[eDebate] Re-opening the debate on New Events at CEDA

Darren Elliott delliott
Thu May 7 23:34:16 CDT 2009


Warning: Post may contain (attempts at) humor.

Ok so when Justin objected to the ?New Events? amendment I sat and
thought about it a while.  Justin is a great coach, has really
successful teams, and was a good debater himself back in the day.  So I
was conflicted.  Then Tuna and Andy agreed with him and I was convinced
I was in fact correct.  This 3-0 decision also reminded me of why I am
often in favor or MPJ.  But I digress...

Justin argues no new events without a popular vote.  We apparently wont
agree on that one but I am curious where the line is drawn?  Democracy
as Justin describes it rarely exists, in life or in CEDA or the NDT. 
Direct votes rarely ever occur on major decisions?its why we have reps. 
We have elected reps who are elected through democratic means.  The
amendment does not give the President authority to do this on his own. 
I demonstrated it would require approval of almost 20% of our membership
(the EC includes almost 20 people).  Where is the outcry when other
decisions are not made by popular vote?  Me thinks it might be
politically more salient to cry foul when its small potatoes and hope
things swing the right way when big decisions are made.  But maybe its
just a feeling I get.  Like when someone drops ?must define all words?
or runs a bad K for 9 minutes in the 1NC.  Bottom line, we have reps we
elect.  Hold them accountable on this as you would anything else
hopefully.

Will this lead to tyranny?  I almost wet myself laughing.  Seriously. 
Then the phone rang and it was 1983 asking we please give back their
Federalism Disad Impact.  As for a tyranny of ideas and the ?mission? of
CEDA I think Justin is a bit off here too.  A large part of CEDA's
mission is increasing novice debate and participation?Justin opposed the
novice breakout rounds at CEDA.  Why didnt that fly in the face of our
mission?  As for promoting Cross Examination Debate, there are other
forms of debate like public debate events that promote cross examination
debate.  

Justin points out the platform questions did not ask which events the
candidates might add.  I would respond by saying there is no conspiracy
here.  Repeat, no conspiracy here.  Gordon, Sue, Mike.  None of them to
my knowledge have secret plans to add events.  None of them do any of
the events I mentioned except some public debate events.  But I would
trust that no one (especially 17 people?the EC) would approve of
something in such a flawed manner as to not run a great CEDA.  Again
there was no asnwer to the number of past Presidents who changed things
significantly and how those changes had no negative effect on the
outcome of the tournament nor diminished the championships we crowned.

Hating to add to the semantics charge, but novice breakout rounds were
not a new ?division?.  I think that is where a lot of this is stemming
from.  But again maybe just a bad feeling. 

As to the belief that this amendment would destroy democracy is either
uninformed (see above?multiple decisions a year without popular vote) or
conspiratorial.  And as far as conspiracies go this is one of the
weakest Ive ever seen advanced here.  Tuna, you know about conspiracies
right?  Am I right or am I right?  : )  

Finally I will try and address privilige.  Not everyone has K-State's
resources.  Budgets around 6 digits, multiple coaches, grad students,
the ability to travel virtually anywhere, and an endless group of
debaters.  When you have that luxury and focus on one thing, I
understand your desire to protect that one thing.  But what about
programs without that ability?  What about programs who have gone on to
other forms of Forensics?  Many of them made choices and arent coming
back.  But what if?  What if CEDA ran alongside another form of debate
and a few colleges came and were able to do both?  Or some came and
liked what we were doing and crossed over?  Or some who do primarily
Parli, who have kids that want to try Policy, came and had kids do both?
 What is bad about that?  Seriousforensic organizations and I know some folks who would like to exist on
the fringes, or participate now and then, but budgets force choices.  A
former CEDA President speaking here made the choice this year to do a
different form of debate and not send teams to CEDA.  Thats too bad. 
Maybe CEDA has lost its purpose for him.  Maybe it has for others. 
Maybe it will for more in the future.  Then that one thing conspiracy
theorists try so hard to protect wont be big enough to justify to your
administrators.  Then your budgets begin to shift.  I have a list of 200
schools who have made that shift?dont think it cant happen. 

My point is that if we were more experimental, if we opened up debate to
more people, then maybe CEDA would begin to grow again.  What other
options are there?   So yes we participate in Cross Examination Debate
and I hope we continue to do so in healthy numbers?but shutting off the
opportunities to bring others in is in my opinion foolish. 

