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Author Topic: Question for Treaties Advocates  (Read 8564 times)
Malgor
Full Member
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Posts: 220


« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2011, 12:30:13 PM »

Whit provided a list, which admittedly contains some of the best treaties proposed so far.  It is CTBT, Ottawa, LOST, ICC, CEDAW.

virtually all CTBT ground is a re-tread of the nuclear weapons topic.  Ottawa does not provide a lot of good negative ground, especially not a year's worth.  This has been rehashed in posts this year and last year-consensus from people who have researched the aff and neg in depth (because of past HS topics like UN, africa, and WMD) is that it just doesn't have a lot there for the negative.  LOST and ICC are in depth, no doubt about it, though I question the neg uniqueness to LOST case turns since the treaty has been around for so long, and the US abides by many of its components.  CEDAW was rejected the last time treaties was a topic because there is no substantive neg ground.

Last year, when pressed on these issues, no one in the treaties camp could provide an overview of neg arguments that would give us a year of in depth debate on some of these treaties.  It has been a year and I still see nothing to show there are 5-7 treaties that could sustain us for a whole year. 

As for the comparison of one topic to another, i think most of the topics on the slate provide more chance for sustained in depth debate.  The reason I say this is the only way the treaties topic can get more diverse is to add more treaties.  Once we vote for it, we are stuck with the affs provided.  The flip side of this, however, is that we add more unconnected issues to the resolution (because the areas each treaty focuses on diverge).

For those who are obsessed with debating another foreign policy topic (we have, in fact had one since ME in 07-08), I urge you to vote for demo promo or india.






1. LOST

2. CTBT

3. ICC

4. CEDAW or OTTAWA (take your pic)

5. something for the K people Smiley maybe that's CEDAW or CRC or "Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights" or the Disabilities Convention

Boom, ship it.

I don't think anyone questions LOST or CTBT, or they shouldn't at least. The args against the others are "I'm skeptical, because I did research on that a few years ago." Oh yeah, there's also the "only faces political opposition" argument. Let's not underestimate the power of political opposition. How many debates this year were won on KORUS and case defense? The solely political opposition argument is also specious. The military clearly doesn't think we should ratify the Ottawa treaty, and pissing off the generals was good enough to win many debates on the nukes topic. Just to be clear, that means there is a CMR disad.


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kevin kuswa
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 345


« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2011, 12:45:10 PM »

What about a treaties topic that was just the ICC?  (or at least a wording option)...I think that would make for a good season. Maybe even something like: R: The ICC should be fully implemented.

btw--great paper on tax reform, malgor--one of the best ones.  nice work.

kevin

Whit provided a list, which admittedly contains some of the best treaties proposed so far.  It is CTBT, Ottawa, LOST, ICC, CEDAW.

virtually all CTBT ground is a re-tread of the nuclear weapons topic.  Ottawa does not provide a lot of good negative ground, especially not a year's worth.  This has been rehashed in posts this year and last year-consensus from people who have researched the aff and neg in depth (because of past HS topics like UN, africa, and WMD) is that it just doesn't have a lot there for the negative.  LOST and ICC are in depth, no doubt about it, though I question the neg uniqueness to LOST case turns since the treaty has been around for so long, and the US abides by many of its components.  CEDAW was rejected the last time treaties was a topic because there is no substantive neg ground.

Last year, when pressed on these issues, no one in the treaties camp could provide an overview of neg arguments that would give us a year of in depth debate on some of these treaties.  It has been a year and I still see nothing to show there are 5-7 treaties that could sustain us for a whole year. 

As for the comparison of one topic to another, i think most of the topics on the slate provide more chance for sustained in depth debate.  The reason I say this is the only way the treaties topic can get more diverse is to add more treaties.  Once we vote for it, we are stuck with the affs provided.  The flip side of this, however, is that we add more unconnected issues to the resolution (because the areas each treaty focuses on diverge).

For those who are obsessed with debating another foreign policy topic (we have, in fact had one since ME in 07-08), I urge you to vote for demo promo or india.






1. LOST

2. CTBT

3. ICC

4. CEDAW or OTTAWA (take your pic)

5. something for the K people Smiley maybe that's CEDAW or CRC or "Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights" or the Disabilities Convention

Boom, ship it.

I don't think anyone questions LOST or CTBT, or they shouldn't at least. The args against the others are "I'm skeptical, because I did research on that a few years ago." Oh yeah, there's also the "only faces political opposition" argument. Let's not underestimate the power of political opposition. How many debates this year were won on KORUS and case defense? The solely political opposition argument is also specious. The military clearly doesn't think we should ratify the Ottawa treaty, and pissing off the generals was good enough to win many debates on the nukes topic. Just to be clear, that means there is a CMR disad.


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tnielson
Newbie
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Posts: 30


« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2011, 01:02:43 PM »

Malgor is just right about the debatability of most of the treaties on the list. And LOST is old, not new and exciting - who are we kidding?
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Whit
Jr. Member
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Posts: 79


« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2011, 01:41:57 PM »

Malgor is just right about the debatability of most of the treaties on the list. And LOST is old, not new and exciting - who are we kidding?


