[eDebate] Why I Like Consultation.

Michael Souders micksouders
Fri Oct 5 08:18:14 CDT 2007

Is consultation "pretty" or "beautiful"?  No.  It is elegant or graceful?
No.  Is it real world?  Only sort of, but then again, that's pretty much
non-unique for debate, now isn't it?  Are some consultation more relevant
than others?  Certainly.  Bad consultation counterplans are those which lack
good evidence on that countries interest.    Is consultation educational?
Yes.  The complexity of debating consultation on the affirmative and
negative teaches debaters a huge amount about counterplans, theory, net
benefits, kinds of competition, permutations, strategic and tactical
choices.  In fact, I don't think I'm going over the top when I say that many
a later first round team both (a) at least partially learned to debate on
Consult Japan or whatever and (b) kept that option open for when they became
bid teams, especially against new or unfamiliar affirmatives.  Is it
Sometimes, sometimes not.  But becoming overly focused on the notion of
topic education in contemporary debate is asking for a headache.  What
*is*topic education after all?
Something that is more and more arguable, it would seem.  Is it *subject *
educational?  Extremely so.  Look, I know debate tends to focus on a broad
and often shallow knowledge of subject areas and flexibility and that's
fine.  But consult debaters learn a lot more depth about things like the
nature of the US-Japan alliance or US-Egyptian relations with consult than
they would on something like a disad.  Why?  Because consult is
*dynamic*and DAs are (usually) just A
? B ? C.  I know this argument is oft-repeated, but I think that
consultation more effectively simulates the complex concerns of real
policy-makers than lots of elements of regular debate arguments, even
conceding to consult opponents that the issue usually isn't really
usually about total veto.

But you know why I like consult the most?  It's the easy to judge?a thing
near and dear to my heart.  You pretty much know when the aff has the goods
or doesn't and its almost always a matter of the affirmative continuing to
extend and rebuild "the goods" in response to a flurry of negative
responses.  Lacking "say no" cards?  Only have one impact scenario?  I think
I'll nap this one out and then vote neg.  Got some devastating plan specific
say no cards?  Have some unique, updated, and varied impact turn scenarios?
 I think I'll see what the block says, wait for them to blow it with generic
say yes cards and then nap it out until the end of the 2AR and then vote
aff.  To those who didn't get the memo about my judging, I hope you can
still adjust your prefs.

Of course, I'm being somewhat facetious.  Somewhat.
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