[eDebate] Judging Consult CP's

Paul Johnson paulj567
Thu Oct 4 10:55:02 CDT 2007

I'll be public, Aaron.

I think the pre-determination that these sorts of
things are "bankrupt" can help to breed a bunch of
debaters who don't know "why" they are bad. there is
something to be gained by making all the debaters go
through the same learning process you did to come to
the conclusion these counterplans are bad, instead of
an "a priori" evil for which speaker points will be
nuked. personally, I'm not really the biggest fan of
them myself, but if a debater isn't skilled enough to
convince me to vote on that which I BELIEVE in, then
that debater has got to seriously work on their craft.

i think its more likely a consult cp (especially the
further in the year we get) places a ceiling on
speaker  points- at some level speaker points in part
reward smart/cool strategies, and consult isnt all
that unique or cool (although it is smart).

i should hope that all judges hold these counterplans
to the standards which they hold for any argument-
that there is evidence for it which means it should be
taken as an argument. without a card that says we need
prior binding consultation with trinidad and tobago
over prolif, i am unconcerned about that counterplan
winning too many debates. if people have ev that we
should talk to japan about iranian proliferation (and
they do, since hey, whether we should conduct fopo
unilaterally or multilaterally is a relevant foreign
policy question) then the debate becomes more about
letting debaters show us their smarts- and i mean that
in the sense there are still theoretical arguments for
why those counterplans shouldnt be allowed, and ahost
of cool "smart" policy arguments that can eviscerate
the counterplan.

i'm not really a "debate is for the debaters" guy
except that debate is for the debaters and judges to
learn- and forcing debaters to beat consult makes them
learn more than artificially excising it from the
community does.

back to work

--- Aaron Hardy <spoon_22 at hotmail.com> wrote:

