a potential solution on BIA reform
UWG Debate Team
Wed Jun 6 15:29:32 CDT 2001
i brough this up awhile back, and it may be better suited to the discusion
i've seen multiple posts which include some comment like,
"THe lit is way too aff biased regarding BIA reform. everyone advocates it
and no one argues against it, so we shouldn't let that be aff ground."
does anyone else see the absurdity of this? because everyone writes
about the desperate need for BIA reform and no one disputes the need or
defends the SQ process, we shouldn't include it as topical action?
i think the depth of lit supporting BIA reform REQUIRES that we make sure
it's included as potential plan action. if the search for BEST POLICY
OPTION means anything (and roger's voice keeps ringing in my ears that it
does), then surely the resolution by which the best researching, most
thorough policy analyzing community discusses how to change the SQ must
include room for advocating HOW and WHY and TO WHAT EXTENT the BIA should
be reformed. how could we ever claim to be doing 'policy debate' if we
ignore the one area of reform that everyone (at least according to the
comments on edebate) agrees.
now, of course, this does not address the debatibility question. that's
where my idea comes in. it seems that one of the best parts of the
sanctions topic was that it required the aff to mandate, via plan,
MULTIPLE ACTIONS. the plan had to implement a policy of constructive
engagment, including the removal of all or nearly all economic sanctions.
the aff couldn't just dis-engage by lifting sanctions. the plan had to
replace sanctions with some other form of involvement. this kept aff from
taking moralistic non-active stances of "Sanctions bad" and allowed neg to
CP with lift sanctions but don't engage.
a similar tack may resolve the dilemma we now face - the BIA process sucks
and is roundly criticized BUT we fear that allowing the aff to simply
devolve authority or retool the BIA would unfairly imbalance topic in
favor of aff.
to deal with the BIA issue, the topic could simply create room for
re-organization while still requiring aff to defend USFG control.
dealing with the devolution concern is more difficult. i'm not even sure i
have a solution.
but i am sure that it would be a huge mistake to preclude discussions of
how to make the BIA process better, in terms of resources, justice, or
sovereignty, in the name of debatibility. the reason why BIA reform is so
one sided in the lit is b/c it is a first priority of any meaningful
change for NAtive America. it would be wrong from the standpoint of
education and policy analysis to not have this be part of any advocacy for
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