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DELIBERATING IN A DEMOCRACY

Freedom of speech is the foundation of a healthy democracy. So is the art of balancing democratic values, such as liberty and equality with safety and security. For democracy to thrive, citizens must be able and willing to express and exchange ideas among themselves and with their representatives in government and be able to weigh courses of action and potential consequences. Free speech ensures that conflicting views can be voiced, heard, and understood. Without free and open discourse, meaningful deliberation on public issues grows more difficult, the bonds of political and civil society weaken, and democracy withers away. When values are in conflict, freedom of speech becomes a critical vehicle for exploring choices, weighing options, and finding common ground.

Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago

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for exploring choices, weighing options, and finding common ground. Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago 22000088
for exploring choices, weighing options, and finding common ground. Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago 22000088

Sommaire

Should our democracy permit therapeutic cloning of human cells?

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Should our democracy ban the death penalty?

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Should our democracy allow schools to punish students for off-campus cyberbullying?

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Should our democracy require health care providers to report evidence of domestic abuse to the

police?

Should our democracy extend government support for higher education to immigrants who - as

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young people - entered the country illegally?

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Should our democracy permit physicians to assist in a patient’s suicide?

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Should our democracy permit hate speech?

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Should our democracy have a guest worker program?

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Should our democracy permit monopolies of broadcast news media in local communities?

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Should our democracy adopt a cap-and-trade system to limit greenhouse gas emissions?

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In response to market globalization, should our democracy provide “fair trade” certification for coffee and other products?

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In our democracy, should juvenile offenders who are accused of serious violent crimes be prosecuted and punished as adults?

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Should our democracy permit same-sex couples (gay and lesbian) to marry?

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Should our democracy fund elementary education for children of minority groups in their own language?

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Should all adult citizens in our democracy participate in one year of mandatory national service?

 

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Should our democracy hold parents responsible when their teenagers commit minor offenses? . 79

Should our democracy have the power to prohibit unauthorized public demonstrations?

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Should our democracy require manufacturers to recycle their products?

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Should our democracy require law enforcement officials to get permission from a judge to access

public video surveillance records?

Should our democracy place criminal penalties on anyone who sells, rents, or shows violent video

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games to minors?

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Should voting be compulsory in our democracy?

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Should

our democracy impose curfews on people under age 18?

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Should our democracy permit therapeutic cloning of human cells?

In 1996, scientists in Scotland created Dolly, a sheep who was an identical genetic copy of her mother. Since that time, scientists in other parts of the world have produced genetic duplicates of such animals as a cow, a mouse, a cat, a dog, a horse, a pig, and even a ferret. This process, called cloning, has led to increased interest and concern by governments and ordinary persons. Officials and citizens around the world are discussing the uses of human cells in medical research and the prospect of reproducing people through cloning.

Kinds of Cloning

Cloning is different from other forms of assisted reproduction, such as artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization. In assisted reproduction, the sperm of a male donor is brought together with the egg of a female donor, just like in natural reproduction. Cloning, by contrast, involves transferring the genetic material from the nucleus of one adult cell of an organism and placing it into an egg whose genetic material has been removed. After re ceiving a careful burst of electricity, the egg begins to divide into an embryo as if sperm had fertilized it.

Regarding human cloning, scientists and policymakers generally make a distinction between reproductive and therapeutic cloning. While the same techniques are used in the initial stages of both processes (German National Ethics Council, 2004), they quickly differ in important ways (Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, 2002).

Reproductive cloning, the process used to create Dolly the sheep, involves implanting an embryo into a female’s uterus. If the implantation is successful, the embryo grows and is born just like any other baby. The result, like Dr. Evil’s “Mini-Me” in the Austin Powers movies or the master composers in the Russian opera Rosenthal’s Children, is a genetic copy of the donor.

Therapeutic cloning does not implant an embryo into a uterus. Instead, therapeutic cloning focuses on stem cells and how they develop. These cells are very versatile: all the specialized cells of the body - bone, blood, nerves, muscles, skin - develop from stem cells. Despite this versatility, stem cells “do not themselves have the capacity to form a fetus or a newborn animal” (COSEPUP, 2002). Some researchers use therapeutic cloning to understand genetic defects. They also use therapeutic cloning to learn how to renew cells or tissues in people who suffer from degenerative diseases or crippling injuries. Other scientists pursue therapeutic cloning because they believe that stem cell research, like other frontiers in science, will lead to unexpected discoveries.

Cell Sources for Cloning

Currently, surplus embryos donated by parents undergoing in vitro fertilization are used as a source for stem cells. Fertility clinics routinely discard these unused embryos. When researchers receive embryos from a fertility lab, the embryos are only a few days old but are alive

and growing. The embryos are still in the blastocyst stage. That means they are a hollow ball of 64 to 200 cells in two layers. The researchers remove the stem cells - the inner layer of cells - to grow them in the lab. The outer layer of cells - which would have grown into the placenta, the means for nutrients to pass to a growing fetus - is discarded.

The Debate over Cloning

No country today supports the reproductive cloning of humans. Since the creation of Dolly, individual countries and the international community have worked to ban the cloning of humans to produce children. A 1998 United Nations General Assembly declaration stated that “Practices which are contrary to human dignity, such as reproductive cloning of human beings, shall not be permitted” (Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights).

Yet the declaration also said “Freedom of research, which is necessary for the progress of knowledge, is part of freedom of thought. The applications of research, including applications in biology, genetics and medicine, concerning the human genome, shall seek to offer relief from suffering and improve the health of individuals and humankind as a whole” (Article 12). This balance of interests - the preservation of human dignity and the relief of human suffering - exposes the fundamental fault line dividing those who see promise and value in therapeutic cloning and those who seek a total ban on all forms of cloning.

Cloning in a Democratic Society: Who Decides?

Another key question in the cloning discussion is who has the authority to decide. Many countries have created advisory committees of scientists, ethicists, and medical experts to help them understand cloning. Yet most governments keep the power to decide for themselves. Not surprisingly, different democracies have made different choices. The German National Ethics Council, for example, recommended in 2004 that the country maintain its 1990 Embryo Protection Law. This law bans all forms of cloning. This decision was made even though a majority of the council’s members were in favor of allowing therapeutic research. In 2006, the Australian parliament overturned a ban on therapeutic cloning, and a five-year ban in Russia is due for reconsideration in 2007. The United States has restricted federal funding for therapeutic cloning since 2001, limiting research to a narrow group of government-approved stem cells. Research funded by private and state sources continues at U.S. research institutes and universities, however.

Cloning Human Cells: Supporters and Opponents

Supporters of cloning argue that careless use of the term cloning has confused the public at the cost of good science. Reproductive cloning places an altered human cell in a female’s uterus. In contrast, therapeutic cloning takes place in a laboratory and cannot lead to a human being. The clear differences in technique between therapeutic and reproductive cloning and the international consensus against reproductive cloning mean there is little danger of a “slippery slope” leading from cloning that can cure to cloning that is universally condemned.

Supporters agree that the technology of cloning must be regulated.

By legislating

procedures and safeguards, society can determine what kind of cloning is acceptable and what kind is not. Reproductive cloning can be identified, isolated, criminalized, and, when necessary, punished without limiting therapeutic cloning.

While acknowledging concerns about human experimentation, supporters of therapeutic cloning note that the “embryos” used in research are really tiny blastocysts of undifferentiated stem cells. These blastocysts would be thrown away or destroyed by fertility clinics and medical facilities. Through therapeutic cloning, these cells can be saved and used to advance human life.

Supporters argue that therapeutic cloning holds great promise to alleviate human suffering and advance human knowledge. “Obtaining cells and tissues through therapeutic cloning gives a great hope to a number of incurably ill patients,” says Professor Eva Syklová, director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine of the Academy of Sciences in Prague. This research will be guided by reason and by democratic principles: results will be subjected to scientific peer review, and scientific work will proceed only with the knowledge and consent of society.

Opponents of human cloning argue that the “different” processes of therapeutic and reproductive cloning are both based on the destruction of human embryos. Thus, they say, there is no moral difference between the two. Cloning denies the fundamental rights of persons and reduces them to technical or medical commodities. As Okon Efiong Isong of Nigeria’s U.N. mission notes, “The United Nations was set up primarily to stop all acts that could violate the sanctity and dignity of human life - including the self-serving application of science and technology. It is, indeed, an inconceivable paradox that the proponents of human cloning for therapeutic purposes would opt to destroy or sacrifice human life - for the human embryo is a human life, a human being in its formative stages - so as to save the life of another.”

Opponents also argue that human cloning gives the living preference over the unborn, who cannot voice their opinion. Once an embryo is selected for therapeutic cloning, that life is over. It is the responsibility of those who can speak to advocate for those who cannot. Furthermore, stem cells needed for research can be taken from other sources, such as umbilical cord blood. Thus, using cloned embryos is unnecessary.

Critics further note the divergence between the costs of cloning and its possible benefits to humanity. Any scientific or medical advances are decades away, they argue. Those advances will benefit primarily the wealthy and influential. The money and scientific effort devoted to cloning could be better invested to fight current problems - like AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. That funding would help tens of millions of mostly poor people worldwide right now. The decisions about these issues cannot be left to scientists. Scientists want to do whatever can be done. They do not always think about what should be done.

The debate about cloning asks what it means to be human. Despite all of humanity’s advances in knowledge, people still seek an answer to this fundamental question.

YES - Arguments to Support the Deliberation Question

1. Imprecise use of the term cloning confuses the public at the cost of good science. Therapeutic and reproductive cloning are clearly different. Reproductive cloning places an altered human cell in a woman’s uterus. In contrast, non -reproductive cloning takes place in a laboratory and cannot lead to a human being. These differences mean there is little danger of a “slippery slope” leading from cloning that can cure disease to cloning that is universally condemned.

2. Therapeutic cloning covers an array of scientific possibilities. Among these are stem-cell research and other forms of non-reproductive cloning. Therapeutic cloning holds great promise to alleviate human suffering and advance human knowledge.

3. The technology of cloning is too tempting to leave unregulated. Because of its extraordinary potential, unscrupulous people will attempt cloning. By legislating procedures and safeguards, society can regulate what kind of cloning is permitted. It can also set proper limits and define what kind of cloning is ill egal. Reproductive cloning can be identified, isolated, criminalized, and, when necessary, punished without limiting the scientific knowledge or medical advances that might be gained through therapeutic cloning.

4. Scientists have the necessary technical training and background to make informed decisions about cloning. Democratic societies must learn about, discuss, and debate the moral and ethical issues surrounding therapeutic cloning. The expertise of scientists is critical to helping democracies make informed decisions about policy.

5. The “embryos” used in research are not babies with limbs or brains. They are tiny balls of stem cells. Moreover, the embryos currently used are from fertility clinics, where they are routinely discarded. Using them for research assures that they are not wasted. Using them values their potential to expand human knowledge.

NO - Arguments to Oppose the Deliberation Question

1. The processes for therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning both share a fundamental act: the destruction of human embryos. Therapeutic cloning is therefore no different from reproductive cloning - the very policy that the world universally condemns as an affront to human dignity.

2. Therapeutic cloning is wrong because it requires the creation of human beings only so that they may be “harvested” for the betterment of other human beings. Such activity gives the impression that some human lives are much more important than others. International laws were created in large part to protect all human beings from such a judgment. Furthermore, cloned embryos are not necessary to stem cell research - cells from umbilical cord blood could be used instead.

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Cloning is very costly and any advances will happen decades from now and benefit only the wealthy and influential. The money and effort devoted to cloning should be spent on current problems - like AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis - that affect millions of mostly poor people worldwide.

4. Humanity cannot leave decisions about human cloning to “experts.” Scientists do not ask whether something should or should not be done; instead, they ask whether something can be done and what can be learned from doing it. Societies, through national and international agreements, have the right and the responsibility to draw the line in scientific research.

5. Human cloning represents the very worst characteristics of capitalism. Both therapeutic and reproductive cloning turn human embryos into little more than spare parts or new clothes for those who can afford them. When human beings are viewed as market commodities, they are denied their fundamental rights as persons.

Should our democracy ban the death penalty?

Every society has laws defining crimes. Every society punishes people who commit those crimes. But how should the state punish the guilty? Consider these four cases:

1. Milada Horakova was a Czechoslovakian politician who resisted the Nazis during World War II. The Nazis captured and imprisoned her. After the war, she returned to her country and served in Parliament. She resigned her seat after the communist coup in 1948. Within 18 months, she was arrested on charges of attempting to overthrow the government. She was tried publicly in a show trial. Despite a lack of evidence, she was found guilty of treason. Horakova was hanged on June 27, 1950. Today she is recognized as a national heroine in the Czech Republic.

2. On January 7, 1965, Mildred Weiss, a mother of two, was returning to her home in San Gabriel, California, when she was confronted and shot by Robert Lee Massie. Weiss was only one of Massie’s victims during a seven-day crime spree. Massie was arrested; convicted of robbery, attempted murder, and murder; and sentenced to death. Hours before his scheduled execution, a stay was issued so that Massie could testify against his accomplice. Massie's sentence was later commuted to life in prison when the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily halted executions in 1972. He was eventually paroled. Eight months later, he robbed and murdered businessman Boris Naumoff in San Francisco, California. More than 36 years after he murdered Mildred Weiss, Massie was executed in March 2001 by the State of California.

3. In 1995, the State of North Carolina sentenced Alan Gell to death for the crime of first - degree murder. Gell maintained his innocence while serving nine years on death row. His appeal revealed that the prosecution had withheld significant evidence proving Gell’s innocence. Upon his exoneration, Gell and his family were jubilant. “We finally got the truth,” said Gell’s stepfather. “We have felt sure he was not guilty…It was a hard fight. You can’t win a fight when the other side makes up the evidence.”

4. In 1998, 29-year-old drug addict Roman Postl was convicted of murdering fellow Czech Jan Stencl. Postl was sentenced to 13 years in prison. He was released early, in 2008, because of his good behavior. Over three days in September 2008, Postl murdered four men, including a police officer who tried to stop him. Another police officer shot Postl, who died of his wounds later that month.

In a democracy, there are limits on how the government can punish persons convicted of crimes. The government must follow laws and procedures approved by the people. Almost all democracies, for example, forbid torture or cruel punishments for prisoners. There are dramatic differences, however, regarding capital punishment - both within and among democracies.

Capital Punishment

Capital punishment, or the death penalty, is the lawful execution of a convicted criminal by the government. Those crimes punishable by death are known as “capital crimes.” Sixty-two countries, including India, Pakistan, Cuba, Japan, Iran, Iraq, China, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, retain the death penalty. In 2007, China executed 470 people, the most performed in a single country, whereas Iran executed 317 and the United States executed 42.

Many democracies have abolished the death penalty on the principle that executing any person is dehumanizing, even if that person was convicted of the worst kinds of crime. Ninety- one countries prohibit capital punishment, including Azerbaijan, Serbia, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. The European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights states, “No one shall be condemned to the death penalty, or executed.” Protocol 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights states that the death penalty “shall be abolished” except in times of war. All member states except the Russian Federation have ratified Protocol 6, and Russia no longer uses the death penalty. The International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda did not consider the option of capital punishment, even though the tribunals were hearing charges of genocide, the systematic mass murder of an entire national, ethnic, or cultural group.

Despite European governments’ disapproval of capital punishment, some polls show that many European people support the death penalty. Polling conducted in 2005 by the independent firm Angus Reid Global Monitor found, for example, that 57% of Czechs supported the death penalty, as did 70% in Poland and 65% in Russia. Only 23% of Italians favored the death penalty.

Public support for capital punishment has been strong throughout U.S. history, remaining above 50% since the 1960s. The Pew Research Center reports that U.S. support for the death penalty for persons convicted of murder has remained between 62% and 68% since 2001. Most capital cases are determined by the laws of each state, and currently 14 states do not have a death penalty. Whether such punishment has a legitimate purpose, therefore, remains a hotly debated public issue within democratic societies regardless of what the laws in each country say.

The Death Penalty and the Purposes of Punishment

Societies have varied purposes for punishing people found guilty of crimes. Debates about the death penalty usually cite three distinct but related purposes: retribution, deterrence, and incapacitation.

Retribution is the idea that criminals face punishments in proportion to the amount of damage they have caused society. This principle, sometimes called an “an eye for an eye,” was common in the ancient cultures of the Near East. It was part of Mesopotamian, Hebrew, and Greek law thousands of years ago. Proponents of capital punishment argue that, in order to prevent individuals from resorting to private violence, the government must execute those who have murdered others. Some proponents of capital punishment also view the death penalty as a means of closure for victims’ families - executing the convicted murderer can end their ordeal.

Opponents of capital punishment believe retribution undermines the democratic principle of respecting the life of all citizens. They argue that there are certain things the government simply cannot be permitted to do, even if a majority of citizens feel it is appropriate. They worry that, when the state has the power to execute citizens, it can use that power - as in the case of Milada Horakova - to silence its enemies. Other death penalty opponents argue that the death penalty - like torture or slavery - is a vestige of humanity’s barbaric past. It should therefore be prohibited by civilized nations.

All religious traditions have specific teachings about human dignity, and many address different forms of punishment, including the death penalty. Significantly, however, there exists a wide diversity within these traditions about what believers think about this question.

A second purpose of the death penalty is deterrence, or prevention of future crime. Deterrence is achieved by establishing a punishment that will discourage a potential criminal from breaking the law. Those who support the death penalty argue that potential murderers will not actually kill others out of fear of losing their own lives. Ernest van den Haag, a professor at Fordham University in New York City who has studied the question of deterrence closely, wrote:

“Even though statistical demonstrations are not conclusive, and perhaps cannot be, capital punishment is likely to deter more than other punishments because people fear death more than anything else….Whatever people fear most is likely to deter most. Hence, the threat of the death penalty may deter some murderers who otherwise might not have been deterred.”

Other scholars debate the effectiveness of capital punishment as deterrence. Richard Berk, a UCLA professor of statistics and sociology, concluded after critiquing previous studies that “credible evidence for deterrence is lacking.” According to Amnesty International, an organization that opposes the death penalty, murders “are often committed in moments of passion, when extreme emotion overcomes reason.” Fear of capital punishment, therefore, could not deter such a criminal.

A third reason that some people support the death penalty is incapacitation, or making it physically impossible for murderers to repeat their crimes. Proponents of capital punishment argue that executing a convicted murderer ensures that people like Robert Lee Massie and Roman Postl cannot murder again. Opponents of capital punishment, however, argue that a sentence of life imprisonment incapacitates a prisoner just as well as the death penalty. Groups such as the Innocence Project also argue that the risk of executing an innocent person who was wrongly convicted is too great. Life imprisonment avoids such a risk.

The Death Penalty and the Reliability of the Criminal Justice System

Many arguments about the death penalty turn on the fairness of the criminal justice system itself. Opponents of capital punishment argue that the process for deciding capital cases is flawed and that a flawed system should not determine whether a person lives or dies. They cite the 126 death row inmates in the United States (including Alan Gell) who have been found innocent and released from prison since 1973. They also note that poor defendants in death penalty cases may be assigned lawyers who provide an inadequate defense, with devastating effects. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black wrote in Griffin v. Illinois (1956), “There can be no

equal justice where the kind of trial a man gets depends on the amount of money he has.” Yet many notorious examples suggest that poor defendants do not receive equal justice. For example, attorneys have fallen asleep or otherwise neglected their duties during a trial. Advanced technologies like DNA testing also cost money and require expertise that is not available equally. This inconsistency mocks the idea of equality before the law.

Death penalty supporters in the United States see the exoneration of persons on death row as proof that the system works. They believe that the appeals process is one of many safeguards to ensure fairness. Others include legal representation for the accused in capital crimes and the option to have a case decided by an impartial jury of citizens. Moreover, with DNA testing and other advances in forensic science, death penalty proponents in the United States and elsewhere say it is highly unlikely that an innocent individual will be sentenced to death.

As democracies decide how to deter future crimes and to punish the most heinous of criminals, the debate over capital punishment will continue.

YES - Arguments to Support the Deliberation Question

1. The concept of “an eye for an eye” undermines the democratic principle of respecting the life of all citizens. Taking a life for a life harkens back to humanity’s more barbaric past. Like slavery, retribution is incompatible with democracy. Thus, it should be outlawed. Some religious traditions share this view and call for abolition of the death penalty.

2. The effectiveness of capital punishment as deterrence is a myth. Credible evidence that the death penalty deters people from committing murder is lacking. Moreover, murders are often crimes of passion carried out by people who are overwhelmed by emotion. Fear of death cannot deter them.

3. The most effective way to incapacitate a person to keep a murderer from killing again is life imprisonment, not capital punishment. Resorting to execution is too drastic. Keeping a person isolated from society in prison accomplishes the same result. Life imprisonment also avoids the risk of putting to death a wrongly convicted person.

4. Despite the existence of an appeals process, the justice system is too flawed to determine whether a person should live or die. The fact that more than 120 death row inmates in the United States have been found to be innocent since 1973 only proves that the legal safeguards are inadequate to prevent wrongful conviction. The risk of even one innocent person being executed outweighs any benefit of ridding society of the worst criminals.

5. There is no consensus in democratic nations that the death penalty is a just punishment. Relatively few citizens support the death penalty in Italy, Great Britain, and in certain states in the United States. The European Union and Council of Europe both require abolition of the death penalty in their member nations.

NO - Arguments to Oppose the Deliberation Question

1. Beginning in ancient civilizations, the death penalty has been accepted as a justified and proportional means of retribution. The government needs to be able to use this ultimate punishment for murder, which is the worst of crimes. Use of this punishment also prevents individuals from resorting to private violence. Retribution provides victims’ families with a sense of closure.

2. Potential criminals stop themselves from committing crimes when they fear punishment. This is called deterrence. The death penalty provides such deterrence for would -be murderers. Since people fear death, then the threat of death deters at least some people who might otherwise become murderers.

3. Prison incapacitates convicted criminals by physically separating them from society. Some convicted murderers are likely to repeat their crime once they are released from imprisonment. Therefore, the death penalty is an effective means of incapacitation. It makes it physically impossible for murderers to repeat their crimes.

4. When convicted murderers on death row are exonerated (found innocent), it becomes even more unlikely that the injustice of executing an innocent person will occur. Along with the safeguards of an appeals process and guaranteed access to an attorney, DNA testing and advances in forensic science ensure that only the guilty will suffer the death penalty.

5. Support for the death penalty is strong in many democratic countries, including the United States, Poland, and Russia. If the people decide the death penalty is an appropriate punishment, democratic governments should make it available to punish the worst crimes.

Should our democracy allow schools to punish students for off-campus cyberbullying?

The frequent and public exchange of ideas is central to a thriving democracy. The Internet, mobile phones, and digital technologies allow people to send words, images, and sounds to a wide audience in a matter of seconds. However, some electronic messages are harmful.

Schools have long faced the problem of bullies. Today’s bullies can now use interactive and digital technologies to harass and intimidate other students. Although schools have a duty to protect the safety and well-being of their students, much of this “cyberbullying” takes place off campus, outside of school hours. Therefore, schools must decide whether or not to punish bullies for actions taken beyond school walls.

What Is Cyberbullying?

According to Parry Aftab of the U.S. Wired Safety Group, cyberbullying occurs “when a child, preteen, or teen is tormented, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen, or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones.” Unlike traditional bullying, cyberbullying does not always involve a powerless victim. Because students can hide their identities electronically, bullied students can more easily strike back. Thus, weaker students can and do become cyberbullies.

In a European study on Internet safety that included the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, and Romania, students mentioned many forms of cyberbullying. Among them were “mockery, ‘leg pulling,’ insults, threats, disagreeable comments and slander, sent by e-mail, put forward on discussion forums, left on blogs, telephoned anonymously or sent by text message.” Students have also created false e-mail accounts or social networking profiles (such as on Facebook or MySpace). While impersonating other students, these cyberbullies broadcast mean, offensive, or hateful things. In “happy slapping,” as it is called in the Czech Republic, cyberbullies record their assaults on children with camera phones. They then broadcast these attacks via video messaging or websites. Technically savvy students have also sent destructive viruses to or installed spyware on their victim’s computers. As Aftab argues, “The cyberbullying methods used are limited only by the child’s imagination and access to technology.”

The Extent and Consequences of Cyberbullying

A recent national survey conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that “one third (32%) of all U.S. teenagers who use the Internet say they have been targets of annoying and potentially menacing online activities.” The unauthorized forwarding or public posting of private communication was the most common form of cyberbullying.

The problem also appears to be common in several European countries. In the Czech Republic, for example, a 2005 survey of young people revealed that 1 in 5 had been bullied by mobile phone or the Internet. While many children perceive these activities as “jokes and making

fun,” cyberbullying has resulted in some students refusing to go to school and/or experiencing anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Furthermore, a recent UNICEF report showed bullying to be a significant problem for children in the Russian Federation, Estonia, and Lithuania. As more students gain access to digital technologies, cyberbullying will likely become more common.

In some cases, cyberbullying has tragic outcomes. In the Czech Republic, two twelve-year old female students attempted suicide because of class bullying. Luckily, their parents found them in time to save them. In the United States, the case of Ryan Halligan was more catastrophic. In 2003, a boy spread a rumor that Ryan was gay. He was repeatedly taunted on and offline. According to Nancy Willard of the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use, “Cyberbullying based on sexual orientation appears to be quite frequent and has been implicated/suggested in most of the cases that have resulted in suicide.”

The taunting continued into the summer, when Ryan engaged in several online exchanges with a girl. As his father said, approaching a popular girl from school was “a surefire way to squash the ‘gay’ rumor before everyone returned to school.” When Ryan approached this student in the fall, she called him a loser and said she had only pretended to like him. She also extracted personal, embarrassing information from him during their supposedly private instant messaging exchanges and shared it with her friends. Ryan hung himself on October 7, 2003.

