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Author Topic: Info on All Six Controversy Papers Submitted  (Read 11107 times)
kevin kuswa
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« on: April 30, 2014, 12:41:14 AM »

Six Submitted Controversy Papers with tentative short descriptive phrases:

Poverty/Economic Inequality
Poverty/Economic inequality should be reduced in the US
Controversy paper: http://www.cedadebate.org/forum/index.php/topic,5874.0.html

Federal Definitions
Federal definitions should be changed.
Controversy paper: http://www.cedadebate.org/forum/index.php/topic,5875.0.html

Russia
Pressure from the United States should be increased on Russia.
Controversy paper: http://www.cedadebate.org/forum/index.php/topic,5876.0.html

Decriminalization
Certain acts in the US should be decriminalized.
Controversy paper: http://www.cedadebate.org/forum/index.php/topic,5879.0.html

Latin America
Drug policy reform should be enacted in Latin America.
Controversy paper: http://www.cedadebate.org/forum/index.php/topic,5880.0.html

Labor
Labor Unions (in the U.S.) should be strengthened
Controversy paper: http://www.cedadebate.org/forum/index.php/topic,5881.0.html

« Last Edit: April 30, 2014, 09:58:04 AM by kevin kuswa » Logged
BrendonBankey
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2014, 09:58:10 AM »

Kuswa,
I think it's somewhat disingenuous to frame all of the suggested resolutions in the passive voice. The proposed resolution in at least one of the papers I've read (thus far) is USFG should. Although it could have been unintentional - the wording of your post introducing the topic makes passive voice the terministic screen for how to read these topic papers.

This is NOT a yes/no passive voice comment. It is however a call to be more rhetorically competent in the way we describe other folks' topic papers for them. I think you and I can agree given our experience working on the immigration paper together that there exists a problem of cutting the authors out of the topic paper as the wording process begins (see: four pages about visas standing in for a much broader discussion about immigration, refugees, and asylum).

--Brendon
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kevin kuswa
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Posts: 345


« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2014, 10:05:53 AM »

Brendon,

All the topic authors provided these short phrases or agreed to them.  The little description is not definitive, but it should not be exclusive either.  The papers may emphasize the USFG, but they also do not exclude other possibilities.  In some cases, the USFG is more likely than others, but the description implies that the paper is open to other constructions.  The immigration topic was narrowed down in the wording process--that does happen.  I think that was unfortunate, but the wording did come from that paper. 

In this case, anything disingenuous or externally prescribed is coming from your reading, not the authors of these papers who put in the hard work.

Kevin

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BrendonBankey
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2014, 10:11:46 AM »

Kuswa,
My apologies. I was in the process of writing an edit to that after reaching out to some of the authors. My gut reaction to your post was "it's strange that these are all clarified in passive voice" and I rushed to assume that was your doing because of your commitment to alternate wordings.

I don't want to delete that post cause I think the passive voice yes/no dispute is somewhat inevitable. Also, I agree with the hard work sentiment and would like to emphasize that point. The work you did on refugees/asylum being case in point. My point wasn't to deride the process but make it more in tune with the authors. Having not known conversations took place I made an incorrect assumption.

--Brendon
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kevin kuswa
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2014, 10:16:04 AM »

Brendon, No problem, understand.  Glad you are reading the papers and that you care.  For me, a topic that people are excited about is a lot more important than the passive voice construction.  Keep in touch, Kevin

ps--one lesson we can all take from the immigration work is that we should not let fear of a topic that is "too big" turn us toward a topic that avoids the core issue.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2014, 10:28:08 AM by kevin kuswa » Logged
BrendonBankey
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2014, 10:29:53 AM »

Cool. Also personal shout out to you for contributing another great paper - this is the most thankless task in the NDTCEDA* (CEDANDT if that's what you're in to) community. If I could go back before it was read by anyone and pic out of the last two sentences of my original post I would.

*putting NDT first is another example of a common terministic screen - an example of my culpability as well
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tpacheco
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2014, 03:09:25 PM »


ps--one lesson we can all take from the immigration work is that we should not let fear of a topic that is "too big" turn us toward a topic that avoids the core issue.

The reason the immigration topic was bad was because there was no unified DA to the whole of the topic, and most topic DAs had no uniqueness. "Core issue" is arbitrary, subjective, and largely irrelevant to what makes a topic good - equitable ground is what makes a topic good or debatable. Adding in what your opinion was the "core issue" would not have changed how bad the immigration topic was. That has been the problem with most of the recent topics- democracy assistance had no DA or aff (terrible), energy had a lot of affs, but topic uniqueness went in the direction of the aff which allowed the aff to carve out small changes but left the neg with little to say.

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kevin kuswa
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Posts: 345


« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2014, 03:18:04 PM »

On the contrary.  You would think CIR would be available on an immigration topic.  It's also not hard to defend that "illegality" and "citizenship" are central questions for immigration--not arbitrary, but literature-based (which, admittedly, is also arbitrary, but not in the sense you are using it).  Tinkering with visas dodged the core issue--go back and read the controversy paper that year.  You are also wrong about Arab Spring--the question was more about narrowing to assistance instead of being willing to go with something a bit bigger like "promotion."  That topic also had a lot of unexplored ground left on the table because people wanted neat ways for the US to attach itself to a "solvency advocate."  When talking about the things in Egypt, Tunisia, or Libya, the lack of a western "solvency advocate" could be seen as the "directional uniqueness" you apparently craved on immigration.  Go back and read the wording papers from that year.  Often a lack of creativity forces people to be unnecessarily bitter about a particular topic.  Moreover, sweeping generalization about a certain DA on a past topic ignores that vast diversity students are bringing to these topics.
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tpacheco
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2014, 03:29:37 PM »

