[eDebate] Fwd: Consult - Ans. Hardy

Scott Phillips scottyp431
Tue Oct 9 07:31:53 CDT 2007

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Cyrus Ghavi <cghavi at gmail.com>
Date: Oct 8, 2007 1:01 PM
Subject: Consult - Ans. Hardy
To: Scott Phillips <scottyp431 at gmail.com>

Could you post this for me?

Since this might as well be called the Emory CG judge philosophy rule,
and I have read consultation counterplans as much as anyone in debate,
I thought I would take a few moments to chime in here.

Knowing that most people won't make it through this whole thing, I'll
put this at the beginning instead of the end: While I won't judge at
nearly as many tournaments as Hardy to make this an effective
counterbalance.  as long as Hardy has this policy is in place I will
give 30s to each negative speaker if a consultation counterplan is
presented in the 1NC.  I think this is justified because if he can
decide to discourage arguments that he doesn't like, I should be able
to encourage arguments that I do like using speaker points.

Also I'll note that I'm puzzled by a lot of these posts because it
seems that you only make arguments why PICs are bad and not making
arguments that are unique to consult. By this logic you should have
you speaker point rules for every PIC and we should just call you the

First of all ? even if consultation is the least educational argument
in the history of debate, In terms of maintaining a healthy community,
setting a precedent for judges to dictate the arguments the debaters
in this fashion is FAR more dangerous than having debaters read an
argument like this.

You surely disagree, so consider what your reasons are for thinking it
is wrong to simply say "I will not vote for consultation
counterplans?" Whatever the reason is, it is equally applicable to
putting a speaker point cap at 26.  Analogize this situation to
policies regarding freedom of speech: would it be appropriate for a
government to say "we won't throw you in jail for making statements
against the government, we'll just fine you $1000." Also you should
realize that speaker points are not all that innocent of a check
because your little point bomb could prevent teams from clearing,
quite literally because you didn't like the argument they went for (or
according to your posted philosophy, perhaps only read in the 1NC).

Fairness is something that should be decided in the round. It is a
question to be resolved for the debaters.  When you were debating
wouldn't you be upset at a judge that said he would dock points for
anyone who read a PIC? Conditional CP? Topicality? Politics DA? Lopez
CP? These can be construed by judges to be uneducational and unfair.
It's an arbitrary line for you to draw, the only solution is to let
the debaters sort it out in the round. Debate is for the debaters, not
the judges. To be sure, there is no need for judges without debaters.
This activity should be about what the participants want it to be and
not subject to restrictions that are akin to behavior of someone on an
immature power trip.

What are speaker points for?
You are right that content is relevant for speaker points, but not in
the way you explain. People get high speaker points, not just for
making intelligent arguments, but for making intelligent and strategic
arguments in the response to what your opponent has said. This is
also why people don't usually get good points for reading their 1AC if
the aff is really good.  Most debaters can make a smart argument, but
it's a whole other story to make smart arguments to preserve your
position in response to an attack by your opponent.

In this context, you don't punish someone for taking a position that
you think is stupid, you punish them for not making good, smart
arguments to people's response to your position. It's debate, not
original oratory, meaning that the entire point is responding to the
other side?that's where the speaker points should focus.

The Debaters Should Fix It
This entire discussion is absurd because if consultation counterplans
are so bad, the affirmative should just beat them. The fact that they
don't do this makes all your arguments suspect.

You say it's a tough call to go for theory. That would not be true if
they are so indisputable bad as you claim.  I've obviously had a ton
of these debates. There have been exactly ZERO debates that the other
team went for consultation illegit against us. There ARE, however,
several debates in which the other teams decided to go for dispo bad
instead. This seems to indicate that the affirmatives DO NOT fear
going for theory, rather that when it gets down to the arguments and
the nitty-gritty they feel consultation illegit is not as great of an
argument as you think.

You also say that we live in an age of "neg flex" bias etc.
Does this also mean that when you decide theory debates you will find
arguments like neg flex unpersuasive in the context of other theory
debates (conditionality, etc)?

The problem with the way consultation is debated today is that
everybody just writes them off as "stupid counterplans" without having
a discussion about why that is true.  The result is that there are
multiple generations of debaters that have irrational knee-jerk
reactions to the counterplan, saying it is illegitimate when they can
either give no reason why or can only make arguments about why it is
at a very basic, shallow level.  IF this is not true and IF
consultation counterplans are really that bad, then there is literally
NO REASON why the affirmative would not be winning every single
consultation debate.  I'd like to believe that we made good enough,
and specific enough, arguments on this issue to deter other teams,
like yourself Aaron, from ever going for this.

Perhaps that is also why the claims that the counterplan is "dumb"
have been pretty baseless in the edebate discussion?.

