The Instigator
Pro (for)
5 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Plants ought to have the right to vote

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/9/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,420 times Debate No: 80766
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (19)
Votes (2)




Resolved: Plants ought to have the right to vote. This resolution should focus on the United States.

The Burden of Proof is split evenly.

plants - the group of organisms in the kingdom Plantae
right - legal guarantee
vote - a formal indication of a choice between two or more candidates or courses of action, expressed typically through a ballot or a show of hands or by voice.
ought - have a moral obligation to

1. Follow structure
2. You accept to the round structure and resolution, terms, etc. as provided in R1. These cannot be changed.
3. No deconstruction semantics. plagiarism, trolling or forfeiture.

Round structure:
Round 1. Acceptace ("I accept" will do)
Round 2. Constructive arguments
Round 3. Rebuttals
Round 4. Defense


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


[I don't have enough time to write another case so I will use my previous one on this topic.]
To deny plants the right to vote is to dissolve the concept of human rights

Unweighted arguments:

, journalist at Al-Jazeera, 2013 ["The time is ripe for plant rights"]
  • "[t]he codification of human rights ... meant to provide ... protections that would compensate for the vulnerabilities engrained in the ... condition. In fact, the more vulnerable ... the more ... rights need to be protected ... There is no doubt that plants are some of the most vulnerable living beings on the planet: even according to fairly conservative estimates, one in every five plant species is currently on the brink of extinction.".

, Professor at University of Warwick, 1998 [Upendra, “Introduction to the Symposium: Voices of Suffering and the Future of Human Rights”]
  • " ... Nor may we succumb to an anthropomorphic illusion that the range of human rights is limited to human beings; the new rights to a clean and healthy environment ... take us far beyond such a narrow notion ... The expression "human rights" shelters an incredibly diverse range of desire-in-dominance politics and desire-in-insurrection politics. These forms of politics resist encapsulation in any formula. The best one may hope for is to let the contexts of domination and resistance articulate themselves as separate but equal perspectives on the meaning of "human rights.""
United Nations, 2015 [Democracy and Human Rights]
  • "The values of freedom, respect for human rights and the principle of holding periodic and genuine elections by universal suffrage are essential elements of democracy. In turn, democracy provides the natural environment for the protection and effective realization of human rights. These values are embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and further developed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which enshrines a host of political rights and civil liberties underpinning meaningful democracies."
From these three quotes, we can see that in order to uphold human rights, we need to provide a forum for the vulnerable and the suffering to be able to speak; this is through the process of democracy, of which a major component is the right to vote.


Linarelli, Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University, 1996 [DENVER JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AND POLICY], p. 253 finds:

  • "Development and respect for human rights are also closely interconnected ... the essence of development encompasses not only higher incomes but also better education, higher standards of health and nutrition, less poverty, a cleaner environment ... Human rights protections in the development process thus refer to economic and social rights as well as civil and political rights."

Therefore, we must affirm human rights in order to help protect the development in the US, in terms of: better education, higher standards of health and nutrtition, less poverty, and a cleaner environment (cleaner housing for plants, in this case). These protections help increase the scope of economic, social, civil and political rights.

Hoffman, Chair of the International Executive Committee of Amnesty International, 2004 ["Human Rights Quarterly"], p. 932-955

  • "History shows that when societies trade human rights for security, most often they get neither. Instead, minorities and other marginalized groups pay the price through violation of their human rights. Sometimes this trade-off comes in the form of mass murder or genocide ... Indeed, millions of lives have been destroyed in the last sixty years when human rights norms have not been observed.' Undermining the strength of international human rights law and institutions will only facilitate such human rights violations in the future and confound efforts to bring violators to justice."
Here, Hoffman is claiming that if we trade the security of anthrocentrism in order to not allow plants to have human rights, we get neither security nor the protections of these human rights. Marginaized groups pay the price through the constant violations of their human rights; sometimes this goes as genoicde. Millions of lives are destroyed or ended whenever we do not recognise human rights, therefore giving plants the right to vote will save countless lives.

Carothers, director of Democracy and Rule of Law Project, 1994 ["WASHINGTON QUARTERLY"], p. 106.

  • "In most of the countries that have undergone democratic transitions in recent years, during the generative period of the transitions ... the emphasis of external actors was on human rights advocacy rather than democracy promotion per se. Therefore, just as human rights advocates should not overlook the fact that democratization has advanced the cause of human rights in many countries, democracy promotion proponents should not ignore the contribution of human rights advocacy to democratization"
In order to promote a more perfect democracy within the US, we need to focus more on human rights advocacy than on democratisation. If we affirm botanical suffrage, we affirm the notion of trying to make democracy more important and weighing in the US.