The Legality of School Responses to Cyberbullying

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech.” However, the Supreme Court has ruled in several cases that schools can limit student speech. In the 1969 Tinker decision, for example, the Court decided that schools could prohibit student speech if it “materially and substantially interfered with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school.” In subsequent cases, courts have used Tinker to determine if student speech about other students, teachers, or the school caused substantial disruption to the school community. Most of these cases involve student offenses against teachers and administrators rather than other students. Recent lower court decisions have addressed harassment via Internet technologies, such as a student website that made insulting comments about and threatened a teacher (J.S. v. Bethlehem Area School District). In the majority of decisions, the courts ruled against school districts that punished students for off-campus Internet postings. In Killion v. Franklin Regional School District, for example, the court ruled that a school could not discipline a student for inappropriate off-campus e-mail unless that student brought the speech to school.

Given the courts’ reluctance to limit off-campus student speech, U.S. school officials, parents, and legislators have addressed cyberbullying in other ways. For example, in Vermont, where Ryan Halligan lived, a new state law requires that public schools establish bullying prevention procedures. Some schools have added a provision to their acceptable use policies that students must sign. These policies authorize schools to “discipline the student for actions taken off-campus if they are intended to have an effect on a student or they adversely affect the safety and well-being of a student while in school” (Willard, 2003). Additionally, some parents and students have successfully argued that cyberbullies violated civil or criminal laws by, for example, intentionally inflicting emotional distress or committing a hate crime.

The 48-nation Council of Europe’s Convention on Human Rights also protects freedom of expression and states that public authority should not interfere with it. Additionally, the United Nations’ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that the right to freedom of expression “shall include freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.” However, this document also declares that the exercise of free expression “carries with it special duties and responsibilities” and thus can be restricted for “the rights and reputations of others” and “the protection of…public order.”

In 2004, schools from Lithuania, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine contributed to the European Charter for a Democratic School without Violence. This document announces, “All members of the school community have the right to a safe and peaceful school. Everyone has the responsibility to contribute to creating a positive and inspiring environment for learning and personal development.” In response, organizations like Childline Lithuania and UNICEF Serbia have promoted comprehensive anti-bullying school policies. Additionally, the Serbian Ministry of Education has issued rules for the prevention of bullying in schools. In the Czech town of Usti nad Labem, police officers have begun patrolling schools where cyberbullying is a major issue. To enable Usti students to report incidents anonymously, police have placed special letter-boxes in schools.

Prohibiting Off-Campus Cyberbullying: Supporters and Opponents

Some people believe that schools can most effectively prevent cyberbullying by punishing harmful off-campus student actions. If students know cyberbullying has consequences, they will be less likely to participate in electronic activities aimed at tormenting other students.

Others argue that protecting the personal safety of bullied youth requires well-defined anti bullying school policies and laws. “Suggestions” or “recommendations” for confronting cyberbullying often do not result in concrete actions. However, when school districts are required by law to stop cyberbullying, they are more likely to work with schools, parents, and students to implement anti-bullying programs that work.

Opponents do not endorse cyberbullying. They just do not believe punishment by school authorities can effectively stop it. Some people argue that anti-bullying policies are often not enforced. This is particularly true if no funding is available to monitor schools’ progress or to develop successful programs. A more useful way to address cyberbullying is a grassroots approach. Individual schools can create comprehensive strategies for combating bullying and violence based on the administrators, staff members, and students’ understanding of the problem.

Other opponents argue that cyberbullying is an ambiguous term. Many youth view dispute and teasing as a normal part of growing up. So-called “cyberbullying” just uses modern resources to do so. When teasing becomes harmful, youth know it but often do not seek the help of teachers or other adults. We should therefore focus our energy on empowering youth to challenge destructive forms of cyberbullying. This strategy will work better than top-down

policies. Moreover, when students violate civil or criminal laws, the courts should discipline them, not schools.

People who support school intervention in off-campus cyberbullying argue that it causes significant school disruptions. Because digital technologies often leave evidence behind, school officials should take the time to investigate cyberbullying. Most of the time they will find plenty of reasons to justify formal discipline.

People who do not support school intervention in cyberbullying argue that we should educate rather than punish students. Teens are still developing their values. They will work to limit cyberbullying if they understand it is at odds with their personal code of ethics.

Will schools that punish off-campus cyberbullying improve school safety and protect the dignity of individual students? Or will they exceed their authority and violate students’ right t o freedom of expression? Citizens must consider which policies best balance their rights to safety, respect, and free speech.

YES - Arguments to Support the Deliberation Question

1. Respect and safety are just as important as free speech. Schools that punish cyberbullies send the right message about our democratic principles. The Supreme Court has ruled that students’ First Amendment rights have limits. Punishing cyberbullying is an appropriate limit on First Amendment rights.

2. If students know cyberbullying has consequences, they will be less likely to engage in electronic activities that are harmful to other students. Establishing consequences for harmful acts is one of the ways that society teaches young people right from wrong.

3. We need to protect the victims of cyberbullying, not the perpetrators. Anti-bullying policies send a clear message that cyberbullying is not acceptable in our democracy. Sending this message is doubly important because victims of traditional bullying may become bullies in the anonymous world of cyberspace.

4. Policies and laws result in changed behavior. “Suggestions” or “recommendations” don’t have the authority that actual policies or laws do. Thus, they don’t result in any effective action. If mandated to prevent cyberbullying, schools will develop effective anti-bullying policies.

5. Cyberbullying causes significant school disruptions. If administrators investigate cyberbullying incidents, they will usually find the evidence they need to justify formal discipline for such acts. It is their responsibility as school leaders to ensure that the school is a safe place to learn for all students.

NO - Arguments to Oppose the Deliberation Question

1. Schools have enough authority. Students are required by law to attend school and follow its rules while there, but a school should not be allowed to extend its authority into the private, off-campus lives of students. The First Amendment protects free speech. Giving schools authority over speech that occurs outside school infringes on First Amendment rights.

2. Anti-bullying policies are another example of unfunded, unenforced mandates. Given schools’ tight budgets, they will not be able to monitor their progress or develop effective anti-bullying programs. A better solution is a grassroots one. Each school should address the problem as they see fit.

3. Cyberbullying is an ambiguous term. We should not discipline students who are simply having fun and engaging in normal teenage behaviors. When cyberbullying becomes something more than playful teasing, the juvenile justice system should become involved, not school officials.

4. Students, not adults, can best address cyberbullying. Adults are often out of touch with student language and viewpoints. Thus, they may identify a legitimate joke as cyberbullying. Because students understand better than adults when their actions become harmful, adults should help students develop skills to address cyberbullying on their own.

5. Education is a more effective tool for change than punishment. Teens are still developing their values and will work to limit cyberbullying if they understand how it is at odds with their personal code of ethics.

Should our democracy require health care providers to report evidence of domestic abuse to the police?

Imagine you are in a relationship with an abusive individual. In a fit of rage, your partner hits you. These blows injure your face. You want to go to the hospital for treatment but know that doctors are required by law to report this violent incident to the police. Y ou wonder: Will this report prevent more abuse by holding your partner accountable for the violence? Or will a police report lead to more violence because your partner will retaliate against you?

In order to protect the personal safety of their citizens, democracies must address such dilemmas when trying to stop domestic violence. Because “domestic violence transcends all boundaries and occurs in all cultures” (Baban, 2003), governments around the world are developing policies to confront it. Requiring health care providers to report domestic violence to state authorities is one proposed policy. Making an informed decision in favor of or opposing such mandatory reporting requires an understanding of the forces involved in domestic violence.

The Dynamics of Domestic Violence

“It is estimated that one in every five women faces some form of violence during her lifetime, in some cases leading to serious injury or death.” - World Health Organization (WHO), Addressing Violence against Women.

Domestic violence is the physical, psychological, or sexual abuse of an intimate adult partner. Domestic violence differs from other forms of violence because it disproportionately affects women. In Europe, “25% of all violent crimes reported involve a man assaulting his wife or partner” (European Commission, 2000). Additionally, findings from a large-scale U.S. survey of women and men reveal that three times more women experience intimate partner violence than men (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000).

This gender-based violence is “a complex and multidimensional problem” (Baban, 2003). People who have not experienced domestic violence may blame women for remaining in an abusive relationship. However, intimate relationships are rarely abusive at the beginning. Women often develop love for their partners before abuse sets in. What is more, abusive relationships are not constantly violent. “Abusers effectively weave together intimacy and abuse to control their partners” (Missouri Coalition against Domestic and Sexual Violence, 2006).

Importantly, the large number of women experiencing domestic violence reflects deep- rooted gender inequality (WHO, 2005). The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) identifies power inequalities between women and men as the primary source of violence against women. When cultural norms in families, schools, and workplaces perpetuate the belief that women are inferior to men, women are more vulnerable to violence (UNIFEM, 2001). Therefore, organizations working to eliminate domestic violence have increasingly focused on changing forms of masculinity that promote violence. A program with male youth from Bosnia,

Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia, for example, sought to help these young men develop a male identity that supports respectful and equitable interactions with women (Eckman et al., 2007).

Poverty, war, and women’s lack of formal education are also linked to domestic violence (WHO, 2005). Men who are unemployed or have little job security may act violently out of frustration and feelings of hopelessness. In addition to men using rape and sexual violence against women as tools of war, men in war-torn nations may lose their status as leaders and protectors of the household. The “stress, feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem among men” in such situations increase “their likelihood to perpetrate violence” (Eckman et al., 2007).

Women with less education are also more likely to experience domestic violence than those with higher levels of education. Although “some men may react violently to women’s empowerment through education,” when enough women achieve a higher level of education, they develop “greater self-confidence, wider social networks, and greater ability to use information and resources” (WHO, 2005). This empowerment can shift traditional gender roles and enable women to achieve economic independence, both of which lead to greater gender equality and, as a result, less gender-based violence.

The Contested Role of Mandatory Reporting

The complex nature of domestic violence leads many to argue that solutions to it must also be complex. Some advocates therefore argue that a coordinated community response is the only way to ensure survivor safety and hold abusers accountable. Such a response includes “law enforcement agencies, advocates, health care providers, child protection services, local businesses, the media, employers and clergy” (Stop Violence Against Women, 2006).

Others argue that requiring health care providers to report domestic violence to state authorities is a more limited but effective remedy to domestic violence. Viewing domestic violence as a criminal and health care issue, supporters of mandatory reporting want police and health care providers to work together to resolve it. They argue that involving health care providers in the reporting process helps to ensure that physicians understand the dynamics of domestic violence. Physicians who receive training on domestic violence will have a greater awareness of the issue and thus be able to identify and treat injuries associated with it (Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 2006).

Those who view survivor safety as the first priority in responding to domestic violence frequently oppose mandatory reporting. According to the Commission of Human Rights, police cultures in many countries show discriminatory attitudes toward women in general and female survivors of domestic violence in particular (Coomaraswamy, 1997). Women therefore often mistrust police officers and do not want to report abuse to them. “If survivors fear that reporting will place them and their children in greater danger, they may not seek medical care or may not tell their providers about the abuse” (Hyman, 1997). When survivors avoid medical treatment because they do not trust the police and/or fear retaliation by their abusers for involving state authorities, they often do not receive the care and resources - such as counseling, shelter, and legal services - they need to prevent further abuse.

Indeed, some health care providers argue that mandatory reporting weakens their ability to offer effective interventions for domestic violence. If survivors hide their abusive situation from health care providers in order to avoid mandatory reporting, health care providers cannot refer them to appropriate resources and support services. Some health care providers also view mandatory reporting as violating provider-patient confidentiality. If patients do not want violent incidents reported, many health care providers want to honor that decision. If a mandatory reporting policy is in effect, however, health care providers violate the law when they refuse to report domestic violence incidents (United Nations, 2006; Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, 2007).

Proponents of mandatory reporting counter that because many survivors do not call the police, governments have a difficult time assessing the frequency and extent of domestic violence. Without accurate statistics about the problem, policy makers have a difficult time obtaining the resources and support necessary to help survivors and create effective violence prevention programs. Mandatory reporting by health care providers can help governments better document the domestic violence incidents affecting their citizens (Stop Violence Against Women, 2006). With a more precise identification of the problem, governments can treat domestic violence as a public policy issue that deserves immediate attention and remedies.

Supporters also insist that mandatory reporting allows state authorities to find abusers. If survivors do not go to law enforcement or social service agencies to report abuse, governments are unable to prosecute those committing domestic violence. When health care providers report violent incidents, on the other hand, the criminal justice system can grant the survivor an order of protection. Additionally, the evidence of abuse that health care providers record in survivors’ medical files can be used to prosecute and convict identified abusers.

Those opposing mandatory reporting charge that it denies survivors the right to make their own critical life decisions. By not allowing survivors to decide if they want to report abuse, mandatory reporting “perpetuates harmful stereotypes of battered women as passive and helpless” (Hyman, 1997).

Supporters of mandatory reporting contend that it improves survivor safety by treating domestic violence as criminal acts of assault and abuse rather than a “family matter” (Sachs, 2000). To eliminate domestic violence, governments need to inform the general public that it “is a serious crime that will not be ignored” (Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 2006).

Human rights activist Charlotte Bunch argues, “There is nothing immutable about the violent oppression of women and girls…But because it has been so deeply ingrained, for so long, in virtually every culture remaining on earth, the effort to dismantle the societal structures that tolerate it, or patently refuse to see it, will require creativity, patience and actions on many fronts.”

YES - Arguments to Support the Deliberation Question

1. Domestic violence is both a criminal and health issue. For that reason, solutions to it must involve health care providers. Mandatory reporting encourages health care providers to work with police, which leads to more effective responses to domestic violence.

2. Involving health care providers in the reporting process helps to ensure that physicians understand the dynamics of domestic violence. Physicians who receive training on domestic violence will have a greater awareness of the issue and thus be able to identify and treat injuries associated with it.

3. Governments need to be able to accurately assess the frequency and extent of domestic violence if they are to treat it as an important public policy issues that deserves immediate attention and remedies. Because many survivors do not go to the police, governments have a difficult time documenting domestic violent incidents. Mandatory reporting by health care providers helps governments identify this issue more precisely so they can mobilize the resources and public support needed to combat it.

4. Mandatory reporting helps state authorities find and punish abusers. When health care providers report domestic violence incidents, the criminal justice system can grant survivors orders of protection. Evidence of abuse that health care providers record in survivors’ medical files can also be used to prosecute and convict identified abusers.

5. Mandatory reporting improves survivor safety by treating domestic violence as a criminal act rather than a “family matter.” Such treatment sends the message that domestic violence is a serious crime that the government will not ignore.

NO - Arguments to Oppose the Deliberation Question

1. Domestic violence is a complex problem that demands complex solutions. Although mandatory reporting involves health care and criminal justice service providers, it does not promote a coordinated community response to domestic violence. Such a response requires the additional participation of advocates, child protection services, local businesses, the media, employers and clergy.

2. Although supporters of mandatory reporting have good intentions, the policy is not an effective way to ensure survivor safety. Most domestic violence survivors are female, and many police cultures show discriminatory attitudes toward women. Therefore many women do not trust police officers and do not want to report abuse to them, directly or indirectly. If survivors decide that mandatory reporting by health care providers will put them in more danger, they may not seek medical care for their injuries.

3. Mandatory reporting weakens health care providers’ ability to offer effective interventions for domestic violence. If survivors hide their abusive situation from health care providers

to avoid mandatory reporting, health care providers cannot refer them to appropriate resources and support services.

4. Mandatory reporting violates provider-patient confidentiality. If patients do not want violent incidents reported, many health care providers want to honor that decision. Mandatory reporting turns this ethical refusal to report domestic violence into a violation of the law.

5. Survivors are autonomous adults who have the right to make their own critical life decisions. By not allowing survivors to decide if they want to report abuse, mandatory reporting “perpetuates harmful stereotypes of battered women as passive and helpless” (Hyman, 1997).

Should our democracy extend government support for higher education to immigrants who - as young people - entered the country illegally?

In today’s world, millions of people move each year from one country to another. They leave their countries for many reasons. Some are seeking work. Others are refugees from war or civil unrest. Some are trying to escape persecution, while others are attracted to freedoms or comforts in another land. Some people want a new start in life or a chance to reunite with their families.

Every nation has the right to control who crosses its borders. Very often the process of applying for legal entry into another country is long, complicated, and expensive, with no guarantee of success. While many immigrants have the time, the resources, and the connections to migrate legally, millions more face great barriers.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR), more than 10 million people are “stateless” (officially without a country), and another 25 million people in 50 countries are “internally displaced persons” (IDPs) - people who have been forced to flee their homes to escape armed conflict, chaos, violence, human rights abuses, or natural or man- made disasters. Often desperate to escape such conditions, many people enter other countries illegally.

Democratic societies see themselves as sharing equality through citizenship. Lacking citizenship, undocumented non-citizens raise fundamental questions for democracies about the difference between the rights of citizens and the rights of all persons in a country particularly regarding government services. One flashpoint for this debate is public education.

Democratic Nations and Non-Citizens

Countries have many different kinds of non-citizens. Some persons have government approval as immigrants or refugees; they may stay as legal permanent residents, and some even seek citizenship in their new country. Other non-citizens first enter a country legally but then overstay their visas or engage in non-permitted activities, such as work. In nations such as Kuwait, persons who have lived their entire lives in the country may still not be official citizens. Then there are persons who are in a country without any government authorization.

The presence of non-citizens is a significant issue for many democratic nations. According to the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), for example, approximately 9% of the population of Federal Republic of Germany are non-citizens. Almost half (49%) have lived there 11 years or more; some were even born there (1997, SOPEMI). In France, 5.6% of the total population are non-citizens (1999). Based on the March 2005 Current Population Survey from the U.S. Census and other recent data, the Pew Hispanic Center estimated that at as of March 2006 there were between 11.5 and 12 million unauthorized migrants

living in the United States. According to the U.S. Immigration and Nationalization Service in 2000, about 40% are in the country on expired visas.

Not surprisingly, there are a number of official and unofficial names for these different classes of persons. Following World War II, thousands of persons in Europe were labeled “Displaced Persons” and held in DP camps until they could be returned to their countries of origin or find another place to go. In the United States, the terms “illegal immigrants,” “undocumented persons,” “unauthorized alien,” and “unauthorized migrants” all refer to the same basic group: persons who lack current, official authorization to be in the country.

The Right of a Child to an Education

In 1989, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 44/25, “The Convention on the Rights of the Child.” This Convention, approved by 192 member states, spells out many human, economic, and social rights and protections for children regardless of their country of residence or origin. Article 28 of the Convention deals with education. It says in part that signatories “recognize the right of the child to education, and with a view to achieving this right progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity, they shall, in particular: (a) Make primary education compulsory and available free to all; (b) Encourage the development of different forms of secondary education, including general and vocational education, make them available and accessible to every child….”

The Convention makes no distinction among children with different kinds of legal status in a country, and each country decides for itself how to fulfill their obligations under the Convention. Many countries also made explicit reservations about certain articles of the Convention when they signed it; the Federal Republic of Germany noted, for example, that “nothing in the Convention may be interpreted as implying that unlawful entry by an alien into the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany or his unlawful stay there is permitted.” Nevertheless, the Convention is an important international standard for how children are treated.

Access to Education by Unauthorized Alien Youth in the United States

According to estimates, hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth are enrolled in American elementary and secondary schools; most were brought by their parents. More than 400,000 such students have been in the United States for at least five years, and each year nearly 50,000 of them graduate from high schools. For these children, “home” is the United States. Their friends, culture, and self-identify are American. Although they do not enjoy legal status, they can attend public schools because of a decision in 1982 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the United States, education is not considered a “fundamental right” - that is, a right protected by the federal constitution. Instead, education is a responsibility of state governments. In 1982, the Court heard the case of Plyler v. Doe. A Texas law withheld state funds from local school districts for the education of children who were not “legally admitted” into the country. It also authorized local school districts to not enroll such children. The case was brought by illegal immigrants who claimed that the Texas law violated the Equal Protection Clause of the

Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which provides that no State shall “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

By a vote of 5-to-4, the Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment protects anyone who is subject to the laws of a state. Writing for the Court, Justice Brennan noted that “whatever his status under the immigration laws, an alien is surely a ‘person’ in any ordinary sense of that term.” The Court also held that the Texas law did not have a “rational basis” for discriminating against this class of persons and that, in fact, it would impose a lifetime hardship on a discrete class of children who were not responsible for their status. Plyler ensures that every child in the U.S., regardless of their legal status, is entitled to a free public education through high school.

College Funding for “Unauthorized Alien” Students: The DREAM Act

In 1996, Congress passed and President Clinton signed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. Section 505 of this legislation restricted state educational benefits to unauthorized alien students by making them ineligible for any state loans or scholarships to public colleges and universities; these students were already ineligible for federal financial aid. These two policies left most of these students without a chance to attend college.

In 2004, the “Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act,” was proposed in Congress by Senator Orrin Hatch (R) of Utah, Senator Richard Durbin (D) of Illinois, and others. This policy was intended to provide undocumented high school students who wished to attend college or serve in the armed forces a legal opportunity to pursue and get financial help for these goals. Qualifying students had to: not have a criminal record; have entered the U.S. before they were 16 and lived in the country for at least five years; and have graduated from high school or its equivalent. At present, the DREAM Act has not been enacted.

The DREAM Act: Supporters and Opponents

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) of California, a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act, said that “I believe it is in the national interest to provide talented students who have clearly embraced the American Dream the incentive to take the path towards being a responsible, contributing, law abiding member in our civic society.”

Advocates also believe that the DREAM Act is smart policy. Since Americans cannot expect that every unauthorized non-citizen can be deported from the country, providing an education for every child - citizen and non-citizen - is both wise and fair. Otherwise, these undocumented young people will grow up without an education and remain on the margins of society. After all, the best way to learn about being a citizen is to go to school. By receiving a publicly funded education, these young people will be encouraged to become full participants in democratic life.

Other supporters say that education is a human right. Undocumented children did not decide to enter the country by themselves - their parents made that decision. Public education for both citizens and non-citizens fulfills a basic need of every person in our democracy. Education today reasonably includes the opportunity to attend college for those students who are ready

academically. Such a policy does not create a special privilege for these youth: it levels the playing field by removing barriers that currently prevent them from reaching their full potential.

Opponents argue that the DREAM Act sends the wrong message. They see this and other programs for unauthorized immigrants as a reward for illegal behavior. Phyllis Schlafly, the founder of Eagle Forum, has argued that “there was no misunderstanding about what this law means, either when Congress passed it or when President Clinton signed it… ‘illegal aliens are not eligible for in-state tuition rates at public institutions of higher education.’” The DREAM Act will only encourage more families to enter the country illegally so that their children can benefit. The result punishes citizens and mocks legal immigrants who have “played by the rules.”

Opponents also argue that the cost of providing a college education to unauthorized aliens will come at the expense of students who are citizens. “DREAM will place American citizens in direct competition with illegal aliens for scarce slots in freshmen classes at state colleges and universities. This is a massive giveaway of higher education while awarding the illegal alien students with an amnesty,” according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). “This massive giveaway of higher education to illegal aliens comes at a time when every state university system is raising tuition and cutting education benefits.”

Opponents also say that the supporters of the DREAM Act fundamentally misunderstand what has always been a central purpose of American public education: preparing young people for citizenship. Investing public dollars to teach people who are not citizens w ould be wasteful and foolish. Ultimately, every country provides its citizens with special benefits and privileges over non-citizens. Public higher education is one such benefit of citizenship.

YES - Arguments to Support the Deliberation Question

1. Education is a human right. Support for higher education for both citizens and non - citizens fulfills a basic need of every person in our democracy, especially in the 21st century when many jobs require a college education.

2. Democratic society depends on the education of every person. Since we cannot expect that every unauthorized non-citizen can be deported from our country, these undocumented young people will remain in our society. Educating them and allowing them a pathway to legal citizenship will allow them to become productive citizens who pay taxes.

3. Children most often did not decide to enter the country illegally. This decision was made by their parents. Children should not be punished for what their parents do.

4. Offering support for college education to law-abiding, unauthorized immigrant students is fair and in the best interests of the country. The best way to learn about being a citizen is to go to school. Providing unauthorized immigrant students with publicly funded education will encourage them to become full participants in our democratic society.

5.

Providing publicly funded higher education does not give unauthorized alien students any special privileges. It merely removes barriers that currently prevent them from reaching their full potential.

NO - Arguments to Oppose the Deliberation Question

1. Providing government support for college education for non-citizen youth is misguided. A central purpose of public education is to prepare young people for citizenship. It is foolish to spend public dollars educating people who are not citizens.

2. Every country privileges citizens over non-citizens. In a democracy, citizens participate in the decisions of government and therefore receive special benefits such as the right to vote, to travel in and out of the country freely, and to receive public support for higher education.

3. Government support for higher education is an allocation by citizens of limited public resources. Providing unauthorized alien students with a college education means less money for other programs that benefit legal immigrants and citizens.

4. While children are not responsible for the decisions of their parents, our democracy is responsible for meeting only their basic human needs. Our democracy does not owe unauthorized immigrant children a college education.

5. People should not be rewarded for illegal behavior. Providing government support for college education to unauthorized alien students will only encourage more families to enter our country illegally so that their children can benefit. Taxpaying citizens subsidize the education of people who broke the law.

Should our democracy permit physicians to assist in a patient’s suicide?

A democratic government is responsible for protecting the lives of all its citizens. A central democratic principle, however, is that each person is autonomous (self-governing): people have control over their own lives. Finding the balance between these two principles often creates conflict.

While most citizens in a democracy want to protect life, they also believe and expect that they make their own personal decisions, particularly about their own bodies - to travel where they wish, eat and wear what they want, even decorate their bodies as they desire. People also assume that this right of control over their bodies extends to matters of life and death. For example, all democratic societies outlaw the cruel or unusual punishment of humans.

Many people believe that the right to live autonomously includes the right to decide when and how they end their own lives, particularly when “life” means facing a terminal illness, depression, or terrible pain. Yet many people around the world, because of their religious teachings, see end-of-life decisions not as personal choices but social responsibility; they oppose permitting suicide or enabling someone else to die. These divergent beliefs about protecting life and preserving autonomy come into conflict when people discuss whether the government should permit physicians to assist patients with suicide.

Euthanasia

Euthanasia, or “easy death,” means allowing or enabling people to die in a relatively painless way. The debate over euthanasia goes back at least to the time of Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician known as the Father of Medicine. The Hippocratic Oath says in part, "I will neither give a deadly drug to anyone if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect." Many medical schools still follow Hippocrates’ original promise, but others have adopted different oaths of conduct that permit physicians to participate in euthanasia.

