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 Alex's negative case

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ARandazzo

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PostSubject: Alex's negative case    Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:40 pm

Alex Randazzo
Alex’s Negative Case
Negative Case: civil liberties and Limited Government

According to Dennis F. Thompson, PhD, who has a phd from Harvard university, “When Stephen Douglas proposed the principle of popular sovereignty to resolve the question of slavery in the US, he was taking sides not only in the slavery debate but also in a dispute about the meaning of popular sovereignty itself. The core of the idea of popular sovereignty then and now is that the people, usually understood as a majority in a specific territory, should have the power to enact the laws by which they are to be bound, or to elect the representatives who will enact those laws
It provides the basis for one of the most important function of constitutions – to protect the rights of both present and future minorities against the tyranny of majorities. Most democrats recognize that any principle of popular sovereignty, understood as majority rule, must be limited by other values, such as liberty and equality.” – According to Dennis F. Thompson, PhD, in 2005. Dennis F. Thompson received his PhD in political science from Harvard University, and taught as a professor at Princeton University before returning to teach political science and ethics at Harvard University.
It was once said that 5 wolves and one sheep cannot vote with popular sovereignty on what is for dinner... Larry Flynt

It is for this reason, that popular sovereignty must be limited by individual rights to be legitimate, that I stand Resolved: A government's legitimacy is NOT determined more by its respect for popular sovereignty than individual rights.

Definitions:
Legitimate: “Reasonable, sensible, or valid” – (Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition, © 2009)

Government: “The system or form by which a community, etc, is ruled” – (Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition, © 2009)

Popular Sovereignty: “The doctrine that sovereign power is vested in the people and that those chosen to govern, as trustees of such power, must exercise it in conformity with the general will.” – (Dictionary.com Unabridged, based on the Random House Dictionary © 2010)

Value: civil liberties, defined as: the freedom of a citizen to exercise customary rights, as of speech or assembly, without unwarranted or arbitrary interference by the government. Such a right as guaranteed by the laws of a country, as in the U.S. by the Bill of Rights.
Dictionary.com

Criterion: Limited Government, which is defined as: “A type of government in which its functions and powers are prescribed, limited, and restricted by law” – (Dictionary.com’s 21st Century Lexicon, © 2010)

Resolution Analysis:
While popular sovereignty, an expression of the will of the people, is the basis of a long term, workable system of government, it is only legitimate to a certain extent. Specifically, popular sovereignty is only a legitimate form of government when it is limited and restricted so that the “general will” of the public cannot infringe upon the rights of the individual citizens. This is the premise of this case: popular sovereignty is a solid method of government, but it is only a legitimate government if popular sovereignty is limited so that the rights of the individuals are upheld.

Contentions:

1. Popular Sovereignty requires Individual Rights to be legitimate
Alexander Moseley, “The Political Philosophy of John Locke.” The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP) April 4, 2005.
“Government, he [John Locke] argued, should be limited to securing the life and property of its citizens, and is only necessary because in an ideal, anarchic state of nature, various problems arise that would make life more insecure than under the protection of a minimal state.”

The viewpoint of John Locke here is simple: government exists for the single purpose of protecting the rights of its citizens, and thus any form of government, regardless of its particular level of popular sovereignty, must be protecting these rights in order to be legitimate.

2. Popular Sovereignty being valued above Individual Rights is illegitimate
Tibor Machan, PhD. “The Value and Limits of Democracy.” Accessed September 29, 2010. Tibor Machan received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of California – Santa Barbara, and has taught at the United States Military Academy at West Point, he is a Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and is currently a professor of Philosophy at Auburn University.
“Nearly anything can become a public policy issue, so long as some measure of democracy is involved in reaching decisions about it. And that, in fact, turns out to be a serious threat to democracy itself. Because when democracy trumps liberty, democracy can destroy itself, and the law could permit the democratically reached destruction of democracy itself! That is just what happened in the Weimar Republic, where a democratic election put Hitler in power and destroyed democracy.”

In this example, it is easy to see the results of government that does not value the protection of the rights of the individual above popular sovereignty. Following popular sovereignty blindly, as in the case of Hitler’s rise to power, is a threat to both popular sovereignty and the rights of the individuals.

3. Government legitimacy is determined by Individual Rights
This final contention is the combination of the previous two arguments: if government, even government that respects popular sovereignty, fails to uphold individual rights, it becomes illegitimate and the rights of the citizens are endangered. It follows logically, then, that the legitimacy of government is not determined by respect for popular sovereignty, but by the realization that the only purpose of popular sovereignty is to set up a government that protects and upholds the individual rights of its citizens, which is why I firmly negate the resolution.

Negating Michaels Aff case
My opponent says that during the French resolution that if they had popular sovereignty they wouldn’t have struggled. But actually if the government had actually tried to help benefit each person’s individual rights instead of being greedy, they would have not been revolted on.
My opponent also said that in voting the populous vote for office. That is a legitimate government. But what happens when the politicians don't do what the popular people want, is that a legit government... no!!!


So you are saying that in order for the government to be legitimate it must be controlled, correct? What would your definition of legitimacy be? At what cost (or point) will the government go to have control? So it would then be okay to go as far as to kill the people who were causing the government to not have control. Right? From your previous answer of course this statement is true since that would be going as far as they had to go. Is popular sovereignty a good thing? You said that if an elected representative does not fulfill the needs of the people they will rebel, resulting in riots, like in France.Do you agree that everyone agrees on what the peoples needs are? or do most of them believe that drugs are wrong, but an addict might say he "needs" them? Is control or popular sovereignty more important?


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Bethany

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PostSubject: Re: Alex's negative case    Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:20 am

So, What's your value?

Thanks
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meredith

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PostSubject: Re: Alex's negative case    Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:29 pm

Bethany,
It's civil liberty. -)
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Bethany

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PostSubject: Re: Alex's negative case    Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:06 pm

Oh, OK. Thanks...I wonder what his definition is. Oh well, too late.
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meredith

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PostSubject: Re: Alex's negative case    Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:31 pm

His definition for civil liberty is right under his definition of popular sovereignty.
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