I’d like to start by thanking my opponent for engaging with me in what I trust will be an interesting debate on a topic that Admin apparently loves. My contention as the Pro side in this debate is that “Extremist political parties SHOULD be banned”.
As there are only two debating rounds, I’ll be approaching this debate with a “big picture”, theoretical kind of view, debating the concept of a democratic system banning a politically extremist view from campaigning for government, rather than dwelling on a specific real-life party or view.
In that vein, I’d like to open my case with some pre-emptive qualifiers!
The idea of a democratic system banning an alternative point of view would seem at first glance to be completely counter-intuitive to the ideals of the system itself. To understand how the PRO side of this debate can be reconciled with this, it is critical to establish some of the practicalities would need to be resolved before a section of law could be drafted to this effect.
What constitutes a Political Extreme?
Before creating law that allows Political parties to be banned, the courts need to establish very specific criteria that would indicate when an extreme party was TOO extreme. Judging whether a party meets these criteria must also be a decision for the courts, as we don’t want a case of the government eliminating its competitors.
Due to the delicate nature of this, these criteria would need to be established long before the fact. To draft a law when such a party exists and is running, is too late and would surely look like the government is targeting a specific party as opposed to targeting the extremist views it holds.
For the same reasons, actually applying the ban would have to be done on a case by case basis.
Political views seen as extreme enough to be banned should therefore be done along the moral guidelines on which democracy itself is founded. Here are some of them:
Right to Freedom
Protection from Harm
Political views running contrary to some or all of the above may be considered “harmfully extremist”. It’s also worthy of noting that acting with these views may also be illegal and inciting others to break fundamental laws protecting these rights in all democratic societies.
How far does a ban extend?
The same system that must ban these political parties from campaigning for government must also be careful to respect the rights of its individuals to hold these views.
It would be against the ideals of democracy to legislate against an individual holding these views so PRO is not advocating for that in this debate.
With these important qualifiers in place to ensure that the ideals of democracy are protected, we can then move to live out these ideals by banning political parties who:
Use of/Incite violence: A political party whose core principles include inflicting physical harm on a section of society based on ethnicity, sex, age and even cultural affiliation – should be banned.
Exclude/Subordinate a section of society: A political party whose core principles include subjugating entire section of society based on race or sex – should be banned.
Flagrant disobedience of the law: A political party whose campaigning, by necessity, results in them repeatedly breaking the law – should be banned.
The prime examples of this are the two previous points. Hate Speech, Violence and Discrimination are all against the law and are against the ideals of democracy. Political parties advocating these will only be able to campaign by breaking the law.
The government has a duty to protect its citizens and allowing the promotion of a party which actively seeks to harm those citizens goes against this duty.
Vote PRO – but wait til after you’ve heard CON’s points. We want this to be a fair debate.
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