Discussion in 'Brainbent' started by thegrimsqueaker, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. thegrimsqueaker

    thegrimsqueaker 28 Moribunding Mouse Aggravates the Angry Assholes

    bring it, rigs. if you're so confident, I'll let you pick topic

    so, you ready to have your ass kicked by a mouse?

    edit: also, any rules you want, particularly wrt audience interaction? personally I'm all for it, but I'm willing to bend on how much third party participation is allowed
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
    • Like x 2
  2. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    The Electoral College in the United States is a topic that shows up relatively often for debate sparring. How about that?
  3. thegrimsqueaker

    thegrimsqueaker 28 Moribunding Mouse Aggravates the Angry Assholes

    works for me. would you like to take for or against?
  4. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    Resolved: The Electoral College ought to be abolished.

    I will negate.
  5. Azurite

    Azurite Just Floating

    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
    • Like x 16
  6. Ducks

    Ducks 79 Plural Fowl Illuminates The Legendary

    • Like x 18
  7. thegrimsqueaker

    thegrimsqueaker 28 Moribunding Mouse Aggravates the Angry Assholes

    (quick note- my dad was in debate club in hs and undergrad, which is why my mom banned my siblings and I from joining, so I have only basic knowledge of formal debate. also, you're getting bullet points bc I'm not writing a full fuckin' essay. I passed those classes, and I'm done w writing essays in this language.)

    the electoral college should be abolished bc it's undemocratic, it minimizes the effect of minority voters and it reduces the entire presidential election to the decisions of a handful of counties in Florida and Ohio.

    it's undemocratic bc
    • it was designed to be undemocratic. the founding fathers wanted to prevent mob rule and keep the less educated and less wealthy from being able to decide who leads the country bc they believed that was the fastest way to run the country into the ground
    • it devalues the popular vote, to the point were a candidate can win the popular vote by three million votes and still lose the presidency, as just happened a few months ago, and also happened in 2000 (more on that in a bit)
    • the point of democratic elections is that the candidate or idea w the most support is the one that wins. the electoral college exists to make sure that that doesn't necessarily happen
    • most ppl have no way of becoming part of the process to select each state party's electors (let alone become one), bc to do so you have to be active enough in your local party organization to be selected as a delegate to the state convention, and be able to travel to said state convention
    • electors aren't even bound to follow their state or district's vote in all states. this last cycle, there was an attempt by a small group of electors to get a majority to elect someone who hadn't even been on the ballot (they couldn't decide on who this would be, and the attempt failed badly, but the possibility still exists that the electoral college could theoretically elect someone that the rest of the country did not vote for)
    disenfranchising minorities
    • the house of representatives was set up so that the black population wasn't fully counted- slaves were only counted as 3/5ths of a person. the electoral college is based on the number of representatives in the house and senate each state has, obvs.
    • meaning that the system was designed w the intent of disenfranchising minorities, even before they were properly enfranchised
    • in states where the electoral votes are awarded by congressional district, gerrymandering often dilutes the weight of minority votes by cutting up minority-majority neighborhoods into several districts, or "bleaches" districts by putting several minority-majority neighborhoods into one district so white-majority areas get several more districts than they would otherwise have
    • most minority populations live in blue states and blue counties in red states
    reduces the election to a handful of counties
    • most states are decidedly "red" or "blue." as are most counties, w blue counties generally being urban centers and red being rural areas
    • there are only a handful of swing states, the most consistent of which are Florida and Ohio
    • the 2000 election took this to its logical conclusion when the supreme court stopped the recount in Florida, giving the state's electoral votes to Bush when he had a lead in the previous recount of only 500-something votes, and an overall loss in the national popular vote by half a million votes (fun fact that has nothing to do w the debate- part of what helped my dad win his race to be a delegate to last year's convention was a point on his "political resume" that said he worked on the recount for the "stolen election in 2000." yes, those are the words he actually used. he's a dork, but a dork who knew his audience)
    I could probably do more, but this took too long as it is. that said, am I supposed to argue for one of the specific plans to abolish or work around the electoral college? and would you like me to cite my sources? I'm not going to do a full bibliography (again, I passed those classes. I'm done w that bs) but I'll give you a list of links and books if we're gonna get even more semi-formal about this
  8. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    We can cite sources as needed, I think. I'm not going to go cut a bunch of cards for this right now.