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/25/opinion/25allen.html?_r=2

Yes, topics like prison reform are certainly fresher and more exciting. When was Discipline and Punish published again?
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charrigan
Full Member
***
Posts: 105


« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2011, 01:45:58 PM »

I'm not a huge fan of debating treaties (but am reserving final judgement based on comparative decision-making).

But, despite that, the argument that "we can't debate these treaties in depth for an entire season" is not a very good reason to pick one topic or the other.

First -- history. 2002-3, 5  treaties: CTBT, ICC, Kyoto, SORT, Death Penalty. The number of debates about the latter 3 were minimal (few read SORT/Kyoto, Death Penalty had little answer to the domestic CP). Debates on the CTBT alone basically carried the topic. There was a LOT written about the ICC, surely enough for it to produce healthy debates. Add LOST alone and you're set. More treaties is potentially *too much*, not *too little*.

Second -- depth. I think we risk understating our collective research potential when we say "there's not sufficient neg ground against X treaty". Having recently researched E visas to death only after a period of 2.5 months, the experience lead me to the revelation that "whoa, the Internet is big". I mean, really big. A lot bigger than it was in 2002. A lot bigger than it was when I was researching TNWs night and day in 2003. The number of scholarly articles on Google alone has skyrocketed. And we're (collectively) good at research and reward innovative thinking with a premium (wins). I really doubt that any topic that we select will be "too small" to find new arguments for the NDT.

Third -- quality of research. In many ways, its useful to teach students how to learn about issues that *aren't* readily accessible on page 1 of your google return. Tracking down footnotes, using search engines that are off of the beaten path, requesting one of the 3 known copies of some journal called Parallax (which Repko actually did in 2003), etc. are extreme examples but illustrate unique research skills that I don't think we should devalue. Yes, debate needs to be accessible (and much about LOST/ICC/CTBT/CEDAW is), but it should also be challenging for students who want to be rigorously engaged.
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tnielson
Newbie
*
Posts: 30


« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2011, 02:04:56 PM »

Quote
Yes, topics like prison reform are certainly fresher and more exciting. When was Discipline and Punish published again?

Well you got me Whit - that is the only book on prison reform and was definately about reentry programs.
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Malgor
Full Member
***
Posts: 220


« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2011, 02:30:35 PM »

I'm not a huge fan of debating treaties (but am reserving final judgement based on comparative decision-making).

But, despite that, the argument that "we can't debate these treaties in depth for an entire season" is not a very good reason to pick one topic or the other.

First -- history. 2002-3, 5  treaties: CTBT, ICC, Kyoto, SORT, Death Penalty. The number of debates about the latter 3 were minimal (few read SORT/Kyoto, Death Penalty had little answer to the domestic CP). Debates on the CTBT alone basically carried the topic. There was a LOT written about the ICC, surely enough for it to produce healthy debates. Add LOST alone and you're set. More treaties is potentially *too much*, not *too little*.

Second -- depth. I think we risk understating our collective research potential when we say "there's not sufficient neg ground against X treaty". Having recently researched E visas to death only after a period of 2.5 months, the experience lead me to the revelation that "whoa, the Internet is big". I mean, really big. A lot bigger than it was in 2002. A lot bigger than it was when I was researching TNWs night and day in 2003. The number of scholarly articles on Google alone has skyrocketed. And we're (collectively) good at research and reward innovative thinking with a premium (wins). I really doubt that any topic that we select will be "too small" to find new arguments for the NDT.

Third -- quality of research. In many ways, its useful to teach students how to learn about issues that *aren't* readily accessible on page 1 of your google return. Tracking down footnotes, using search engines that are off of the beaten path, requesting one of the 3 known copies of some journal called Parallax (which Repko actually did in 2003), etc. are extreme examples but illustrate unique research skills that I don't think we should devalue. Yes, debate needs to be accessible (and much about LOST/ICC/CTBT/CEDAW is), but it should also be challenging for students who want to be rigorously engaged.


Casey, these are all good points.  I agree more treaties might be too much, because inevitably some of the treaties will be marginalized and not debated at all.  That doesn't mean we shouldnt strive for something better.  I also think there is a difference between challenging for innovation in argument versus challenging for covering the bases for an argument.  When a treaty has few, if any, good substantive arguments against it, that's a lot different than a CTBT treaty where we have a big base of arguments, and slowly we branch out.  My main point is that the benefits of treaties that are so often touted as reasons to vote for it are not supported in the literature and few new arguments have been provided.

I will take issue with 'the argument that we can't debate these treaties in depth for an entire season is not a very good reason to pick one topic or another'.

Surely this is a joke.  You did not just claim that inability to debate a topic in depth for a year shouldn't be a voting criterion.

I think i get what you were really saying, which you clarified later-you don't think there is such a thing as a topic we can't debate in depth for a year.  That might be true, but is distinct from what you said above. 

Good is not good enough, aim for something better, these treaties just aren't a good debate topic.
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Malgor
Full Member
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Posts: 220


« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2011, 02:32:28 PM »

Malgor is just right about the debatability of most of the treaties on the list. And LOST is old, not new and exciting - who are we kidding?


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/25/opinion/25allen.html?_r=2

Yes, topics like prison reform are certainly fresher and more exciting. When was Discipline and Punish published again?

very productive point....
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