[eDebate] Yet more topicality thoughts

Thomas O'Gorman tomogorman
Sun Jun 17 14:59:18 CDT 2007


Proposed compromise for future topics:

Write narrow, focused controversy papers that pick a smaller controversy
area, but give the aff pretty much complete flexibility in how the USFG
should approach it.

My read (which may be wrong) is that what Andy/Jackie/others want for future
topics is Aff flexibility in mechanism so that the aff isn't forced to
verbalize positions they object to.  And my understanding of what the policy
mafia (or at least what I) want is to allow for focused case debate
hopefully moving more to the type of in-depth education Josh Branson
discussed at the end of last month.
The policy people can't have that if the topic is just huge - e.g. USFG
should change its policy to the Middle East, because while it is true that
if the other team gives a 1ac we will say something, if the topic is so
broad that we can't hope to cover the research burden then that something
will be hyper-generic like statism, consult-nato, yet more politics, or the
like which from my perspective is kinda lame and not very educational, where
as the in depth debates we had on the treaties and sanctions topics which
pretty much did write your plan text was awesome.
But we could have topics be small enough to cover the policy research burden
through shrinking the problem area rather than requiring the aff to do
something specific - e.g. we could probably cover a resolution that said the
U.S.F.G. should should substantially change its policy towards Palestine/the
Palestinian Authority.
Two potential problems - 1) it would be a bit trickier to get the size right
on these topics; balancing the need for enough policy options that the 2/3
of the community that are moderates would have variety against the risk that
too many total options (moderate/conservative + radical) would overwhelm the
neg and force the policy 2/3s to run only hypergenerics, 2) ensuring that
the controversy selected wouldn't allow for the aff to exploit aff flex to
defend truisms or even grossly aff biased ground.

Anyway, thought I would toss it out there.

Tom O'Gorman
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