    I'm not going to do a line by line response because it is not really warranted.

    On democracy.

    This entire argument relies on the completely unwarranted claim that popular democracy is an unalloyed good. A moment's reflection, however, will show this is simply not the case. Much of our liberty depends on undemocratic institutions. We have, for example, a right to privacy not because of democratic votes, but because the decidedly undemocratic judiciary decided it in Griswold and Roe and Casey.

    Further, this argument ignores the idea that the United States is a federal republic and that the states retain some level of sovereignty. The President of the United States is as much a representative of the states as they are a representative of the people of the United States. Therefore, it makes some sense that the states, represented in the Electoral College, have a voice in selecting the President.

    Federalism, although it has been abused at times, is a useful system. By having multiple and shifting sovereigns, no single sovereign is able to completely dominate and become oppressive. Eliminating the Electoral College would undermine the federal system, increasing the power of the Federal Government to the point where it became the sole sovereign, which is a recipe for total government. We can see the value of having sovereign states in the recent case of Washington v. Trump, where the sovereign states of Washington and Minnesota stood up for the rights of their own residents against the power of the federal government.

    As to the difficulty of becoming an elector, it seems that those who are not willing to put forth the rather minimal effort to become involved in their local politics at the precinct, district, and state level have neither the ability nor inclination to be electors. If they are unwilling to do so, there is no reason why they would perform their duties in a competent manner.

    On disenfranchisement.

    This is all answered by the XV Amendment. To the extent racial minorities are disenfranchised, that is caused by unjust local laws, not by the Electoral College system.

    On "handful of counties"

    There is no reason why a shift to direct voting for the president would change any of this. The population of Los Angeles, Kings, Harris,, and Cook counties will still be so large that they will be the targets of campaigns, while smaller counties will be ignored. At best, a direct vote will change which counties are targeted for campaigning, but it will not change the fact that some counties are targeted and some are ignored.
  9. thegrimsqueaker

    thegrimsqueaker 28 Moribunding Mouse Aggravates the Angry Assholes

    wrt sources- ok good bc I just did VAN training today and dealing w other democrats is a black hole of spoons

    for everything else, gimme a bit bc I spent the day showing old ppl how databases work
  10. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    god i miss when i used to do pf
  11. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    I want just one kid with enough attitude to start off crossfire with the question, "How does it feel to sit on a throne of lies?"
    • Like x 10
  12. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    I've seen people outright call each other stupid in rounds but I've never seen anyone go so far as to call an opponent a liar


    *settles in with popcorn, timer, flow pad*
    • Like x 2
  13. thegrimsqueaker

    thegrimsqueaker 28 Moribunding Mouse Aggravates the Angry Assholes

    I wouldn't have been that kid, I would have been the kid who ended cross by inviting the other side to stick various logical fallacies up assorted improbable orifices

    anyways, I'm awake and medicated. let's do this

    (btw, what was your LSAT score? bc your logic in some parts of this made me wonder if you just got really lucky with guessing on that section of the test)

    • unalloyed, certainly not. I've seen how sausages happen, and it ain't pretty. but at least the fda ensures I know what's in it. usually.
    • the court mainly works as a protection when it's protecting against the stupid things the other two branches of government are doing. that's most of it's function in the whole "checks and balances" thing
    • representative republic, if we're going to be pedantic, and generally moving away from that and towards something closer to democracy. remember how we used to not directly elect senators? yeah, that changed, and the whole system didn't collapse. amazing, I know
    • bs. the electoral college isn't actually a branch of government, and eliminating it won't eliminate the 22th amendment. changing or removing one antiquated thing that doesn't work (depending on how you look at it. there's an argument to be made that it works exactly as intended, to which I'd say that the intentions that went into its creation are as outdated as it is) doesn't mean you're throwing out the whole thing.
    disenfranchising minorities
    • I call bs. if the 15th amendment had actually been enough to stop the disenfranchisement of minorities, we wouldn't have needed the voting rights act.
    • the fact is, that this was a part of a system that was designed to disenfranchise minorities. it's not a bug, it's a feature
    • most of the other overtly discriminatory systems and laws have been changed without the whole country falling apart (except that one time, but that was all south carolina's fault anyways)
    handful of counties
    • the counties you named hold most of the country's population. my point is that the country's leadership should by decided by the majority of the population
    • the problem isn't that it's a few counties, it's that those few counties bear little resemblance to the rest of the country
    • insert florida man joke here (link cw: genital trauma, general floridian nonsense)
  14. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    Doubt it.

