Tag Archive | "debate of the month"

Resolved, that the United Nations does more harm than good

Resolved, that the United Nations does more harm than good

Chapter Debate Results Submission Form: https://goo.gl/forms/1YlLUGiTknUgtRBq2

Resolved, that the United Nations does more harm than good

Brief: The United Nations was founded in the wake of the Second World War with the goal of establishing an international organization committed to using the principles of cooperation and diplomacy to seek peace, prosperity, and security around the world. The U.N is now comprised of 193 member states and 2 observers, who determine international policies through a General Assembly, Security Council, and various other councils, organizations, courts, and treaties. But critics argue that the U.N. has strayed away from its original mission and has actually become an impediment to progress on the world stage. Proponents of the United Nations say it is often used as a tool for the world’s governments to act with a unified voice, whether it be for sending aid to impoverished regions, condemning human rights atrocities, or promoting social causes like increased educational opportunities for women. However, detractors claim that the U.N. has allowed many atrocities to go unanswered, is politically biased, and is used to erode national sovereignty. With both a new U.N. Secretary-General and a recent place in the media spotlight after a controversial Security Council resolution condemning Israel, many have been assessing the pros and cons of the U.N.’s track record over the last 71 years. And now, many debate over if the UN has really done more harm or good. The question is, which do you believe?

Pro Arguments:

● The United Nations’ repeated targeting of Israel showcases a complete double standard, with the General Assembly ending its 2016 legislative session by adopting 20 resolutions condemning Israel for human rights violations and only 4 for the rest of the world combined.

● The United Nations peacekeeping missions have come under fire for not only being ineffective at achieving peace in many conflicts, but also face allegations of gross misconduct including widespread perpetration and coverups of sexual assault by peacekeeping forces.

● The structure of the Security Council that grants permanent membership status and veto power to Russia and China often prevents U.N. action to stop atrocities perpetrated by those countries or their allies like Syria, Iran, and North Korea.

Con Arguments:

● The United Nations has prevented many conflicts by facilitating international agreements on issues like border disputes, maritime law, human rights, nuclear weapons, and war crimes. Without the United Nations it is very likely that there would be many more violent conflicts throughout the world.

● The United Nations does great work through its establishment of organization like UNESCO, WHO, IPCC, and UNGEI that respectively preserve cultural landmarks, promote global health, research climate change, and empower young girls through education, along with much more.

● The United Nations facilitates international cooperation to counteract aggression like that of Iraq in 1990, to impose sanctions on rogue states like North Korea for their nuclear program, and condemn human rights violations like those in South Africa during apartheid.

To learn more about the history, functions, and missions of the United Nations click here. For a source critical of the United Nations click here. For a source in support of the United Nations click here.

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Resolved, that the U.S. President be elected by the national popular vote, not the Electoral College

Resolved, that the U.S. President be elected by the national popular vote, not the Electoral College

Resolved, that the U.S. President be elected by the national popular vote, not the Electoral College.

Brief: When drafting the United States Constitution, the Framers of our government developed the Electoral College, the system by which we elect our Presidents. The Electoral College assigns each state a number of electoral votes based on its number of representatives and senators in Congress, and the Twenty-Third Amendment granted three to the District of Columbia. The electors are chosen by their respective state party and will only vote should their party’s candidate win their state. All but two states assign their votes on a winner-take-all basis to the candidate who received the most votes in their state. A candidate must receive at least 270 electoral votes to win a majority in the electoral college and be officially elected President. This system was designed to give each state an individual voice in the selection of the President but it does not consider who receives the most votes at a national level. Five separate times in America’s history, including in the most recent election, has the President won a majority of the Electoral College without winning the national popular vote, leading some some to argue the system by which we elect presidents should be more reflective of the voice of the American people as a whole, not as separated by the states. Is the Electoral College system too undemocratic for our current elections, or is it a necessary institution for the preservation of our republican system of governance?

 

Pro Arguments:

  • The President serves as President for the entire country, not the individual states or just those that voted for them, if we really live in a democracy then the President should be selected by the will of all of America’s voters.
  • By giving each state at least three votes, the Electoral College unfairly makes some people’s votes count more than others depending on the state they live in.
  • The Electoral College causes candidates to focus all of their attention to just a few “battleground states,” essentially rewarding candidates for ignoring most of the country and the issues important to them.

Con Arguments:

  • We are the Untied States of America, not the United State of America, the Electoral College recognizes our federalist system of governance and gives each state an individual voice.
  • Under a national popular vote candidates would only campaign in major population centers and ignore the issues important to Americans living in suburban and rural areas.
  • The Framers instituted the Electoral College because they understood the dangers of direct democracy, the electoral college prevents a “tyranny by the majority” from any one region or population of the country.

For more background on the formation and functions of the Electoral College click here. For more arguments in favor of this resolution click here. For more arguments against this resolution click here.