> A quick reminder for people doing their pref sheets
> ??? the part of my judge 
> philosophy on Consultation CP???s and Aspec is still
> in effect.  I???ll also try 
> hard to remind every team I judge this weekend.  The
> relevant parts:
>     Aspec is stupid. It???s not a reason to vote neg
> and the ground loss is 
> ground we???re better off without. Don???t expect
> than a 27 if aspec is 
> in the 2NR.  Half a point will be deducted from both
> negative speakers for 
> introducing it in the 1NC.
>     I especially hate consultation counterplans. Why
> the aff doesn???t go for 
> ???consultation CP???s bad??? more often is beyond
me. If
> the negative advances 
> any consultation counterplan in the 1NC, neither
> negative debater will 
> receive more than 26 speaker points. For each speech
> the negative doesn???t 
> kick the CP, I will deduct another half point from
> each speaker.
> I???d like to mention a few things about this:
> 1)  I???d like feedback, positive or negative. 
> instituted, I???ve 
> received incredibly little commentary from people,
> and none in public.  From 
> the beginning, this policy has been one thing ??? an
> experiment.  I wanted to 
> find out to what degree speaker points could be used
> to help push argument 
> trends in a more positive direction, even if in a
> small way.  I wanted to 
> see what the positives and negatives were to this
> approach, as opposed to 
> others.  To my mind, the jury is still out on the
> success of this 
> experiment, and I???d like to hear what other people
> have to say.  I???m not 
> interested in being punitive just to be punitive,
> and I???m very open to 
> constructive criticism and change ??? but I still
> convincing.
> Obviously, my personal choices have very little
> effect on broad argument 
> trends.  On the other hand, I???ve only judged one
> debate involving either 
> aspec or consult since I instituted this policy,
> where I judged 2-3 per 
> tournament before.  Like I said, the jury is out???
> 2)  One place where the jury is already in is that
> consultation CP???s are bad 
> and the debate community would be net better off
> without them.  The whole 
> motivation for this experiment is that I???m
> that the prevailing 
> model of judging and argument selection is
> frequently a failure at producing 
> fair, educational debates.
> After the opening weekends of this season, at least
> 7 separate consultation 
> CP???s had been read, with several more which will
> certainly be run at some 
> point.  Is there anyone that???s willing to defend
> that this is evidence of 
> anything other than a total educational failure? 
> This year???s debate topic 
> is on the single most important area of the world
> for US foreign policy in 
> 2007, and dozens of teams were more concerned with
> researching whether Japan 
> would say yes than thinking about whether or not we
> should engage Iran.
> This is a very simple question of topic-specific
> education and what we 
> choose as a community to encourage our students to
> research.  It saddens me 
> a great deal that I had to have a senior on my team
> waste two days of 
> valuable prep before Gonzaga cutting cards on
> 15-20ish Consult CP???s instead 
> of focusing on the substance of his affirmative and
> maybe learning something 
> about the Middle East.
> That doesn???t even speak to how these arguments
> out in debates.  They???re 
> unquestionably unfair to the affirmative.  Yes,
> they???re self-servingly 
> helpful to the negative, but at what expense to the
> overall hope for 
> balanced ground?  Going out on the limb of a 6
> minute 2AR on theory is very 
> difficult, scary, and usually ineffective. 
> Negatives run them for one 
> reason ??? they win far more than their fair share,
> and it???s because they 
> create a structural disadvantage to the affirmative.
>  The logical response 
> from the affirmative is to be forced into defending
> that every nation on 
> earth hates their plan.  Why are we not willing to
> bracket these arguments 
> off as an argument people shouldn???t run?  Few
> would defend or run the 
> ???Fiat World Peace CP??? or the Delay CP???but
Consult is
> rampant.
> Perhaps more importantly, Consult encourages a very
> poor model of critical 
> thinking on the part of debaters.  It
> compartmentalizes thinking into a one 
> sheet of paper ???neg case??? irrespective of what
> aff says, instead of 
> encouraging clash or the recognition of meta-level
> interactions between 
> arguments.  Does anyone really want to defend that
> their student learns more 
> from spending an entire year consulting one country
> than they would giving a 
> 2NR which involved 2 DA???s, a CP, and some case
> defense?
> 3)  There are obviously a variety of stock defenses
> of consultation, and 
> anticipated criticisms of my policy ??? I very
> want to address a 
> couple of those.  The purpose of this email is not
> to write an extensive 
> dissertation on why consultation is educationally
> bankrupt and all arguments 
> to the contrary are wrong???that will have to wait
> another time.
> ???Why just consult?  There are other stupid args???
> There are many, many 
> stupid arguments ??? but I think of this experiment
> like a test project.  
> Consult is the most obvious, visible, and widespread
> example.
> ???Some consult CP???s are specific??? ??? This is
> The existence of a piece 
> of evidence which vaguely suggests we should
> cooperate with NATO over the 
> Middle East is NOT a solvency advocate.  The whole
> trick negatives use to 
> (wrongly) try and make consult competitive is making
> the CP ???genuine, 
> binding consultation.???  There is absolutely no
> comparative literature base 
> in existence that argues that the United States
> should give an absolute veto 
> over U.S. policy to Egypt.  I think that people
> making this argument are 
> setting the threshold for what constitutes
> acceptable solvency evidence so 
> low as to be laughable.  This doesn???t even address
> the fact that the vast, 
> vast majority of people running consultation don???t
> even bother to have 
> evidence on the PLAN ??? primarily because it
> exist.  Saying Japan 
> cares about what happens in Afghanistan is not an
> indication that a 
> debatable set of evidence exists for whether Japan
> would say yes or no to 
> opium licensing.  Most importantly, even if this
> evidence did magically 
> exist in some isolated context, it is NOT an excuse
> to give the negative 
> such a powerful strategic tool at the expense of the
> aff.  This is basically 
> the equivalent of saying the neg should get to fiat
> world peace because they 
> have a card which quotes ???Imagine.???
> ???Your policy is too extreme??? ??? It???s
possible, but
> I???d need some more debate 
> on this.  The bottom line is that giving a 28
> instead of a 28.5 isn???t really 
> going to change anyone???s calculus about what to
> read.  This is basically the 
> status quo.
> ???Your policy doesn???t work in elims??? ??? True. 
I wish
> it did.
> ???Speaker points shouldn???t be about content???
??? I
> don???t understand this at 
> all.  What, then, is the purpose of speaker points? 
> I choose to believe 
=== message truncated ===>
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