[eDebate] The Merger from Afar

Fri Aug 31 13:59:00 CDT 2007

Hey, folks, wassup!
Killing time during my Friday morning office hours, I had the sublime  
pleasure of reading the interchange with "Swampy" Elliott (a guy I remember as  
being much friendlier than he sometimes seems online... imagine someone like  
that, will you?) 
The temptation to respond was overwhelming. (I know, who cares...)
First, the notion that Tuna was the "genesis" of the merger had me laughing  
hard. Check the pre-merger CEDA-L archives. They must be around somewhere. 
Tuna  proved a good CEDA leader by considering a superior course of action even 
though  he had argued against it, often and vociferously. "Facilitator" of the  
merger is a better way of looking at it. The representative from the NDT  
Committee that carried the proposal to Tuna should get a nod, too. Wouldn't you  
have loved to be a fly on that wall?
Secondly, CEDA was changing drastically prior to the merger. The year-long  
policy topic the year before the merger convinced 90% of folks that the NDT  
format was just a better way to debate. CEDA circuits were drying up, though  
lower level regional opportunities for novices and JV were still available. The  
merger was inevitable. And, now, the foundation of evidence-based team  
debate seems pretty strong. Except, those novice regional opportunities seem  
limited to certain parts of the country. I understand your pain, Swampy. Face  it, 
God just doesn't love Louisiana. I'll make a suggestion about that a little  
Third, the next big battle is merging NDTCEDA and Parli. I'm wondering when  
some kritical hotshots are going to realize what kind of fun they could have 
in  parli. Talk to Steve Clemmons. Once policy ev debaters and parli debaters  
understand and respect one another, encouraging some of the top parli programs 
 to try evidence debate is not impossible. But, it'll probably require policy 
ev  debaters to try their hands at some parli. There are legitimate 
challenges to  doing both forms of debate. I applaud Tuna for starting to promote 
international  parli formats. Once again, Tuna proves that sometimes it's time to 
change your  perspective. (Admittedly, his metamorphosis has been taking place 
for several  years, at least since his institute started including a separate 
parli section.)  What are you current timeline projections, Tuna, for being 
World Debate Czar?  See, you didn't really need access to those Soros funds, 
after all! You  transcend money!
Overall, I think debate's doing OK. From out here in the bleachers, there  
are strong and weak areas, but the overall quality and quantity seems fairly  
good. There might be need for some more major JV and novice tournaments in the  
deep South and Mountain West. I hope your parli debaters come back, Swampy.  I 
hope you'll let them persuade you to take them to a few parli tournaments due 
 to the shortage of policy ev tournaments in your area. I promise you they'll 
get  a valuable educational experience. Have you considered any NFA LD? 
There's  considerably more of that in your area. Way to go buddy, you're still out 
there  plugging for the novii. But, in the end, never rely on a single  
organization to give you what you need for your students. Organizations are  almost 
always a real disappointment. Piece together your own multi-faceted  program. 
You did OK before, you can do it again. Hell, I've even known  people that 
made I.E.'s educationally competitive, though admitting that is  extremely 
Congrats to everyone out there on the start of another season!
Louisville, KY

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