In order to protect human rights (and further, to make sure that we increase the scope of economic, social, civil and political rights; protect the lives of millions; to promote a more democratic US), we affirm the resolution and can only see a PRO ballot today. Thank you!




Plants do not have consciousness, and they do not have the potential to do so in the present or the near future. They can't physically vote anyways, so giving them the right to wouldn't accomplish anything. It would be like giving woman the right to shave her testicles. Therefore, giving plants rights would simply be a waste of public resources.

Think about it. Every time a country passes a law, the government of that country spends time and tax dollars to pass it. Why does this have to happen if it doesn't need to? This is especially a problem in countries in debt. America , for example, had a budget deficit of 483 billion dollars in 2014[1]! Besides, it's not like plants will revolt if we don't let them vote.

Also, even if plants could vote, which they can't, how would we get them all to the ballots? Are you saying that bigger plants such as trees should be discriminated against, while all of the smaller plants should get to vote? Shame!

Now, the trees could be given the ballots individually, but this would be impractical as there are more than 60 trees per person.

In conclusion, what this resolution would accomplish is pointless, a waste of time and money, impractical and discriminatory.


Debate Round No. 2


My opponent's arguments hinged on the fallacy that if something ought to do something, then it can do that thing. As Moti Mizrahi says, this is not true [1]:
  • "Ought does not imply can ... ought does not presuppose can ... ought does not conversationally implicate can"
Because all of my opponent's arguments hinged on this, they can be negated based on both the definitions agreed to and because of what Mr. Mizrahi writes in his paper.

This round is short simply because of how the nature of my opponent's arugment was structured and actually argued; if there was a morality basis for negating then I would have put much more thought into refutations.



DATXDUDE forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Con forfeits, leaving my case intact, essentially conceding all points within it.
I extend under the guide of the true plant rulers.


No, you haven't responded to my question in the comments: What are you talking about? Your definition for rights was "the legal guarantee". As plants cannot use the freedom of voting, we shouldn't give it to them.
Debate Round No. 4
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Peepette 3 years ago
I wonder would there be a limitation or restrictions made between native plants and introduced plants. Would a sweat potato be unable to vote because it comes from South America, a lemon from Spain, Olives from Italy ect? Would only corn, squash and cranberries be allowed to vote?
Posted by Lexus 3 years ago
What didn't I answer?
Posted by DATXDUDE 3 years ago
What the hell are you talking about?
Posted by Lexus 3 years ago
uGh why does everyone fall for the OIC >.> kill me now.
Posted by DATXDUDE 3 years ago
Damn. Forgot to put "[2]" after "there are more than 60 trees per person".
Posted by ax123man 3 years ago
@Lexus, I'm risk adverse. Too late now. DATXDUDE!

Have fun...
Posted by Lexus 3 years ago
ax123man, that is HUGELY implied.
As for the people that are tempted, feel free to challenge me to a debate (making me argue in first round pass last).
Posted by tejretics 3 years ago
The temptation to take this is killing me...
Posted by ax123man 3 years ago
I've wanted to do a debate against a more challenging opponent for awhile, so I'm very tempted by this. One small point though: it's not 100% clear whether the intent is that the plants would have the same voting rights as U.S. citizens.
Posted by Berend 3 years ago
I'm so tempted. If this is open tomorrow, I might accept this. I could go for a fun round.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Death23 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct point for FF. Pro's case has little to do with the benefits to plants themselves. Rather, Pro alleges a slew of beneficial externalities would result from promulgating "botanical suffrage", as Pro puts it. Con does not dispute any of this. (i.e. dropped the arguments) Con says that it would be pointless because plants can't vote, but Con obviously is ignoring all of the alleged benefits. (Con may have neglected to read Pro's case) Con points out that it would consume government resources to promulgate botanical suffrage. Yet, the cost of the legislative process is a one-time cost while the benefits outlined by Pro would last indefinitely and are of significantly greater value than Con's cited costs even in the short term.
Vote Placed by imabench 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro failed to take advantage of Con's forfeit in round 3 to dispute all of his points he made in the prior round, essentially trying to cut the debate short and walk away with a win due to con's forfeiture. Neither side therefore produced more convincing arguments, but the forfeiture does warrant a conduct point in favor of the Pro