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That it should be criminal for a politician to lie

5 points
nzlockienzlockie (CON)
Hello and welcome to another exciting Edeb8! Thanks to the Judges for their time and to my opponent for their engagement on this important issue!
Today we're debating the important issue of whether lying in office should be a criminal offense for Politicians. 
In almost every country of the world, Politicians regularly occupy the lowest positions in the list of "Most Trusted" occupations. The only real exception to this is probably North Korea... nuff said. 

In some senses it would seem logical for us to agree with this resolution. When society condemns untruths, why would we seemingly condone our public servants to lie to us?

As this is only a two round debate, and PRO has skipped their first round, it falls on me to define the Resolution.
We are going to run with standard dictionary definitions for this resolution, with the only caveat that we are not talking about criminally punishing EVERY lie a Politician tells, only the ones told while "on the clock".

Our case is going to be focussed on three main points:
1. Sometimes Politicians NEED to lie.
2. Convictions for this "crime" will be almost impossible to attain.
3. This law will promote endless doublespeak. And that's WAY more annoying than Politicians lying.

1. Politicians NEED to lie. 
Politicians are leaders. On a good day, they inspire, they influence, they make the hard decisions which we know we won't like, but in hindsight we all admit we needed to be made.  
Occasionally, this involves some degree of untruth and deception. 

Example 1: In WW2, President Roosevelt manipulated the American, and even Global, media to ensure that the true extent of his physical ailments was hidden from the public eye. It was crucial that he present the image of a powerful leader who was capable of making hard decisions fast. 
The truth is that he suffered from Polio and was actually paralyzed from the waist down. 
When he needed to, he was able to stand and even take a few measured steps by hiding steel braces down the legs of this trousers. 

And he's certainly not the only one to be forced to use subterfuge to project an image of strength. It's something Monarchs and Political leaders have needed to do throughout history. 

Example 2: Also in WW2, German Chancellor, Adolf Hitler promised British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain that in exchange for various appeasements, he would not attack any of his neighbors. Chamberlain fell for this and handed Hitler the keys to Czechoslovakia, along with all of the war machine resources from that country. Resources that Hitler promptly used to fuel a World war that would last for five years. 
In this instance Hitler had an agenda. Germany had been through all sorts of social and economic issues thanks to the harsh penalties applied to them after WW1. Hitler knew what he had to do to make Germany great again, and he knew that his best shot at getting it was to lie to Britain and France. 

And again, he's not the only one. Deception at a Political level has taken place over countless governments in almost every country of the world since time began. The first example shows the instances where a leader may have to lie to their own people, the second example shows a time where a leader may have to lie to other world leaders. 

2. Impossible to Convict.
Look, if I were a lawyer I would love this idea. Trying to PROVE a Politician lied is going to tie the courts up for years. 
But I'm not, and this will be OUR taxpayer dollars at work here. 

There are some lies that will be easy to prove. But those lies are often already criminal in nature, or else they are simply not told by Politicians without some sort of deniability. 
The more likely "lies"to be told will be things like Election Promises. Basically, "If elected, we promise to ..."
The issue with this is that there is ALWAYS an out for the Politician...

"Once elected, the money I thought was there was NOT there! Bad previous Government!"

"I know promised this but now new developments have come to light which make it impossible to fulfill this!"

"That campaign promise was made by my Party, NOT myself. As the mouthpiece for my Party, is it ethical that I should have to personally serve time in jail for promises that were not mine?"

Imagine how these court cases are going to go! 
And these are only the easy ones. 
The truth is that it is in the greater good for us to allow Politicians to back out of promises when it is in the best interest of the country that they do so. This law would prevent that. 

3. You think Double Speak is popular now?
If Politicians know that they will be held personally accountable for promises, it will become IMPOSSIBLE for them to give a straight answer to any question at all. Not just critical ones like, "Are we going to war if Russia doesn't withdraw?"; but also a thousand totally unimportant ones like, "Will you support a motion to select a new flag next year?"

As citizens it is going to be almost impossible to gain any understanding of what a potential new government might do if elected. 
We'll be resigned to making an educated guess based on even less information than we currently make it on!

People overwhelmingly express their wish that Politicians would just "Say what they mean".  Anyone thinking that this law will do that, is crazy. 