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Resolved, that the legal voting age in all American elections be lowered to sixteen

Resolved, that the legal voting age in all American elections be lowered to sixteen

Link for reporting chapter debate results:HERE

November Debate of the Month: Resolved, that the legal voting age in all American elections be lowered to sixteen

Brief: The 26th amendment, ratified as part of the Constitution in 1971, lowered the legal voting age of all U.S. citizens to eighteen years of age. At the time, the public saw a grave injustice in the fact that many of the thousands of young men who were dying for America in Vietnam were not even legally old enough to vote in their county’s elections. In the present day, some have begun a new movement to once again lower America’s voting age, this time to sixteen. Some localities like Takoma Park, Maryland have already lowered the voting age to sixteen for all local elections, and many states allow for seventeen year olds to vote in state and presidential primaries. With recent elections highlighting dramatic political apathy among America’s youth, our nation must ask itself if lowering the voting age will generate fresh enthusiasm among young people towards civic engagement, or will it simply increase the size of America’s large number of young eligible voters who never make it to the polls?

Pro Arguments:

  • Preventing sixteen and seventeen year olds from expressing their views inside the ballot box ignores the reality that millions of teenagers are just as politically informed as the rest of the voting population.

  • There are a plethora of issues, from education to climate change to the national debt, that will especially affect America’s future generations but are currently being ignored by politicians who have no incentive to address the concerns of the youth.

  • Our government trust sixteen year olds enough to allow them to drive 2 ton vehicles at many miles per hour. If these citizens are capable of doing something so complicated and dangerous as driving, surely they’re capable enough to know which candidates reflect their political beliefs.

Con Arguments:

  • Although many teenagers may be informed about political issues, the vast majority of them aren’t and couldn’t care less about them. It would be irresponsible for America to hand the reigns of power to such a politically apathetic demographic.

  • Most sixteen and seventeen year olds have not even finished high school, let alone taken a class in civics or government. We need to ensure our country’s voters have at least progressed to adulthood before we can assume they are capable of making informed decisions of such importance.

  • The American young people who are currently eligible to vote have some of the lowest turnout rates of any group in our democracy. Lowering the voting age even further will not address the issues of young voter apathy, it will merely extend it to millions of more teenagers.

For more background on the ratification of the 26th Amendment click here. For more information on where the voting age has already been lowered in the U.S. click here. For more information about the youth vote in the United States click here. For more arguments in favor of this resolution click here. For more arguments against this resolution click here.

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Resolved, that all Presidential candidates on enough state ballots to win a majority vote in the Electoral College be included in the Presidential Debates

Resolved, that all Presidential candidates on enough state ballots to win a majority vote in the Electoral College be included in the Presidential Debates

Link for reporting chapter debate results:HERE

October Debate of the Month: Resolved, that all Presidential candidates on enough state ballots to win a majority vote in the Electoral College be included in the Presidential Debates.

Brief: During the current Presidential Election we have seen the American public’s opinion of the two major-party candidates reach historic lows, while the support for alternative choices has never been higher. This leads many to question why the nationally-televised debates hosted by the Commission on Presidential Debates do not include any of the presidential candidates besides Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The Commission states that third-party candidates like Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, despite being on enough state ballots to be elected President, do not meet their minimum requirements for public support and therefore are not invited unless they reach 15 percent support among the voters in a series of respected Presidential preference polls. But considering most Americans would like to see third-party candidates included, is it time for the Commission to lax its rules and add the extra podiums, or do the current third-party candidates not receive enough support to justify their inclusion in these potentially election-deciding debates?

Pro Arguments:

  • It is extremely unlikely that any third-party candidate could reach the Commission’s current polling threshold, because in order to get that level of support candidates would need to get their message out during a major televised event like a Presidential Debate where they could speak to tens of millions of voters who may not know who they are otherwise.

  • Both Jill Stein and Gary Johnson are on enough state ballots to be elected President of the United States via the Electoral College, therefore the Commission should allow the American people to hear from all the possibilities and not set an arbitrary threshold based on polling, which can often misrepresent the will of the voters.

  • The two-party system does not represent the broad spectrum of Americans’ political views, and considering both the current major-party candidates’ unpopularity, adding more points of view to the debates would better reflect the true ideological diversity of our democracy.

Con Arguments:

  • The Commission’s requirement that candidates reach 15 percent in 5 well-respected presidential preference polls is a totally acceptable qualifier because there is no possibility a candidate with less support could win the election.

  • The two current third-party candidates that this resolution would include, Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, do not deserve to participate in the Presidential Debates because they are not remotely qualified candidates for the office, especially considering the former has a warrant out for her arrest and the later doesn’t even know what Aleppo is.

  • Two more candidates on the stage would be a distraction from the two candidates who could actually win the election, thus wasting the time of the American voters who want to hear from the person who will be their next President.

For information regarding the Commission on Presidential Debate’s requirements for candidates to be included click here. To see the two major candidates’ aggregated support in national polls since June click here. For an analysis of how significantly the Presidential Debates affect the election click here. For Governor Gary Johnson’s Presidential campaign website click here. For Dr. Jill Stein’s Presidential campaign website click here.