    Only students and Federalist Society douchebags whine about their test scores, but to satisfy your curiosity, 42.

    How many cases have you tried to a jury?
    You can't win this point without providing some sort of argument in favor of democracy. So far, you have provided none. Instead, you provide a tortured analogy, which doesn't even get you where you want to go. Pure Food and Drug regulations can be made and enforced in non-democratic states.
    That's just another link to my argument that you rely on non-democratic portions of the government to get you what you like.

    No argument here is presented that it made representation any better. Strom Thurmond was a directly elected United States Senator. Henry Clay was a State Legislature selected United States Senator. I will submit Henry Clay was a better choice.

    Further, this was a modification of the selection process of one half of one branch of the central government. You propose re-working the selection process for an entire co-equal branch. It is likely the effects would be much greater. And if the result is replacing Henry Clay with Strom Thurmond, I would say the effects are bad.

    You have no offense here. You make baseless claims that more democracy (as you define it) is better, but you provide no evidence or argument for that. Instead, the only argument you provide is "Well, it might not suck!" and I have at least some offense that non-democratic branches of government do good and that increasing democracy causes some harm.

    No new responses, please.

    Yes, the XV Amendment was poorly enforced by the very same "more democratic" Senate you praise above. But that doesn't answer the argument that the XV Amendment (and to some extent the XIV as well) do deal with the problems to the extent the Federal government is able to. If you wish to argue in favor of giving the Federal government more power over enfranchisement, that's extra-topical, because other provisions of the Constitution make that a state matter.

    Which does not answer the fact that the 3/5 clause was abrogated by the XV Amendment. Again, it may be better to have more vigorous enforcement of the XV Amendment or to change the enfranchisement provisions of the Constitution, but that is not the topic under debate and is something of a red herring.

    The problem here is that you have not demonstrated that the Electoral College system, standing on its own is an "overtly discriminatory system". What you have implied is that various local laws cause disenfranchisement. That may be the case, but that is not caused by the Electoral College.

    I realize that is your position. It is also completely unsupported by anything other than bare assertion. My federalism arguments above were stone-cold dropped. There is value in having the states as sovereigns as well as the United States.

    That's another link. These are all urban/suburban counties which do not necessarily reflect the composition of the nation as a whole. So you are arguing in favor of urban dominance over the hinterland. That sounds like a recipe for a peasant's revolt to me, which is another disadvantage to your advocacy.

    Not an argument.


    Opponent has no offense here because they have never demonstrated a value to democracy as democracy. Instead, they have made various statements that the Electoral College somehow creates discrimination; however, that argument has been answered; both by the XV Amendment and by the observation that discrimination with respect to the franchise is a matter of unjust state and local laws unrelated to the Electoral College.

    In response, I have identified a couple of disadvantages to their advocacy. The first is the decrease in state sovereignty, which can serve as a bulwark against federal overreach, most recently demonstrated in Washington and Minnesota's suit against the President. The second is the decrease in the quality of politicians. I mean, Trump is pretty bad, but I submit it can get worse. The third is the perceived disenfranchisement of non-urban people, which is a pretty bad thing, both on the "disenfranchisement" grounds identified by my opponent and because it plants the seeds for a peasant's revolt.

    No advantage versus three independent disadvantages. A con ballot is the only reasonable choice here.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
  15. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    Side question.

    Why is this thread in Brainbent?
  16. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    It bends our brains when we read it?
    • Like x 7
  17. thegrimsqueaker

    thegrimsqueaker 28 Moribunding Mouse Aggravates the Angry Assholes

    didn't know where else to put it, since at the time I didn't know it'd end up being a political debate
  18. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    We can do something else.

    Electoral College is boring as fuck.
    • Like x 1
  19. thegrimsqueaker

    thegrimsqueaker 28 Moribunding Mouse Aggravates the Angry Assholes

    wait- rigs are you seriously going by formal debate rules after I told you I don't actually know jack about them?

    • Like x 1
  20. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    I don't think so.

    You'd be surprised how few "rules" there are for competitive debate. There's a lot of jargon and accepted practices, but almost no rules.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice