[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Return to main CEDA-L Archive Page
Bold New Debate Theory
- To: Issues concerning CEDA Debate <CEDA-L@cornell.edu>
- Subject: Bold New Debate Theory
- From: "David M. Heidt" <email@example.com>
- Date: Sun, 21 Apr 1996 16:16:45 -0400 (EDT)
After reading the many compelling arguments for plan-plan, I've been
convinced that this argument needs to be taken a step further. I think
that the only way to provide truly EQUAL ground is to allow both the
affirmative and the negative to shed the evil tyranny of resolutional
advocacy altogether. Plan-plan may allow the negative to neutralize the
affirmative's downright unfair advantage of going affirmative, but some
borderline loons might argue that it gives the majority of ground to the
negative, making it impossible for affirmatives to win. While the
answers to this whine are far too obvious for me to list, I fear that
these jokers are never going to be persuaded unless some new kind of
theory emerges that allows the affirmative a defense vs. plan-plan.
Accordingly, I propose that debaters adopt a
counter-warrant--counter-warrant strategy (C-W(s)--C-W(s)2, for short).
Tricky affirmatives, in anticipating the negative's plan, could begin the
1ac with a topical example of the resolution (or 2, or 3 examples;
there's no reason why more is not better) and then read as many
disadvantages to them as 8 or 9 minutes allows, urging the judge(s) to
vote for them and against the resolution all the while. This
C-W(s)--C-W(s)2 strategy offers major advantages:
1. It sheds the whole archaic notion of resolutional advocacy
altogether. No one is stuck with having to go affirm or negate the
resolution; its now anyone's choice. What could be more fair? Under
boring or poorly written topics, neither side is forced to advocate
change, while under more interesting topics, either side can still jump
on the plan-plan bandwagon. The only thing winning the flip does under
this paradigm is determine the speech order (which by itself is obviously
still oppressive; however, I'm also formulating a new system under which
neither side gets the last speech. More on that later).
2. It provides EQUAL ground for both the affirmative and the negative.
The affirmative chooses to disprove the resolution with a
counter-warrant, and the negative now has the option of either answering
it and running a topical advantageous plan, or by responding with even
more insidious counter-warrants themselves:
1ac: Here's two topical examples of the resolution which are
obviously bad, and demand its rejection.
1nc: Oh yeah? Well, here's three examples that are even worse!
3. It simplifies the task of judging enormously. Under this new theory,
lazy judges are rewarded, for all they have to do is decide which team
presented the most disadvantageous example of the resolution. They can
just call for the impact cards read by either side, and vote for the
biggest one. Decisions would take at most 30 seconds. Time spent at
tournaments would be dramatically reduced, and we all know that no one
likes spending time at debate tournaments anyway.
Of course, people are bound to present many numerous objections to this
theory. I myself came up with a short list of over a hundred thousand
disadvantages. However, I'm happy to say that after entire seconds of
careful thought, most of these disadvantages/responses to
C-W(s)--C-W(s)2 can be dismissed with any of the following three arguments:
1. They are all non-unique. Whatever the problem is, it also plagues
competition theory as well. I don't really need to explain this or
provide evidence of it beyond some vague generalized assertions; it is
self-evident. Even if this theory is as crappy as the current paradigm,
its at least new and exciting. Or at least its new.
2. They are all just whines, not arguments. Look up the distinction if
3. None of them apply. Any responsible advocate of C-W(s)--C-W(s)2 will
steadfastly argue that these objections or responses just don't fit the
new paradigm. I refuse to explain this further.
On the other hand, I have thought of one serious disadvantage to
C-W(s)--C-W(s)2 that I'm not sure I can think of a response to. It might
mean that teams would have to research more than one or two arguments the
entire year to do well. In this respect, plan-plan is obviously
superior; only the biggest two cases under the topic would be debated and
once that research was complete, debaters would never have to visit the
evil library again. For example, under the high school China topic, the
only two cases that would ever be run would be the extend MFN case and
forward deployment, the two cases with the biggest impacts. It is very
obvious to me that these are the ONLY two cases that should be discussed
under a resolution that calls for a change in foreign policy towards
China; anything else is clearly frivolous. The C-W(s)--C-W(s)2 strategy
might allow conniving affirmatives to pick smaller cases as
counter-warrants, such as stopping 3 or 4 beatings in Shanghai. This
case has a very small advantage, and a devious affirmative could make it
an effective counter-warrant by running a human rights pressure
disadvantage against it that had an enormous impact. This would mean the
negative would actually have to do some research to be prepared for this,
which is clearly unacceptable. I think that the only reasonable
sollution to this dilemma is to proscibe a rule that says that teams can
only debate the two biggest issues under any given topic, or they lose.
I'm really excited about this new theory. I hope that anyone following
the P2 discussion jumps over to the C-W(s)--C-W(s)2 camp as well.
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Return to main CEDA-L Archive Page