When people talk about euthanasia, they refer to one or more of these practices:

Right to Refuse Treatment: A competent adult has the legal right to refuse treatment even if this refusal will A competent adult has the legal right to refuse treatment even if this refusal will result in death.

Passive Euthanasia: Under certain circumstances, family members may request that life sustaining machines or treatment be stopped Under certain circumstances, family members may request that life sustaining machines or treatment be stopped for patients with little or no hope of regaining consciousness.

Double Effect: A patient may request his or her physician to administer powerful drugs such as morphine A patient may request his or her physician to administer powerful drugs such as morphine to ease unbearable pain and suffering. The patient knows that these drugs are also likely to bring death more quickly.

Physician-Assisted Suicide: A physician assists in the suicide of a dying patient, usually by supplying him or A physician assists in the suicide of a dying patient, usually by supplying him or her with a lethal drug and the means to take it.

Active Euthanasia: A physician performs the death-causing act after determining the wishes of the patient or the A physician performs the death-causing act after determining the wishes of the patient or the patient’s family. This form of euthanasia is illegal in the United States, although a few physicians - such as Dr. Jack Kevorkian - have performed it and have been convicted of breaking the law.

Euthanasia and the State

During World War II, Adolf Hitler ordered the government of Nazi Germany to conduct a euthanasia program to eliminate “life unworthy of life.” At first, this policy was limited to newborn and very small children. Children were assessed by doctors and medical nurses, and a decision was made by a medical review board. If the panel decided that a person was “unworthy of life,” the patient was either killed or starved to death.

Very quickly, however, Hitler and the Nazis expanded their program, called “Aktion T 4,” to include persons who had incurable diseases, chronic conditions, or a physical or mental disability. Ultimately, the Nazi death program was extended to homosexuals and to persons of “inferior races,” particularly Roma (Gypsies) and Jews. By war’s end, the Nazis had murdered millions of people.

Since World War II, only the Netherlands and Belgium have permitted euthanasia on a large scale. Both active euthanasia and assisted suicide remain crimes in the Netherlands, but a doctor may grant a patient’s request for euthanasia if the doctor follows certain procedures. According to the “Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act,” a doctor must:

1. be satisfied that the patient’s request is voluntary and well-considered;

2. be satisfied that the patient’s suffering is unbearable, with no chance of improvement;

3. tell the patient of his or her situation and further prognosis;

4. discuss the situation with the patient and come to agreement that there is no other reasonable solution;

5. consult at least one other doctor not connected to the case, who must see the patient and agree in writing that the attending doctor has done the four points above;

6. and finally exercise due medical care and attention during the euthanasia.

In 1996, the Dutch Supreme Court released a study on euthanasia. The study found that nearly 10,000 requests for euthanasia are received each year; about one third are granted. For most of these deaths, a doctor conducts active euthanasia by injecting a patient with a lethal drug. The study also found that the guidelines had been stretched to include patients with long -term, but not fatal, diseases. It identified cases of non-voluntary euthanasia that involved incompetent elderly persons, newborns with severe birth defects, and even a 6-year-old with diabetes who died because his parents refused to authorize regular injections of insulin. Similar violations of the law have been reported in Belgium. These and other developments illustrate what critics of

euthanasia call the “slippery slope” that gradually leads to cases of individuals who seemingly have a “duty to die.”

Who Decides When to Die?

In 1975, Karen Ann Quinlan, a New Jersey (U.S.) 21-year-old, was in a “persistent vegetative state” caused by her taking a mixture of drugs and alcohol. Doctors told her parents that there was little hope she would ever regain consciousness. Karen’s parents asked a court for permission to remove her from a respirator (breathing machine). The New Jersey Supreme Court eventually agreed with their request, ruling that a person had the right to refuse medical treatment. In the 1990 decision Cruzan v. Missouri, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the right of patients to refuse or discontinue life-sustaining medical treatment.

In 1991, voters in the State of Washington (U.S.) turned down a ballot initiative that would have permitted “physician aid in dying.” Shortly afterward, the Washington state legislature passed a law forbidding physician-assisted suicide. Opponents challenged the law in the courts, arguing that competent terminally ill adults had a “fundamental liberty right” to have physician assistance in committing suicide. In the 1997 decision Washington v. Glucksberg, the U.S. Supreme Court disagreed; instead, the Court left the decision to each state.

Death with Dignity?

Today, Oregon is the only U.S. state that permits doctors to assist the suicide of terminally ill persons. Oregon voters in 1994 approved a ballot initiative called the “Death with Dignity Act.” This law allows Oregon physicians to prescribe, but not administer, drugs to assist the suicide of terminally ill patients who expect to die within six months. Such persons may or may not be experiencing pain. The law, however, prohibits physician-assisted suicide for persons who suffer from psychological disorders such as depression. As it turns out, depression (which can be treated) is a greater factor in requests for physician-assisted suicide than unrelieved pain. Oregon has followed this law since 1998. Fewer than 50 people per year have been prescribed these medications.

Opponents of euthanasia point out that the Oregon law fails to require doctors to try “palliative care,” an approach that focuses on the prevention and relief of patient suffering, to ease the death of their patients. They note that depression, the most common reason given by people who want to commit suicide, is treatable. With medication for pain and depression, caring hospice facilities, and the love of family and friends, patients can die in peace and with dignity without having to resort to suicide. Medical schools in the United States are beginning to train doctors in palliative-care strategies. Critics also worry that events in the United States will follow the Dutch experience, with physician-assisted suicide leading to active euthanasia and then involuntary euthanasia on people with mental illness, devastating diseases, or who simply are no longer “wanted.”

The debate about physician-assisted suicide will continue, and Hippocrates’ description of medicine remains as true today as it was 2,000 years ago: "Life is short and the art long, the occasion instant, experiment perilous, decision difficult."

YES - Arguments to Support the Deliberation Question

1. The Netherlands, Belgium, and one state in the United States (Oregon) have legalized physician-assisted suicide. The systems they have established are working well.

2. A person who is in unbearable pain and is terminally ill should be allowed to choose whether he or she lives or dies. U.S. citizens already have the right to refuse or discontinue treatment.

3. A law establishes rules that must be followed to ensure that the patient really wants the physician to help him or her die. These procedures would protect people from the possibility of involuntary euthanasia.

4. Citizens in a democracy have the right of personal autonomy. The right of control over one’s body should apply to matters of life and death as much as it applies to the freedom to decorate one’s body or travel freely.

NO - Arguments to Oppose the Deliberation Question

1. Most of the world has not legalized physician-assisted suicide. This practice is also against the teachings of most of the world’s religions.

2. People who are in unbearable pain and terminally ill should be given medicine to control pain, a place where they are cared for, and love from their family and friends. People who are depressed often request assistance committing suicide, but depression is treatable.

3. The laws in existence now are not always followed and are often abused. Physician- assisted suicide will lead to physicians committing euthanasia on patients w ho do not want it.

4. Physician-assisted suicide is against the original Hippocratic Oath taken by doctors, which states: “I will neither give a deadly drug to anyone if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.”

Should our democracy permit hate speech?

Almost all 192 members in the United Nations have agreed to follow the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 19 of that Declaration states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers.” In the words of the non-governmental organization Freedom House, “The perative word is ‘everyone.’ To deny that doctrine is to deny the universality of information freedom - a basic human right.”

Democracies believe that free expression is essential to their societies. Free expression, they argue, distinguishes them from non-democratic countries. Even democracies, however, limit or prohibit certain kinds of speech they consider harmful or dangerous. An example of this tension between free expression and other democratic values is hate speech - speech that promotes hatred or violence against other persons or groups in society.

The Role of Free Expression in Democratic Societies

Self-government requires that citizens have accurate, adequate, and current information about issues facing their society. When ideas can be heard, examined, and questioned, society can develop culturally, economically, and scientifically. Free expression also allows people to vent their anger or frustration with the government and with other problems. It therefore decreases the likelihood that people will turn to violent means to express themselves. Freedom of expression remains one of the most basic rights in a democracy.

Democratic Government: Protector and Regulator of Free Expression

Democratic governments in both North America and Europe protect freedom of expression. They also retain certain powers to limit it. For example, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Yet freedom of speech has never been considered absolute in the United States. In recent years the U.S. Supreme Court has increased protections for those who support unpopular ideas. American civic educators Lee Arbetman and Ed O’Brien note, however, that the Court has also held that the government retains the power to limit or punish the content of certain kinds of speech, such as obscenity, commercial speech, defamation, “fighting words,” and incitement.

Other countries’ laws also balance protections and limits on freedom of expression. The 48-nation Council of Europe states in Article 10 of its Convention on Human Rights that “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression…. without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.” Yet Article 10 also includes a long list of exceptions. This freedom can be limited to prevent crime and protect national security, public safety, the public health and morality, the judiciary, and “the reputation or rights of others.” The Council includes Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, the Russian Federation, Serbia, and Ukraine.

Democracies and Free Expression: Law Shaped by History

Many democratic societies are composed of people from different races, cultures, languages, religions, or ethnicities. Often tension arises between the majority and distinct religious, ethnic, cultural, or ideological minorities. This tension can increase during times of economic or social unrest, or when a group believes that it is being treated unfairly. Some of these grievances go back many centuries.

More fundamentally, the histories of democratic societies have shaped their laws. Democracies share a common devotion to free expression, equality, and respect for their citizens. But how they balance these values depends, in part, on their specific histories.

Free Expression and Hate Speech in Europe: Many democracies in Europe fought against Nazi Germany during World War II. Nazism asserted German racial supremacy and classified entire groups of persons as “unworthy of life.” Because the Nazis murdered millions of people because of their race, ethnicity, or religion, European democracies today are dedicated to preventing such terrible events from happening again. Thus, the Russian Constitution states both that “everyone shall be guaranteed the freedom of ideas and speech” and that “the propaganda of social, racial, national, religious or linguistic supremacy shall be banned.” Lithuania’s “Law on the Provision of Information to the Public” and the Constitution of Azerbaijan include similar provisions.

In the Czech Republic, which the Nazis occupied during World War II, the criminal code punishes anyone who publicly defames a nation or its language, a race or a group of inhabitants; publicly incites hatred against a nation or race; or calls for restrictions on the rights and freedoms of its members. Yet several Czech political leaders have been challenged for statements against the Romani population. In April 2007, for example, Romani advocates filed a criminal complaint against Deputy Prime Minister Jiri Cunek. Cunek was quoted as saying that anyone who wants to receive state support “should get sunburnt, make a mess with their family and put up fires on the squares” (“Czech Romanies File Complaint,” 2007). Although Cunek claimed he was referring to politicians, not the Romani, observers noted that anti-Roma extremists welcomed his remarks.

In another incident, Leana Janackova, a Czech senator and mayor of the north Moravian city of Ostrava, was caught on audiotape in 2006 making remarks about the Roma in a controversial settlement called Bedriska. “I’ll tell you this,” Janackova is heard saying, “I don't agree with any kind of integration. Unfortunately, I'm a racist. I don't believe in integrating gypsies so that they'd be living throughout the district. Unfortunately we chose Bedriska, so that’s where they'll be, surrounded by a high fence, an electric fence if you like, and I’ll happily shout that out to the whole world” (“Senator in Hot Water,” 2007). Although Janackova says the recording was leaked by her political opponents, other observers are worried. “We are still just one generation away from the horrors of the 30s and the 40s,” said Kumar Vishwanathan, who provided the audiotape to the Senate’s human rights committee. “If a responsible, respected senator and a mayor of a town says these things, even if it was a joke, I think the person should bear responsibility for these words.” The committee decided not to investigate the affair.

Free Expression and Hate Speech in the United States: The United States was born in a war for independence from Great Britain. Americans understood the war in part as a rebellion against

British restrictions on their rights. As one result, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects freedom of expression. Yet after independence, the United States sanctioned legal slavery for millions of persons of African descent. Only after 80 years and a civil war did Americans abolish slavery. Another century passed before African Americans began to gain thei r full and equal rights, often in the face of vicious racism and violent resistance.

As one result, many American cities and states have identified certain symbolic acts as hate speech. For over 50 years, Virginia had a law forbidding the burning of a cross with “an intent to intimidate a person or group of persons.” The law stated that a burning cross in itself was sufficient evidence “of an intent to intimidate.” In 1998, Barry Black burned a cross at a small rally of the Ku Klux Klan held on private property. Black had the permission of the land’s owner, who also participated. A police officer observed the burning cross and arrested Black.

Black was found guilty of violating the anti-cross burning law. He appealed his decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2003, the Court made a distinction between the act of burning the cross and the intent of the persons who burned it. The Court held that “the First Amendment permits Virginia to outlaw cross burnings done with the intent to intimidate.” However, the Court also held that the act of cross-burning can be protected expression: if a burning cross were used at a political rally, for example, it would be a statement of ideology or group solidarity. The act of cross burning cannot be unconstitutional, the Court said, because such a law might infringe on the “lawful political speech at the core of what the First Amendment is designed to protect” (Virginia v. Black, 2003).

Prohibiting Hate Speech: Supporters and Opponents

Some people believe that hate speech is not a crime. They think that although certain expressions are painful and hateful, they are a small price to pay for freedom. What is legal is not necessarily acceptable or desirable. The better way to counter hateful expression is to condemn such thoughts and to shun those who say them. With arguments, persuasion, and even “loving” speech, everyone can use free expression to promote the kind of society he or she desires.

Others who would permit hate speech argue that laws prohibiting it are unworkable. Such laws require the government to determine the intent of the speaker. This is a difficult and often impossible task. If a word or symbol can mean something to one person and something very different to another person, then the law is the wrong way to classify such expressions. The government can use its time better by punishing hateful actions, not presumed hateful intent.

People who want to punish hate speech argue that there is no absolute freedom of expression. Instead, society must decide - through its laws - the limits of free speech. By prohibiting hate speech, government balances freedom of expression with other democratic values like respect and tolerance. If government gets the balance wrong, then the people can always change it.

Opponents also believe that punishing hate speech increases equal protection for all persons, not only the powerful. Hate speech directed against marginal or despised minority

groups is particularly damaging. It strikes against persons who lack power. Punishing hateful speech helps prevent unequal power relations from turning into overt discrimination.

People who would permit hate speech worry that laws punishing it will have the effect of “chilling” free speech: people will be less likely to say what they really mean. They argue that once the government has the power to punish expression, the definition of prohibited speech will grow. Governments should be permitted to control only what people can and cannot do, not what they say or believe.

People who would not permit hate speech also worry about its “chilling” effect: a message of hate, spoken once, can be more powerful than a message of tolerance spoken many times. History has shown that speech is frequently the first act of persecution against specific persons and groups. Punishing hate speech establishes necessary and appropriate limits on what can be said in a democratic society.

The struggle to balance freedom of expression with dignity and respect for all remains a central challenge for every democracy.

YES - Arguments to Support the Deliberation Question

1. Hate speech is despicable, but it is not a crime. While certain words hurt and are hateful, they are only words - the pain they cause is a small price to pay for freedom.

2. Just because something is legal does not mean it is necessarily acceptable or desirable. A better way to fight hateful speech and ideas is through the use of free expression and “loving” speech to promote the kind of society that people want.

3. Laws that prohibit hate speech will have the effect of “chilling” free speech. If the government has the power to punish expression, the definition of prohibited speech will grow. All governments resist giving up powers they already have. Governments should be permitted to control only what people can and cannot do, not what they say or believe.

4. In order for laws to be effective, they have to be workable. Laws that prohibit hate speech keep the government involved in making never-ending lists of “permitted” and “forbidden” expressions. That wastes public money and effort. The police and the courts can use their time better by prosecuting and punishing actions, not thoughts.

5. Expression is ambiguous. A symbol of hate for one group is a symbol of solidarity for another group. Government should punish only the actions people take against each other. Government should not punish how people think or how people express themselves.

NO - Arguments to Oppose the Deliberation Question

1. No democracies allow absolute freedom of expression. By defining hate speech as unacceptable, the government balances freedom of expression with other essential democratic values such as respect and tolerance for diversity. The balance is established through laws, which citizens in a democracy can always change.

2. Punishing hate speech provides equal protection for all persons in a democracy. Punishing hate speech helps to prevent unequal power relations from becoming overt discrimination. When hate speech is directed against weak or despised groups, such groups suffer not only from the hatred itself but also because they lack the power of the majority.

3. A message of hate, spoken once, can be more powerful than a message of tolerance spoken many times. The “chilling” effects of hate speech on other, more positive forms of democratic speech should not be underestimated.

4. Throughout history, words have been used to identify persons and groups for persecution. By the time popular opinion or the legal process can act, it may be too late. A law that punishes hate speech sends the right message about society’s real intentions.

5. Certain symbols and expressions are clearly hateful and have no meaningful social content. Like the Nazi swastika, these expressions are designed solely to create fear and to intimidate other people. Such symbols have no useful purpose. Society loses nothing by banning them.

Should our democracy have a guest worker program?

Every country has the right to control who crosses its borders, but people have always moved from one country to another in search of work. Today, millions of people cross national borders. The United Nations estimated in 2005 that the number of migrants worldwide exceeded 190 million people. Because many democracies need workers, they offer work visas and other temporary arrangements for people to live and work in their countries. Entry restrictions, however, are often severe. Due to desperate economic conditions in their home countries, millions of people enter richer, more democratic nations illegally in search of work.

While foreign workers do not have the privileges and responsibilities of citizens in democracies, these workers are also human beings who have certain basic rights. Democracies try to create a fair and legal system in which both citizen and foreign workers can participate. One proposed solution is a guest worker program.

Migration and Work: Tensions and Opportunities

People have moved from one place to another to find work since before the creation of the modern nation state. Sometimes workers were invited or encouraged to work in new places by either the host or parent government. In the eighteenth century, for example, the czars invited German artisans to settle in and help modernize that country. The East India Trading Company, created by Great Britain in the seventeenth century, openly encouraged settlers to come and work in territories where it did business. At other times, such as in the settlement of the American colonies and later the United States, people were lured by the prospect of work, wealth, and a fresh start. Sometimes such programs were primarily for single men, such as Chinese immigrant workers in the nineteenth century American West. On other occasions, whole families went to work and live in a new land.

The privileges of workers in other countries also varied according to time and place. In many cases, workers had specific privileges established through royal decree. Often, however, there were limitations on the ability to buy land, on participation in certain trades, and on activities such as seeking religious converts. How long workers planned or were permitted to stay also varied from place to place, from a few years to centuries. Rarely were foreign workers, as a group, permitted to adopt the political powers and privileges of citizenship.

Migrant workers have always evoked strong and often contradictory emotions in their host countries. On the one hand, these nations have work, often in low-skill, low-paying jobs, that immigrants are willing to do. In Russia alone, there are an estimated 10 to 12 million foreign workers, many of them from Azerbaijan, Georgia, and other former Soviet republics. “Russia relies tremendously on immigrant labor, because it is facing a very difficult demographic crisis,” says John Litwack of the World Bank. “It is in Russia’s interests to maintain favorable conditions for migrants, particularly from the former Soviet Union.” Most are working without authorization. Similar demands for workers can be found in the United States, Germany, the Czech Republic, the Baltic countries, and in Scandinavia.

On the other hand, native workers and ordinary citizens frequently oppose immigration. American history is replete with examples of anti-immigration laws, attitudes, protests, and even violence, and there are similar feelings and actions today. In Russia, anti-immigration sentiment led to the enactment of a new law in 2007 that limits foreign workers and includes increased police action against illegal workers. Citizens worry about the economic consequences of illegal and foreign workers, who often work for low pay because they are afraid to protest their labor conditions. Citizens also fear that their national identities and democratic traditions will be overwhelmed by immigrants with different customs and languages.

Gastarbeiter and Braceros: Historical Examples of Guest Worker Programs

Democracies attempt to balance the benefits and challenges of immigration through many means, including temporary worker programs. Two twentieth-century examples are useful for study: the gasterbeiter program in West Germany and the braceros program in the United States.

Germany: After the Second World War, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) experienced a labor shortage. In response, it recruited foreign migrants to work in the country temporarily. According to Veysel Oezcan of the Social Science Centre Berlin, these migrants, called gastarbeiter (“guest workers”), came to work mostly in industrial jobs that required few high- level skills. Using a “rotation principle,” the mostly male migrants were required to return home after one or two years in order to make room for other guest workers. By 1973 when the program ended, West Germany hosted four million foreigners - 6.7 percent of the country’s population. Nearly one in four foreign workers came from Turkey.

“The idea, originally,” said Michael Bommes of the Institute for Migration Research in Germany, “was that the foreign workers would stay as long as economically necessary, then go home. It didn’t quite go like that.” Instead, many gastarbeiter stayed longer than their original term. Work was prosperous and benefited both employers and workers. When the program ended, there were no jobs to return to in their home country, and the great majority of gasterbeiter stayed in West Germany. Rich Jones and Heather McGregor of the Bell Policy Center in Colorado explain that “because the program was billed as temporary, neither the German government nor migrant Turks made much effort at assimilation. As a result, many Turks live in rough neighborhoods with high unemployment and second-rate schools, and many still don't speak German.” Until recently, children who were born in Germany of gasterbeiter parents were not granted German citizenship and were considered foreigners under the law; a change in 2000 made citizenship easier for persons not of German ancestry. “We came as guest workers and 40 years later we are still guest workers,” said Recep Tuerkoglu, a Turkish leader in Germany. “But the third generation will be German.”

United States: “Between 1942 and 1964, some 4.6 million Mexicans were admitted to the United States as braceros or guest workers to fill jobs on U.S. farms,” according to Philip Martin of the Center for Migration Studies. The program was instituted during the First World War, the Second World War, and the first decades of the Cold War to cover “wartime emergencies” caused by labor shortages. Like the West German program, the U.S. program emphasized unskilled labor. Unlike the Turkish gastarbeiter, however, the Mexican braceros (the Spanish word for “laborers”) came from a country bordering the United States; in fact, many states in the

United States were part of Mexico until the Mexican-American War of 1848. As one result, many unauthorized Mexican agricultural workers joined the legal braceros in working on American farms. The fluid nature of the migrants’ work and the generally open border policies of Mexico and the United States led to a relatively easy transition for these workers from home to host country and back again. Many decided to stay in the United States.

Martin concludes from the experience in Germany and the United States that “there is nothing more permanent than temporary workers.”

Democracies and Guest Worker Programs

Although guest worker programs differ in specific details, they generally share common features. They are designed to add foreign workers to the labor force without increasing the permanent resident population. Workers are permitted into the host country only for a specific period of time. They hold a different status from regular immigrants who have the opportunity to become citizens. In addition, guest workers are usually sponsored by a specific employer.

The European Union introduced in 2007 an initiative to create a temporary visa program with African countries to promote “circular migration” - that is, “sending countries incentives to make sure their nationals return home and instituting penalties if they don’t” (Gerson, 2007). The hope is to create a better, more successful version of the gasterbeiter system.

The United States already has a guest worker program of sorts, but various proposals have been made in response to the pressure created by unauthorized immigration. Former U.S. President George W. Bush, for example, proposed a guest worker program based on three principles :

1. Guest workers would be hired “only for jobs that Americans have not taken”;

2. guest workers would work only for a limited period of time before a required trip home; those who failed to leave would become ineligible for legal immigration status or for citizenship;

3. the number of guest workers permitted under the program would depend on what the American economy required. Foreign workers now in the country illegally would be required to pay a “substantial penalty” and go to the “back of the line” when applying for citizenship.

Guest Worker Programs: Supporters and Opponents

Supporters of guest worker programs argue that people will continue to look for work where jobs are available, whether they can work legally or not. Democracies, however, depend on the rule of law. A guest worker program provides a legal structure for immigrants who want to work but not permanently settle in the country. They argue that guest worker programs provide specific legal protections in the workplace. Unlike illegal migrants, whose labor and safety can be exploited, a guest worker program makes sure that the basic rights of all workers are protected in the workplace. A guest worker program also makes better use of limited law enforcement

resources, by letting police devote time and money to hunting criminals, smugglers, and even terrorists who try to enter undetected instead of ordinary people just looking for temporary work.

In addition, supporters say that guest worker programs can help the nation meet the ebbs and flows of worldwide economic forces. Because of globalization, workers cannot sit still and wait for jobs to come to them. By permitting foreign workers to come and go as the economy requires, democracies and workers both benefit.

Guest worker programs also recognize that the needs of temporary workers and of immigrants are different. Temporary workers just want to make money to send back to their families or to return to their host countries as richer people. By contrast, immigrants want a new life in a new land. A guest worker program deals with the needs of temporary foreign workers and leaves the regular immigration process intact. This distinction helps everyone - guest worker, immigrant, and citizen - and promotes social harmony.

Opponents of guest worker programs see no real difference between an immigrant and a temporary foreign worker. When guest workers remain without proper authorization, they enter the illegal underground economy the program was supposed to eliminate. Capturing and deporting guest workers who do not want to leave will only increase the legal, social, and international costs associated with other illegal immigrants.

Critics also suggest that guest worker programs are really designed to avoid paying all workers a living wage. To compete, employers of citizens and legal immigrants will have to keep their own labor costs down, leaving the workers with less money and fewer benefits.

In addition to economic costs, opponents also worry about the democratic costs of a guest worker program. Having different rules for two groups of legal workers means one group is second-class and more likely to suffer exploitation. Moreover, legal immigrants will be forced to prove they are rightly here, creating resentment and increasing tensions with the police. The legal apparatus necessary to monitor guest workers may seep into the legal system for citizens, thus reducing everyone’s rights.

Far from promoting harmony, critics argue, guest worker programs foster alienation. Guest workers get fewer benefits and privileges than citizen workers, and they lack any incentive to integrate into the larger society. As a result, guest workers lack incentives to be good citiz ens and form their own closed communities that are mistrusting within and mistrusted without. These conditions can lead to unrest, violence, and even terrorism.

In the end, workers are people, with human needs, dreams, and rights. Creating ways for workers, employers, and countries to interact to the benefit of all remains a recurring democratic problem.