AT: Dumb Counterplan with No Value
Before I get to the more substantive arguments here, let me just say
that as much as you hate consultation counterplans, I love them. And I
mean love.  During my college career there were a lot of times that I
didn't like debate very much, and to be quite frank, Consult Japan
made me love the activity again because it was fun.  While my
experience is admittedly rare and the extreme, the point remains: if
people enjoy consultation counterplans and causes them to participate
in the activity more, then this is a benefit of the counterplan that
should be considered. I particularly think that if there are debaters
that enjoy the counterplan, that should be enough to have a VERY
STRONG bias against judges taking measures to reign in those

This is also similar to non-traditional debate.  I am as adamant as
anyone that affirmatives should have plans, be topical, etc. but I
have still voted for teams that do not fall within this framework and
if they have performed well, given them good speaker points.  Just
because I believe in and enjoy traditional policy debate, I don't
think that means I should impose those beliefs on the debaters?I'm
simply there to evaluate the arguments they make against each other.
Do you believe that a judge like myself should be able to say "if you
don't read a plan in the 1AC you can not get more than 26 speaker

     You say: There are a million of them.

This is simply not true. There is not evidence that binding
consultation is necessary for the seven consultation counterplans that
you mentioned.  If you are dumb enough to lose these counterplans you
definitely deserve to lose.  It's like reading a politics disad
without internal link evidence.  Affirmatives simply need to use the
argument that there is no evidence that binding consultation is needed
as a tool to bolster their theory and policy based objections.

This is also no different than saying politics disads are bad because
there are so many scenarios?and before you say that the affirmative
can prepare for the politics links regardless of scenario, affs can
prepare for "consultation bad" disads?there are a ton of these,
including ones the community has not really put to use yet.

You say that even when there is "binding consultation" evidence it is
never in the context of the aff.  That is no different than the fact
that you never have a politics DA link that assumes your
scenario?.i.e. "if the aff passed it would kill X bill" ? this is
always two separate pieces of evidence.

    You say: Anti-educational.

This seems to be the brunt of your argument and also the most
ridiculous. I'll first note that many accepted debate arguments are
similar in terms of education.  I'll go with the politics example
again.  It's a stock negative strategy that is often a crutch for 2N's
that requires non-topic related research.  You'll say that at least
they have to do research before the tournament, but good consultation
debaters will do the same (uniqueness updates, say yes updates) and I
don't think that research for the sake of research is a good standard
by which we exclude or include arguments in the community. Politics
disads are only specific to the aff via their link argument, just like
consult counterplans are specific to affs with their say yes evidence.

It is short-sighted to argue that these debaters will ignore the topic
completely.  No one reads one-off consultation counterplans.  You have
to have a strategy outside of the 90 seconds it takes to read you
Mochizuki cards.

Granted it's not the same, but there is also much to learn from
reading consultation counterplans, and indeed I feel that I have. In
my research I have become educated on Japan's population, political
structure, extended deterrence, military alliances, etc. Also a
benefit that people might not realize is that when looking for say yes
evidence it requires you to delve into the policy specifics of
affirmatives, giving you a detailed look at what the affs are all

And let's get rid of the blinders and make one thing perfectly clear
about debate: people are there to win.  How many times to you remember
walking into a round, seeing your opponent and thinking "gee, I really
I hope I get to learn something new in this debate!" Highly unlikely,
I think most debaters are busy thinking about how they are going to
beat their opponent into submission.  This education business smacks
of a convenient ruse to eliminate an argument that you just don't care

AT/ Same bad blocks.
This reminds me of high school LDers screaming about how uneducational
policy debate is because they just spew cards bla blab la. The reason
their argument is stupid is because they are taking example of bad
policy debate to discredit the whole.

That is analogous to what is going on here. I'm sure that there are
lots of consultation debaters that use the "same bad blocks" every
round, but in order to compete at a higher level those blocks can not
stay stagnate. I changed my blocks continuously?reviewing them after
each tournament that I had debated a particular answer to the CP. This
is good practice in general and all debaters should probably do it for
all arguments, but they don't.

Again, we don't punish people for using "the same bad blocks" in their
2AC/2NCs for arguments except by beating them.  The same should hold
true here.


The bottom line is that none of this really surfaced from anyone who
wasn't involved in the string of losses by MSU against us on Consult
Japan on the energy topic. In fact, if I'm not mistaken this speaker
point adjustment for consult was started by Will Repko that year.  The
fact that this is the only source of such a backlash is highly suspect
to me, and honestly sounds like you're holding a grudge against an
argument that you had no success against despite having a tremendous
amount of success overall.  Perhaps that's not the case, and if it's
not then it seems there needs to be a lot more hard thinking about
this policy and its ramifications for the community.
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