[eDebate] Scelliot & the Topic Revisions

Jason Russell jasonlrussell1
Wed Jun 14 14:46:10 CDT 2006

Last time Im in on this and then Elliot and Stromboli can divy up edebate as
they see fit.

You could use some reading comprehension lessons, sir. My argument was not
that there are a host of petitioners. It was that there are plenty of people
who dont feel that they got the precise product out of the TC that they
want. The TC makes choices. It has to. The choices that they made and in my
opinion have made have been very centrist, a balance between writing aff
plans and allowing maximum choice. They also make choices about stems,
actors, objects, etc. If everytime someone (read: the ADA) doesnt like the
choices they've been presented with the TC has to provide those choices ad
hoc and post hoc, the process will become wholly inefficient and completely

My arg is not that people have been petitioning the TC about other changes.
It is that if the ADA gets their way, everyone else SHOULD. Other people
wants more time to talk about areas and have more areas topics included.
Other people would have liked to see Mahoney's and/or Harrison's topics on
the ballot. Why should ONLY this group get to see their preferences enacted
while everyone else has the door closed. Open this process an inch and it
damn well should be opened a mile. We have heard others express that they
would have liked to see more variety in topic choices and even if we hadn't,
that doesn't mean they dont exist. It simply means that most people
understand the dangerous effect that ad hoc after-the-fact changes to the
topic process built around political demands could have on the process.

That said, like I've said, I think that the solution is worse than the
problem. A large topic isnt the end of the world. It wont be the end of the
ADA or novice or small programs or big programs. It wont mean T every round.
It wont mean more Ks or less Ks. It wont mean everyone has a plan or doesnt
have one. It wont mean all distinguich counterplans win. We've heard this
fear-mongering before and it is literally never true.

What is true is that if we break this TC process without introducing a prior
procedural mechanism for handling these complaints, we risk setting an
organizational precedent that could be disasterous and unjust. I am all for
democratic choice, but expanding choice only to include to voices of some
and not to allow those of others is fascism. I dont want us setting the
precedent that if you throw a fit after the TC meeting you will get your
way. I endorse prior mechanisms that incorporate fact-finding for the
purpose of maximixing options before the meeting not after. Adding only more
restrictive choices to the existing topics is not a democratic move; it is a
political move that favors one groups of advocates over another based on
their political muscle. Keep in mind, when only you were in favor of this
move, no one gave a damn. Once Tim and the ADA got behind, then it became
dangerous. That is so because it means that those without the power to push
other people around dont get any say over the process.

As for the other comments, everything I said about prior agreements and
judge checks was only about novice and JV in the ADA. I feel bad for your
clients if you read this poorly on a regular basis.

I get the sense you dont know anything about left-leaning debate of today,
so Im not going to waste my time talking to you about it. Suffice it to say,
all I said was that these issues are unrelated, period.

This is my opus on the issue. I really hope that people inside and out are
paying attention to these decisions and the implications that they have for
the organization. I think that they are not insignificant and the topic we
debate for one year ISNT the reason I find them important. The institutional
precedents that they set are.


P.S. I dont speak for Slusher. We've never even talked about these topic
questions. We usually get drunk and smoke cigarettes instead. We're awesome
like that. You should prolly leave him out of your haranguing.
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