YES - Arguments to Support the Deliberation Question

1. Workers are like water: they will flow to where the jobs are. Poor workers will come to work whether it is officially “legal” or not. Democracies, however, depend on the rule of law. A guest worker program provides a legal structure for immigrants who want to work but not permanently settle in the country.

2. Illegal immigration means a larger class of persons who can be exploited in the workplace. This situation leads to workplace abuses and lower wages overall for legal immigrant workers and native workers. A guest worker program makes sure that the basic rights of all workers are protected.

3. A guest worker program is the best way to make use of limited law enforcement resources. Illegal immigration strains an entire border, and the effort to detect and capture people crossing the border illegally uses police time and equipment. Citizens also suffer because of strains placed on social welfare systems. A guest worker program permits people to legally enter the country through designated ports and crossings, leaving time for the police to hunt the criminals, smugglers, and possible terrorists who wish to enter undetected.

4. A guest worker program can help the nation meet the ebbs and flows of worldwide economic forces. Economies are cyclical, and in the era of globalization workers cannot sit still and wait for jobs to come to them. Permitting foreign workers to come and go as the economy requires will benefit both foreign and native workers alike.

5. The needs of temporary workers are different from those of immigrants. Foreign workers have no intention of staying, and most save their money to send back to their families or to return to their host countries as richer people. Immigrants want a new life in a new land. A guest worker program deals with the needs of temporary foreign workers and leaves the regular immigration process intact.

6. Ambiguity breeds uncertainty, and uncertainty breeds mistrust. A guest worker program creates clear distinctions between those who want to join society permanently and those who simply want to earn extra money for themselves and their families back home.

NO - Arguments to Oppose the Deliberation Question

1. A guest worker program is founded on the illusion that there is a difference between an immigrant and a temporary foreign worker. Workers who come with the intention of just working for a short period of time change their minds and want to say. A guest worker program fails to account for the possibility of these families taking root in their new country.

2. A guest worker program will do little to address the problem of illegal immigration. If guest workers stay without proper authorization, then they will enter the illegal

underground economy that the program was supposed to eliminate in the first place. Capturing and deporting guest workers who do not want to leave will only increase the legal, social, and international costs associated with other illegal immigrants.

3. A guest worker program is a way to avoid paying all workers a living wage. People will do any job: the real question is what employers are willing to pay and what people want to be paid to do it. Because guest workers are a captive work force who cannot complain about about wages or working conditions, employers of citizens and legal immigrants will have to keep their own labor costs down, leaving the workers with less money and few benefits.

4. A guest worker program is at odds with democratic principles. Having two sets of rules for two groups of workers means having two sets of rights. Because of their second-class status, guest workers are more likely to suffer exploitation and less likely to report abuse. Guest workers will experience the same problems that unauthorized migrants experience now.

5. A guest worker program will have significant negative consequences for the legal rights of citizens and legal immigrants. Legal immigrants will be forced to prove that they are rightly here, creating resentment and increasing tensions with the police. The legal apparatus needed to monitor guest workers will seep into the legal system, reducing everyone’s rights.

6. Guest worker programs foster alienation and social unrest. Guest workers get fewer benefits and privileges than citizen workers, a situation that often creates resentment. Without incentives to be good citizens and integrate into the larger society, guest workers form their own insular communities. These conditions can lead to violence and even terrorism.

Should our democracy permit monopolies of broadcast news media in local communities?

A free press meets many needs in a democracy. It exposes government mistakes and corruption that officials may want to keep quiet. It allows ideas to be publicly heard, examined, and questioned. This free flow of ideas and information enables people to make informed decisions about public issues - an essential activity of self-government.

In Europe and the United States, television is the primary source of information for most people. Maintaining citizen access to information is challenging when all or most broadcast media outlets are monopolized by powerful individuals, corporations, or the government itself.

Democratic Government: Protector and Regulator of a Free Press

European democracies generally try to protect and regulate press freedom and people’s access to information through law. The Russian Constitution, for example, states that “the freedom of mass communication shall be guaranteed… censorship shall be banned.” However, it also reserves the right to determine “the list of data comprising state secrets” by federal law. In the United States, decisions of the Supreme Court have largely shaped press freedom. While the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads, “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,” these freedoms have never been absolute. Throughout U.S. history, the government has attempted to limit press freedom on several grounds. These include national security and interference with a national war effort.

The Cost of Independence: Money and Media Access

The U.S. journalist A. J. Liebling once said that “freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.” Even when the law protects the media, it does not pay the cost of running a media outlet. Media need money to remain independent.

Funding for broadcast media comes almost exclusively from advertisers. Advertisers buy time or space to display their products and services during a broadcast. They also pay to sponsor events. McDonald’s, Samsung, and Visa are all sponsors of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Sponsors can insist that no competitor advertise during the same event. For example, if Coca- Cola is an Olympic sponsor, then Pepsi Cola won’t be advertised or sold at the Games.

Adequate funding for broadcast media is a problem around the world, particularly in regional or local markets. Andrey Richter, director of the Moscow Media Law and Policy Institute, notes that the failure of the media advertising market to develop outside the major population centers “has a negative effect on economic sustainability and the independence of regional mass media.”

Concentration of Broadcast Media Power: Examples and Consequences

Corporations, very wealthy individuals, or the state itself control most broadcast media. According to the EU Monitoring and Advocacy Program, television markets across Europe “are highly concentrated both in terms of ownership and viewership. In most countries, the three largest channels grab the bulk of the viewership…. At the same time, the ownership of private broadcasts tend to be highly concentrated” (OSI/EU Monitoring and Advocacy Program, 2005). The United States shows similar patterns. As a result, a small number of people can decide what tens of millions of people see broadcast.

Owners of media empires have successfully used their communications power to gain public office. During Silvio Berlusconi’s successful 2001 election campaign to become prime minister of Italy, for example, he headed a communications empire that included three of the nation’s four largest television channels. These channels represented more than 40% of the daily viewing audience. According to Italian journalist Raffaele Mastrolonardo, Berlusconi appeared on the channels he owned over 60% more frequently than did his opponent.

What can happen when only a few decisionmakers determine which stories will receive broadcast time? During August 2006, for example, all three major U.S. television networks opened their evening newscasts with in-depth coverage of the arrest of John Mark Karr, a former teacher suspected of murdering child beauty contestant JonBenet Ramsey. By contrast that day, two networks only mentioned briefly the Bush Administration’s use of the National Security Agency to conduct secret surveillance on U.S. citizens, and the third network did not mention it at all (“Mainstream TV Media Drops the Ball,” 2006).

Even when someone wants to buy television time, commercial television networks are free to say no. MoveOn.org, a left-wing U.S. political group, tried to buy advertising time for an anti-Iraq War message during the 2004 Super Bowl. The television network, CBS, declined to run the advertisement, citing a policy of avoiding political ads. According to Alex Jones of Harvard University, “The rules are exactly what the owner of the news medium wants them to be…. They are not rules, they are simply choices” (“MoveOn Knocked Out,” 2004). In fact, CBS did run three political advertisements during the Super Bowl - including one for President Bush’s White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

In Central and Eastern Europe, public service television “remains the main source of news for the largest part of the population” (OSI/EU Monitoring and Advocacy Program, 2005). Here, too, public service television needs sufficient economic independence to protect editorial independence. Commercial television in Europe attracts advertisers and viewers through popular “reality TV” shows, revenue-generating sporting events, and documentaries and other programs that feature high production values and special effects. In order to gain viewers, public service television feels great pressure to imitate commercial programming so that government funding will continue.

Political pressure and interference are also a threat to public service television’s independence. Because public service television broadcasters use state funding, they also create “buffer” structures to protect their editorial independence. This buffer usually consists of an

independent board of governors for policy and a management group for day -to-day affairs. Most also have programming guidelines. The success of these measures in keeping public service television independent varies by country. In the Czech Republic, for example, television journalists report no direct pressure from the government. They do, however, receive indirect pressure from members of parliament, who condemn critical or investigative reports. In other countries, public service television transmits the government’s preferred message.

Large television networks also may limit the amount of programming by and for minority communities. In Europe, there is very little minority programming. “Nowhere are quotas imposed on commercial broadcasters for any programming directed at linguistic and ethnic minorities” (OSI/EU Monitoring and Advocacy Program, 2005). Even among public service broadcasters, only Macedonia has laws requiring a certain quota of minority programming. In the United States, federal laws and guidelines only require reporting the number of broadcast media licenses that are owned by women or racial minorities. Less than 10% of the 13,000 U.S. licensed stations are controlled by female or minority concerns (FCC, 2004 -2005). There is no U.S. requirement to report the amount of minority programming that is broadcast.

Monopoly Control in Broadcast Media: What’s the Problem?

In large countries, such as Russia and the United States, many people believe that bigger can be better for media independence. Small local outlets work in isolation from each other and have small budgets, so the government may more easily threaten or hide the big picture from them. By contrast, big media organizations have the economic strength and geographic reach necessary to stand up to the government. Even in smaller democracies, such as Estonia, media consolidation has had a strengthening effect for media independence.

Opponents of broadcast media consolidation worry about the loss of local control. Czech journalist Jan Urban notes that there is “a nearly absolute monopoly in electronic media as well as in the advertising market” (O’Connor, 2004) in the Czech Republic. When a few corporations monopolize the market, says CNN founder Ted Turner, “that’s like a dictator deciding what candidates are allowed to stand for parliamentary elections and then claiming that the people choose their leaders” (Turner, 2004).

One model for protecting against monopoly control comes from the Lithuanian constitution. It states that “censorship of mass media shall be prohibited” and that “the State, political parties, political and public organizations, and other institutions or persons may not monopolize means of mass media.” Until recently, the United States also prohibited media companies from owning more than one television station in a medium-sized or smaller market.

Supporters of large media organizations say such limits are unnecessary because the nature of mass media is changing. In 2003, for example, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission argued that policies limiting media ownership consolidation did not account for such alternatives as cable and the internet. These new technologies would enable communities and individuals to access diverse views without additional government controls on media ownership.

Opponents of media monopolies respond that the crucial issue is how many people a medias outlet can reach. A pamphlet printed in a basement reaches far fewer readers than Izvestia or the Washington Post. As U.S. law professor James Barron has written, “The test of a community’s opportunities for free expression rests not so much in an abundance of alternative media but rather in an abundance of opportunities to secure expression in media with the largest impact.”

Whether through regulations, court decisions, technology, or market forces, how societies decide to keep mass media free and independent may determine their futures as democracies.

YES - Arguments to Support the Deliberation Question

1. Government regulation of broadcast news media equals government control of broadcast news media. Such control is the beginning of the end for freedom of the press. If the government can prohibit monopolies, it will expand its powers and use regulations to crush any powerful media it views as a threat.

2. People are naïve to believe that government will regulate mass media fairly. The government will inevitably favor those media who support the government. A free press is too important to democratic society for it to be left in the hands of politicians.

3. A powerful free press is sometimes the only institution that can oppose government. But power means independence, and independence requires money. To permit government to prevent or break up large independent mass media groups is to deny the mass media one of their only sources of power.

4. Concerns about private monopolies of broadcast news media are unfounded as long as there is a truly free market. Government regulations are slow and clumsy tools - they address problems of the past, not challenges of the future. Markets adjust quickly to the needs of society, use new technologies, and generate new products and services. The only groups who want government regulations are those who cannot compete in the real world of the market.

5. Everyone is a minority at some point, and “vulnerable” communities in a democratic society change from issue to issue. A free press can respond to market forces, including the undermet needs of all sorts of communities. Press freedom can permit minorities to emerge as power-brokers in mass media even if they have little power elsewhere. If broadcast news media are over-regulated by government, then minority communities will remain forever prisoners to the whims of those in power.

NO - Arguments to Oppose the Deliberation Question

1. Government regulation of the press does not equal the death of a free and independent press. The rights of the press are like the rights of a person - no one’s rights are absolute. Just as the government can place reasonable limits on the time, place, and manner in which a person speaks without destroying freedom of speech, so also the government can reasonably prevent monopolies in broadcast news media without destroying the freedom of the press.

2. The natural result of unregulated business is monopoly by the most powerful. Whether that monopoly is exercised by the state, by corporations, or by wealthy individuals, the market unfairly privileges the powerful over the needs of the many. This contradicts democratic principles. The needs of democracy are not served by permitting the control of all broadcast news media by just a few influential forces, whether they are government or private.

3. All regulation is not arbitrary regulation. Democratic government can serve the interests of the people. Legislatures and regulatory agencies respond to the needs and desires of small media producers, large media corporations, communities, and citizens. Public structures, not mass media monopolies, are best suited to protecting the free and independent information needs of democratic society.

4. In a democracy, laws protect citizens by limiting what public and private acto rs can do. The government, the wealthy, and the powerful always will find a way to express their concerns. Prohibiting monopolies in broadcast news media will protect freedom of the press by creating space for smaller, private voices to emerge.

5. Prohibiting monopolies in broadcast news media will best serve the most vulnerable members of society. Small and mid-sized communities are particularly at risk for having their views and needs ignored by powerful national interests that are far away. Poor, isolated, and minority communities will lack the means to make their voices heard.

Should our democracy adopt a cap-and-trade system to limit greenhouse gas emissions?

Polar bears can swim up to 100 miles before drowning. They swim to hunt seals - their favorite food - and seals can be found on sea ice. If the ice disappears and polar bears are far from land, they die. Unfortunately, the polar ice cap is melting as temperatures in the Arctic continue to rise. As a result, more polar bears are drowning when they try to catch seals in the ocean but cannot find ice on which to rest. More bears are also staying on land, where they must scavenge for food and travel inland when they cannot find food on the beaches. Sadly, one bear recently wandered into an Alaskan village looking for food and was killed because it threatened people’s safety (Halpin, 2008). Unless changes in the global climate are checked, experts predict that two-thirds of the polar bear population will disappear by 2050 (Revkin, 2007).

Polar bears are not the only species that will be affected by global climate change. A 2003 U.S. Department of Defense report acknowledged that climate change is occurring and recognized the potential for relatively abrupt change. Such change, the Department said, could result in “skirmishes, battles, and even war” due to food shortages, the loss of freshwater, interruptions in energy supplies, and the migrations of millions of desperate people (Schwartz and Randall, 2003). UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has said that global climate change poses a threat to humanity and the planet that is as grave as war (Osborne, 2007). Most national leaders now agree that something must be done soon to avert a catastrophe. Countries are particularly interested in reducing the harmful effects of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2). Cap-and-trade policies offer one way to do so.

What Are Greenhouse Gases and the Greenhouse Effect?

For more than 100 years, scientists have known about the “greenhouse effect.” Radiation from the sun passes through the atmosphere and strikes the Earth’s surface. Instead of bouncing back into space, the radiation is trapped by the atmosphere and becomes heat. This process keeps the Earth from becoming cold and hostile to life. Over the past few centuries, human activities like farming, heating, and industry have increased the amount of CO2 and other gas emissions that trap the sun’s radiation. Together, these emissions are called “greenhouse gases.”

Of course, the Earth can become warmer naturally, but scientists estimate that most emissions that are warming the atmosphere come from burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gasoline. The United States, with less than 5% of the world’s population, is responsible for 22% of greenhouse gases that humans produce; China, with almost 20% of the world’s population, is the next largest producer with 18% (“U.S. Emissions in a Global Perspective,” 2007). The burning of forests - to clear land for farming, roads, and housing and commercial developments - accounts for up to 25% of CO2 emissions worldwide (Mitchell et al., 2007).

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that during the past 200 years (the era of the Industrial Revolution), levels of CO2 in the atmosphere rose by about 30%. The IPCC’s 2007 report noted that most of the increase in global average temperatures in

the past 50 years is “very likely due” to human activities. The IPCC forecasts that growing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will dramatically increase the Earth’s temperature, resulting in more droughts, declines in crop yields, and even famine in poorer countries. Insects will thrive and insect-borne diseases like malaria will expand. Increasingly violent storms, gathering additional energy from a warmer ocean, will threaten life. In addition to losing polar bears and the Arctic ecosystem, scientists estimate that numerous animal, bird, and fish species will become extinct, as other ecosystems change or disappear.

Limiting Carbon: The Kyoto Protocol and Cap-and-Trade Systems

Today, countries are using different strategies to limit CO2 emissions. A total of 174 countries have signed the Kyoto Protocol, a 1997 agreement that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Of these, 36 countries are required to reduce their emissions, while 137 developing countries - including China, the second-largest producer of carbon emissions - are required only to monitor and report their emissions. The United States, the world’s largest producer of carbon emissions, originally signed the Kyoto Protocol but never ratified it. Nevertheless, the United States and other non-participants in the Kyoto Protocol are still studying ways to reduce emissions.

In addition to using the Kyoto Protocol and other treaties to reduce CO2 emissions, many governments are creating economic incentives. The European Union has developed a specific policy called the Emissions Trading System (ETS). Begun in 2005, ETS is one kind of cap-and trade system. Under cap-and-trade, a country or group of countries sets a limit (or cap) on the amount of a pollutant that can be released into the atmosphere. Companies or specific sectors of the economy - such as energy or manufacturing - are permitted a number of credits that represent just how much pollutant they can emit.

In European Union countries, companies or sectors that exceed their CO2 credit limits have two choices: either they can pay a heavy fine for the extra pollution, or they can buy pollution credits from other, less polluting companies and industries that do not require them. Essentially, ETS creates a market in which companies can trade pollutants. This market does several things:

1. it permits companies that produce large quantities of CO2 to remain in business but al so encourages large emitters to reduce their carbon “footprint”;

2. it rewards companies that emit less CO2;

3. it allows governments to limit the overall amount of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere;

4. it uses economic strategies to achieve specific policy goals.

Other countries now use or are considering cap-and-trade systems for regulating CO2 emissions. The Russian Federation uses a program similar to ETS, called “joint implementation,” that allows countries with economies-in-transition to create tradeable carbon credits. The United States, which already has a cap-and-trade system for regulating sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas emissions, is now debating whether to adopt a similar system for CO2 emissions.

Cap-and-Trade Skeptics and Believers

Supporters of cap-and-trade say that this policy helps put global climate change in terms that citizens and consumers can understand. Because climate change is an enormous problem, people often have difficulty seeing how they can make a difference. People respond better to problems that affect them directly and can be addressed by personal decisions. Cap -and-trade puts a price on carbon emissions. Because citizens and consumers understand prices, they can choose to support technologies and products that produce less carbon. Such consumer pressures will help business owners see the benefit of reducing emissions.

Supporters also point to the success of similar efforts. Researchers with the Global Environment Program note that the U.S. Clean Air Act in 1990 established a cap-and-trade system for sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions, the primary cause of acid rain. “This system has proven to be such an environmental and economic success - reducing SO2 emissions at a fraction of the expected costs - that the European Union borrowed directly from it to design its cap-and trade system for CO2 emissions” (Mathers and Manion, 2005).

Opponents of cap-and-trade believe that such a plan cannot work because it is a national response to a worldwide problem. Even if some countries “cap” carbon emissions, other countries will continue to produce them. Thus, countries with caps lose business to countries without caps, and the problem with carbon emissions continues. Many people also oppose cap and-trade because they believe it will cost jobs and other economic benefits. They argue that cap and-trade forces businesses either to produce less carbon or trade for carbon credits. In both cases, the result is fewer jobs (Jordan, 2009).

Supporters agree that some carbon economy jobs will be affected by cap-and-trade. On the other hand, they note what happened when the automobile was introduced in the 20th century: while old jobs connected to horses disappeared, new jobs and industries were created. Similarly, they argue, new jobs and industries will be created to meet the needs of a post-carbon economy.

Some opposition to cap-and-trade comes from environmentalists who say that some important stakeholders are often left out of the process. They claim that industrial leaders are included in decisions about the CO2 emission “caps,” but environmental groups are excluded from the discussions. A study by Climate Action Network Central and Eastern Europe (CAN CEE) concluded that “Environmental NGOs have often been excluded from the consultation processes and even when given a chance to provide comments, those were not taken into consideration or mentioned” (“Independent NGO Analysis of NAPs of New Member States,” 2004). These environmental opponents also worry that concessions made by government in order to gain the support of businesses make the system too weak. In the Czech Republic, for example, the annual CO2 cap was set at almost 21% above historical emission levels. Ironically, a system that is intended to benefit everyone is decided in secret only by a very select and powerful few.

Many economists and environmentalists oppose giving government-provided emission credits without a cost to major CO2 producers. Instead, they prefer carbon auctions, where

major CO2 producers must buy their credits from the government. The government can then use these funds to support other CO2 reduction strategies such as “clean energy” sources (wind, solar, geothermal, tidal). Some environmentalists even prefer a “carbon tax” on all carbon usage to encourage everyone to reduce CO2 quickly to avoid environmental catastrophe.

Many business interests oppose taxes as a matter of principle. They believe their primary responsibility is to make money for their owners or investors, and government regulations are often seen as attempts to reduce their profits. Thus, some companies prefer cap-and-trade systems to more direct government mandates because cap-and-trade gives them the flexibility to decide how they will meet their emissions targets.

Cap-and-trade supporters also argue that companies can both reduce their carbon emissions and prosper economically without extra costs to their stakeholders. Until recently, industries needed to pay the costs of monitoring and reporting data to the government. Reporting took time, cost money, and depended on the honesty of the businesses that provided it. Today, governments, non-governmental organizations, and even ordinary people can use satellite data and other resources available via the Internet to monitor CO2 emissions. Therefore, businesses may no longer have to bear the cost of data collection and reporting or worry about transparency.

Cap-and-trade is but one example of what former Czech president Vaclav Havel has called “the challenge to behave responsibly.” After all, he notes, “Technological measures and regulations are important, but equally important is support for education, ecological training and ethics - a consciousness of the commonality of all living beings and an emphasis on shared responsibility” (Havel, 2007).

YES Arguments to Support the Deliberation Question

1. Global climate change has already begun, as evidenced by the rise in the Earth’s temperature. Even the U.S. Department of Defense recognizes this change and is considering the consequences. If people wait too long, the climate might reach a threshold of irreversible and catastrophic change. Cap-and-trade is a reasonable plan for getting started before it’s too late.

2. Cap-and-trade policies put a price on carbon emissions. Citizens and consumers understand prices and so can respond to them in ways that benefit the global environment. More specifically, they can use their wallets to support the technologies and products that produce less carbon.

3. Cap-and-trade is a method that has proven effective. A similar cap-and-trade approach in the United States was successful in reducing emissions of sulfur dioxide, the primary cause of acid rain. The sulfur dioxide cap-and-trade system reduced emissions at a fraction of the expected costs. As a result, the European Union borrowed directly from this model to design its CO2 capand- trade system.

4. Cap-and-trade policies benefit the environment without hurting businesses. More direct government regulations, like carbon taxes, do not allow businesses the flexibility they need to reduce carbon emissions without reducing their profits. Cap-and-trade policies, on the other hand, let businesses decide how they can best reach emission reduction targets. While some old economy carbon-based jobs will be affected by cap-and-trade, new jobs and industries will be created to meet the needs of a post-carbon economy.

5. A cap-and-trade system is feasible now that governments and businesses have easy, cheap, and more transparent ways to monitor CO2 emissions. Today, governments, non- governmental organizations, and even ordinary people can use satellite data and other resources via the Internet to monitor CO2 emissions. Therefore, businesses may no longer have to bear the cost of data collection and reporting or worry about transparency.

NO Arguments to Oppose the Deliberation Question

1. Cap-and-trade is bad for the national economy. Countries that “cap” carbon emissions will force their businesses either to produce less carbon or trade for carbon credits. In either case, the result is fewer jobs. Countries with caps will lose those jobs to countries without caps, and the problem with carbon emissions continues. Cap-and-trade cannot work because it is a national response to a worldwide problem.

2. Reducing greenhouse gases is too urgent a problem for market-based solutions like a cap- and trade system. To avert environmental catastrophe, carbon producers must be required to emit substantially less pollution immediately. A carbon tax would therefore be preferable to cap-and trade policies.

3. The process for setting caps is flawed. Often, the government involves industries and other major CO2 producers in determining the emission “caps” but does not involve environmental groups. Therefore, the cap numbers are too low to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ironically, a system that is intended to benefit everyone is decided only by a very select and powerful few, behind closed doors. A flawed process leads to a cap-and-trade policy that is neither fair nor effective.

4. Weak carbon limits are worse than no limits at all. In order to convince businesses to agree to carbon limits, governments make cap-and-trade systems too weak. Major CO2 producers should have to pay for their emissions, not trade credits with less polluting companies and industries. Global climate change requires strong regulations. If major carbon producers have to pay a substantial penalty for their high emissions, they will have an incentive to reduce their carbon “footprint.”

5. Cap-and-trade is a weak political compromise. Being good stewards of the Earth requires education, conservation practices, and ethics, not a quick policy solution. Unless a cap- and-trade system is coupled with a more comprehensive approach to challenging global warming, significant change in our behavior and carbon usage is not likely to occur.

In response to market globalization, should our democracy provide “fair trade” certification for coffee and other products?

Globalization has resulted in stunning changes around the world. Producers and consumers now buy and sell in a worldwide marketplace: in just days, blue jeans made in Lahore can be traded in Los Angeles, shipped to Lidice, and sold in Lodz. Money crosses borders almost instantly. News and ideas speed across the Internet. Today more people are linked to more information more quickly than ever before. Everything - from making shoes or growing wheat to preventing terrorism and promoting democracy - is affected, because everything is connected.

The speed and extent of globalization are viewed by some as wonderful and by others as threatening. In many democracies, ordinary citizens have sought ways to exercise greater influence and control over global decisions of governments and corporations, particularly i n matters of trade. An example is the fair trade movement that tries to certify a fair exchange between producers in poorer countries and consumers in richer countries for a variety of products. One such product is coffee.

What Is Globalization?

“Few subjects have polarized people throughout the world as much as globalization,” notes Nobel Laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz. “Some see it as the way of the future, bringing unprecedented prosperity to everyone, everywhere.” Others, like the tens of thousands of people who demonstrate whenever the World Trade Organization holds its meetings, “fault globalization as the source of untold problems, from the destruction of native cultures to increasing poverty.”

