View Full Version : Most Important Policy/Social Issues?
09-24-02, 05:48 PM
I'm curious as to what major policy and/or social issues the community would recommend preparing for prior to a tournament these days. Tax policy, civil rights, education reform, enviornmental protection, immigration reform, and others come to mind. What's your experience been?
09-24-02, 08:36 PM
I'm not sure if you had women's rights/issues under civil rights but a topic can be expected there, health care is common too. Corporate issues (either thru influence in gov't or now corruption) has been a popular one too for awhile.
I think in general checking out the major newspapers op-eds does well since those usually cover the major issues of the day which does pretty well to prep for parli in my experience. I know nytimes.com has it for free (reg req'd) and I read those as much as I can.
Also one place that I've looked is the topic listing on the NPDA homepage. Browsing through that you can see the recurring themes of topics from year to year.
Of course others that spring to mind are national security vs. liberty concerns, due process/legal issues, gun control, but these are probably just specifics from areas you already mentioned.
I'll be interested to see what others come up with too.
09-24-02, 11:25 PM
"national security vs. liberty concerns"
What do you mean?
09-24-02, 11:29 PM
How is this unclear, our rights versus the safety of the people, which is more important.
09-25-02, 12:04 AM
Danny's right on that purusing the NPDA homepage's archive of old resolutions can be really helpful. I'm not sure what the current link would be given the ongoing transition of the website--Maybe Michael can help us out with that.
In the meantime, since we are collecting tournament invites and results here at NB for convenience sake, I started a running list of tournament resolutions in "Prep Time" while we're at it. I'll get a single list of past Nationals Resolutions up there too.
So, if anyone has the resolutions from Fresno or Western Washington, please pass them along to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will get them up right away.
09-25-02, 04:13 AM
Did I hear you ring, Brian?
I have some topics that I'll post tomorrow from various places, but it will give you the link for the past few years.
09-25-02, 11:47 PM
I just meant that in many debates it seems the two teams are battlin' it out about where to draw the line concerning national security and liberty or freedoms. For example, I was just reading up on the patriot act again and there's a section ( hope I'm not forecasting a case too easily ;-)) 215 that deals with the fbi's and police's right to demand library records of suspected terrorists. Does freedom and all that stuff include having our book lists kept away from the fbi or to potentitally save lives should we sacrifice that privacy? I think it'll be a common debate this year as the shock of 9/11 has somewhat left the public debate and people are starting to think liberty and freedom were things worth saving and not necessarily sacrificing at the drop of a hat to "improve security."
One thing I've always hated is that it's just so hard to win the supposedly "wrong" side of these debates. Both from an individual standpoint of arguing for it as well as judges buying it. I think it sucks how if you're on the "wrong" side of the issue, ie security over liberty, you're at a severe disadvantage. One way to combat this would be the difference between the Fresno tournament Iraq rez and the Top of the Rockies quarterfinals topic. Fresno was "This house should invade iraq" or something like that and the top of the rockies was "When dealing with Iraq, this House prefers military action rather than containment." This sets up much fairer ground I think. It allows the gov't team to compare military action against something, and not just nothing. It seems like it would have been easier in wyoming to be gov then in fresno on an Iraq debate.
just some thoughts. =)
09-26-02, 08:33 AM
One thing I've always hated is that it's just so hard to win the supposedly "wrong" side of these debates.
In my experience, it really depends on the judge. For example, at Fresno I had a debate over invading Iraq. Our value or 'lens' was "Justice" (it's amazing what you can do with that word!), and we argued that we should invade Iraq because it has taken unjust actions. While the value was never contested, the opposition team kept talking about death. Now, if we had a "flow" judge, death wouldn't have weighed in unless it linked to justice or the value was contested. So we won on justice, but lost (I think wrongly) on loss of life (long term outweighs in my opinion, and I thought on the flow). But my point is this: even if you get the "bad" side, with the right judge you can mess with the value and pick up the ballot.
09-26-02, 03:16 PM
well, unless you had a judge, like we did at Fresno, who wrote on the ballot that the moment we allowed the topic we lost the round (nothing like losing the round before your first speech) ;)
09-26-02, 03:57 PM
well, unless you had a judge, like we did at Fresno, who wrote on the ballot that the moment we allowed the topic we lost the round (nothing like losing the round before your first speech)
What are you supposed to do, then? Affirmative critiques of the resolution?!?
And is an acceptable response when you really only have one option (I believe the resolution read, "The United States should militarily invade Iraq") to say, "Sure we bite the militarism K, but what choice do I have?" I mean, it's not like the resolution read, "This House would deal with Iraq," which allows for non-militaristic engagement.
09-26-02, 09:32 PM
you could always try getting creative with definitions and then when they run topicality on you answer with a militarism K counter standard for your interp =) Just say your definition is superior b/c their's promotes militarism or whatever that K says =) in my experience there's always a way around T! =)
just a thought =)
09-27-02, 05:14 AM
The res wasn't actually the Iraq res, it was the axis of evil res ("THBT the axis of evil is real"), and we were actually opp. And that same judge told us he didn't want to hear about debate theory or kritiks or anything, which was absolutely *wonderful* on that particular topic and esp. when the Gov. team defines "axis of evil" as "Iraq."
09-27-02, 08:51 AM
Say screw it and bite t. Debate what ever you want. Just have your MG prep out as many "t is not a voter" positions as possible and hope some of them stick. I mean if you know you lost the round already, why the hell not get some practice debating t, right? Chalk it up to dumb luck, take your loss, post the critics name on NB (kidding), and move on. It happens to everyone at one point or another.
BTW, a lot of NCFA tournaments (with the exception of Great Western and probably the Cal tournament this year) don't have very good judges.
09-27-02, 10:46 AM
Say screw it and bite t. Debate what ever you want. Just have your MG prep out as many "t is not a voter" positions as possible and hope some of them stick.
Well, that seems that's what the gov. team in our round decided to do, except their only answer to T press was "time suck." So, yes, we did get our practice running T and we ran kritiks, too, even though we knew the judge wouldn't buy it...so, whatever, we got some practice running threat construction and we debated well and that's the most important part. :)
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