This amendment does not empower the President to be tyrannical.  It
requires the EC approval?your EC.  The elected reps you know.  It also
would not destroy democracy.  We have virtually no popular vote
democracy now.  And it would expedite the process to expose CEDA to
potential new programs.  An integral part of our mission.

chief

Darren Elliott
Director of Debate and Forensics--KCKCC
CEDA Immediate Past President

>>> Justin Green 05/05/09 9:25 PM >>>
The short version:  We shouldn't add new events without a popular
vote.  Yes, democracy is slow and time consuming.  Dictatorships =
quick decisions.....Democracy = you have to wait for everyone to vote.
 If you want the President to add Parli, Worlds, LD, Public Forum,
Extemp, etc to the Cross Examination Debate Association Nationals
without a vote, then vote yes.  For those of you who want CEDA Nats to
be a celebration of Cross Ex Debate and not a new event without a
popular vote - vote no.

As a caveat, had the amendment said "The President can add new events
or divisions by putting them up to a public vote with a three week
window for the public to vote".  This would solve all of the problems
Chief mentioned, yet still maintain democracy.  If there is a way for
a friendly amendment, please instruct.

Chief's arguments seem eerily similar to "must define all words" -
largely a semantics game.

"1. The amendment process is often too long of a cycle, unwieldy, and
unfriendly of a process once the year starts. If we were to require
amendments to change anything about the National Tournament, it would
likely take at least a year likely from its inception date for
anything after November 1st. I think that is when bureaucracy can
hamstring an organization. "

You call it hamstring an organization.  I might call it preventing
tyranny.  Is it tyranny that will kill me physically - no, but it is
certainly a tyranny of ideas that flies in the face of the mission of
our organization "promote Cross Examination Debate".

"2. The President and EC are voted on by a community vote. This is one
of those times Directors will need to decide if they trust their
elected leadership to do what is within the best interest of the
community they represent."

Which part of the Presidential platform discussion asked "do you want
to add new events to make CEDA Nationals "?  I trust them to run a CX
tournament, but I have no idea if Gordon is qualified to run a Public
Forum or World's Tournament or which events he will seek to add.

"3. New events: Again Gordon should chime in, but one thing he talked
about was the ability for our organization to reach out to other
organizations, groups, constituencies. If CEDA wanted to offer a
Public Debate event, umbrella sponosr another organization's National
Tournament (Parli, NFA Lincoln-Douglas, etc) this amendment would
allow the President to make that offer with the suppport of the EC. A
decision to do this in December would be too late to get an amendment
passed to do it. And amendments usually imply continuity, ato year-to-year trial experiments. Sometimes revenue streams may make
it beneficial to the organization to do just this, and reach out to
others inside the big tent. "

Gordon, please chime in here.  Will NFA Lincoln-Douglas be asking us
to join them so that they can put money towards our nationals?  To put
it in terms Chief used while judging me once "I don't get it".

"4. The People's Tournament: Indeed! I articulated above why sometimes
process takes too long for all the "people" to chime in."

Ummmm....If democracy is slow then it is not worth following?  Chief
you added a division - Novice.   New novice division, not the same as
"lets debate LD".

While I received enlightening backchannels after my previous post
comparing this amendment to Senator Palpatine's plan of destroying
democracy "one amendment at a time" (provided by the debate Green
Party President aka Jester the behester) and those who had more
explicit concerns like "here comes Worlds Debate" (a former CEDA
Presidential candidate), I was hoping to get the perspective of
someone other than the current President or former President as to why
expanding executive powers to include A NEW EVENT was a good idea -
especially one without a popular vote.

Last I checked we participate in Cross Examination Debate.  Hence our
organizations name.  While personally participating and facilitating
multiple forms of debate: public forums, debates with my wife, debates
among local representatives, and in-class debates, just to name a few.
 Sometimes there are declared winners sometimes no winners at all.
But, when our teams go to the Cross Examination Debate Association
Nationals, I for one am happy that we are debating Cross-Ex styles
with all of its diversity and spending a weekend just dedicated to the
efforts of our students working hard on that event.

If we want to add World's Debate to CEDA, why can't this wait a year
for an amendment to let all the World's voices to be heard?

Justin Green
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