beforehand my situation concerning politics and general elections.

As stated in the definition of voting - voting is a choice and no one should be forced to vote in general elections if they do not want to because in australia it is seen that many people either spoil there ballot paper or vote for a random party which is not the whole idea of this all. Also making voting compulsary is not a freedom of speech because with freedom of speech comes freedom not to speak therefore forcing someone to vote is not their own choice!

Voting should be made compulsary when life or death situation but how about politically? where many people do not hold an opinion and also others are not affected by it?

When elections come many people do not care and i believe they should have freedom to vote and freedom not to vote .
ArmedTortoise

Pro

I thank my opponent for her response.

'Sorry, i did not specify beforehand my situation concerning politics and general elections.'

It's nice that you apologise. However, creating a debate in which you posit an unreasonable position for your opponent to uphold, and then expecting them to attack it head on is just silly. Having said that, definitions can only be challenged in the first two rounds, so I'm afraid you're stuck with it :P.

'As stated in the definition of voting - voting is a choice'

My opponent misunderstands the definition. The definition does not state that voting is a choice, but that voting is a system designed to MAKE a choice. The definition has no bearing at all on whether voting is compulsory or not.

'Voting should be made compulsory when life or death situation'

Voters take note. My opponent has conceded the entire argument in my first round - namely that there are, indeed, situations in which voting should be made compulsory. As this point in my post, the situation stands like this;

1. In the two scenarios I have presented, we both agree voting should be made compulsory.
2. In the one scenario that my opponent presents, namely general elections, voting should not be made compulsory.

At this point, the argument stands 2-1 in my favour. However, I will now contest my opponent's case against compulsory voting for general elections.

From her first round;

*voting should not be compulsory as it is not a civic duty but a civil right*

A: Some civil rights ARE compulsory. Take, for instance, the Rights of the Accused [1]. In the situation a person is arrested, they cannot deny, for instance, the right to be Innocent Until Proven Guilty. That makes it compulsory.

*Making voting compulsory can be seen to infringe basic rights of freedom of citizens*

A: My opponent gives the example of Jehovah's Witnesses, claiming that do make them vote would violate their religious freedom. However, consider the implications of this. By this logic, we should not deny the right of radical Muslim's suicide bombing because it infringes their 'religious freedom'. Clearly, violating religious freedom is not enough to decide something.

*Also there is random votes if people are made to vote *

A: This is a possibility. However, it may also force more people who would otherwise have just ignored the issues to really consider their views and vote accordingly.

My opponent essentially repeats these arguments in her seconds round.

-- Argument in favour of compulsory voting in general elections --

If everyone were forced to vote, we would get a more accurate consensus over what the people of the country really want. At the moment, only the percentage of the population who feel it is their obligation to vote for their party, or who are very interested in the politics of the country vote. However, making voting compulsory would mean broader, more accurate results that really represent the whole country.

[1] http://www.criminal-law-lawyer-source.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Georgia

Con

Thank you for your response! Sorry about the confussion - i put it under politics but did not specify in the debate title! =/

Adding to my argument there is now the 'donkey vote' especially in Australia where voting is compulsary. It is done by normally voting the first few names and is normally around 1-2% of votes which could make a difference which gives certain advantages to parties which could find candidates winning due to there position on the ballot paper.

'making voting compulsory would mean broader, more accurate'
I totally disagree because of donkey votes and spoiling ballots making voting less accurate and therefore unfair and the totally opposite of what is actually wanted.

Also ,

1. It is a limit on freedom. The right to vote contains the right to not vote.

2. A higher voter turnout cannot be said to heighten the legitimacy of a government when the voters have been forced into giving their support. If the will of the voters to stay at home, it has a right to be reflected.

3. Making voting compulsary hides the problem rather than solving it. Allowing parliament to ignore important measures that would do something to get people to vote.

4. People forced to vote will vote against the people making them vote.

5, It would be unfair for minor - new parties and independents whos supporters are not so big as the established parties as incentives for votes for political parties will be removed .
ArmedTortoise

Pro

Thank you for your response.

First, I'd like to clear up a very, very stupid mistake I made in my last round- namely that people have no choice in the right to be innocent until proven guilty. Obviously, they can plea guilty. Note, however, that my opponent did not point this out, and has dropped my other rebuttals - even if they were terrible, they still stand.

Instead, I'd like to argue that voting is in fact a civil duty, not a civil right and as such should not be compulsory.

-- Arguments --

1. Countries that vote are, obviously, democracies. This means they are founded on the principle that they are run by the people, for the people. This entails certain responsibilities. It means that every citizen who can should take an active interest in the well being of the country and this entails, among other things, that they should vote.

