[eDebate] would they leave?

J Stan jstan1979
Sun Jul 22 11:40:57 CDT 2007

I agree with a lot that has been said about the difficulty in developing a
novice program given the direction that debate has gone over the past 10
years.  However, I think a lot of these problems are with the
characteristics of debate and not with the resolution. "I think the topic
writing 101" example shows this.  I think most people believe that the
current resolution gives the affirmative substantial flexibility, and some
would argue too much flexibility.  The resolution written in topic writing
101 makes everything topical that would be topical under this years
resolution plus everything that does the opposite.  For example, A security
guarantee to not attack Iran is topical this year.  This same plan plus a
plan to attack Iran is topical under the Topic Writing 101 resolution.

Why would this make novices want to debate more? It seems like they have to
learn twice as many positions and do approximately twice as much research
because their generic engagment bad disadvantages or kritiks will only apply
to approximately half of the affirmatives.

It was said that most teams who chose not to be topical would return to
being topical under a
"substantially change foreign policy topic"  I don't think they would
drastically change what they defend, but they may have a better argument to
being topical since they can do anything to anyone of the countries.
Therefore, they will certainly be better at answering topicality but not
necessarily link to more arguments in the negative box.

Plus, I always thought that most teams choose not to be topical because it
is really difficult to keep up on the research that you have to do to answer
all of the arguments that link to the resolution.  The easiest way to avoid
this predicament is to not link to any arguments that actually link to the
resolution.  Therefore, you get to spend the entire week prior to a
tournament perfecting your topicality/framework frontline and answering the
few kritiks that you know people run that you actually link to.  Even if the
resolution was more broad and simple why would that change your desire to
run an affirmative that links to the arguments in the negative team's box if
you still can't keep up on research?  The only I thing  think it does is
save you some time not having to write your topicality frontline.  But you
have to spend that time writing your disads both directions so novices will
probably be pumped about that.

Finally, Jackie asks, "Why does this resolution have to be so complicated"
I don't understand this concern.  I have done a minimal amount of research
and read the topic paper and I think I could explain to everyone what
Constructive Engagement is, Foreign assistance is, and what a security
guarantee is.  More importantly, I can almost come up with a few things that
is not these three things.  In the Topic Wording 101 resolution I could
probably explain what a change in Foreign policy is by saying, "do
something, towards, against, in conjunction with, related to, etc, etc, one
of the countries."  However, I couldn't think of what isn't a change in
foreign policy" So when my novice team comes to me before a round and says
that the affirmative plan they are debating is some obscure change to some
old policy that does not link to our engagement good or bad disads, we
don't have any case turns and none of counterplans can do it, then I guess
my coaching will be preparing them to go for the substantially
violation......Yes.  Of course, most novices get into the kritik literature
very early in their career so we could go for the kritiks that they wrote.
Or I could explain to them some Zizek position relatively quickly, If I
haven't done so already....which I haven't because we spent our time talking
about the time limits and the counterplan and disad that we thought linked
to almost every affirmative.

My opinion is very limited topics that force the plan to be a certain
way always gave novices a chance to debate on the negative against teams
that defended the resolution on the affirmative.  Against teams that don't
defend the resolution on the affirmative we could rely on topicality or
that Kritik I talked about earlier.  I guess it is hard to believe that more
novices don't want to stay in the activity if they have to run topicality or
Zizek in a substantial portion of negative rounds because they have never
heard of, understand, or talked about this potential affirmative

On 7/22/07, debate at ou.edu <debate at ou.edu> wrote:

> I dont think their is a "conspiracy" to keep debate elitist.  I dont think
> Dartmouth, Harvard, or Wake or Northwester are saying,
> lets keep the topics this way to drive people away.  I dont think their is
> evil in any of their eyes when I see them.
> I dont believe in the idea of two topics necessarily.  I think there can
> be a compromise, but it has to be shown by those who
> are leading the process now.
> However, their has to be compromise somewhere, or I think the traditional
> CEDA people will be diminished, revolt, or
> integrated into a debate community that is 1/3 smaller than their old
> community.
> I think an example would be for this topic
> "The USFG should subtantially change its foreign policy to one or more of
> the following countries:Afghanistan, Iran, Lebanon,
> the Palestinian Authority, and Syria.
> That second "and" clause in the current topic is over the top.  Most teams
> who have evaded the topic in the past would return
> to being topical under the rez above.
> This is topic writing 101.  But unfortunately, our committee is move into
> topic writing 4651.
> Why does this have to be so complicated?
> Peace,
> Masey
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> eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
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