[eDebate] Andy, The issue is not creativity within a topic--but whether you have a burden to affirm the topic

scottelliott at grandecom.net scottelliott
Wed Jun 27 08:51:08 CDT 2007

That is why  I bitch and complin so much when poorly worded topics are drafted.
That is why, when I am writing a topic paper on solving global warming, alomst
a year in advance, I am more concerned with topic wording than on finding and
explaining the a problem area.

Two examples; Everyone says, Gee we should debate Mid-East policy. Then they
have two or three days to craft resolutions on one of the most complicated
topic areas ever. Next year, everyone will, for some reason, say Yeah, let's
debate Relations with South America, but will have the same difficulty crafting
meaningful resolutions in just two days.

Finding cases within a resolution that are "super abusive" is the function of a
poorly worded resolution. But that does not deny the original issue that
topicality, as a concept, should be a voting issue.

Frankly, I would love to debate Resolved: The United States should remove all or
nearly all troops from Iraq.

Quoting Andy Ellis <andy.edebate at gmail.com>:

> My argument is that all the aff flex permitted under  current resolutions IS
> the problem, Many of your examples prove my point about arguments that
> intentionaly skew and muddle research ground being permitted by simply
> having the aff give a performative nod to the topic, "i at least  have an
> intepration" aff that you either a) could have never guessed or b) sets you
> up to turn all of your opponents args are super abusive. The ones you point
> out distract more i feel from the good debate at the core of the topic than
> simply debating iraq...but i get your argument...
> On 6/27/07, scottelliott at grandecom.net <scottelliott at grandecom.net> wrote:
> >
> > I want to clarify one point Andy brought up. Creativity within a chosen
> > resolution is fine with me. In fifteen years of coaching and judging
> > debates, I
> > can literally count on one hand the times I actually voted negative on a
> > topicality violation. In fact, i can only remember voting for T once in
> > the
> > past ten years. It was an impressive T debate that I still use as an
> > example to
> > students. (Emory vs. miami on the issue of whether a carbon tax was a
> > "regulation")
> >
> > These Mid-East resolutions, because they are so flawed, make it extremely
> > easy
> > for affirmatives to offer interpretations of the resolutuon that were not
> > intended by the Topic Committee. While I am sure they all want us to
> > debate the
> > "Grand Bargain" with Iran, almost literally word for word the terms of the
> > resolution, there is still plenty of room for people to debate important
> > issues--just as important as getting out of Iraq, or whether we should
> > wipeout
> > smallpox as a species.
> >
> > One quick example: Some people riduculed my question of whether
> > governments in
> > exile would be topical. Well, given that the PLA now has two decidely
> > distinct
> > governments, would anybody suggest that a case for constructive engagment
> > with
> > Abbas, the West bank PLA government would not be topical? There is PLENTY
> > of
> > literature on the subject. And, of course, it turns the hell out of any
> > Israel
> > disads. Alternatively, Jimmy Carter is calling for constructive engagement
> > with
> > the PLA government of Hamas in Gaza. Would that also be topical? So now
> > there
> > are two topical cases--CE with the "government of the PLA" that are, in
> > fact,
> > mutually exclusive (I'd love to see the plan versus counter-plan debate,
> > one
> > takes Fatah, the other takes Hamas for a real throw down).
> >
> > The government of Syria refuses to recognize that a soveriegn government
> > of
> > Lebanon exists. Does engagement with the controlling factions of Lebanon
> > really
> > constitute engagement with the government of Lebanon?
> >
> > Is Hamas a "government" because it controls territory in Gaza? They did
> > win the
> > election by the way.  If so, does Hamas in Lebanon constitute a
> > "government" of
> > Lebanon, given that they control certain land areas and political
> > districts of
> > southern Lebanon?
> >
> > Notice that the resolutuions to be voted on do not say "national
> > governments
> > of..." It just says "government of"..... Does this mean we can work with
> > the
> > Iranian Caspian Sea conservation district to save the sturgeons without
> > necessarily having to engage the National Government being run by people
> > calling for the extermination of Israel?
> >
> > That is just a play on the term "government."
> >
> > "foriegn aid" and "security guarantees" have huge amoutns of room for the
> > teams
> > willing to put it on the line. I would tell you, but I want to have a few
> > cases
> > left to run this Fall.
> >
> > The issue for me, and I bet for Ken and Jim and others, has NEVER been
> > whether
> > teams should be able to creatively interpret, or creatively affirm the
> > resolution. The only only issue is that they actually affirm the the
> > resolution, either through a plan, or through some other form of
> > affirmation.
> > This provides everyone-aff., neg., and the judge, with a clear starting
> > point
> > for discussion and debate. And, if the affirmative chooses to use their
> > time to
> > affirm something other than the resolution, they should not pick up the
> > ballot.
> >
> > Scott
> >
> >
> >
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> > http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
> >

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