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Inherency is a voter
One other reason Inherency should be a voter in a 'policy' round:
I start with the assumption that the affirmative must advocate
a policy to meet some problem that the status quo is not solving.
I further assume that in such a round, presumption lies with the
negative. That is, if there is no advantage of any sort to the
affirmative plan over the status quo, you vote neg.
If that is the case, then the affirmative has a burden to show
that the status quo is not moving to solve the problem; if the
status quo was moving to solve the problem, why vote aff?
The reason why the status quo is not solving the problem is
what can be called an inherent barrier. Perhaps Clinton or the
GOP doesn't like LoST. Maybe the DoE has a plan for nuclear
waste and doesn't need SSD. Maybe the government wants to keep
it's favorite dams on the Columbia River. All of these barriers
would prevent implementation of the aff plan. The aff gets to fiat
over them for debate purposes, but what if they don't exist?
If there were no barriers to a plan (or rather, to the solution
of the pressing problem the plan purports to solve), there would be
nothing preventing implementation tomorrow (or yesterday, for that
matter). And if the plan were going to be implemented ASAP, then the
s.q. would be solving the problem, and there is no reason to
If the negative has presumption, the presumption is that, absent
any barrier, the status quo *will* solve the problem. If there
were any reason for that presumption to be false, that reason
would *be* the barrier.
Thus, the aff must specify a barrier. If the barrrier is shown
not to exist, neg wins. So if the neg shows that, for the above
examples, Clinton or the GOP do like LoST, or that the DoE has no
current plan for nuke waste, or that the government doesn't care
about its dams, then they should win.
It may very well be that the barrier(s) specified is not the only one.
But it is the only one in the round. 2ARs aren't allowed to list
new advantages to case - they aren't in the round. Judges aren't
supposed to vote on solvency mechanisms they think a plan has but that
aren't argued. Affs have to stand on whatever advantages they can
claim or turn. They have to rely only on the solvency they prove
in the round. Why should inherency be any different?
Note that this means that the idea on an 'existential barrier'
(the plan isn't happening now) is out the window - if it isn't
happening, there should be a reason.
Why this interpretation? It offers ground to negs. Just like
any other burden, negs have a way to attack it, and a bright line
to evaluate with: has the aff proven a barrier exists?
It allows counterplan ground for things like "Have the media tell
the DoE about SSD."
It keeps the burden of proof where it should be - on the side
proposing the change. The aff is offering the claim that they are
a distinct policy from the s.q., because the s.q. is not doing
the plan. They need a warrant for the claim: a barrier.
Without it, negs are open to potential abuse. If no barrier is
necessary, affs could run cases that *will* be enacted tomorrow,
and claim that there is a risk, however tiny that they won't really
This interpretation makes status quo cases illegitimate within a
policy framework. It does so cheifly by definition - any framework
that allows a status quo case to be run isn't covered by my
assumptions (and I'm not sure it qualifies as a 'policy' framework
in the traditional sense of the word, but I may be wrong).
But, if you do accept the assumptions, inherency becomes a voting
issue - lose and you lose the round, as you would if you lost *all*
I would be interested in other interpretations, and how they
deal with: presumption, minor repairs, and status quo cases in a
'policy' round. Maybe a definition of what a 'policy' round is
is in order.
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (email@example.com)
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