[eDebate] A proposal for alternative agents

Brent Saindon basaindon
Fri Apr 14 15:17:44 CDT 2006

I really do not like getting in to these discussions, but I had a little time...

I find Gordie's post to be fairly provocative. I have always found the change in topic wording to be fascinating, but I never understood the rationale. Perhaps someone with a little more debate history than myself would be willing to offer an explanation for some of the significant resolutional mutations.

I also would be interested in knowing when agent-oriented counterplans came into fashion in debate -- it seems to me that a lot of negatives do not really work on a case debate, nor do they focus on plan mechanisms all that much but that many of the links to DA's and competition for counterplans stem from the agent.

Perhaps we should not just change the agent for a year. What if you alowed multiple actors -- but still within limits. A lot of people seemed to have trouble with Kuswa's proposal for a passive voice topic because it allowed to many agents. What if we limited it to 3? or 5? perhaps 7? Maybe we could even provide topic wordings with different amounts of agents in each, and let the decison on the topic become not just about how many topic areas we will allow, but also how many and what type of agents to give the aff. This ould have some advantages (though I will admit most of this is speculation).

1) It might be harder to go for an a-spec argument.

2) It might satisfy some of Jackie's concerns about switch-side debate. Depending on how the community chose to word the resolution, and given this community's general views on topical counterplans, nobody may have to ever "negate" the resolution in a direct manner.

3) Could make for some interesting CP/DA strategies, one's that might diversify types of politics scenarios (if that's your bag).

4) could create a lot more wiggle room for the Aff to answer certain critiques (those also a possibility that it migh hurt on others).

I don't want to make this too long, but I had to share a thought or two. Perhaps I am wrong about this, but the idea might still be worthy of discussion...

Brent Saindon

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