Economist Jagdish Bhagwati defines globalization primarily in terms of economics. In his view, the efforts by different governments to reduce trade and investment barriers, coupled with new information technologies, have resulted in an extraordinarily fast delivery of services and capital between and within nations. Yet with globalization, the buffers of time and space that once protected local markets are much smaller: “Producers in the poor countries are exposed to increased risks as a result of shifting to world markets in search of greater prosperity.”

Religious leader Jonathan Sachs rejects a strictly economic explanation of globalization. “Mankind was not created to serve markets,” he argues. “Markets were created to serve mankind.” Ironically, the wealth of market choices created by globalization has resulted in “a massive loss of sovereignty over our personal lives.” The result, he says, is that “when things go wrong, as at times they must, we are liable to despair, because our destiny rests in other hands, not our own.” A response to this anxiety, he believes, is to define people as more than economic agents and to take back responsibility for personal and social choices, particularly in commerce.

The Globalization of Coffee: Farmers and Producers in a World Economy

Coffee has been a focus of international commerce since Arab merchants first brought it out of Ethiopia and began to trade it 1,000 years ago. Today, the global coffee market is worth more than $80 billion annually, and coffee is second only to oil as the most traded commodity on the planet. Yet according to Transfair, a fair trade group, over half of the world’s coffee is produced by small family farmers. As Bhagwati says:

Farmers who shift from traditional staples to cash crops (like coffee) because of higher returns at current prices face the prospect that this shift will lead them into ruination if

rivals elsewhere with lower prices suddenly move into the

in the poor countries are likely to take these downside possibilities into account, sudden

misery is a possibility.

Since few farmers

The problems of local growers were recently strikingly demonstrated in the documentary film Black Gold. The film follows Tadesse Meskela, the General Manager of the Oromia Coffee Farmers Co-operative Union in Ethiopia, who spends most of his time traveling the world to find coffee buyers who will pay his farmers a better price than that set by the international commodities exchange. He represents over 100 cooperatives made up of 74,000 Ethiopian coffee farmers and close to one-half million members of their families. Without increasing the price of coffee, these farmers face bankruptcy. “Our hope is one day the consumer will understand what they are drinking,” says Meskela. “Consumers can bring a change if awareness is given to consumers. It is not only on coffee, all products are getting a very low price - and the producers are highly affected.” Without the ability to deal directly with purchasers, most small coffee growers must sell their crops to middlemen, often at less than half its market value.

Free Trade

For many supporters of globalization, a central belief is that free trade - trade without governmental taxes or subsidies (price supports) - promotes economic growth for everyone, because a free market enables the best products and services to be produced at the best price. Yet the process of creating “free trade” has been uneven and inconsistent. Some developed nations, for example, are critical of tariffs (taxes) placed on their agricultural products by poorer nations in Africa and South America. Wealthy countries, however, often subsidize their own agricultural producers, leaving small farmers in developing nations at a disadvantage.

With coffee, some corporations are responding to the circumstances farmers face. Starbucks Corporation, the giant American coffee producer, follows its own voluntary program for “mutually-beneficial relationships with the coffee farmers and coffee communities.” Another response to the precarious condition of farmers is the “fair trade” movement.

Fair Trade

Promoters of fair trade say that it can provide basic economic supports and protections for farmers. According to the Fair Trade Federation, fair trade works “by guaranteeing a minimum wage for small producers’ harvests and by encouraging sustainable cultivation methods. Fair trade farmers also receive badly needed credit and are assured a minimum price.

For example, the fair trade price per pound of coffee is $1.26 (USD). In comparison, the world price is around $1.00 (USD) per pound with coffee growers earning less than 50 cents per pound.” If coffee growers received fair wages, they could invest in health, education, and environmental protection.

The Fair Trade Federation and other organizations use a system of independent certification to determine whether goods are produced according to fair trade standards. Created in 1997, the Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International (FLO) is an association of some 20 labeling initiatives, mainly throughout Europe and North America. Certified producers and products can use a special symbol on coffee and other products. This symbol varies from country to country.

Organic foods offer an example of how the certification process works. In the United States and in Europe, governmental agencies certify crops, livestock, and processors as “organic” according to government regulations about what kinds of fertilizers and pest controls are used. Certification has made it easier for consumers and producers to identify and market organic agricultural products. While organic food certification is conducted by governments in America and Europe, to date no nation state has adopted a fair trade certification program.

Fair Trade Certification: Supporters and Opponents

Advocates say that providing fair trade certification encourages and rewards ethical behavior in the marketplace. They note that by sponsoring products that bring a fair wage for workers overseas, citizens can contribute to global stability and mutual respect. In this way, establishing certification promotes democratic principles at home and abroad.

Supporters argue that fair trade certification is a perfectly reasonable and responsible exercise of government power. The government intervenes in foreign and domestic markets through such means as price subsidies, tariffs, and quotas. Like organic certification, fair trade certification can serve broader national economic interests, even as it helps domestic consumers. Certification assures consumers that producers receive a fair price for coffee and other products. Adopting certification educates consumers and producers while retaining the power of choice. It represents a good balance between government supports and citizen choices.

In addition, supporters argue that the natural outcome of unregulated markets is monopoly, not efficiency. For minimal costs, government regulations foster greater citizen protections at home and better labor practices abroad. This kind of investment promotes democratic principles through choices, not charity. Government regulations exist to protect the rights of citizens as well as those of businesses and corporations.

Supporters also say that fair trade certification is smart politics. By guaranteeing a minimum wage for small producers of coffee and other agricultural products, fair trade helps people in other countries fight economic or cultural dislocation. More people staying in their communities and using sustainable farming methods means less urbanization, less pollution, less urban poverty, and fewer immigrants seeking to flee their countries.

Opponents of fair trade certification counter that globalization helps make coffee production more efficient and profitable; the coffee growers who remain are more efficient and command better prices for their products. By contrast, government certification will distort the market and increase costs. Fair trade certification will benefit only inefficient coffee producers.

Besides, argue opponents, coffee shows why fair trade certification is unnecessary. The free market responds to consumer needs and desires better than government. Markets adjust quickly to the needs of society: if consumers demand more “fair trade” coffee, then the market will respond. By contrast, government regulations respond to political, not economic, forces. Consumer needs and desires are best met by a free market, not government regulations.

In the end, opponents argue that certification is arbitrary. It imposes a particular moral viewpoint on everyone else in society. In a world of so many different cultures, people need to have more tolerance for different values, not less. The free market respects differences without dictating one “right” way.

Globalization will continue to bind peoples and countries closer together. How will individuals and nations use these new opportunities?

YES - Arguments to Support the Deliberation Question

1. Providing fair trade certification encourages and rewards ethical behavior in the marketplace. It also promotes democratic principles at home and abroad.

2. Fair trade certification is a reasonable and responsible exercise of government power. All regulation is not arbitrary regulation, and democratic government can serve the people’s interests. Legislatures and regulatory agencies can respond to the needs and desires of both small producers and consumers. Government regulations exist to protect the rights of citizens as well as businesses and corporations.

3. Fair trade certification, like organic certification, serves both producers and consumers. Certification assures consumers that coffee and other agricultural products are sold at a fair price for producers. Adopting a common certification promotes uniformity between markets. It also educates consumers and producers while providing the power of choice.

4. Government regulation is not the enemy of market efficiency. The natural outcome of unregulated markets is monopoly, not efficiency. For minimal costs, government regulations foster greater citizen protections at home and better labor practices abroad. This kind of investment promotes democratic principles through real choices, not charity.

5. Fair trade certification is smart politics. By guaranteeing a minimum wage for small producers of coffee and other agricultural products, fair trade encourages people to stay on the land in their traditional jobs, instead of moving to cities to look for work. More people staying in their communities and using sustainable farming methods means less

urbanization, less pollution, less urban poverty, and fewer immigrants seeking to flee their countries.

NO - Arguments to Oppose the Deliberation Question

1. Fair trade certification will not help address the challenges of globalization. Instead, it will only impose one group’s particular morality on everyone else. Certification is inherently arbitrary. Thus, it combines the worst elements of managed economies and misguided moralism.

2. The label “fair trade” is unnecessary. The free market will respond to consumer needs and desires better than the government. Consumer demand for fair trade coffee is a perfect example of how the market responds to what people want. Open markets do not need government meddling.

3. Fair trade certification represents an unwelcome and mischievous element of government regulation. Regulation leads to the suppression of new ideas, increases consumer costs, and promotes government interests at the expense of citizen needs. Powers yielded by the people to the government are rarely returned.

4. The label “fair trade” is costly and inefficient. Markets adjust quickly to the needs of society, use new technologies, and generate new products and services. Government regulations respond to political, not economic forces. Consumer needs and desires are best met by a free market, not clumsy government regulations.

5. Fair trade certification distorts the market. Globalization and free markets help winnow out inefficient coffee farmers who cannot effectively compete. Those farmers who remain are more efficient and can command a better price for their products. The only people who want fair trade certification are the bureaucrats whose jobs depend on it and those producers who cannot compete in the global market.

In our democracy, should juvenile offenders who are accused of serious violent crimes be prosecuted and punished as adults?

The headlines are frightening: two teenagers - one 13 and one 15 - are arrested for beating an elderly woman to death in the course of a robbery. What will happen to these youthful offenders? Will they be tried in adult court or a special juvenile court? If they are found guilty, will they be sentenced to many years in adult prison or be sent to a special facility for youth? To a large extent, the answers to those questions depend on where the crime was committed. In some countries and ten states in the United States, the two teenagers may be treated differently.

A central democratic idea is that citizens are equal before the law. Young people, however, are often treated differently because of their age. They lack many of the privileges and responsibilities of older citizens, and often they are protected by special laws. Every society struggles with how to treat adolescents - those persons who are no longer children but who are not yet considered full adults.

Just as adults are often confused about how to treat teenagers, societies also struggle with how to deal with youthful offenders. When should the law treat a teenager like a child and when like an adult? For the past 100 years, societies in Europe and North America have wrestled with this question. Because of social and legal history, democratic countries have come to different conclusions on how best to balance the needs of young people and the needs of society. Finding this balance is particularly challenging when deciding how to punish juveniles who commit serious violent offenses.

Principles of Adult Criminal Justice

One purpose of government is to protect society. Preventing crime and arresting and punishing criminals are two ways in which government provides such protection. Thus, a primary purpose of any criminal justice system is to protect society by apprehending and punishing criminals.

For adult offenders, punishment has several purposes. One is retribution - punishing the offenders in proportion to how they have offended against society. A second purpose is deterrence - discouraging the offender and other people from committing such crimes in the future. A third purpose is rehabilitation - helping offenders learn to live productive lives. Finally, punishment also has the purpose of incapacitation - if criminals are imprisoned, they can not threaten the safety of society. The importance a society places on these different purposes may vary from time to time, depending on attitudes, trends in crime, and other factors.

In democracies, the criminal justice system also protects the rights of offenders. An accused person has rights intended to ensure a fair process. These rights may include the right to an attorney, the right to trial by jury, and the right to confront one’s accusers.

Principles of Juvenile Justice

Justice systems designed to deal with juvenile offenders emphasize rehabilitation. Young offenders have long lives ahead of them, and society has an interest in helping them make those lives productive. Traditionally, juvenile proceedings have been held in private and been conducted by specially trained officers of the court - including judges, psychologists, and social workers - who understand the problems of youth.

In Europe and the United States, the first juvenile court systems were established around 1900. With changes in society, these systems have evolved. For example, prior to the 1960s, juveniles in the United States did not have all of the procedural rights that adults enjoyed. It was believed that these rights weren’t necessary because of the special nature of juvenile proceedings. But observers of the system noticed that juveniles were receiving harsher treatment than they might have received in adult court. Since the mid-1960s, more rights have been extended to juveniles involved in the criminal justice system.

However, not all changes in juvenile justice in the United States have been designed to provide greater protection for young people. In the early years of juvenile-justice protection, a lawbreaker was considered a “minor,” or juvenile, until the age of 18. Once young people became 18, or part of the adult majority, they were tried in the adult criminal system. Recently, however, many U.S. states have begun prosecuting and punishing young offenders as adults, particularly for serious crimes such as murder, rape, armed robbery, or kidnapping.

In countries that were once part of the Soviet bloc, efforts to develop systems to protect the rights of juvenile offenders are still underway. For example, following passage of a new criminal code in 2003, Lithuania has been working to develop alternative punishments to imprisonment. Current proposals in Lithuania call for raising the age of full criminal responsibility from 16 to 18 years and extending the scope of measures meant to rehabilitate rather than punish young offenders. Yet developing juvenile justice systems in these countries has special challenges. In many cases, not only must new laws be enacted, but the new juvenile justice systems created by those laws must be established and staffed with trained people who are not ready or available. For example, in Azerbaijan, laws have been passed to protect young people who come into the criminal justice system. Non-government organizations that have studied the issue have found, however, that putting the laws into practice is difficult. Vestiges of the system in place under Soviet rule remain, and people trained to deal with young people are unavailable. Thus, young offenders may not have access to an attorney, may be treated roughly during police questioning, and may serve harsh prison sentences with adult offenders.

Juvenile Delinquent or Adult Criminal?

The question of prosecuting and punishing juveniles as adults has been a focus of much discussion recently in the United States and in Europe. In response to increased levels of crime committed by juveniles, American officials at the state and national levels enacted “get tough” policies for violent juvenile offenders. The level of juvenile crime has also been a concern in Russia, where more than 150,000 juvenile offenses were committed in 2005. Of special concern was the fact that 53% of those offenses were committed by young people who did not come

from what officials termed dysfunctional families. Recently in the Czech Republic, a sensational murder of an old woman by six youths ages 11 to 15 has also led to discussions of prosecuting juveniles there as adults.

Shay Bilchik, former head of the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquenc y Prevention under President Bill Clinton, opposes a “get tough” policy for juvenile offenders. He points to the low numbers - about one-half of one percent - of juveniles who are typically arrested for violent crimes and argues that such a policy does not prevent criminal violence. Bilchik urges a return to rehabilitation for juvenile offenders. In Russia, the first juvenile court was established in 2004 as a pilot program for one region of the country. As of 2006, none of the young people convicted in that court had re-offended. This finding suggests that programs tailored for young people are effective in preventing offenses by youth.

Those who favor prosecuting more juveniles as adults believe that young people who commit serious crimes such as murder, rape, armed robbery, or kidnapping must be punished for their actions. The juvenile justice system, with its emphasis on rehabilitation, puts too many young criminals back on the streets. The fact that these criminals are young teenagers doesn’t prevent them from committing crimes and ruining lives. Instead, they argue, these young people should be transferred to the adult court system, where they will receive longer sentences in adult prisons. Once behind bars, they reason, these young criminals can no longer hurt the community. They also believe the “get tough” approach will deter other juveniles from criminal activity.

On the other hand, many juvenile justice experts argue that by putting juveniles in adult prisons, society in effect abandons hope for young offenders. Adult prisons are designed to punish offenders, not rehabilitate them. After being punished in adult prisons and being forced into the company of adult criminals, juvenile offenders may become hardened criminals themselves. Instead, these experts believe juvenile offenders can grow to understand and take responsibility for what they have done. Through rehabilitation, these young people can re -enter society and lead productive lives.

According to law professor Helena Valkova of West Bohemian University, a Czech juvenile justice law passed in 2003 “defines the features of a legal system that is based on the principle that all measures, procedures, and instruments … must be used for the restoration of broken social relations, the integration of the young person into the wider social environment, and for delinquency prevention.” The Czech system distinguishes between two age groups:

children younger than 15, and juveniles who are 15-17. “The emphasis is placed on the general importance of the notion of responsibility, which applies also to a child who is not yet criminally responsible, but is able in specific cases to judge his acts and to control them.”

In deciding how to judge and punish juvenile offenders, people also look to a growing body of research about differences between adolescents and adults. Laurence Steinberg, a psychologist at Temple University who heads the Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice, argues that adolescents are socially and biologically less mature than adults and therefore should be treated differently. According to Steinberg, psychological research reveals that adolescents are less able to foresee the consequences of their actions, less

able to control their impulses, and less able to resist peer pressure than adults. “We argue that the reasonable adult standard is not the same as the reasonable adolescent standard.”

Steinberg also notes the significance of what biologists are learning about the brain. “Brain maturation is going on much later in development than people had thought, so there is some reason, perhaps, to say that 17-year-olds are not the same as adults. What we don’t know, and where I think we need to be cautious, is how these structural changes actually play in behavior.” The uncertainty about how to apply the results of brain research parallels the larger uncertainty about how best to deal with juvenile offenders. As governments try to balance the need to protect society with the goal of helping young people who have broken the law learn to live productive lives, citizens must be prepared to deliberate such controversial issues as when, if ever, juvenile offenders should be tried and punished as adults.

Juvenile Justice - Supplemental Reading Children and the Law in European History

In Europe during the Middle Ages, children took part in adult activities as soon as they could. Everyone - adults and children - was needed to help grow food, tend the flocks, gather firewood, and take part in other activities necessary to survive. The average life span was only 40 years. Children were expected to work as adults and to obey adult laws. Anyone old enough to commit a crime was old enough to be punished for it.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, these attitudes began to soften. While children were still considered part of adult society and worked from an early age, most of Europe began to think of them as needing adult protection and guidance. At about this same time, the idea of intent was developed in the law. The concept of intent - whether a person meant to commit an offense - changed how children were treated. In England and other European societies, people came to see children as naive and innocent. Although children might accidentally cause harm, people did not believe that children knew enough about right and wrong or about the consequences of their actions to be tried as adults. These ideas were carried by English colonists to North America and became part of the laws adopted with the founding of the United States.

Socially and economically, European and American societies underwent great change during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Often called the Industrial Revolution, this era saw the birth of steam power, mechanized factories, rail transportation, and new and powerful national economic policies designed to increase monetary wealth and international trade. The effects on common people were great and terrible. Peasant farmers and other country dwellers crowded the newly industrialized cities looking for work and relief from famine, disease, and rural poverty.

Trapped in dark and dirty tenements with their struggling families, urban children often escaped to the streets. There, they joined others who had been abandoned by their parents or

orphaned in disease-ridden ghettoes. In order to survive, these troubled young people turned to picking pockets, shoplifting, begging, and looting.

By the end of the 19th century, socially conscious Europeans and Americans were demanding that the children of this new industrial-age environment needed special care and attention. They campaigned for child-protection systems that included ending child labor, making school compulsory, and creating special courts for juvenile offenders.

Norway was the first country to create a modern child-protection system in 1896. The first justice system for youthful offenders, called a “Children’s Court,” was established in Chicago in 1899. Belgium, France, and Switzerland all enacted similar legislation by 1912.

Today, the international community recognizes the need for nations to develop systems of justice for juvenile offenders. Many United Nations documents establish principles and standards for juvenile justice systems, and U.N. officials, NGOs, and governments around the world assess progress being made toward meeting those standards.

YES - Arguments to Support the Deliberation Question

1. Serious crimes - even when committed by juveniles - require serious punishment. Adult court provides more fitting penalties for serious violent crimes than juvenile court, which puts too many violent youth back on the streets.

2. Being tried and sentenced as an adult usually results in a longer jail sentence than being tried as a juvenile. Thus, the youthful offender is prevented from doing any more harm to the community. By punishing violent youthful offenders as adults, the government fulfills its obligation to protect the community.

3. Getting tough with youthful offenders will prevent other young people from participating in criminal activity. When young people see someone like themselves sent to adult prison for a long term, they will be deterred from committing crimes themselves. Deterrence is an important function of criminal sentences.

NO - Arguments to Oppose the Deliberation Question

1. Prosecuting children as adults contradicts the widespread belief that young people need guidance, protection, and rehabilitation. Research on adolescents supports the belief that teenagers deserve different treatment because they are neither biologically nor socially mature.

2. Adult prisons are the wrong “school” for youthful offenders, where they learn the ways of the hardened criminals who surround them and become more dangerous than they

were before. Through formal education and rehabilitation, juvenile offenders can grow to understand and take responsibility for what they have done.

3. Placing juveniles in adult prisons where they are punished - not rehabilitated - means that society is abandoning these young people. They will not have the opportunity to become productive members of society.

Should our democracy permit same-sex couples (gay and lesbian) to marry?

In 2001, The Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize same sex (homosexual) marriage. Prior to that law, only couples consisting of a man and a woman could marry. After the law passed, Anne-Marie Thus and Helene Fassen became the first same-sex couple in the world to be officially married. “We’re totally ordinary,” says Thus. In the next few years, other countries passed similar laws - Belgium in 2003, and Spain and Canada in 2005. Today, seven countries and five U.S. states recognize same-sex marriage for gay and lesbian couples.

The Dutch marriage law and others like it have sparked controversy. Many opponents of same-sex marriage insist that it will lead to destruction of the institution of marriage. These opponents question the limits of democratic decision-making in overturning long-standing social customs and institutions.

Defining and Regulating Marriage

Marriage can have both a civil (secular) and a religious element (Andryszewski, 2008). The state offers civil marriage, which is regulated by the government. A civil marriage grants the legal rights of marriage to a couple. A religious marriage ceremony also includes two additional dimensions. The couple vows fidelity to God and their faith tradition. In turn, the couple asks for and receives sanction from God and the community of believers for their marriage. Religious institutions such as churches, synagogues, and mosques have their own rules for whom they will or will not allow to marry.

Most democracies today restrict marriage to heterosexual couples. For example, The Family Code of the Russian Federation, enacted in 1996, clearly requires the “voluntary consent of the man and the woman” in marriage. The Family Code of Lithuania defines marriage as one man and one woman and prohibits same sex marriage. Indeed, marriage terms indicating a heterosexual (male and female) relationship are the norm. In the English common law, the tradition that forms the basis and context for the American legal system, marriage could occur only with the consent of both parties. While having more than one spouse (polygamy) was practiced in other cultures - Moses in the Hebrew Bible had two wives and the Prophet Muhammad in the Qur’an had four - marriage in the English legal tradition was unmistakably between one man and one woman (“Marriage: An Overview,” Legal Information Institute).

In most democracies, the national government typically regulates marriage. Marriages in the United States fall under each state government’s lawmaking authority. State governments set certain rules about marriage, including minimum age requirements for marriage and prohibitions on marriages between certain close relatives, such as a parent, brother or sister, or aunt or uncle. All states also limit marriage to monogamy, or two people. As of this writing, every state except Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont restricts marriage to one man and one woman. Traditionally, states must honor marriage licenses issued by other states.

However, in 1994, the national government passed a law called the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which allows states to ignore licenses issued to same-sex couples in other states.

Marriage: Responsibilities, Benefits, and Rights

Some important responsibilities go with marriage. Married people share responsibility for rearing their children and sending them to school; if they fail to take care of their children, the state can remove their children from their home. They must take care of and pay for any property they own. Married couples receive some tax breaks; conversely, if one person cheats on taxes, the spouse is not legally liable, but the couple’s assets (what they have) may be severely affected. Divorced individuals must take steps to provide economically, if necessary, for their former partners.

Getting married brings with it a great many benefits that cover virtually every aspect of a person’s life. In the United States and in Europe, married people can automatically hold joint property and inherit the property of a loved one who dies without a will. They are protected (in most cases) from testifying against each other in court. Spouses are entitled to collect health benefits, unemployment benefits, veterans’ benefits, and death benefits if their spouse is injured or dies. Married people automatically have the right to visit a spouse or a child in hospital, and to take family leave for extended illness or the birth of a child. Any children born to them are assumed to be theirs.

Some democratic nations and localities have offered civil unions. A civil union is a secular marriage-like relationship regulated by the government. It allows couples to have some of the rights that married couples have. In 2006, for example, the Czech Republic passed a law that allowed same-sex couples to have a type of civil union called a registered partnership. The partners in this relationship have inheritance rights, the right to appeal court judgments on behalf of each other, and the privilege not to testify in court against each other, among other rights. Significantly, registered partnerships, like other civil unions, do not allow the couples to adopt children, unless they dissolve the partnership and one of the partners adopts as a single parent.

Marriage: Law and Tradition

Many who view marriage as a purely secular or legal relationship - as well as those whose religious beliefs recognize same-sex marriage - believe marriage rights should belong to gay and lesbian couples who wish to marry. They believe the government should not discriminate against same-sex couples by denying those rights.

Those who view marriage as a primarily religious relationship often believe that government should not extend marital rights to couples in a way that would reject the eachings of their religious tradition. They argue that redefining marriage offends the fundamental values of millions of people and contradicts the long-standing representation of a family by a mother, father, and child or children. In traditional Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, marriage is understood as a heterosexual institution. Orthodox Christianity and the Catholic Church explicitly forbid same-sex partnerships of any kind. Islamic law, as well, only recognizes the validity of marriage between a man and a woman.

Today, however, certain Protestant Christian and Jewish denominations have called for civil recognition of same-sex marriages, and their clergy have performed weddings for gay and lesbian couples. A few historically Catholic countries also have broken with tradition. Spain legalized same-sex marriage in 2005, and Slovenia legalized same-sex registered partnerships in 2006. Some parts of historically Catholic Latin America have legalized civil unions. Since 2003, for example, residents of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, can have same-sex civil unions. And since 2007, residents of Mexico City, the capital of Mexico, may do so as well.

The predominantly Muslim country of Albania has seen change in marriage laws. In July 2009, Prime Minister Sali Berisha proposed a measure in the parliament to give same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples. Albanian opponents, including Muslims, Catholics, and Orthodox Christians, condemn Berisha's proposition as sinful, but also as politically corrupt.

According to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a democratic tradition allows the majority in a society to set moral standards. Scalia has written that to criminalize same-sex relations “is well within the range of traditional democratic action,” and warned against “the invention of a brand-new ‘constitutional right’ by a Court that is impatient of democratic change” (Lawrence v. Texas, 2003). The “brand new” right he mentioned was legalized same-sex relationships, including marriage. Significantly, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected religious freedom as a defense when it outlawed polygamy (Reynolds v. United States, 1878).

Advocates of the rights of same-sex couples to marry, on the other hand, find support for redefining marriage in legal traditions and democratic principles. The UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, for example, states in Article 23 that “The right of men and women of marriageable age to marry and to found a family shall be recognized.” When Spain legalized same sex marriage, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said that Parliament was “expanding the opportunities for happiness of our neighbors, our colleagues, our friends and our relatives” and “building a more decent society" (“Spain Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage,” 2005). While marriage has been presumed to be heterosexual in English and American law, that legal tradition also includes the democratic principles of equal protection and due process, which the courts have in some cases applied to marriage. For example, in 1967 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution prohibited states from denying marriage licenses to interracial couples (Loving v. Virginia, 1967).

