Editor's Note: HuffPost College teamed with the International Debate Education Association to produce the following debate.
Since the 1976 Buckley v. Valeo Supreme Court ruling, spending money has equated to the free expression of speech in modern elections. If campaign expenditure reform is not one of the most hotly-debated issues of the 2012 elections, it should be: it is becoming increasingly evident that the mechanisms and sources through which candidates raise election capital have an enormous influence on their political speech. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that statutes protecting the ability of individual contributors to fund political broadcasts legally extended to corporations, because campaign finance laws could not deny free speech rights based on the type of entity claiming such rights. Debate over who should be allowed to donate, and how much, was renewed in the wake of the controversial ruling, bringing us to today: where do the two major candidates stand on the issue of campaign finance reform?
IDEA creates local clubs and establishes independent debate associations throughout the world, offering young people the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge by voicing and critically examining issues that directly affect their lives. Through helping individuals start their own local debate chapters, IDEA encourages students around the world to question, to listen to one another and to explore even the most volatile subjects openly and in the spirit of tolerance and cooperation.