An election is a process of selecting a new person who will be responsible for representing the government or some other body. The general direction of a country’s movement depends on the decision of voters, who determine a specific composition of state and local bodies. It is important that people understand the essence of this political process and participate in the elections consciously. This paper aims to discuss three logical fallacies, an unfair election case and gerrymandering.
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Campaigning, Voting, and Apportionment
The first fallacy is anecdotal that refers to using personal experience and omit sound arguments and evidence. For example, a candidate states that his or her brother avoids vaccination for his family, and none of them have related diseases. It is anecdotal, especially if the person denies the existing studies that prove the positive impact of immunization for children. The second reasoning failure is the appeal to emotions means that a person manipulates voters by evoking hatred, pride, fear, and other feelings (Thou Shalt Not).
For instance, if a candidate points to poor people of Africa while offering to increase the value-added tax, he or she refers to pity. Tu quoque (“you too”) is the third fallacy that implies avoiding to engage with criticism and support the argument. In case a person accused the opponent of being indifferent to women’s rights, the latter also claims that he or she failed to advocate for the same or some other problem. It is tu quoque since the opponent was expected to properly defend the argument instead of shifting the focus back.
A first-past-the-post (FPTP) is the voting system that is currently applied in the US and means that voters identify their choice, while the majority of voices determine the winner. For example, the recent elections were won by Trump, who is Republican, but Democrats won the House since the elections were held according to FPTP (Smith). The results of the mentioned case may not have been “fair” as Clinton seemed to have more voters, yet the coalition of those who gave their choice proved to be greater. The voting paradox is associated with the fact that the mentioned system’s goal of identifying the majority of voices was not met. One of the potential alternatives is approval voting, when a person may select several candidates, which can be implemented by steadily rejecting the existing system.
Apportionment is the challenge of dividing a particular number of objects among various groups of different sizes. It is significant since political representatives should be allocated properly among voters. For example, US history shows that the number of seats in the Senate is equal to every state, while the apportionment of the House’s seats is marked by the relative population of states. The recent article published in “Reuters” states that the Republican-managed legislature of Michigan should be reconsidered since the current geographical lines weaken the political power of Democrats (Ax). In this case, Republicans benefit from gerrymandering since they improve their impact on elections in their favor.
To conclude, the election system has various aspects that should be taken into account during campaigning and voting. It was revealed that there are various reasoning fallacies used by candidates to persuade their voters. The example with FPTP voting scheme was provided, and its results were discussed. The apportionment was considered an important issue to ensure that elections are fair, while gerrymandering was specified as the negative aspect that violates the balance of political powers.
Ax, Joseph. “U.S. Judges Order Michigan to Revamp Republican-Drawn Districts in Gerrymandering Case.” Reuters, 2019. Web.
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Smith, David. “’Democrats Won the House but Trump Won the Election’ – And 2020 Is Next.” The Guardian, 2018. Web.
Thou Shalt Not Commit Logical Fallacies. Logical Fallacies, n.d. Web.