COULD Counterplan

lucius K lkahng
Fri Sep 12 08:42:00 CDT 1997

I thank Matt for the response, and hope others will share their own point
of views!

On Mon, 8 Sep 1997, Matt Siemens wrote:

> On Mon, 8 Sep 1997, lucius K wrote:

> >         2. Scarcity: Neg. must establish competition, that the Aff plan
> >         prohibits in some way the advocacy and implementation of the c/p.
> Again, sounds more like a straight disad with built in uniqueness meta
> standards.  How would a "could c/p" prove that the Aff plan would impact
> the advocacy of the c/p since it is by nature, in the way you are
> describing it, a counterfactual world that would be potentially harmed by
> Aff plan.

1. I think what I am arguing is that if one subscribes to the thought that
the judge is advocating a position by voting one way or another, than the
COULD C/P proves that advocacy of the plan could prevent advocacy of the

2. Aren't all c/p in one way or another similar to non-unique disads?

3. This counterfactual stuff always seems to get obstuficated during
theoretical discusions. I know the whole Cornell "If Kangaroos didn't have
tails..." But I fail to see how this has any relationship to the COULD

> > To highlight the diference between the COULD c/p and others, the COULD c/p
> > replaces the word "should" w/ "could".
> this point I am hoping that this is a joke.

Arrghhh! No joke!:-) The purpose is to delineate between "SHOULD c/p" and
"COULD c/p" The difference being that the SHOULD counterplan should be
advocated, non-conditional, policy alternatives. The could c/p is a test,
conditional, and not advocated. You stated that some believe that SHOULD
counterplans are tests (i.e.,Korcok) What I'm saying is that they
shouldn't be considered SHOULD counterplans but rather COULD counterplans.

> > A. AT: "Propensity must be established"
> >
> > The COULD c/p is a test using opportunity cost. Look at Korcok's posts
> Opportunity cost can be established in a much clearer method, and
> potentially more strategic than what I am understanding from this.

Where? How so? So far, I've seen Korcok's decisionmaker opp. cost c/p.
The COULD c/p is virtually the same, 'cept Korcok argues the decisionmaker
to be an actor (usually the resolutional actor) I'm arguing that the
judge is the decisionmaker. (Judges, by definition, make decisions)

> > No.The COULD c/p uses the could standard to establish its legitimacyas
> > an opportunity, while using scarcity to prove its legitimacy as an
> > alternative choice.
> >
> > The COULD c/p is like the permutation. Most don't believe perms have fiat
> > b/c they are merely tests. So is the COULD c/p.
> A test to Aff plan is what all arguments against plan become.  The only
> question is: At what level does the test occur? Negative fiat in a "should
> c/p" weighs in at many levels and is justified in many ways.  The should
> c/p provides enough latitude in its embodiment of fiat to test opportunity
> cost.  As well as a good disad.  Just because you perceive the "could c/p"
> as a permutation does not necessarily make it so in the way it would be
> argued.  Every time a disad, case turn, should c/p is run opportunity cost
> at some level is struck upon since they all assume an artificial world
> created after or instead of an Affirmative plan.  The only question arises
> as to how the impacts are argued from any of the negative positions.

1. You argue that Neg. fiat is useful for opportunity testing. Fine, have
fiat if you wish. What I'm arguing is that fiat is not neccessary....and I
point to the permutation. The permutation is ALSO A TEST. But few (as I've
seen, heard) argue fiat for perms. If you don't need fiat to test a
counterplan using a perm, then you certaintly don't need fiat to test a
plan using the COULD counterplan.

2. Again, I point to my delination between SHOULD and COULD counterplans

3. TURN: ABUSE It would seem that Neg. fiat can easily be misused or
abused to form artificial opportunities lost, serving to only misconstrue
the counterplan as a true test.

> assuming that the critic is bound by the resolutional limits, the could
> c/p brings up some interesting ground here in potentially providing a
> place for counterfactuals to arise from the ashes.

Interesting statement. Unfortunitly, as indicated earlier, I'm in sore
need of understanding this conterfactual animal.

> > The reason being that the opportunity is not one lost to some external
> > decsionmaker ususally argued as the resolutional actor. Korcok says that
> > the "critic roleplays as the critic." We'll, maybe I'm not en vogue when
> > it comes to the judge, but I thought the judge roleplays as the judge.
> > Meaning, the judge is the decisionmaker. That doesn't mean the judge
> > pretends to be the United States, rather the judge recognizes her/his
> > capability to decide for or against endorsing a proposal.
> OK, but where does the critic derive there decision making power from if
> we are resolutionally focused.  The assumption that we "should" use the
> "could" c/p because it opens us up to other actors for the negative team
> to argue is lost on me in light of your statement that we simply decide
> rounds based outside the question of the resolution but based on the
> weighing out of plan or other issues not related to the resolution.
> However, I think that Korcok's statement that the "critic roleplays the
> critic" has some textual implications that need some further discussion,
> but I will leave it at that for now.

1. I'm not arguing for or against resolutionally focused debates

2. The COULD c/p's main legitimacy is its use as a TEST of the Aff plan,
not b/c it allows alternative agents. Alt. agents is just a highlighted
advanatage of the COULD counterplan.

3. Again, I think opportunity cost highlighted by Korcok provides
legitimacy answers for the counterplan.

> > The COULD c/p argues that the judge should not advocate the plan b/c it
> > would prevent the judge's opportunity to endorse some better counterplan.
> Sounds like a disad might do the trick.  Or possibly one of those
> resolutionally bound actor should c/p's.  Maybe even a case turn...

like it or not, I believe that the Negatives' job is to do exactly that.
Virtually everything the neg. argues is for rejection of the Aff plan.
The COULD counterplan merely is an extension of such a role.

> One last thing.  If a critic "could" do something but is not impelled by
> "should" what the hell would the critic be signing?  For those that have
> argued that we have already stepped away from the reality of the horrors
> we debate about and listen to, why create another level of the unreal.  Or
> maybe it might actually be good to recognize that we can't actually do
> anything about a Balkans scenario by the signing of a ballot.  Better pull
> out Normativity first lines.

1. The same can be argued against SHOULD counterplans legitimized as a

2. The question still remains, what should the judge vote for if not
for the Aff plan. This reminds me of a Schlag footnote (Stanford Law
Review , '91 I believe) answering the supposed need for alternatives to
Normativity with a cancer analogy. Schlag likened normative discourse to
cancer and said that no one asks what will replace a removed tumor. I
guess the same can be applied to the COULD counterplan. The question is
not "What will be the alternative?", but rather "Should the plan be

3. The Aff plan is on trial. The question asked is if it should be voted
for. The COULD c/p, once presented, also is on trial, but not at the
same level. As a test, the COULD c/p' advocacy/implementation should
be considered non sequitor to that of the aff plan, since the question
concerning opportunity cost is if the Aff plan will irreversably sever the
opportunity/ablility, for the judge to advocate some alternative policy.
NOT if the judge has some PROPENSITY (artifically guaranteed by fiat) to
decide the COULD counterplan

4. The judge puts on her ballot that she is FOR not doing the Aff
plan. Seems good enouh for me. :-)

                                                 lucius K
                                                 George Mason U.

> Matt Siemens
> Davis, CA
> msiemens at

More information about the Mailman mailing list