[eDebate] ans Martin Harris
Sun Jul 22 12:55:42 CDT 2007
I want to address what I took as the most challenging part of your thinking: Parli is moving towards policy.
I will take your word for it. It does not seem counter-intuitive to me at all. I have 2 things to write in response.
1) It really should be called the Larson Curve. Gary Larson, in the mid 1990s, spoke about the life-history of debate organizations. He plotted out the then quarter-century of CEDA and explained its growth, maturation, and move to ever-more resource intensive practices. I don't remember if he actually used the word "inevitable" but he sure did imply it.
It sounds like Parli is moving nicely along the Larson Curve.
2) I think I explain the underlying dynamic of why the move to policy is happening in Parli. My guess is that it is happening for roughly the same reasons it happened in CEDA's middle years.
Policy is forbidden by the powers that be, the old school Parli traditionalists. That makes it instantly alluring, like anything that the tired forbid.
A few sharp kids with experience in high school policy debate run policy implications and perhaps even plans. They are the cool kids that smoke, don't wear ties and dresses, are politically left and semi-savvy. They are also more experienced than their competition. Their coaches are open-minded and cool, too. Well at least as cool as debate coaches get, anyway. They parlay their experience, open-mindedness, and cachet of different into ballots. Which means they add ballots and success to the arsenal. All the accoutrements of policy debate are brought along, including evidence, topics, theory, and a bigger draw for experienced high school debaters. Recruiting is next as the activity shifts from its base clientele of the student with little or no debate experience to the student with 3 or 4 years of high school debate experience. That is all accompanied by and followed shortly by declines in participation as many folks come to understand they can't compete all that well against these people in their game with their rules.
The rest of the story is for us to write. Personally, I am a sucker for happy endings.
See what you?re getting into?before you go there.
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