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Round 1. Valhall V Phoenix: Special Interests

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posted on Feb, 20 2004 @ 12:29 AM
The topic for this debate is "Special interests have ruined democracy."

Valhall will be arguing for this proposition and will open the debate.
Phoenix will argue against this proposition.

Each debator will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

No post will be longer than 800 words and in the case of the closing statement no longer than 500 words. In the event of a debator posting more than the stated word limit then the excess words will be deleted by me from the bottom. Credits or references at the bottom count as part of the post.

Editing is Strictly forbidden. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements only one image or link may be included in any post. Opening and Closing statement must not carry either images or links.

As a guide responses should be made within 18 hours. However if the debate is moving forward then I have a relaxed attitude to this. However, if people are consistently late with their replies, they will forfeit the debate.

Judging will be done by an anonymous panel of 11 judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. Results will be posted by me as soon as a majority (6) is reached.

This debate is now open, good luck to both of you.

posted on Feb, 20 2004 @ 05:23 AM
First, I want to say thank you for letting me participate and I want to send best wishes to my worthy opponent. Now…TOE THE LINE!

First off I need to clarify our topic: In proving that “democracy” has been ruined, I am assuming that this is U.S.-centered, OR that it is an argument that if even ONE country that exercises democracy can be proven to have had that process ruined by special interest, I am on track.

Merriam-Webster states:

Main Entry: de·moc·ra·cy
Pronunciation: di-'mä-kr&-sE
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -cies
Etymology: Middle French democratie, from Late Latin democratia, from Greek dEmokratia, from dEmos + -kratia -cracy
1 a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority
b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections
2 : a political unit that has a democratic government
3 capitalized : the principles and policies of the Democratic party in the U.S.
4 : the common people especially when constituting the source of political authority
5 : the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges

Now, since we are debating whether special interest groups have ruined democracy – that’s with a little d – I’ll be ignoring definition 3 (except when I implicate the DNC).

Main Entry: special interest
Function: noun
: a person or group seeking to influence legislative or government policy to further often narrowly defined interests; especially : LOBBY

As can be seen by this second definition, special interest groups are not necessarily representative of a minority view, just a specific narrowly-defined view (which can be held by a majority). But I will show that there are special interest groups who do NOT represent the majority that have learned new tactics other than lobbying to effectively disempower the majority of “common people” in the United States.

The United States is not, and never has been, a Democracy. It is a constitutionalized Republic that practices democracy (as most applicably stated in definition 1a above). It is this practice of democracy that is under attack by special interest groups; the ability for the U.S. government to be a government by the people and especially: rule of the majority.

My argument is that special interest groups that do NOT represent a majority of the U.S. population have, in fact, destroyed the ability of the majority of the U.S. citizens from practicing democracy via their representatives and their votes. I will prove this by discussing issues/rights/freedoms that have been brought to vote resulting in a voice by the majority of voters in one direction, that have then been either violated without repercussion, OR have been placed into law by legislators against the voice of the people, BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, have been placed into action via the judicial system which isn’t even supposed to make law.

It is my contention that the greatest attacks against the democratic process have come via the new tool of the minority special interest groups – litigation. It is the litigious nature of society promulgated by these special interest groups, and the repeated encroachment on the legislative arm by the judicial branch that has taken the majority of the powers stolen from the masses. Couple these bad habits and dangerous trends with the “political correctness” ideology created and promoted by these small, vocal groups, that has created a mindset within the general population that is based on fear of speaking out against some one else’s actions – and you have the makings of a machine that can decimate the powers of the greatest mass of free people on the face of the Earth.

That concludes my opening statement.

I will be leaving for my trip shortly and will not return until late Sunday night. If it is alright with the judges I would like to give my opponent all of that time to respond as I will not be able to rebut until Monday.

Thank you – and good luck to you Phoenix!

posted on Feb, 21 2004 @ 12:59 PM
Thanks to Kano and the Judges for organizing this debate, Valhall for taking the time to post before trip to Vegas. GRAB on HERE we GO!

“Special Interests have ruined democracy”

Valhall I accept your assumption that this is U.S. centered subject.

Special Interests have not ruined democracy at all; special interest groups have enhanced the continuation of our constitutional republican representative form of government by the virtue of empowering “The common people” against the tyranny of both the “Elite” and the tyranny of the “Majority”.

The definition of democracy by Merriam – Webster has two definitions that apply directly to our form of government in the U.S.,

1b: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.
5: the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges.

I want to clarify that the modern definition of “democracy” as used today by most people is in error when describing our form of government and is in conflict with the body of the constitution, henceforth I will use the term “democracy” interchangeably with the term “republic” for clarity.

In the debate I intend to show that the original framers of the constitution realized the need for a mechanism to empower the “Minority” to balance the “Majority power” held in a pure democracy, preventing a fall into “Anarchy” that had dogged democratic movements in the past. The survival of our form of government is dependent on the very right to form “special interest groups”.

The favoring of the majority in government and the judicial arena to the exclusion of the minority as wished by my able opponent is the dangerous path to anarchy that would destroy democracy as it now works in this country.

I am looking forward to the response from my esteemed opponent Valhall, good luck.

Regards, Phoenix

posted on Feb, 24 2004 @ 03:48 AM
I am sorry. FORFEIT!

Springer and I were stranded (long with 37,998 other people!) in Las Vegas and didn't get back to big D until midnight last night!

I now have to get ready for work and drive to OK.

OH MY GAWD I felt like I was being held hostage! 38,000 people stranded at the Las Vegas airport - becaused it rained!


[Edited on 24-2-2004 by Valhall]

posted on Feb, 24 2004 @ 04:12 AM
Ah, commiserations to Valhall.

But congratulations to Phoenix, who moves into Round 2.

[Edited on 24-2-2004 by Kano]

posted on Feb, 24 2004 @ 05:28 AM
Valhall, I am truly sorry that travel is preventing debate, forcing forfiture of this round. I would much rather have advanced on merit after being judged by my peers.

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