2. By making everyone vote, we can select an individual (or individuals) who reflect the core values of the democracy in question. If only a proportion of the population does this, the country is less likely to get the candidate (Or candidates) that it actually wants.

-- Rebuttals --

*Thank you for your response! Sorry about the confussion - i put it under politics but did not specify in the debate title! =/*

Don't worry. My blatant misrepresentation of your argument has probably lost me the conduct point anyway. I didn't even know there were countries where voting is civil duty. Sorry for claiming you were putting me in an unreasonable position :/

*now the 'donkey vote' especially in Australia*

A: This is problem, but could be solved. For instance, by putting a 'no suitable candidate' box at the top. This would mean truly uninterested voters, or people who feel there is no candidate that represents them would not poison the results by voting for the candidate at the top of the list. Note this is not the same as not voting-by selecting that box, you are still making a statement about the candidates.

The next five arguments my opponent presents appear to have been copied piece meal, then altered subtly from the 'Arguments used against compulsory voting' article shown here- http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk... - just thought I should point that out. She should have at least referenced it.

*It is a limit on freedom. The right to vote contains the right to not vote*

However, I have already argued that it is a civil duty, not a right.

*A higher voter turnout cannot be said to heighten the legitimacy of a government when the voters have been forced into giving their support*

I'm not saying they should be forced into giving their support. As I said, there should be a 'no suitable candidate' box. Those who vote for the government will have done so legitimately.

*Making voting compulsory hides the problem rather than solving it*

Whatever measures the government takes, there will still be substantial portion of the population that does not vote.

* People forced to vote will vote against the people making them vote*

Even the site you got this from admits this isn't much of a problem- 'This isn't such a problem, however, as incumbency has enough advantages of its own'

*It would be unfair for minor - new parties and independents*

This is unfortunate. However, the fact remains that the end result would better reflect the thoughts of the country as a whole.

I await my opponent's response.
Debate Round No. 3
Georgia

Con

I thank my oponent for his quick response!

A few rebuttles first:

'by putting a 'no suitable candidate' box at the top'

It is proven that this does not work and many randomly select a cadidate ie - the first cadidate on the ballot therefore it is unfair and is not very democratic as it is forcing people to vote against their own will.

'Whatever measures the government takes, there will still be substantial portion of the population that does not vote.'

I agree so what is the point of making it compulsary if there are people going to spoil their ballot card? There is no point of making voting compulsary if there is no effect.

'This is unfortunate. However, the fact remains that the end result would better reflect the thoughts of the country as a whole.'

A rebuttle it is not that it offers a better result it is the fact that they are more established with more followers and have more faithful citizens voting and voting should be fair that is the whole point of a democracy.

Also "One of the devious reasons for making voting compulsory lies in the fact that a new reformed House of Lords may be elected by proportional representation."

http://en.wikipedia.org...
( sorry for not referencing before).

Awaiting your response.
ArmedTortoise

Pro

Thank you for your response.

My opponent has answered neither of my arguments in favour of compulsory voting. All she has done is answered *some* of my rebuttals to her arguments.

'It is proven that this does not work and many randomly select a candidate'

Huh? My opponent says it is proven, but then provides no proof! This statement should be discarded-my point stands.

'I agree so what is the point of making it compulsory if there are people going to spoil their ballot card?'

Why would people spoil their ballot if there is a 'no suitable candidate' box? Besides, even if it were the case that some people would refuse to vote in protest, I don't see why any majority of people would do so. The burden of proof is on you to show this.

'A rebuttle it is not that it offers a better result it is the fact that they are more established with more followers and have more faithful citizens voting and voting should be fair that is the whole point of a democracy'

The point of democracy is that elections best reflect the will of the people. If that is unfair to a few parties, then that's unfortunate, but a price worth paying.

'Also "One of the devious reasons for making voting compulsory lies in the fact that a new reformed House of Lords may be elected by proportional representation."'

For the record, my opponent copied her argument from here: http://www.facebook.com... -not the link she cited.

This is an ad-hominem attack- the motives of people campaigning to make voting compulsory have nothing to do with the merits of the proposition itself.

Since that is all my opponent has given me, I await her last round.
Debate Round No. 4
Georgia

Con

Thank you for your response,
'In the 2000 presidential election, 1.9 million Americans cast ballots that no one counted.'
This shows that many people are uninterested to vote! and therefore making it compulsary would have the numbers rise.
http://www.alternet.org...

Sorry for this mislink and thank you for correcting me.

You state in round 3 that every citizen that is entitled to vote should vote and go on and say that it is in the interest of the people
however I disagree as many people do not vote because governments say things and when they get into power they dont act and many of these bad pasts make it unrewarding to vote.

You go onto say that it reflects the core values of democracy
If people who want to vote vote it gives a bigger voice to people who care about democracy and governments what is the point of making voting compulsary when people have random votes. And this eliminates voters that have no interest or belief in the process and people who vote are serious about the government.

so vote for Voting to NOT be compulsary because we have a right to be heard and a right to not be heard when we choose!

Many thanks to my oponent for debating with me! it was a great pleasure.
Good Luck. =]
ArmedTortoise

Pro

First, I'd like to thank my opponent for the chance to debate - I learnt a lot of 'what not to dos' during the debate, and would like to thank her.

I would also like to remind any voters that voting should not just be taken on the specific topic of voting in general elections, or in political spheres, but in the more general topic of merely 'voting' as laid down in my first argument.

That said, I would like to conclude the debate by rebutting my opponents final argument;

'In the 2000 presidential election, 1.9 million Americans cast ballots that no one counted.'
This shows that many people are uninterested to vote! and therefore making it compulsory would have the numbers rise'

No. In fact, it shows nothing of the kind. If readers would be so kind as to actually read the link, the article is a piece on racism, implying that the reason Bush won the elections against Gore was because the vote counters conveniently 'lost' many black votes. Whether the article is accurate or not I have no idea, but it has nothing to do with 'uninterested voters' as my opponent seems to think.

'You state in round 3 that every citizen that is entitled to vote should vote and go on and say that it is in the interest of the people
however I disagree as many people do not vote because governments say things and when they get into power they dont act and many of these bad pasts make it unrewarding to vote'

Indeed. However, the point of democracy is that if parties consistently fail to live up to their promises, then the people will not vote for them next time round. Also, they can protest, complain, go on strike and even rebel. This is an argument on democracy in general - I don't see how it refutes any particular compulsory or non-compulsory aspect of it.

'You go onto say that it reflects the core values of democracy
If people who want to vote vote it gives a bigger voice to people who care about democracy and governments'

It would force a lot of people, who would otherwise not be bothered, to really think about who they would like to see leading them. It would renew interest in people who had, indeed, lost interest or faith in the democratic process.

'what is the point of making voting compulsory when people have random votes. And this eliminates voters that have no interest or belief in the process and people who vote are serious about the government'

This argument is almost entirely negated by my suggestion to put a 'no suitable candidate' box. People who truly have no interest in the process would vote there.

'so vote for Voting to NOT be compulsory because we have a right to be heard and a right to not be heard when we choose!'

Nay, we have a DUTY to uphold, a duty to make sure our leaders represent the will of the people. It is for this reason, and the others laid down, that I implore readers to vote PRO.
Debate Round No. 5
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by BongMan 7 years ago
BongMan
I say- Don't wory about a ting, cause every little ting is gona be allright!
Posted by BongMan 7 years ago
BongMan
I agree wit Gandalf Man....physical love what makes life worth living! Not Voting in Jamaica we don't realy care man! Sorry if my English no good!
Posted by BongMan 7 years ago
BongMan
Bong Man likes this
Sorry forgot it isn't Facebook man....

You guys rule man!
Posted by Cody_Franklin 7 years ago
Cody_Franklin
For the record, guys, the word is compulsory, not compulsary.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
Cons opening statement clarified any ambiguity in the meaning of the resolution, so misinterpretation by Pro was deliberate. Not a good tactic.

I found Con's arguments more compelling. Mandatory voting would lead to random and ill-considered voting. Democracy depends upon an informed electorate.
Posted by MR_SEXUAL_PREDATOR 7 years ago
MR_SEXUAL_PREDATOR
very good debate.....must agree that voting should be compulsary (CON)....much better arguement....no offense ArmedTortoise :)
Posted by I-heart-Gandalf 7 years ago
I-heart-Gandalf
physical love is one that gandalf misses.
please provide him with some sugar honey
Posted by Georgia 7 years ago
Georgia
Lol :P !
Hope you enjoyed the debate!!!
Sorry about the rushed rounds =[ hard to juggle school and debating!
Enjoyed debating this topic with ArmedTortoise.

Thanks for the support guys!!!
Posted by uptheduffer 7 years ago
uptheduffer
YEAH WELL...

I liked the argument better!
Posted by YourMamIsACrazyWhore 7 years ago
YourMamIsACrazyWhore
Hell yeah !!!!! Awesome debate. ALL POINTS TO CON!!!!!!!!
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Vote Placed by bsh1 4 years ago
bsh1
GeorgiaArmedTortoiseTied
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RoyLatham
GeorgiaArmedTortoiseTied
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Nails
GeorgiaArmedTortoiseTied
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