Marriage and Children

Founding a family remains a special area of concern for people who oppose same sex marriage. Opponents of same-sex marriage contend that the tradition of heterosexual marriage has always fundamentally been about procreation. “Children need both mothers and fathers,” states Robert H. Knight, who helped draft the federal Defense of Marriage Act in the United States,” and marriage is society’s way of obtaining them.”

Supporters of same-sex marriage counter that marriage certainly includes the right to “found a family” but is not exclusively centered on that right. They point to “legitimate” marriages without children. Married couples traditionally find companionship and love, as well as rights to property. They also obtain rights to adopt children. Therefore, a heterosexual couple

who cannot procreate is similarly situated to a same-sex couple with regard to adopting children. Also, assuming that children “need both mothers and fathers,” the case for traditional marriage is not strengthened by high divorce rates of heterosexual couples. Statistical evidence has shown that as many as 41 percent - and perhaps 50 percent - of heterosexual marriages in the United States end in divorce (New York Times, 2005).

Supporters say allowing same-sex marriages would enable the establishment of more, not fewer, families. And children's best interests would be protected. The executive director of Amnesty International Ireland has argued, “Because a same-sex couple is denied access to civil marriage, any adopted child parented by a same-sex couple will not have the same rights, entitlements and protections afforded to a child adopted by a heterosexual couple.” Similarly, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held in its decision to legalize same-sex marriage in 2003 that the government’s goals in promoting procreation and ensuring good homes for child-rearing were not promoted by a ban on same-sex marriage (Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, 2003).

Law and Democratic Change

In democracies that recognize same-sex marriage, society must make significant adjustments to laws and policies. Opponents of same-sex marriage argue that those adjustments would place too great a burden on traditional heterosexual marriages.

Opponents also point out that public opinion is still firmly against legalizing same-sex marriage. In the United States, about 40 percent of citizens support making same-sex marriages legal (Gallup, May 2009). About 44 percent of European Union citizens feel the same way (Eurobarometer, 2006). This tension exists also with respect to children. Less than a third of EU citizens, for example, feel that same-sex couples should have rights to adopt children. In contrast, a 2003 survey in the United States showed that 60 percent of adoption agencies accept applications from homosexual men and women, with more and more agencies seeking training in working with those parents.

“It’s ironic and interesting,” says Harvard University historian Nancy Cott, “that same-sex marriage advocates and conservatives of the ‘family-values’ school” both agree on the value of marriage and “how crucial it is as a social institution” (“The Future of Marriage,” Harvard Magazine, November-December 2004).

YES - Arguments to Support the Deliberation Question

1. Marriage offers benefits that should be open to every member of democratic society. Married people can automatically hold and can inherit joint property, collect government benefits, visit their spouse or child in hospital, and take family leave for extended illness or the birth of a child. Gay and lesbian couples deserve to enjoy these rights and privileges just as heterosexual couples do. Government should not discriminate against same-sex couples by denying these rights.

2. While marriage certainly includes the right to “found a family,” it is not the only reason people get married. People marry for love and companionship, and they marry for economic reasons. There are also plenty of legitimate marriages without children, as well as single parent families or blended families with a parent and children from two different marriages. All of these families are legitimate, as long as there is love and respect in the home - qualities that both heterosexual and same-sex parents can provide.

3. The basic rights of people who are gay or lesbian should not be subject to a religious veto. Religious traditions in a democracy deserve respect, but they are not the foundation of democratic laws. Slavery was once accepted by Christians, Jews, and Muslims, but today all three traditions condemn slavery. Religious traditions also are not monolithic. Certain Protestant Christian and Jewish denominations have called for civil recognition of same-sex marriages, and their clergy have performed weddings for gay and lesbian couples. Religious practices, like democratic norms, evolve over time.

4. Allowing gays and lesbians to marry would create more, not fewer, families. And children's best interests would be protected. Our democracy’s desire to encourage people to have children in good homes is by recognizing same-sex marriage, not banning it.

NO - Arguments to Oppose the Deliberation Question

1. All democracies have laws limiting who can marry. There are minimum age requirements and prohibitions against marrying close relatives. Most western democracies also limit marriage to two people. Moreover, democratic tradition allows the majority to the set moral standards for a society. In both European countries and the United States, a majority of the public is firmly against legalizing same-sex marriage. Our democracy can reasonably limit marriage to one man and one woman.

2. To permit gay and lesbian couples to marry will overturn centuries of custom and tradition. Marriage in both American and European law system has been unmistakably understood as between one man and one woman. By contrast, the calls for change to this tradition are very recent. Rushing to make such a change will cause great disruptions. Our democracy can wait a few generations to see whether such a radical change is really necessary.

3. The understanding of marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman is central to many religious traditions. Marriage is thus a sacred as well as a legal institution. Our democracy should not extend marital rights to couples in a way that would reject the teachings of these religious traditions and offend the values of millions of people.

4. Marriage has always fundamentally been about procreation. Marriage is the accepted way to create and raise children. Gay and lesbian partners cannot naturally procreate, nor can they simulate the long-standing representation of a family by a mother, a father, and a child or children.

Should our democracy fund elementary education for children of minority groups in their own language?

“Language is politics. And language is about power,” according to Australian language professor Roly Sussex (1999). “You have to be in a minority situation to appreciate what it means to have a language of your own, and what it means when someone threatens to take away your right to use it when and where you please.”

Many democracies have minority populations who speak a different language from the majority population. For example, English is the dominant official language in the Republic of Ireland, but about two percent of Ireland’s population live in regions that recognize Irish (sometimes called Gaelic) as the predominant language of the citizens in those regions. Another example is the Basque-speaking linguistic minority in northern Spain, where about 600,000 to 700,000 people, or one quarter of the citizens of the Basque Country, speak that language instead of Spanish.

Issues involving language - particularly how it is used - often ignite conflicts between different cultural, religious, ethnic, or racial communities in a democracy. Language itself can become a powerful symbol of political as well as cultural identity. As an extreme example, there have been terrorist acts committed by Basque separatists in Spain to promote Basque autonomy, for which Basque-language dominance is critically important.

Sometimes schools become flashpoints for conflicts about language and identity. One challenge that many democracies face is whether to educate elementary students from minority groups in their own language or in the dominant language of the state.

Multilingualism and Its Effects on Education

When confronted with children from minority groups who do not speak the dominant language, democracies must decide how best to meet both the civic goals of schooling and the personal needs of the child. Complicating this decision are the varied histories that led a region to be multilingual. For example, some countries, like Switzerland, have had multiple language groups inhabiting them for centuries. To help students become participants of its established multilingual society, the Swiss government requires elementary schools to help their students speak and write in at least two languages. Other countries have “immersion schools” in which students and teachers communicate solely in a minority language in order to encourage bilingualism (fluency in both majority and minority languages). In Ireland, for example, Irish anguage gaelscoileanna (“Gaelic schools”) educate about 35,000 students in the English dominant regions to speak both Gaelic and English.

Other countries have become multilingual more recently because of the voluntary or involuntary migration of minority ethnic groups. Reasons for migration include economic opportunities or a lack of them, persecution, and/or war, to name just a few. When people move to a new country, they frequently settle with other people from their home country, often

meaning that they do not have to speak the language of their new country. However, schools often require students to learn in the dominant language. Therefore, schools are left to figure out how to educate children who do not speak the dominant language.

Some places, such as the Czech Republic and various U.S. locales, adopt bilingual or dual language “immersion” programs for all students so that everyone learns the dominant and minority languages equally. In other places, schools often approach the teaching of minority language children with one of two goals in mind:

1. to use the same language of instruction with all students;

2. to allow students to learn school subjects in their own languages.

These goals result in varied curricula, classes, and/or schools for children from different language groups.

When countries strive to meet the first goal, all students usually attend the same school. Sometimes, as in the United States, the schools offer special classes that students in minority languages attend in order to help them learn English better. These special classes are sometimes taught in the student’s “home” language but are also often taught in English. Special classes for “English Language Learners” aim to bring students into majority language classrooms as quickly as possible. Similarly, Roma students attend schools in the Czech Republic where they are taught in Czech, and schools in Ukraine teach their students in the official state language of Ukrainian, even in areas with primarily Russian speakers.

In other countries, and even in certain school districts in the United States, minority elementary students are taught consistently in their own languages. In Azerbaijan, for example, there are separate schools for teaching Azeri- and non-Azeri-speaking students, and Estonia has separate schools for Estonian-speaking and Russian-speaking students. These schools strive for the second goal: to help students learn school subjects in their own languages.

Should Minority Elementary Students Learn in Their Own Languages?

The national or public school serves many purposes in a democracy. At school, students often receive their first intensive learning about their nation’s history, economy, peoples, and relationship to the larger world. School is also where students frequently have their first encounter with people from traditions different from those of their family or neighborhood. These interactions - in the classroom, during meals, and on the playground - are critical to how young people think about themselves and their place in society. Elementary students are particularly impressionable. Therefore, the adults and peers that they encounter in schools can shape how they feel about education and the larger nation. If students feel accepted in the classroom, think that school is important, and believe that their contributions are valued, then they are more likely to become engaged students and citizens.

Supporters of teaching minority elementary students in their own languages argue that language should be a tool, not a barrier, for learning. Since a key goal of elementary education is to teach children the basic skills necessary for academic achievement, supporters say that

permitting young students to learn basic information and concepts in their own language will better prepare them for success in later grades and in the larger society. They also ar gue that students do best when they are motivated to excel and see school as a welcoming place. Teaching young minority students in their own their language helps to make schools a safe place. Students’ positive attachments to school motivate them to continue their formal education.

Supporters argue that using state funds to support elementary education in the language of minority students is a smart investment. Students from many minority groups drop out of school at higher rates than students from the majority group, often due to feelings of not being accepted. Students who drop out before completing their education earn less money, get into more trouble with the law, and become a drain on the resources of the state. Therefore, teaching these students in their own language is an effective way to keep them in school.

Supporters of this approach also assert that all students are entitled to realize the cultural rights indispensable for their dignity and personal development. Language is the most basic vehicle for maintaining cultural identity; teaching elementary students from minority groups in their own language helps these children to retain their cultural heritage. Far from hurting national identity, advocates say that creating strong cultural identity among young minority students contributes to the cultural richness of the nation as a whole.

People who oppose paying for the education of young children from minority groups in their own language argue that it is not a good use of state funds. All citizens must learn the national language, and the sooner that students from minority groups learn how to use it, the better they will be, and the more unified the nation will grow. Learning the national language is a way to bring the nation closer together.

Opponents of teaching minority students in their own language note that students learn more in school than just how to read, write, and add. School is where students learn their national history and culture, and the national language is an essential part of this education. While a person’s particular cultural traditions are very important, the place to learn these traditions is at home or in a privately funded supplemental school, not at a publicly funded school.

Opponents of teaching elementary minority students in their own language also argue that teaching them in the dominant language will lead to greater social integration and acceptance. When young children learn the national language from an early age, all students - from the majority and minority groups - grow closer as friends and fellow citizens. By contrast, teaching minority students in their own language not only isolates them from the larger society, it also sows the seeds for national unrest.

Supporters of teaching elementary minority students in their own language argue that concerns about minority language groups living in isolation from the larger society are exaggerated. Students from minority groups have every incentive to learn and use the majority language, and most develop for themselves the level of fluency they need to survive and succeed. Teaching these students in their own languages at an early age will not prevent them from integrating into the larger community as they grow older.

Opponents respond that separate is not equal. Teaching elementary students from minority groups in their own languages will create a dual school system. Because students from minority groups usually have less power than students in the majority language community, students in majority language classes will get more resources, greater attention, and better teachers than students in minority language classes. The result is that students from minority groups will get a second-class education.

Opponents argue that schooling in minority languages is a well-intentioned but misguided policy. Learning a language is easier the younger a person is. By contrast, teaching elementary students from minority groups in their own language delays their proficiency in the national language. As a result, many do not achieve fluency in the national language and, ultimately, become marginalized second-class citizens. Ironically, a policy designed to help these students will ultimately hurt them and their chances of becoming successful, productive citizens.

The freedom to express oneself in different ways - through music, culture, ideas, and language - is at the heart of democracy. Such expressions by minority groups are often at odds with the majority. Balancing the needs of both majority and minority communities with di gnity and respect is an enduring challenge for every democracy.

YES - Arguments to Support the Deliberation Question

1. Language should be a tool, not a barrier, for learning. A key goal of elementary education is to teach children the basic skills necessary for academic achievement. Permitting elementary students to learn basic information and concepts in their own language will better prepare them for success in later grades and in the larger society.

2. Language is the most basic vehicle for maintaining cultural identity. Teaching elementary students from minority groups in their own language helps these children to retain their cultural heritage, contributes to students’ personal development, and adds to the cultural richness of the nation as a whole.

3. Students succeed academically when they are motivated to excel and when they see school as a welcoming place. Teaching elementary students from minority groups in their own language provides them with a “safe harbor” in which to develop positive attachments to school and increases the chances that they will continue their education.

4. Funding elementary education in the language of minority students is a smart investment. Students from many minority groups drop out of school at higher rates than students from the majority group, often due to feelings of not being accepted. Students who drop out before completing their education contribute less money to the economy and get into more trouble with the law than students who stay in school.

5. Concerns about minority language groups living in isolation from the larger society are overblown. Students from minority groups have every incentive to learn and use the

majority language, and most develop the level of fluency they need to survive and succeed. Teaching students in their own languages at an early age will not prevent them from integrating into the larger community as they grow older.

NO - Arguments to Oppose the Deliberation Question

1. The desire to educate young children from minority groups in their own language is well intentioned but misguided. Learning a language is easier the younger a person is. Teaching elementary students from minority groups in their own language delays their proficiency in the national language. As a result, many do not achieve fluency in the national language and, ultimately, become marginalized second-class citizens.

2. Paying to educate elementary students from minority groups in their own language is not a good use of state funds. All citizens must learn the national language, and the sooner that students from minority groups learn how to use the national language, the better they will be.

3. Fluency in the national language will lead to greater acceptance of students from minority language groups and national unity. When young children learn the national language from an early age, everyone - from the majority and from minority groups - grows closer together as friends and fellow citizens. By contrast, teaching minority students in their own language not only isolates them from the larger society, but it also divides the nation.

4. Students learn more in school than just how to read, write, and add. School is where students learn their national history and culture. The national language is an essential part of this education. The place to learn one’s personal culture and traditions is the home, not the school.

5. Separate is not equal. Teaching elementary students from minority groups in their own languages will create a dual school system. Because students from minority groups usually have less power than students in the majority language community, students in majority language classes will get more resources, greater attention, and better teachers than students in minority language classes. As a result, students from minority groups will receive a second-class education.

Should all adult citizens in our democracy participate in one year of mandatory national service?

In a democracy, the government serves with the “consent of the governed.” Citizens consent (agree) to support the government so long as the government protects the rights of citizens and represents their interests. But citizens often disagree about what the government should do to protect them and represent their interests.

Democracies allow people to express their views about almost everything. Rarely do people agree. In democratic societies, where people come from different cultures and may not speak the same language, there may be even more disagreement about what the government should do and how much citizens should pay in taxes to support the government. Citizens also are often suspicious of government and worry about keeping their rights.

How a democracy develops and keeps a sense of national unity and identity is very important. In part to address these needs, many democracies have some form of mandatory civilian or military national service.

What Is National Service?

National service generally means citizen participation in a mandatory program - sponsored or conducted by the government - to address a national public need. Typically, young adults are required to serve full-time for a limited period of time, from six months to one or more years. While serving, citizens either receive basic support from the government - such as housing, food, clothing, and modest stipend - or the government provides a minimum-level wage. There are two basic forms of mandatory national service: military and civilian. A country may require either one or both of these types of service.

Mandatory National Service: The Military

Military service is one of the oldest forms of national service and is common to both democratic and non-democratic countries. Such democratic countries as Austria, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey require male and occasionally female citizens to participate in military service when they become 18 years old. The time of service ranges from several months (Switzerland) to three years (Israel).

National military service often molds a common national identity. In a May 2006 speech, Russian president Vladimir Putin stressed the role of the military as a symbol of national unity and national will. He also expressed hope that preparation for military training might address some of the problems of youth, such as chronic disease, drinking, smoking, and use of drugs. During World War II, the United States identified itself as a democracy that represented people from every nation who fought together for freedom; the effort to mobilize such a diverse country

led directly to greater social acceptance of Catholics and Jews and to the equal rights movements of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, and American Indians.

Many people oppose the use of military service precisely because of its power to shape the thinking of citizens. They point out that governments can manipulate the confusion between allegiance to one’s country and allegiance to a specific party or leader. Some military personnel believe that using the armed forces as a citizenship “school” detracts from the military’s primary mission of defending the country. Similarly, many people in countries with mandatory military service have bitter memories of long months doing useless “military” activities far from home. They question the citizenship value of enduring the unequal treatment that often accompanies military life. For these and other reasons, groups such as the Union of the Committees of Soldiers’ Mothers of Russia have called for the armed forces to be comprised of volunteer, professional soldiers. The United States currently has an all-volunteer force.

Most countries that have mandatory military service have options for those who refuse to serve for moral or religious reasons or who cannot serve for physical reasons. In Norway and Sweden, persons who object to military service can choose alternate service, such as firefighting. Estonia offers some flexibility to young men as to when they perform their required military service: they can choose to do so any time between the ages of 19 and 28.

Mandatory National Service: Civilian Examples

Several nations also call for mandatory civilian national service. Since 1944, Mexico has required that all university students participate in a service program during their last year of studies before they receive their degree. Medical students must serve disadvantaged communities for one year before being licensed. Costa Rica has no military but has a similar requirement for medical professionals to serve disadvantaged communities before receiving a medical license. In Nigeria, service is required of all university and polytechnical graduates under 30, unless they graduate with high honors or enter the military or the police. Egypt requires women high school graduates, who are exempt from military service, to perform six months of national service in literacy centers or to do similar work.

Other countries, such as China, Kenya, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, offer state sponsored programs in which participation is voluntary. In the United States, the Corporation for National and Community Service sponsors several service options. Approximately 70,000 Americans 17 and older participate each year in AmeriCorps, a program designed to meet community needs in education, the environment, public safety, homeland security, and other areas. AmeriCorps members receive academic scholarships in exchange for a year of full-time service.

Significantly, these volunteer programs often draw older citizens who have more life experiences. Through the U.S. Senior Corps, for example, nearly 500,000 Americans age 55 and older meet community needs as volunteers, foster grandparents, and senior companions. In January 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush called on all Americans to devote the equivalent of at least two years of their lives - or 4,000 hours - to service and volunteering. He created the USA Freedom Corps as a way to promote service and coordinate volunteer opportunities offered

through federal programs. However, there is no federal support for those who volunteer for the USA Freedom Corps.

Mandatory National Service: Supporters and Opponents

Supporters of mandatory national service argue that it can create in citizens a commitment to country and a responsibility to others. In their view, national service can provide citizens from all walks of life and from different parts of the country with positive experiences and opportunities for upward mobility in society. Advocates claim that national service helps build people’s self esteem, develops work-skills, and teaches them civic responsibility. At the same time, national service provides a large labor force to work on national problems and to help out during emergencies. When confronted with the argument that service should not be compelled, they point out that many types of citizen behavior are compulsory, from paying taxes to sending children to school. National service, they say, is a reasonable obligation of citizenship.

Opponents of mandatory national service argue that it puts the needs of the state ahead of the rights of citizens. It violates the important democratic principles of individual freedom and limited government. Critics oppose using military or civilian national service to promote national identity precisely because such service can develop obedience to the state rather than independence among citizens. They also maintain that government-centered national service is misguided and would be costly and inefficient to run. Expanding national service programs will only diminish the importance of private charities and the good they can do. They believe that the best interests of the people are best served by the people, not by the government. Mandatory service, they say, is not the way to instill civic responsibility.

How democracies develop and maintain a sense of national unity and meet the needs of their citizens is a critical set of questions for government and citizens. Whether mandatory national service - civilian or military - is a useful tool in those efforts is a subject for deliberation by policymakers and citizens.

YES - Arguments to Support the Deliberation Question

1. Most democratic nations require citizens to do many things that are in the public interest, such as paying taxes, sending children to school, and serving as jurors. National service is a reasonable and logical requirement.

2. Because they permit so much diversity and public disagreement, democratic countries need to foster a sense of common identity and national purpose among citizens. National service will help achieve this goal.

3. National service provides citizens with positive opportunities to meet people from different backgrounds and build networks and connections that promote equality and mobility within a society.

4.

National service enables citizens to meet a critical national need by creating a dedicated labor force to work on worthwhile public projects such as rebuilding parks and roads, assisting in hospitals and schools, and helping out during natural disasters and times of national crisis.

5. National service can be a positive, even transformative experience for citizens. Service offers opportunities to build self-esteem, develop work and leadership skills, and promote civic responsibility.

NO - Arguments to Oppose the Deliberation Question

1. Democracy is based on a respect for individual freedoms and for limited government. National service violates both these fundamental principles. Mandatory military service is especially troublesome because it serves the needs of tyrannies and democracies equally well.

2. National service is not necessary in a democracy. The best interests of the people are served by the people, not by government. When people meet their own needs and pursue their own dreams, then government will respond to what the people want, not what the government wants.

3. National service means a large, costly bureaucracy. All this money can be much better spent meeting the real needs of citizens.

4. National service will place people in “make work” activities. Working on meaningless projects makes citizens resent their country, not revere it. They may be especially resentful because of the nature of other people’s service in more desirable or more comfortable activities. Unequal sacrifice will only aggravate the resentment of a mandatory program.

5. National service programs hurt civil society. Citizens will learn to rely only on what the government provides, instead of using their own skills and resources to serve and care for their neighbors. Furthermore, asking the military to serve as a citizenship “school” will detract from the military’s main purpose of defending the country.

Should our democracy hold parents responsible when their teenagers commit minor offenses?

In Breclav, Czech Republic, a judge sentenced Mrs. Danihels to 15 months in jail and her husband to 10 months. Their crime? Educational neglect. Their children had missed about 2,000 lessons in the past school year. When their parents were sentenced to jail, the children, aged nine to twelve, were sent to a center for juvenile delinquents. In Australia, a judge ordered two people to pay a $60,000 fine. But the people he penalized did not commit the vandalism - and the judge knew it. Their children were the vandals.

Parents make many decisions about raising their children. In democracies, they expect to do so without interference from government. But democracies also have laws that allow governments to protect children from parents who fail to provide basic necessities and supervision. They also have laws to protect society from the people who commit crimes. Problems arise when these laws conflict - particularly when parents and the state must decide when teenagers are responsible for themselves.

Parenting and Parental Liability: An Overview

Being a parent or guardian 1 has many rewards and responsibilities. Parents’ legal obligations begin when their children are born or join the family. These obligations end when children reach the age of majority - the age they are legally considered adults. This age varies, but in most U.S. states it is 18. In Europe, the age is usually 14.

Parents’ most fundamental responsibility is to provide basic necessities of life - food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and education - that children cannot provide for themselves. Parents who fail to provide these necessities may be charged with child neglect. Parents also have the responsibility to supervise their children. Under the legal theory of parens patriae, the government serves as the ultimate parent of a child. Children who are neglected or who are not properly supervised by their parents may be placed under the authority of the court. Judges usually try to keep the family together by ordering these children and their parents to receive counseling, to take special classes, or to receive other support. In severe cases, however, a judge may place children in foster care to protect them or in a juvenile detention facility for supervision.

Community members can also hold parents accountable for the actions of t heir children. Tort law (also known as civil law) allows victims to sue a person who caused harm to them, to their property, or to their reputation. In a lawsuit, the victim usually has to prove that a specific person is responsible (liable) for the specific injuries or damage. However, even people who are

1 Guardians are people who have the legal power and obligation to take care of another person who is not capable of total independence, usually due to his or her age. For the purposes of this reading, the term “parent” will also mean “guardian,” as the two usually have the same rights and responsibilities toward children in their care.

not directly responsible for the injury may be liable to pay. In certain circumstances, the law assumes that the offense would not have happened if a parent had reasonably supervised the child.

Around the world, parents can be held liable for a variety of offenses committed by their children. In the Russian Federation, parents can face a penalty of 500 to 1000 roubles if they “fail to prevent the presence of their children in places where their presence is prohibited.” In Romania, if children make false bomb threats or fake calls to emergency numbers, parents may be fined. In the United States, parents can face expensive lawsuits if their children illegally download copyrighted materials or if they cause an accident in the family car. Parents can be charged with “failing to take sufficient measures” to prevent underage drinking in their homes. And parents who live in publicly funded housing may be forced out of their homes if their children engage in criminal drug activity on or near the property - even if the parents did not know the children were using or selling drugs.

Internationally, the most common offense for which parents can be held liable is property damage. Under the laws of the Russian Federation and the European Civil Code, parents are liable for the property damage caused by their children aged 6 to 14, unless the parents can prove they provided sufficient supervision. Between the ages of 14 and 18, the child is held fully responsible. In Estonia, parents whose children aged 15-18 willfully damage property are held liable whether they provided adequate supervision or not. In the United States, 33 states allow parents to be sued for property damage. Some states only require parents to pay if their children are of a certain age. For example, parents in Oregon will only be responsible if the offending child is less than 15 years old. Some states cap the amount that can be collected from parents, typically around $2,500 per incident. In California, judges can hold parents liable for up to $25,000 per incident. Other states, like Hawaii, have no limit at all.

Truancy: A Case Study in Parental Liability

According to the United Nations Convention on the Child and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, children have a right to an education. In addition, education should be free up to a certain age, and school attendance should be compulsory (required by law.) If children miss school without a valid reason, they are considered truant. In Europe, typical compulsory education laws require children between the ages of 6 and 16 to go to school. In the United States, most states require children between 7 and 16 to attend school.

