In a democratic society, felons ought to retain the right to vote.Some potential Aff values: democracy, justice, human rights, human dignity, equality, autonomy, societal welfare. Some potential Neg values: democracy, justice, the rule of law, societal welfare.
Obviously, one of the most critical definitions is that of a "democratic society." Who determines what counts as democratic? What is the core value of a "democratic society?"
Some baseline question: why does anyone have (never mind deserve) the right to vote? Why is it stripped from felons? What's the difference between a civil right and a human right?
A tricky question: when is a felon not a felon? If your definition doesn't involve the expiration of a felon's term, watch out.
Much analysis coming: value/criterion pairs, crucial definitions, important articles, and more. Watch this space, and, as always, post questions, comments, and wild ideas. They're what make this blog most useful to all who come by for (quality, free) advice.
Articles and Analysis
1. I review an article explaining several reasons felons ought to have the franchise. [10/1]
2. International law analysis and links, plus a retributive perspective. [10/4]
3. A Rawlsian stance on the affirmative.
4. A list of potential value/criterion pairs.
5. State-by-state felon disenfranchisement laws are broken down here. [pdf]
6. Foucault makes an appearance.
7. Alaska senator Ted Stevens' "moral turpitude" disenfranchises him--but not quite yet.
8. Jason Kuznicki simplifies the connection between the social contract and voting.
9. I critique a couple cases in the latest LD mailbag.
10. Considering social contract neg cases, I ask a critical question.
11. A couple more cases, including two Social Contract negs, come in the mail.
12. I sketch a dignity-based neg.
1. The importance of defining "felons."
2. "Democratic society."
3. Guest blogger OkieDebater defines key terms in his own way.
[A good introduction to different moral stances is here. For novices, some basic resources are here. For information on the Sept/Oct "permissible killing" resolution, go here. Also for novices: which philosophers should you study first?]
Update 12/1/08: The topic for January / February has been posted.