[eDebate] States CP- Voting Issue and Recirprocity

Josh jbhdb8
Mon Apr 6 19:46:38 CDT 2009

Few comments

1. Totally correct judges do not vote on theory, for the most part....and
they should..However, I suspect more judges might if debaters slowed down on
the theory blocks so that they are more flowable....Its verrrrrry hard to
flow theory super fast (preempt - yes, I am old - but its true).  In
addition, the way people write theory blocks makes it even LESS likely that
the flow is clean because instead of refutation - one team reads a block,
the other team reads a block that may or may not cover what was in the
initial theory block.  The rest of the debate goes something like this:

Initiator: They conceded all of our offensive reasons x is illigit,
education, fairness, river dancing, and 30 Rock, then about 100 more

Responder: Now very slow, they conceded all of our arguments, then listing
them all one after another just like before.

You can see why, judges sometimes feel uncomfortable voting for or against
theory.  Because I am old, I feel comfortablle admitting the whole thing is
generally a flowing disaster.

Now, that said, people actually ran and won a ton of rounds this year on a
CP that had China agree to IPR enforcement if the US ended cotton
subsidies....not only did it have no precise solvency arguments it also
relied on the following da - I cant make this up - but obviously someone

China believes the US will defend Taiwan now - China will see the plan as
appeasement and think it means that they can invade Taiwan - invasion
escalates = nuke war


States is only one of a million ways this works out.....I am a neg flex guy,
but these CPs are abominations of strategery over substance.

Look all systems break down - there is lot to learn from being strategic but
when the stuff you learn starts being less about the real-world of the topic
(nobody who writes about the topic would even consider the cp, nobody who
had decisionmaking authority would do anything but laugh at the cp).

2. There was a 50 states CP in the old days that was not illigitimate
because it was the NON UNIFORMITY of the implementation that made it a
debate covered in the literature (should the states INNOVATE or should the
Fed nationally implement).  I will concede that even this CP was a bit shady
on the 50 states all doing something similar to the plan...but at least it
was a debate.

On Mon, Apr 6, 2009 at 4:09 PM, Scott Phillips <scottyp431 at gmail.com> wrote:

> 1. Theory arguments must once again become voting issues- it is less judge
> bias for the negative and more judge bias against theory being a legitimate
> avenue of argument that has allowed absurd counterplans to proliferate. Many
> judges will now reject the argument not the team (RANT) without the negative
> even making that as an argument. This makes pursuing theory have an
> extremely low ROI for the aff. Particularly the more unconventional their
> theory argument, such as no solvency advocate or multi actor illegit etc.
> Ironically, people like Mahoney who dismiss theory in this way have created
> the problem they now lament. If judges would actually vote on conditionality
> bad when the negative read 3 counterplans, or PICS bad vs the constitutional
> amendment CP this wouldn't be a problem. But they don't, and so debaters
> have evolved to the point where they don't even make theory arguments vs the
> delay counterplan because they think it will be a waste of their time. The
> pendulum has swung too far towards the negative, the states cp , while
> emblematic of this, is by no means close to the worst example. The downside
> might be proliferation of stupid theory arguments, but a balance will
> eventually be struck.  These absurd counterplans fundamentally alter the
> nature of other arguments in the debate- bad disads that could be beat on
> defense and case outweighs are now net benefits to counterplans that solve
> the case 100%. Simply rejecting the argument creates a system of incentives
> for the negative to run as many "bad" arguments as they can get away with.
> It was not so long ago that teams were losing on "dispo bad", the pendulum
> has swung to far from there, and we should attempt to push it to the
> middle.
> 2. Reciprocity must guide theory arguments. The states CP is illegitimate
> because it is not reciprocal- the affirmative is limited to one agent. The
> do 500 things including 30 that spike out of your literature based responses
> to our CP strategy is illegitimate because it is not reciprocal. Kritik
> alternatives that have everyone withdraw from capitalism are illegitimate
> because they are not reciprocal. It should be obvious that if the negative
> is not limited to a (closely) reciprocal action to the affirmative the aff
> will never be able to prove that their solution is the "best policy option".
> Likewise when the negative is allowed to critique representations while not
> being burdened with presenting an alternative way of representing it is
> difficult for the affirmative to prove their representations are desirable.
> Other standards like evidence and allegedly objective interpretations of
> opportunity cost will never EVER provide as clear or as fair a guide as
> reciprocity.
> Related to 2- being "non topical" is not a defense of a counterplans
> theoretical legitimacy in any way,and there can be no logical reason why it
> would be. Also, agent counterplans are plan inclusive- while in the "real
> world" a different agent may do something differently and therefore make it
> a different policy, in debate the nature of negative fiat eliminates this
> differential. The states CP is only different in how it would be implemented
> or enforced- 2 areas that are not part of the plan, but are instead an
> effect of the plan (bracketing off for a second that any time the aff
> actually has a reason ( never) where a federal agency is needed for the plan
> that the neg either lopezez that agency or has the states  contract them out
> etc). Furthermore, "literature does not check". This should be obvious given
> the fact that it exists on anything  (especially given the lowering of
> author qualification standards to zero and the interweb) from the anarchy cp
> to the world government CP. Because of this, literature as a standard is
> useless. To use it as a tool to exclude states, legitimizes it as a defense
> of other absurd cp's that happen to have a card.
> Random Asides
> 3. No one has to "justify" the term federal government- this is not South
> Dakota, and the year is not 1964. The states cp as a "topic limiting" tool
> fails. Teams read affs that can't beat regular states (rps) and lopez etc
> let states do anything else.
> 4. The "1 state" cp is a joke, stop talking about it. It's not a viable
> alternative, and never will be.
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