Democratic countries require education out of concern for children and to protect society. Young people who do not attend school are likely to face a lifetime of difficulties. According to Romanian psychologist Diana Dincă, a lack of education “diminishes a person’s chances to have a job and increases the risk of extreme poverty. The lack of access to education… can also decrease the chances of future generation’s success.” Truancy hurts communities, too. Police officers know that in communities where truancy is high, so is the daytime crime rate. Adults who were truants as juveniles tend to rely more heavily on welfare and have an increased likelihood of going to jail, at a great cost to society. Local schools lose when students skip because in places like Macedonia and Indiana, the government bases its financial support to schools on daily attendance figures.

Democracies have developed different approaches to involve parents in reducing truancy. In Lithuania, school attendance is seen as a community responsibility, and the Ministry of Education requires every school to organize trainings for parents. Other democracies have established escalating consequences for truants and their parents. When children exceed the legal limit of unexcused absences and are “truant,” parents and school leaders are often required to make a plan in order for the child to return to school. If the agreements fail to improve attendance, courts may try to help parents by requiring them to take parenting or communication classes. In Denver, Colorado, truant students are assigned to “catch up classes,” in which teachers and other mentors help them make up the work they have missed. The goal is to help them succeed in school when they start attending more. Families of truants are also assigned to mediation (conflict resolution) and family group conferences.

When those interventions fail, some truancy laws - like those in Maryland, Virginia, and Romania - go further, by fining parents of truants. Parents in Estonia who “neglect their obligation to raise and educate their children” may also face penalties equal to 50 days’ salary. Parents in California who “fail to compel a student to attend school” face fines of up to $100 for the first conviction, $250 for the second conviction, and $500 for three or more convictions. In places such as South Carolina, England, Australia, and the Czech Republic, judges may sentence to time in jail those parents who refuse to make their children attend school.

Supporters and Opponents of Parental Liability

People disagree about parental liability. There is particular disagreement about holding parents liable for the actions of their teenagers. Supporters of parental liability say the laws work. For example, when Pima County, Arizona, instituted a “get tough” truancy program that combined rehabilitation with fines and jail time for parents, truancy dropped 64%. In Silverton, Oregon, juvenile crime and truancy fell 44.5% when the town passed and enforced parental responsibility legislation. Other U.S. communities have seen similar results.

Supporters also say that victims have an important right to restitution, to be compensated for their injuries or damage to their property. However, most minors do not have any money. Suing them is therefore pointless. The only way victims of vandalism and graffiti can be compensated for the full costs of repairing or replacing their property is to get the money from parents.

Supporters add that delinquent parenting results in delinquent children. When parents fail to properly support or supervise their children, serious consequences for society can, and often do, result. Significant penalties for parents, like dramatic fines or jail time, deter other parents from shirking their responsibilities. As the victim of the Australian property crime featured at the beginning of this reading said: “At the end of the day, they are your children and they are your responsibility whether you like it or… you don’t.”

Opponents of parental liability laws say it is unfair to hold one person responsible for the actions of another. They say such laws shift responsibility away from the children, who should be held accountable for their own actions. Other opponents say the laws violate the rights of parents to raise and educate their children in the way they see fit.

Opponents say many parents lack effective parenting skills, so the biggest priority should be helping parents parent well. As one psychologist and school safety expert put it, with parental liability laws, “you are telling people you are going to punish them for a job they want to do but don’t know how do.”

Opponents also think government should prevent juvenile crime and truancy by addressing the reasons kids skip school or commit crimes. For example, if teachers were better trained and had better materials, perhaps children would value school more. If schools were safer, children who fear bullying and crime at school might attend. Some young people say they vandalize property because they are bored. Opponents of parental liability would agree with the efforts of a power company in Moscow that grew tired of fighting with kids who vandalized its towers and decided to invite graffiti artists to make them more beautiful.

Supporters of parental liability acknowledge that the government in a democracy cannot take the place of parents. However, democratic government is responsible for enforcing the laws and protecting everyone in society. Parental liability laws can provide the right incentives for good parenting and appropriate penalties for bad parenting. This solution strikes the right balance between family privacy and the greater good of the community.

Opponents say that parental liability laws disproportionately penalize people who are poor. Even when school is free, some parents cannot afford materials, appropriate clothing, transportation, and other associated costs. In many economically depressed communities, children miss school to work or to watch younger children while their parents work. According to criminologist H. Wilson, “Lax parenting is often the result of chronic stress, situations arising from frequent or prolonged spells of unemployment…and an often permanent condition of poverty.” In this economy, as more parents are forced to work long hours or hold two or more jobs to earn enough money to cover basic family needs, it is unjust for governments to cut federal spending on welfare programs and then prosecute parents for being unavailable to supervise their children.” Programs to increase parents’ job skills and earning power would reduce truancy and juvenile crime more than punishing parents.

Conclusion

The question of whether parents should be held liable for their children’s actions is also a question of the proper role of government. As University of Connecticut law and public policy professor Steven Wisensale put it, “The problem we have in this country is we’re constantly wrestling with the dilemma of preserving the privacy of what goes on in the family, versus what is for the good of the greater community.”

YES - Arguments to Support the Deliberation Question

1. Democratic governments protect society from crime and promote education for all young people. Parental liability laws work to reduce crime and truancy. Communities with antitruancy programs that have combined rehabilitation with fines and jail time for

parents have seen reductions in the number of truants. Drops in truancy also result in drops in juvenile crime. As with most problems in life, a mixture of incentives and penalties has the best chance of reducing negative behaviors.

2. Victims of crimes have a right to be compensated for their injuries or damage to their property. However, most minors do not have any money. If victims of vandalism and graffiti can sue parents for the full costs of repairing or replacing their property, then parents will supervise their teenagers more carefully.

3. Some children are delinquent because their parents are delinquent in their parenting. Significant penalties for parents of delinquent teenagers can help keep these parents from shirking their responsibilities. Parents are responsible for their children, and parents must be held accountable for their obligations.

4. The government in a democracy cannot take the place of parents. However, democratic government is responsible for enforcing the laws and protecting everyone in society. Parental liability laws can provide the right incentives for good parenting and appropriate penalties for bad parenting. This solution strikes the right balance between family privacy and the greater good of the community.

NO - Arguments to Oppose the Deliberation Question

1. Parental liability laws violate basic principles of democratic society, such as the rights of parents to raise and educate their children in the way they see fit. These laws also unfairly hold one person accountable for the actions of another responsible person. Teenagers always insist that they are more like adults than children. Like adults, they can work, drive a car, and even pay taxes. Just as they must accept a traffic ticket when they are driving, teenagers must accept responsibility for skipping school or committing acts of vandalism.

2. Many parents lack effective parenting skills, and teenagers take advantage of this situation. Punishing people because they do not know what do is like fining someone for drowning when they do not know how to swim. Instead of creating new fines and punishments, society should show these parents how to take better care of their teenagers.

3. Parental liability laws treat the symptom and not the disease. If teachers were better trained and had better materials, children would value school more and there would be fewer truants. If schools were safer, children who fear bullying and crime at school would attend. Some young people say they vandalize property because they are bored. Government can prevent more juvenile crime and truancy by addressing the reasons kids skip school or commit crimes than it can by punishing parents.

4. Parental liability laws are unfair to people who are poor. Even when school is free, some parents cannot afford materials, appropriate clothing, transportation, and other associated costs. In many economically depressed communities, children miss school to work or to

watch younger children while their parents work. Lax parenting often results from prolonged unemployment and poverty. The government cannot justly prosecute parents for failing to supervise their children when those parents have to work two or three jobs to provide for their families. Programs to increase parents’ job skills and earning power would reduce truancy and juvenile crime more than punishing parents.

Should our democracy have the power to prohibit unauthorized public demonstrations?

In November 2004, the sitting Prime Minister of Ukraine was declared the victor in elections widely considered in the country and by international observers as fraudulent. In protest, thousands of demonstrators assembled without government permission in Independence Square in the frozen, snow-covered capital city of Kiev. They refused to go home until new elections were called. They stayed, sang songs, and nonviolently assembled to protest the electoral process. After days of protest, the Supreme Court annulled the November results and ordered another election. The “Orange Revolution,” named after the color adopted by the protesters, led to a fairer election in December 2004; this time, the opposition candidate won.

When citizens disagree with their government, one of the most powerful ways to express that dissent is to demonstrate publicly with other citizens. Sometimes - in Ukraine in 2004, Romania in 1991, Azerbaijan in 1988, and the Philippines in 1986 - these demonstrations have not been stopped, and they have led directly to a change of government. At other times, such as in Tiananmen Square in 1991 and Chicago in 1968, governments have determined such demonstrations were a threat to public safety and suppressed them by police and military forces.

Distinguishing between the rights of citizens to assemble and the responsibility of government to maintain safety is one of the most troublesome questions of free expression in any society. It is a particularly difficult question in a democracy, where government must listen and respond to the voices of its citizens.

An Ancient and Fundamental Freedom

The gathering of people to discuss problems and voice their disapproval of the authorities is perhaps as old as government itself. Using such assemblies to protest government actions also has a long legal history, and these gatherings are crucial to other freedoms, such as speech and belief. For example, the American labor movement, the modern Civil Rights movement, and the Pro-Life movement have all used public assembly to promote their cause.

Public demonstrations are a uniquely dynamic form of expression. They enable face-to- face contact between speaker and audience, promote solidarity and mutual support among demonstrators, and let demonstrators show their dedication and support to outsiders. Because demonstrations do not require the money necessary for television shows, media campaigns, or newspaper advertising, they are favored by those with little or no economic or political power. Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations, includes the protection that “everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.” In the United States, the First Amendment to the Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law…prohibiting… the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” To varying degrees, this right has been exercised by citizens and honored by governments around the world.

An Inherently Difficult Balance

Of course, every society needs order to function. People need and expect the basic right to live and work without fear of assaults on themselves, their property, or their conscience. Police provide these protections. Without these powers, the “free expression” of public demonstrations can quickly become the rule of the mob. By their nature, the enforcers of the laws - the police and the military - tend to support the existing order. Therefore, they often oppose demonstrators who challenge the status quo and whose actions may result in disorder.

To maintain order - and often to restrict unwanted expressions of dissent - governments have used different methods to control public demonstrations. These include requiring permits; determining the time, place, and manner of assemblies; and assigning a specific role to the police in maintaining order. Where to draw the line between free expression and reasonable limits has been argued in the United States for almost a century, with no firm conclusions. As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter once wrote, the conflict between “free speech and other interests is a problem as persistent as it is perplexing” [Niemotko v. Maryland (1951)].

Nevertheless, the U.S. Supreme Court has developed several working principles. For example, the Court has recognized the government’s right to regulate public spaces and to maintain public order; demonstrators cannot simply take over a busy street. On the other hand, the government cannot prohibit speech simply because it does not like what is being said. If, for example, the government permits pro-government groups to rally in a public park, then it cannot deny the same rights to groups that protest the government’s actions.

Other countries also face these questions. In the spring of 1989, thousands of Chinese students gathered at Tiananmen Square in the capitol Beijing to demonstrate for democratic reform. The students were joined by factory workers, government workers, and intellectual leaders, until almost a million people were gathered there. The government of China at first tolerated and then condemned the protests, declaring martial law in late May. The demonstrators called on the government leadership to resign, but during a night in early June, government tanks crushed thousands of demonstrators, disbanded the rest, and arrested the student leaders. The Chinese government had acted to put down what it called a “counterrevolutionary rebellion.”

Governments can also restrict the use of a right through administrative rules and procedures. Article 49 of the Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic says that “every person has the right to assemble, conduct meetings, assemblies, demonstrations, street procession, pickets in amicable way and without weapons, by notifying the relevant state authorities in advance.” However, in 1998 the National Assembly (Parliament of the Azerbaijan Republic) adopted a law on freedom of assembly that says anyone who is organizing any assembly must notify the relevant body of executive authority in writing at least five days prior to the planned assembly. The law also restricts freedom of assembly in cases of coup d'etat or threats against national security of the state. According to many experts, this law contradicts the freedom in the Azerbaijani Constitution.

In Russia, leaders hope structures that give citizens an opportunity for input will make demonstrations unnecessary. In 2005, Dmitri Medvedev, Chief of Staff for President Vladimir

Putin, reflected on recent demonstrations: “The demonstrations on the streets were the normal

reaction of angry people

place through socially effective procedures rather than on the streets, and for this to happen we need to have working mechanisms for communication between the public and the authorities.”

Of course, it is better for discussions on necessary measures to take

Limits on Public Demonstrations: Supporters and Opponents

Should

democratic

demonstrations?

governments

have

the

power

to

prohibit

unauthorized

public

People who support prohibitions on unauthorized demonstrations say that getting a permit from the government strikes a reasonable balance between order and liberty. Requiring a permit does not mean that the government has arbitrary power to allow or prohibit a demonstration. Rather, it enables government to fulfill its duty to uphold the law impartially:

everyone follows the same rules.

Supporters also argue that a law, in order to be effective, must be able to work. If the police cannot move or regulate people from a public place, then society is at risk. Because crowds are unstable, a peaceful demonstration can turn quickly into a violent mob. Requiring authorization creates a workable framework in which both government and demonstrators can make decisions.

Opponents of requiring pre-authorization argue that people gathered peacefully to discuss or protest an issue do not need permission from the very government against which they may have a grievance. Any law that requires a license to demonstrate in public places represents an unfair limit on a fundamental liberty of a democratic society. The decision to grant or deny a permit is inherently political: such a fundamental freedom should not be left in the hands of a clerk.

Opponents also argue that, while newspapers and television are the media of the wealthy and the powerful, public demonstrations are the media of the poor, the radical, and the marginal. Such people can hardly expect to receive the same authorizations as those who support the established order. In order to make their voices heard, they need to be able to picket, parade, and demonstrate in public places when and where necessary. The use of public places for these purposes, as long as peace and order are maintained, cannot be denied.

Supporters of government power to stop unauthorized public demonstrations counter by saying that public space does not mean lawless space. Just as every city rightfully exercises control over traffic, so too a demonstration permit is a reasonable way for the government to maintain order. The privilege of some citizens to assemble publicly to share their views must be regulated in the interest of all citizens because this is a relative, not absolute, privilege.

Supporters also note that in the age of the “instant” communication, rarely will events happen so quickly that government cannot respond in time. A permit can be reviewed and approved fast enough to meet the legitimate free expression needs of citizens. Opponents agree that, as in Kiev in 2004, the timing of demonstrations has never been more important. They fear

that government authorization procedures, like those in Azerbaijan, create delays that effectively become government denials for popular assemblies.

In short, how governments regulate public demonstrations will remain controversial wherever democracies thrive.

YES - Arguments to Support the Deliberation Question

1. People cannot exercise their rights without an ordered society in which to express them. Without government, the public square is ruled not by law but by the loudest or the strongest. Requiring government authorization for public demonstrations strikes a reasonable balance between the needs for both order and liberty in a democratic society.

2. Prior authorization does not give the government arbitrary power over who can or cannot hold a demonstration. Instead, it enables government to uphold the law impartially and without favoritism. With an authorization process, everyone has to follow the same rules.

3. Laws must be workable in order to be effective. By their nature, crowds are unstable, and a peaceful demonstration can turn quickly into a violent mob. Requiring authorization provides police with a useful tool for regulating a public place. It also creates a reasonable framework within which both the government and the demonstrators can make decisions.

4. No person’s free expression rights are absolute. The privilege of some citizens to use public places to assemble or to communicate their views must be regulated in the interest of all citizens. Requiring authorization for public demonstrations enables government to maintain the general comfort and convenience of the citizenry.

5. Public space does not mean lawless space. The streets belong to the people, but every city is expected to control traffic in the interests of public safety: those who fail to stop at stoplights or insist on walking in busy city streets should be stopped. Requiring authorization for public demonstrations is a similar exercise of the government’s power to protect public safety.

6. Although events happen quickly in today’s world, government also can respond quickly to meet the legitimate free expression needs of citizens. Under extraordinary circumstances, the government can function extraordinarily: courts and offices stay open, and the police are always available. In the age of the Internet and 24-hour news, government authorization can be obtained in sufficient time to allow for public meetings and demonstrations.

NO - Arguments to Oppose the Deliberation Question

1. A law that prohibits unauthorized public demonstrations denies a fundamental liberty of a democratic society. People who gather peacefully to discuss or protest an issue do not need permission from the very government against which they may have a grievance.

2. The decision of whether to authorize or prohibit a public demonstration is inherently political. People who hold unconventional views or live outside the mainstream of society can hardly expect the same access to public space as those who support the established order. The decision to grant or deny a fundamental freedom should not be left to a clerk.

3. Free expression is everyone’s right in a democratic society, but not every forum is free. While the wealthy and the comfortable use and can afford newspapers and television, public demonstrations are the news and advertising “media” of the poor, the radical, and the marginal. Public demonstrations permit unpopular demonstrators to support each other and to bring their views directly to the larger community.

4. By their nature, marching and picketing require public places in order to draw attention to their cause. To require government authorization for these activities in public places, even when peace and order are maintained, is an unreasonable restriction of a fundamental right.

5. Parks and public places have always been used by citizens to assemble, communicate and share ideas, and discuss public questions of the day. This use has been and must be considered part of the rights and privileges of citizens. This right should not, for want of official authorization, be abridged or denied.

6. Timing is everything in political life, and citizens cannot predict the future. When something happens, people often need to be seen and heard promptly if they are to be considered at all. Requiring advance authorization for unanticipated events effectively prevents such demonstrations from happening at the very time they are most needed.

Should our democracy require manufacturers to recycle their products?

The amount of trash that human societies create is alarming. So much of our waste has ended up in the ocean that a giant garbage patch - over twice the size of Texas or Ukraine - exists 1,000 miles from the U.S. West Coast (Weiss, 2006). The patch does not disappear because so much of our trash contains non-biodegradable plastics. Scientists estimate that the polyethylene used to make the 60,000 plastic bags that the U.S. uses every 5 seconds (see Figure 1) takes at least 500 years to dissolve. Each year, our plastic waste kills an estimated 1 million seabirds and 100,000 sea turtles, seals, whales, and other marine mammals (Weiss, 2006).

Our garbage also includes hazardous chemical compounds - like lead and mercury - that can pollute air, soil, and groundwater. This contamination ultimately harms plants and animals, including human beings. Some governments are trying to reduce the waste created by human activities. Reusing materials when manufacturing products is one way to do so.

Extending Manufacturer Responsibility for Recycling

Certain manufacturers have participated in recycling for a long time. In 1947, for example, the U.S. beverage industry put 100% of soft drinks in glass bottles. Consumers paid a deposit for these bottles and received a refund upon returning them to the store. Bottling plants then washed, refilled, and resold those bottles. However, the widespread availability of non- reusable aluminum cans and plastic bottles in the 1970s transformed the industry. Consumers liked not having to return their beverage containers to the site of purchase, and distributors saved money by not having to pick up empty bottles. Additionally, bottlers no longer had to wash and inspect returned bottles. Thus the discarding of beverage containers became common (Institute for Local Self-Reliance, 2002).

The explosion of can and bottle litter concerned environmentalists who saw mo re and more non-biodegradable beverage containers ending up in landfills or along waterways and roads. They also worried about the pollutants released into the environment during the production of metal cans and plastic bottles. Governments, too, began worrying about the wastefulness of beverage manufacturing. As a result, when an aluminum manufacturer can built a plant in Sweden during the 1980s, the Swedish government threatened to ban the use of aluminum beverage containers unless the industry managed to reclaim 75 percent of its products. The industry met and surpassed this goal by using a deposit/refund system that resembled the original refillable bottle model described above (Franklin, 1997).

Sweden’s policy shows how governments can hold manufacturers accountable for the waste they create, not only during the production process - which includes the mining of bauxite (the rock from which aluminum comes) - but also after the product is thrown away. The goal of such policies is to give manufacturers an incentive to think about the well-being of the environment when they design and select materials for their products. The central idea is that manufacturers will make less waste and pollution if they have to pay for these by-products.

Alternatives and Opposition to Extended Manufacturer Responsibility

Some manufacturers, like the beverage industry, have volunteered to use recovered materials when making goods because they can save money by doing so. Other manufacturers have made a voluntary commitment to recycling because they want to prevent waste and/or use waste as a resource. For example, European paper companies teamed up with paper recyclers to create the European Declaration on Paper Recycling (EDPR) in 2000. By 2005, the EDPR had successfully recovered and reused 56% of the paper and board used in Europe and formed a council to monitor this voluntary initiative. The EDPR’s success led it to strive for an even higher paper recycling rate (66%) by 2010.

Other industries worry that the cost of using recycled goods will put them out of business. Computer companies, for example, must hire workers to take apart used machines. This is a time-consuming task; to remove a single lithium battery from a computer can require taking out 30 different screws (Chabrow, 2005)! For these producers, to recover and reuse materials is inefficient and expensive. Therefore, some people argue that it is unfair to require that manufacturers reclaim their materials without giving them financial incentives to do so.

Some opponents to increasing manufacturer responsibility for electronic waste, or “e- waste,” suggest shifting the recycling burden to consumers. One way to do so is through an “advanced recovery fee system.” In California, for example, whenever consumers buy televisions, laptops, or computer monitors, they pay a $6 to $10 fee at the time of purchase. This fee helps to fund recyclers. Consumers must then take these electronic products to recycling centers when they want to dispose of them (Foley & Lardner, 2007). Such policies, however, cost retailers that sell the products a lot of money. Not only do these retailers have to program their cash registers to charge the advanced recovery fee when a customer buys an electronic product; they also have to send the collected fees to the appropriate government agency (Hileman, 2006).

Those who believe that consumers should not bear the cost of recycling products oppose advanced recovery fee systems. Indeed, some argue that when recycling waste costs more energy and resources than using new or “virgin” resources, recycling policies actually do more environmental harm than good. Recycling green-colored glass, for example, costs more money and can be more dangerous to the environment (due to contaminants released during the melti ng of the glass) than making glass from sand. According to political scientist Michael Munger, “Given the resource costs of recycling, treating green glass as garbage is the environmentally responsible thing to do.”

Supporters of Mandatory Extended Manufacturer Responsibility

In 2002, the European Union (EU) passed the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) law, which requires manufacturers to take back electronic products at the end of their useful life. Although plenty of people oppose this policy, its supporters insist that making the polluter pay is the best way to influence how products are created in the first place. Some supporters also argue that computer manufacturers may be able to make a profit by reclaiming their products, which contain valuable metals like gold, silver, and copper. Additionally, all countries do not insist that manufacturers comply with WEEE in a single way.

Instead, they allow manufacturers to determine the best way to meet WEEE’s requirements. In Lithuania, for example, so long as manufacturers collect and recycle a certain amount of e-waste (the government determines this number annually), they follow the law (Sander et al., 2007).

In 2003, the EU passed another law called the Reduction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS). This law sets limits on the amount of toxic materials that can be used in the making of new electronic equipment. RoHS supporters argue that eliminating materials like lead, mercury, and cadmium from the manufacturing process is better for the environment. It also makes the future recycling of products safer and, therefore, more likely. What is more, RoHS promises to reduce e-waste on a global scale. If Chinese, Japanese, and U.S. high-tech companies want to continue selling their products to European countries, they too must comply with RoHS. Because it is not practical or profitable for these manufacturers to make some electronics that meet RoHS requirements and others that do not, “‘EU design requirements will become global requirements’” (Isaacs in Grossman, 2006).

In the U.S., various cities and states have begun implementing recycling laws similar to those in Europe, largely because no federal policy exists. Those supporting a national recycling policy argue that local laws often conflict with each other, making it difficult for manufacturers to comply with all of them. “A manufacturer in one state, for example, may have an advance recovery fee placed on its products, whereas in another state, the same manufacturer may have to take back its products and pay for recycling” (Stephenson in Chabrow, 2005). Not having a standardized approach to recycling also means the U.S. has a hard time monitoring what happens to e-waste after it is collected.

Indeed, the U.S. Government Accountability Offices estimates that “50-80% of the devices collected for recycling in the U.S. end up in Asia or Africa” (Hileman, 2006). Once there, e-waste may be scattered along rivers and roads or openly burned in large piles, as it is in Nigeria. Given that the inappropriate disposal or taking apart of electronic waste is dangerous to workers and the environment, this unmonitored exporting of electronic waste is unacceptable.

The U.S. is not alone in sending e-waste to China, India, Pakistan, Senegal, Kenya, and Tanzania. Although it is illegal for European companies to ship unusable electronic devices to developing countries, governmental authorities often do not test products to see if they can be recycled before they are shipped off. Some people argue that the only practical solution to this problem is to require manufacturers to reduce or eliminate toxic materials from electronic products, as RoHS aims to do.

Regardless of whether or not people support or oppose laws requiring manufacturers to take responsibility for the waste they create, “there is an almost universal belief among producers, government officials, consumers, and NGOs non-governmental organizations that e-waste should not end up in landfills or on ships bound for Asia or Africa” (Hileman, 2006).

YES - Arguments to Support the Deliberation Question

1. An effective way to reduce waste is to make the polluter pay. If manufacturers have to be responsible for their products after they are thrown away, they will be more likely to include environmental concerns in their production plans.

2. To reduce waste and pollution we should prevent its production in the first place. Advanced recovery fee systems, which require consumers to pay for recycling costs, and other alternatives to extended manufacturer responsibility policies will not force manufacturers to change their product designs or the raw materials they use to create products.

3. Electronic waste is becoming a serious problem. Not only is there a ton of it, but it also contains hazardous waste. Moreover, several countries are sending their e-waste to developing countries, which do not have the resources to recycle it safely. Requiring manufacturers to reclaim their products and make them less hazardous is the best way to deal with e-waste.

4. Manufacturers can save money and even profit from recycling their products. Many computers that are currently sitting in landfills contain precious metals, like gold, silver, and copper. Computer manufacturers could recover these materials when recycling their products.

NO - Arguments to Oppose the Deliberation Question

1. No one likes trash. If recycling their products provides more benefits than costs, they will do so voluntarily, as the European paper industry has done. Forcing companies to recycle when it is not cost-effective does not make any sense. It just puts manufacturers out of business.

2. If governments want to reduce waste, they should give manufacturers financial incentives to recycle their products, not force them do so. When recycling products is inefficient and expensive, as is the case in the computer industry, manufacturers need extra resources to redesign their products and pay for new equipment.