In summary, it is our position that Politicians should be held accountable for their broken promises in the same way they already are - extreme examples should result in impeachment and or a civil conviction, and the normal examples should result in a public lambasting, a failure to gain re-election and perhaps an internal firing by their own Party. 

It's not a perfect solution but it's a million times better than anything the PRO side has proposed!



Return To Top | Posted:
2018-05-21 13:46:19
| Speak Round
nzlockienzlockie (CON)
Thanks Judges for your time, I'm sorry this wasn't the debate we all hoped for, it seems that this resolution is destined to go undebated!

As this is my reply speech, I might as well sum up the arguments and explain why I won.
My side of the resolution was three-fold.It should NOT be a criminal offense fro Politicians to lie in Office because:
1. Occasionally, in order to maintain or project a certain image, they NEED the ability to mislead. I gave several examples of these times, and pointed out that this is a constant throughout history.

2. Assuming it were a criminal offense to lie, gaining a conviction would be almost impossible. There's a significant element of intent involved in deception, otherwise it could be simply a mistake, or misunderstanding. Proving intent is notoriously difficult, in in these circumstances childishly easy to side step. This law would cost the taxpayers millions.

3. Political Double Speak would rise to unprecedented levels, as Politicians sought to cover their butts. Political double speak is already widely condemned as people find it difficult to discern truth from fiction, or even to simply understand what the Politician is saying!
This law would only exacerbate this.

Why did I win?

Well I'd love it to be because my arguments were better, and in a way they were. But probably it'll be because my opponent didn't actually make an argument at all.
Since they were PRO, the burden is on them to PROVE the resolution, not on me to disprove it.
I've given you some pretty good reasons as to why this law should not be in place, and the potential damages society could face were it brought to pass, but even if I had said nothing - my opponent hasn't given you a reason to change the status quo.

I won't take any more of your time.

Vote CON!

Return To Top | Posted:
2018-05-26 19:32:39
| Speak Round

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Previous Judgments

2018-06-01 08:41:47
GuitarKirbyJudge: GuitarKirby
Win awarded to: nzlockie
Yet another debate sadly won by default. No arguments from Pro.

Pro, you win zero debates that you don't take part in. If you agree to the debate, actually post an argument, please.

Con, nice work. I'm tempted to think that even if Pro had made a case, you had the upper hand, especially since you got to define the resolution. Do be very careful when referencing Hitler in any light, bringing him up tends to be poison to almost any argument, no matter how appropriate the usage. Further, I think your second argument - that it would be difficult to prove in court - could have been expanded on a bit more. I'd have pulled the cost we currently have spent on lawyers defending politicians in court to give an idea of how costly introducing more laws like this would be. Otherwise, well done. Easy to read, well argued.
1 user rated this judgement as constructive
2 comments on this judgement
Alexandre The Thrice GreatAlexandre The Thrice Great
Obviously I have to accept this judgement ... however as to your comment, I have a 7/1 win ratio at the moment, I sorta just lost interest this debate, I shall work upon my resolve and hopefully see YOU in future debates ;)
Posted 2018-06-01 09:15:51
Thanks! Yeah my heart wasn’t really in this one as I had a feeling this was going to be another no contest debate.
The Hitler thing was me preempting any attempt to use that lie as evidence by my opponent. When you google political lies that’s one of the first ones that comes up every time, and is far more damaging to my case than it is constructive. By using it as evidence for my side, about 50% of the time the opponent doesn’t use it as evidence for their side. So even though it’s not that great for my case, it was a case of trying to take it off the table for my opponent.
I fully agree with your assessment of the second point. I should have elaborated on it much more in my first round. It was probably my strongest constructive point.
Posted 2018-06-01 14:29:03
2018-06-07 15:32:23
ImbsterJudge: Imbster
Win awarded to: nzlockie
Fascinating style of presenting arguments by the con. It's simple but whole and effective. Con also had an organized structure and very well internalization. Each header is backed up well While the pro...well wasn't able to formulate an argument. nzlockie made a lot of wonderful, strong and important points proving his fresh perspective of politicians. Normally I hate lying but with this one I'm pretty convinced lying is justifiable at national levels!

No need to put dictations and suggestions here
2 users rated this judgement as exceptional
2 users rated this judgement as constructive
0 comments on this judgement
2018-06-08 06:58:52
WCS7Judge: WCS7
Win awarded to: nzlockie
Won by default
0 comments on this judgement

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