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Resolved, all persons on Federal terror watch lists be prohibited from buying firearms and ammunition

Resolved, all persons on Federal terror watch lists be prohibited from buying firearms and ammunition

Report chapter results of the debate of the month HERE.

Resolved, all persons on Federal terror watch lists be prohibited from buying firearms and ammunition.

In the aftermath of multiple terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, such as those in San Bernardino and Orlando, many have called for a policy that would enable the U.S. Department of Justice to prohibit the sale of firearms to any person on federal terror watch lists such as the ‘no-fly list.’ On June 20th the Senate rejected four separate measures, two proposed by Republicans and two proposed by Democrats, that would make it possible to prohibit those on these watch lists from buying guns. Two days later, Democratic members of the House of Representatives staged a 26 hour sit-in demanding another vote be taken on these proposals. This debate has seen unusual pairs join forces with the liberal-leaning American Civil Liberties Union joining Conservative politicians like Ted Cruz to oppose the proposals, and with Republican nominee Donald Trump in large part agreeing with the Democratic President Barack Obama that these policies should be enacted.

Pro Arguments:

  • America has the most robust intelligence network in the world, if Federal agencies suspect someone of potential terrorist activities, they are too dangerous to own a gun.
  • The government has the authority to suspend someone’s constitutional rights when they pose an imminent risk to our national security.
  • Although likely rare, if someone is mistakenly put on a watch list they would be able to purchase firearms and ammunition after it is clear they are not a security risk.

Con Arguments:

  • This policy would violate Americans’ 5th and 14th Amendment entitlement to due process of law before having their right to bear arms subverted.
  • The American justice system was founded on the principle of “innocent until proven guilty,” but this policy would reverse that and require Americans to prove themselves innocent in courts where classified information would likely be used against them.
  • There is no evidence to suggest this policy would have prevented any of the recent terrorist attacks in the United States, such as those in Orlando and San Bernardino.

Additional Resources:

  • For general information about federal terror watch lists and how they currently affect the sale of firearms click here.
  • For a summary of who federal law currently prohibits from buying firearms and ammunition click here.
  • For a breakdown of the four terror-watch-list related gun-control proposals voted on by the Senate in June click here.
  • As this is certain to be discussed during the current election cycle, see below for the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees stances on guns.

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Fall State Pricing Guide

Pricing package details for all Fall State conventions are listed below.  Note that these prices apply only to chapters that register online using MyJSA. The paper registration fee is an additional $10 per student.  There is also a late fee of $15 per person for chapters that do not complete their registration by the registration deadline.

Fall State Pricing Package Details 2016

CONVENTIONEARLY REGISTRATION PRICESREGULAR REGISTRATION PRICES
Southern California
(Los Angeles)
Oct. 29 - 30, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Sept. 12 – Sept. 25

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $145

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120
Standard Registration Period: Sept. 26 – Oct. 13

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $185

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120
Northern California
Santa Clara Marriott
Nov. 12 - 13, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Sept. 26 – Oct. 9

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $145

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 10 – Oct. 20

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $185

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120
Pacific Northwest
Doubletree Seattle Hotel Airport
Nov. 12 - 13, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Sept. 26 – Oct. 9

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $135
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $185

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 10 – Oct. 20

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $175
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $225

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Southeast
DoubleTree Sawgrass Mills
Nov. 12 - 13, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Sept. 26 – Oct. 9

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $145
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $195

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $115
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $230
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 10 – Oct. 20

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $185
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $235

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $115
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $230
Arizona
Tucson Marriott University Park
Nov. 19 - 20, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3 – Oct. 16

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $155
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $205

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $110
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $220
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 17 – Nov. 6

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $165
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $215

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $110
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $220
Mid-Atlantic
Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel
Nov. 19 - 20, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3 – Oct. 16

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $135
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $185

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 17 – Nov. 6

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $175
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $225

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Midwest
Madison Concourse Hotel
Nov. 19 - 20, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3 – Oct. 16

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $135
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $185


Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 17 – Nov. 6

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $175
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $225


Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Ohio River Valley
Cincinnati Marriott North
Nov. 19 - 20, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3 – Oct. 16

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $135
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $185

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 17 – Nov. 6

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $175
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $225

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Southern California
(Orange County)
Nov. 19 - 20, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3 – Oct. 16

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $145

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 17 – Oct. 26

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $185

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120
Texas
Sheraton Austin Hotel
Nov. 19 - 20, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3 – Oct. 16

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $160
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $210

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $160
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $320
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 17 – Nov. 3

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $200
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $250

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $160
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $320
Northeast
Boston Park Plaza Hotel
Dec. 10 - 11, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 24 – Nov. 6

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $165
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $215

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $160
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $320
Standard Registration Period: Nov. 7 – Nov. 23

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $200
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $250

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $160
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $320


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