3. The burden for recycling should not fall solely on the manufacturers’ shoulders. If people want to use products that create waste and pollution, they should pay for at least part of these by-products. Advanced recovery fee systems, which require consumers to pay a fee when they buy a product, force consumers to bear some responsibility for human-created waste.

4. Sometimes recycling causes more environmental harm than good. When recycling a product costs more money or emits more pollution than making that product from raw materials, requiring manufacturers to recycle it is not economically or environmentally sound.

Should our democracy require law enforcement officials to get permission from a judge to access public video surveillance records?

Winston was in Victory Square before the appointed time. He saw the girl at the base of the monument, reading or pretending to read a poster which ran spirally up the column. It was not safe to go near her until more people had accumulated. There were telescreens all around the pediment. - George Orwell in his novel 1984

Several hundred officers were assigned to viewing the (CCTV) film. At about 8 pm on Monday, an officer found just what Clarke was looking for: images of four young men carrying rucksacks. Hussain’s face was clearly identifiable. - London Times, describing CCTV and the identification of the 2005 London subway bombers

Video surveillance cameras seem to be everywhere these dayson highways and in schools, at street corners and even in ordinary public squares. More and more national and local governments, as well as businesses and private organizations, are using this technology. Ukraine has urged state-run banks to install video surveillance systems. In Russia, Estonia, and Lithuania, government-coordinated surveillance cameras cover public spaces, including public squares and transit stations. In Serbia and Azerbaijan, video surveillance is used in state-run schools. The same is true in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Fairfax, Virginia. In such capitals as Moscow, Bucharest, Prague, and Washington, surveillance cameras keep watch over public spaces.

What Is Video Surveillance?

The European Commission for Democracy through Law defines video surveillance as “a technology system of surveillance by cameras which can be chosen, set up and used by public authorities on public places for crime prevention or even crime prosecution. The system usually consists of a number of video cameras which are connected in a closed circuit television (CCTV)….where operators watch a bank of television screens” (“Opinion on Video Surveillance in Public Places… ” 2007). Images are then monitored and recorded. This kind of video surveillance is not targeted at any one person but “gathers images and information for possible future use” (House of Lords, “Surveillance: Citizen and the State,” 2009).

Public authorities are turning to video surveillance to address such concerns as crime prevention, criminal investigations, public safety, traffic control, crowd monitoring, and governmental and national security. Public systems are used in public buildings and squares, public transit and parking facilities, and public streets, malls, and housing. By far the most extensive CCTV project is in the United Kingdom. The UK has installed more than 4 million cameras. That amounts to one for every 14 persons (Electronic Privacy Information Center, “Spotlight on Surveillance,” December 2005).

Video surveillance systems are quite expensive. According to current research, these systems have limited utility in fighting crime; a United Kingdom study found, for example, that

better street lighting was far more effective at deterring crime and much less expensive (NACRO, 2002). Nevertheless, both the police and the public are very supportive of them: once in place, the cameras are rarely removed. Many are installed with public input, but others are not.

The Technology of Video Surveillance

Video surveillance surpasses human observation in several ways. Night-vision, zooming, and automatic tracking capacities, for example, allow such systems to “see” things even trained people cannot. With ten cameras and a few monitors in a control room, public authorities can effectively monitor, track, identify, and record events and places better than many more human observers in the field.

Technology also allows governments to limit what information is gathered and accessed. For example, the Constitution Project in Washington explains that “digital masking” can be used to automatically blur the faces of persons who are recorded but unconnected to the surveillance. Stored data also can be encrypted with electronic “keys” to protect against unauthorized access. Data can also be given a digital “watermark” to authenticate records and verify who, where, and when files are accessed (“Guidelines for Public Video Surveillance,” 2007).

Privacy, Anonymity, and Democracy

An important democratic principle is that government is limited by law. It exists to serve the people, not the other way around. Traditionally, persons in a democracy can move, think, meet, or otherwise exercise their autonomy without government supervision. In the words of American jurist Louis Brandeis, a person in a democratic state has the right “to be let alone” (Olmstead v. United States, 1928). This is the essence of the right to privacy.

Privacy includes the right to make decisions for your own body and to keep your medical information from other people. It is the right to keep others out of your property and to keep information such as what clothes you buy or what books you read from being shared. A related right is anonymity - that is, the expectation that your activities will not be monitored by the government. The European Court of Human Rights has recognized that even public interactions with others may be considered part of “private life” (Venice Commission, 2007).

Under Communist rule, surveillance by state security organizations regularly reminded people of the power of the Communist Party and the state. People who questioned or challenged the government were denied work, imprisoned, exiled, and even executed based on surveillance information. In the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted surveillance on Martin Luther King, Jr., and other leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. The U.S. government also monitored the 1960s peace movement, the 1980s anti-nuclear movement, and the 2002-3 anti-Iraq War demonstrations. It used surveillance data to harass, intimidate, and embarrass persons who opposed the government and its policies.

Individual

democracies

have

recognized

many

forms

of

a

right

to

privacy.

The

Macedonian constitution provides that “Each citizen is guaranteed the respect and protection of the privacy of his/her personal and family life and his/her dignity and reputation” (Article 25).

Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine have similar constitutional protections. Although U.S. Constitution does not refer explicitly to privacy as a right, the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized a right to privacy based on the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments (Slobogin, 2002). In the European Union and the United States, police must have a warrant - permission from a court - for certain searches.

Privacy is also protected under international treaties. One such treaty is the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states that “no one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation” and that “everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks” (Article 17).

Like most rights, privacy has limits. Countries work to balance individual privacy protections against society’s need for safety and security. If a person visits the doctor and tests positive for Swine flu, for example, this information is reported to the government to protect public health. Governments scan airline passengers and search their baggage to protect flight safety. In times of war, police are often given greater power to watch and question “suspicious” persons.

Video Surveillance in Public Places: Chicago’s “Operation Disruption”

In response to community concerns, the Chicago Police Department introduced “Operation Disruption” in 2003. At that time, most violent crime in Chicago was related to open-air drug markets. Operation Disruption installed highly visible cameras, topped with a flashing blue light, on designated street corners. The purpose of the program was to show drug dealers that they were being watched, deter drug trafficking, and reduce drug-related violence. Operation Disruption seemed to have strong initial success, and both city council members and community groups have requested cameras for their neighborhoods. In Denver, Colorado, a similar project - HALO - is equally popular among community groups.

Today the Chicago Police Department has thousands of surveillance camera “pods” in schools, on buses, in parks, and in other public spaces. All are explicitly marked. Another video system, called Virtual Shield, is designed for public emergencies and coordinated by the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC).

The Chicago Police Department keeps surveillance records for a maximum of fifteen days before the data is written over. Data is encrypted and stored centrally at police headquarters. It is protected by a log-on process and firewalls. All user activity is monitored internally and audited by the FBI. In order to review video data, an officer must follow an internal approval procedure; no judge or neutral reviewer is involved. Police who violate procedures or use the system incorrectly are subject to internal disciplinary procedures.

Both “Operation Disruption” and “Virtual Shield” are coordinated systems; authorized personnel can access information on either system. While police data is open to the OEMC system, some OEMC data is restricted. Disputes about access are resolved between the

departments. National security agencies can also request this information. There is no mechanism to resolve disagreements about access.

Balancing Security and Privacy

One proposal for balancing personal privacy with public safety is to require the police to get permission from a judge to look at video records. Supporters say video surveillance raises an old problem in democratic government: Who will watch the watchers? Asking a judge for access to video records, they say, is no different from asking for a search warrant to look for evidence.

Supporters say that the freedom to talk and walk and meet without the government watching them is fundamental to democratic society. People modify their behavior in public when they know the police are watching. Requiring permission from a judge helps ensure that whatever the police “see” on CCTV will be “remembered” only if it relates to crime.

Without a judge or another neutral person deciding what the police can and cannot do with surveillance data, some people fear government officials will abuse such information. Asking permission from a judge makes it harder for police to develop profiles on ordinary citizens. If the police have a good reason, then the judge will permit access.

Supporters also argue that ordinary citizens will not know if the police have abused their surveillance powers. Nor can they be certain that offending officers will be punished. As a result, punishing the police or compensating victims becomes very hard. Thus supporters argue that prevention is the best way to address the possibility of surveillance abuse by the government.

Opponents of the requirement for judicial approval counter that democratic governments exist to protect their citizens, not just the rights of their citizens. Too much protection for one person’s privacy can result in the destruction of democratic society itself.

Opponents also claim that judges lack the expertise to recognize when police have a valid need to review video surveillance records. This extra step makes the difficult work of fighting crime even harder. They add that judicial systems already struggle with few resources and huge case loads. This extra responsibility will mean that judges will have to do more with less.

Good police work depends on timely action. If police must ask a judge for permission to review video surveillance records, they will lose valuable time. The London subway bombings investigation shows the value of quick CCTV data sharing. Unnecessary walls between police and national security agencies have little value, present much risk, and benefit only criminals. Supporters of judicial review agree that the risks to national security are enormous, but so are the risks to democracy. The easy sharing of surveillance data between police and national security personnel can quickly result in dossiers on citizens who are “guilty” only of legitimate political dissent. Judicial permission is necessary to protect the democratic rights of citizens.

In addition, supporters note that surveillance most often deters crime. Rarely do police see a crime about to occur on video and rush to prevent it. Video surveillance records help police

check for evidence about a crime that has already been committed - not a crime happening in real time. Asking permission from a judge to view these tapes is a reasonable safeguard.

Ultimately, opponents of judicial review say that concerns about police abuse of video surveillance records are unfounded. Police department policies are sufficient to prevent most abuse. Police departments also have procedures in place - from reassignment to dismissal for the few officers who fail to follow the law. Asking a judge to review each request is unnecessary.

As long as video surveillance remains, so will questions about balancing privacy and security in 21 st century democracies.

YES - Arguments to Support the Deliberation Question

1. Privacy includes the freedom to talk, walk, and meet unobserved by the government. The knowledge that video surveillance is happening in public spaces erodes a fundamental quality of democracy. Requiring permission from a judge for police to review surveillance records will ensure that, although the government may see a great deal, it will remember very little.

2. Surveillance is a deterrent to crime, but it does not help police prevent crimes as they happen. Video surveillance records do help police find additional evidence of crimes that have already been committed. Asking permission from a judge to view these tapes is like asking for a search warrant: it is a necessary and reasonable step in an investigation. Judicial permission is a good way to balance police needs and citizens’ rights.

3. Without safeguards, ordinary citizens would have no way to know that the police have abused their surveillance powers. Nor can citizens be certain that the officers who did so will be punished. Prevention of such abuses is the best way to address citizen concerns about surveillance. The judge serves as a deterrent against bad police behavior and protects surveillance information.

4. Democracy is a system of limited government. Requiring the police to ask a judge for access to video surveillance records is a legitimate limit on government power. Video records of even harmless activities can be abused by government officials. Asking permission from a judge makes it harder for police to develop dossiers on ordinary citizens. If the police have a good reason, then the judge will permit access.

5. The pressures of national security are enormous, but so are the risks to democratic society. Easy sharing of video surveillance records between police and national security personnel can quickly lead to the creation of dossiers on citizens who are “guilty” only of legitimate political dissent. Permission from a judge is a necessary firewall for protecting the rights of citizens.

NO - Arguments to Oppose the Deliberation Question

1. Good police work depends on timely action. Video surveillance offers an excellent “realtime” method to observe, track, and find criminals. If police must ask a judge for permission to review video surveillance records every time they think this information will help, they will lose valuable time from their investigations.

2. There is a big difference between a quiet courtroom and the real world of the streets. Judges lack the expertise to recognize when police have a valid need to review video surveillance records. Requiring the police to obtain permission from a judge to review video surveillance records adds another unreasonable step to the already difficult work of fighting crime. The only people who will benefit are criminals…and criminals will certainly use any technology they can to break the law.

3. Democratic governments exist to protect their citizens, not just the rights of their citizens. Privacy is not an absolute right. One person’s right to privacy must be balanced with everyone’s right to remain safe and secure. Too much protection for privacy can result in the destruction of the society that secures this right.

4. Concerns about police abuse of video surveillance records are unfounded. Internal policies within police departments are sufficient to prevent most opportunities for abuse. Police departments also have procedures in place - from reassignment to dismissal - for the few officers who fail to follow the law. Asking a judge to review each request for access to surveillance records is an unnecessary step.

5. There is little value and much risk to creating firewalls between the police and national security agencies. As video records from the London subway bombings prove, there is value in bringing together information quickly from various video surveillance sources when responding to terrorist attacks. The creation of unnecessary walls between police and national security agencies can threaten the safety of citizens and the security of the nation.

Should our democracy place criminal penalties on anyone who sells, rents, or shows violent video games to minors?

In 1999, two teenage students shot and killed twelve other students and a teacher at Columbine High School in the United States. The two killers seem to have practiced their attack by using a modified version of the video game Doom.

What are the causes of violence? There is no easy answer, and probably no single cause. Some experts argue that there are biological reasons. They believe that some people have genes or a chemical make-up that make them more likely to be violent. Others blame such social problems as poverty, discrimination, lack of hope, the breakdown of family values, childhood abuse, or drug and alcohol addictions. Finally, some point to cultural factors, such as the amount of violence portrayed in the media.

Violence on Television: An International Concern

By the seventh grade, the average American child will have witnessed 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of violence on television. Some people say that so much violence on television makes American society more violent. They think that watching a lot of violence makes people more likely to act violently. In 1972, the U.S. Surgeon General, the highest medical officer in the American government, said that “televised violence… does have (a negative) effect on certain members of our society.” Numerous scientific studies since then have supported the surgeon general’s position.

Concern over televised violence is not restricted to the United States. As early as 1994, at a meeting convened by The Carter Center to discuss radio and television policy, representatives from Russia, the Czech Republic, and other new democracies recommended that “Images of violence should be transmitted with the utmost discretion. Broadcasters should voluntarily agree to avoid broadcasting violent images while children are likely to be in the audience.” In Lithuania, broadcasters voluntarily rate programs according to the ages for which they are appropriate. Because these restrictions are voluntary, however, some groups in Lithuania, including teachers’ associations, support stronger government regulation.

Many social scientists agree that televised violence can contribute to antisocial behavior in children. After a five-year study, the American Psychological Association reported in 1992 that “TV violence can cause aggressive behavior and can cultivate values favoring the use of aggression to resolve conflicts.” In other words, watching violent TV can make viewers violent.

Defenders of television believe that the problem is more complicated. After all, not everyone who watches a murder drama goes out and commits murder the next day. Millions of people view violence on television, but only a few commit acts of violence. Violence in entertainment, they claim, is being held responsible for a broader problem in society. Violence on TV reflects, but does not cause, the level of violence in American society. Some research

supports this position. While a 1999 study conducted at Case Western Reserve University and Kent State University found “disturbingly high” levels of violence among 2,000 third- to eighth- grade students in the United States, the researchers found only a modest link between this violence and watching televised violence. Students most at risk for becoming violent were those who had witnessed or were victims of real-life violence at home, in the community, or at school.

Video Game Violence

Violent video games raise similar concerns. Computerized video games were first introduced to the public in the 1970s. Today, many popular video games feature high levels of realistic violence. How do children respond to video games? In a 2001 study, psychologists Craig Anderson and Brad Bushman reviewed 35 different studies on violent video games. Some of the statistics they cited include these facts:

Seventy-nine percent of American youth play computer or video games regularly. On average, young people ages 7 to 17 play these games eight hours each week. Violent games account for some 80 percent of video game industry revenues, while sports and
Violent games account for some 80 percent of video game industry revenues, while sports and other video game formats account for only 20 percent of the market. In a sample of 33 popular games by two major game makers, 80 percent had violent content. people ages 7 to 17 play these games eight hours each week. Children seem to favor
Children seem to favor violent games. In one study of seventh- and eighth-grade students, percent of the preferred games were violent, only 2 percent were educational.only 20 percent of the market. In a sample of 33 popular games by two major

Although there are less research data on the effects of video game violence than on the effects of televised violence, many researchers have concluded that violent video games have negative effects on young players. In their 2001 analysis, Anderson and Bushman also concluded that there was a consistent pattern of results in five areas. Exposure to violent video games :

1. increases the desire to be physical;

2. increases violent thoughts;

3. increases aggressive emotions;

4. increases aggressive actions;

5. decreases positive actions.

While many experts agree with these conclusions, some disagree. In 2001, communications researcher John Sherry also conducted a review of the research and concluded that the “overall effect of these games on aggressiveness does not appear great.” He did, however, agree that newer, more violent games do show a greater effect.

Current Policies

Currently, the video game industry regulates itself. Most North American video game manufacturers use the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) system. In this system, reviewers rate the content of each game in terms of violence, crude language, sex, and substance abuse. In Europe, the Pan European Games Information (PEGI) system uses age-based ratings. Games reviewed by ESRB or PEGI receive a rating symbol on the game box: those with violent or sexual content may receive the ESRB ratings “AO” (Adults Only - 18 and over) or PEGI

rating “18+” (suitable only for people 18 and older). The back of the box displays symbols that describe games as showing violence, sex, substance abuse, and other content. Manufacturers are encouraged - but not required - to submit games for review; Nintendo and Sega, for example, have their own procedures.

Video game critics say that current policies are not adequate. They cite a 2003 U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report that found that 78 percent of children ages 13 to 16 could buy video games with “M-Mature” (ages 17 and older) ratings. They also argue that many parents do not know what kinds of video games their children buy and play. They point to the case of the Columbine High School killers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. According to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which studies Internet hate groups, Harris and Klebold had modified the violent video game Doom by giving the players unlimited ammunition and the victims no way to fight back. It seems likely that the two killers practiced their attacks using the game. It i s also unlikely that their parents even knew what they were doing.

Even before the FTC report was issued, the Interactive Digital Software Association, a trade group for the video game industry, developed video game marketing standards and practices that also included methods of enforcement. The new system posts warning signs, trains sales staff, and requires proof of age for anyone who wants to rent or buy violent videos.

Current Debates

Some people have called for even stronger restrictions on video games. Critics of voluntary ratings claim that the system is not working. They claim that stores do not enforce voluntary ratings and parents are unaware of them. They also do not trust the $10 billion a year video game industry to police itself when there is so much money to be made selling to young people.

Some governments agree with stronger restrictions. In 2005, the American state of Illinois passed the “Violent Video Games Law,” which made it a crime for retail stores to sell or rent violent or sexual video games to minors. Stores must place parental warnings on video game labels and post signs explaining the existing industry ratings. Violators of the law will be fined $1,000 for the first violation and $5,000 or up to a year in prison for each additional violation.

Opponents of these restrictions claim that such punishments are not necessary. They argue that the video game industry is taking appropriate steps to protect younger players and that there is still no “scientific certainty” that violent video games actually hurt young people. Without this kind of evidence, opponents argue that punishments like those for selling cigarettes or tobacco to young people are not justified. Finally, some argue that criminal penalties would violate democratic principles of free expression. In the United States, the Supreme Court has upheld criminal penalties for distributing cigarettes, alcohol, and pornographic materials to minors, but lower federal courts have already struck down video game laws.

No decision has been reached regarding what to do about violent video games and their effects on children. Such debate will arise whenever a democracy must balance the right to free expression with its duty to protect the vulnerable members of society from harm.

YES - Arguments to Support the Deliberation Question

1. The current rating and self-regulation system is not working. Video game producers are interested in making money, not protecting children. Stores do not enforce the system, and parents are unaware of it. As a result, young people are able to buy violent games.

2. Evidence connects violent video games and violence in real life. Many researchers have concluded that violent video games have negative effects on young players.

3. There is already too much real violence in the lives of children. Playing with violent video games stimulates children to act aggressively and decrease positive behaviors.

4. Government can help parents protect young people and bring them up in a positive way. Controlling how much violence children experience in video games is a reasonable thing to do.

5. Democratic governments have a responsibility to protect vulnerable members of society. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld criminal penalties for selling cigarettes, alcohol, and pornographic material to minors. The Court is likely to find similar penalties for violent video games constitutional.

NO - Arguments to Oppose the Deliberation Question

1. The video game industry has developed a new warning system that should help keep violent games out of children’s hands. The new system will include enforcement methods and efforts to inform the public about the rating system.

2. There is no strong scientific evidence that violent video games cause violent behavior. Without such proof, there is no argument for imposing criminal penalties for selling violent video games as there are for selling cigarettes, alcohol, or pornography to minors.

3. Parents, not government, have children. Parents have the responsibility for raising their children and teaching them that violence is wrong.

4. Real violence is what harms children and should be prevented. A 1999 study showed that students who are most at-risk to become violent are those who have seen or been a victim of real-life violence.

5. Such a law is an unconstitutional limit on democratic principles of free speech. In a democracy, the people make their own decisions. Young citizens need practice in making informed choices.

Should voting be compulsory in our democracy?

Voting is key to civic participation in a democratic society. Elections are a vital way for people to express their views and promote change. Elections also are seen as affirming a country’s commitment to democracy. For a nation to be a democracy, every eligible adult citizen should have the right to vote. Governments that do not offer their citizens a choice to vote for more than one candidate are not generally viewed as real democracies. Evidence indicates that people around the world place great value on their right to vote.

In democracies where open elections are relatively new, voter turnout is usually very high. But in other democracies, many adults choose not to vote. For example, in the 2004 American national elections, fewer than 60 percent of eligible voters cast ballots. Things are not much better in other democracies. When the first open elections were held in Lithuania in 1993, more than 78 percent of registered voters participated, compared with about 50 percent in the 2004 elections. In the 2006 election in the Czech Republic, about 65 percent of eligible voters cast ballots, a substantial drop from the 1992 election, when 85 percent of people voted. Estonia has seen participation fall from 78 percent in 1990 to 58 percent in 2003.

Worries about Low Voter Participation in Elections

Many experts and ordinary people in democratic countries are concerned about low voter participation in elections. Democratic societies have tried numerous ways to increase voter turnout. Laws and practices that seem to increase voting include:

Advertising or advocating voting; mailing sample ballots and polling information in advance; early voting before election day at convenient
mailing sample ballots and polling information in advance; Advertising or advocating voting; early voting before election day at convenient locations; electronic systems or mail-in
early voting before election day at convenient locations; mailing sample ballots and polling information in advance; electronic systems or mail-in ballots, where citizens can
electronic systems or mail-in ballots, where citizens can vote from home; early voting before election day at convenient locations; election day registration; longer hours at polling places
election day registration; electronic systems or mail-in ballots, where citizens can vote from home; longer hours at polling places
longer hours at polling places on election day.convenient locations; electronic systems or mail-in ballots, where citizens can vote from home; election day registration;

Because of the importance attached to voting, some people who are concerned about low turnout have proposed requiring people to vote. This practice is called compulsory voting.

Civic Participation and Compulsory Voting

In several democratic countries - including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Italy, and Mexico - citizens are required to vote in national elections. In these countries, voting is seen not only as a right but also as a civic responsibility. Compulsory voting also has a history in the United States. Simon Jackman of Stanford University notes that North Dakota (1898) and Massachusetts (1918) amended their constitutions to allow compulsory voting, but their legislatures never passed laws to make voting compulsory.

In countries with compulsory voting laws, each citizen must register and show up at the polls to vote. They are not required to vote for any particular candidate. Sometimes people deliberately spoil their ballots to show their disapproval of the listed candidates or just vote randomly for any candidate. Those who choose not to vote and do not have a valid reason must pay a small fine.

According to the Australian Legal Information Institute, Australians who do not vote, lack a “valid and sufficient reason” for not voting, and refuse to pay the fine may be jailed, although this punishment is rare. In other countries with compulsory voting, the penalties for persons who choose not to vote are often not enforced.

Generally, countries that have compulsory voting also have strong nationally centralized voting systems. In Peru, for example, the voter registration system is coordinated by an official organization that maintains the national voting database. People are given a national voter identification card - with a photograph and thumbprint - when they reach voting age. Registration is transferred whenever a person moves.

Compulsory Voting: Advocates and Opponents

Advocates for compulsory voting make several arguments for why the practice should be adopted by democratic societies. First, compulsory voting laws do increase voter turnout. Political scientists Louis Massicotte, Andre Blais, and Antoine Yoshinaka, who study countries that mandate voting, estimate that compulsory voting increases voter turnout by 8 to 15 percent. The increase is most often seen among people who normally do not vote, particularly the poor and less educated. As Simon Jackman notes, “to the extent that compulsory voting increases turnout, compulsory voting also removes socioeconomic differences in electoral participation.” In other words, say advocates, the higher the rate of voter participation in democratic elections, the more those elections can be said to represent legitimately the will of the people.

Supporters also see important civic outcomes in compulsory voting. In their view, voting is a necessary part of a citizen’s work. While they acknowledge that this responsibility might compel people to vote against their will, as American legal commentator John Dean notes, “so is the compulsion to drive only on the right side of the road. Requiring citizens to vote is no more restrictive than requiring them to register for the draft. And it is far less restrictive than requiring us, for example, to attend school; to serve on juries, possibly for weeks or months at a time; to pay taxes; or to serve in the military when drafted…. Voting is the least a citizen can do for his or her country.” Furthermore, advocates claim an element of civic education through voting: if people know they must vote, they will pay closer attention to the issues an 65 d go to the polls more informed. Compulsory voting laws will reinforce the idea that voting is a vital part of democratic citizenship.

Opponents of compulsory voting argue that, at least in the United States, citizens do not want compulsory voting, a fact supported by a 2004 survey conducted by ABC News. In fact, opponents argue that low voter turnout may well be a sign of overall voter satisfaction, not disappointment, with the current system.

Because voting is an expression of faith in the political system, opponents of compulsory voting also argue that deciding not to vote is one of the few tools citizens have to challenge corruption or fraud. When the people have reason to believe that their votes will not be counted, will be tampered with by election officials, or will be otherwise misrepresented, forcing them to vote compels them to endorse a false outcome. Canadian academic Filip Palda agrees: “The less legitimate politicians feel, the more they try to pass laws that build around their regimes a Potemkin façade of citizen involvement. This is why Soviet Bloc countries forced their citizens to vote.” Forcing people to vote in a corrupt or meaningless election