On the contrary.  You would think CIR would be available on an immigration topic.  It's also not hard to defend that "illegality" and "citizenship" are central questions for immigration--not arbitrary, but literature-based (which, admittedly, is also arbitrary, but not in the sense you are using it).  Tinkering with visas dodged the core issue--go back and read the controversy paper that year.  You are also wrong about Arab Spring--the question was more about narrowing to assistance instead of being willing to go with something a bit bigger like "promotion."  That topic also had a lot of unexplored ground left on the table because people wanted neat ways for the US to attach itself to a "solvency advocate."  When talking about the things in Egypt, Tunisia, or Libya, the lack of a western "solvency advocate" could be seen as the "directional uniqueness" you apparently craved on immigration.  Go back and read the wording papers from that year.  Often a lack of creativity forces people to be unnecessarily bitter about a particular topic.  Moreover, sweeping generalization about a certain DA on a past topic ignores that vast diversity students are bringing to these topics.


I think there is a theory-practice problem with what you have identified. In theory, bigger mechanism = more controversy = more neg ground. The problem with that is topic uniqueness still trended in the direction of the aff, which made being neg very hard. A bigger mechanism would still have had link uniqueness problems to DAs. Yes, people could have theoretically picked to do big-stick democracy promotion, but that makes no sense when you think about it from a strategic perspective - they would have picked the same, terrible small affs that there were no DAs to. And even if they did pick big-stick aff, those other things that were occurring would have still triggered the DA too. Example- wage deflation DA on immigration. A true amnesty aff may have a bigger link, but the immigration that occurred every year still made it tough to win a unique link.

Bottom line - when affs get to do a little more than the status quo, regardless of the mechanism, it is very hard to be neg. Better mechanisms may have helped, but I suspect not that much. This shouldn't be taken as a jab at any of the papers- haven't read any of them yet. It is just a reflection on why 3/4 of the last topics were bad.
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dstanfield
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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2014, 03:45:25 PM »

On the contrary.  You would think CIR would be available on an immigration topic.  It's also not hard to defend that "illegality" and "citizenship" are central questions for immigration--not arbitrary, but literature-based (which, admittedly, is also arbitrary, but not in the sense you are using it).  Tinkering with visas dodged the core issue--go back and read the controversy paper that year.  You are also wrong about Arab Spring--the question was more about narrowing to assistance instead of being willing to go with something a bit bigger like "promotion."  That topic also had a lot of unexplored ground left on the table because people wanted neat ways for the US to attach itself to a "solvency advocate."  When talking about the things in Egypt, Tunisia, or Libya, the lack of a western "solvency advocate" could be seen as the "directional uniqueness" you apparently craved on immigration.  Go back and read the wording papers from that year.  Often a lack of creativity forces people to be unnecessarily bitter about a particular topic.  Moreover, sweeping generalization about a certain DA on a past topic ignores that vast diversity students are bringing to these topics.


I think there is a theory-practice problem with what you have identified. In theory, bigger mechanism = more controversy = more neg ground. The problem with that is topic uniqueness still trended in the direction of the aff, which made being neg very hard. A bigger mechanism would still have had link uniqueness problems to DAs. Yes, people could have theoretically picked to do big-stick democracy promotion, but that makes no sense when you think about it from a strategic perspective - they would have picked the same, terrible small affs that there were no DAs to. And even if they did pick big-stick aff, those other things that were occurring would have still triggered the DA too. Example- wage deflation DA on immigration. A true amnesty aff may have a bigger link, but the immigration that occurred every year still made it tough to win a unique link.

Bottom line - when affs get to do a little more than the status quo, regardless of the mechanism, it is very hard to be neg. Better mechanisms may have helped, but I suspect not that much. This shouldn't be taken as a jab at any of the papers- haven't read any of them yet. It is just a reflection on why 3/4 of the last topics were bad.

I think the decriminalization paper did an excellent job responding to this question and specifically and would encourage others to at the very least read that papers section on mechanism.
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kevin kuswa
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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2014, 04:17:16 PM »

The key part of this is to make sure we have wording choices that are each sustainable but also different enough from each other to provide some meaningful choice.  Sometimes an overemphasis on one component of the wordings means that all the choices are functionally very close to one another and usually the more restrictive option (or one of the more restrictive options) wins.  That means we do have a tendency to avoid some of the bigger portions (use "core" or "critical ground" if you like) of the controversy.  Yes, uniqueness and the mechanism matter, but so does the array of wordings within the controversy.
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jamesherndon3
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« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2014, 06:58:45 AM »

Couple of questions/thoughts:

1.  I got several emails from people and didn't know the answer.  "Why is the decrim topic the only one on the ceda email that is not passive?" My reading of the topic papers is that they all suggest either wording is a possibility to some extent or the other.  My belief is that decrim would make an excellent passive topic and that both would be options.

2.  This topic area vote is a vote on an area not a referendum on passive voice correct?  My assumption has been that the topic committee would provide the community with both a USFG and passive option regardless of area.  Is that accurate?
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RW Evans
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« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2014, 09:49:23 AM »

I am not certain there is any rule that requires either on the ballot.  That would be an odd rule to have.  I think USFG is just by habit and not by rule.  Perhaps the committee should consider leaving the USFG should off the ballot.  The committee seems to have a mandate for change (look at its construction) and the "democratic" process will almost always work in favor of protecting tradition.  The committee wording committee might serve as a check and a balance to the current process that is designed to guarantee certain debates and preclude others.

...just a thought.
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kevin kuswa
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« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2014, 10:04:06 AM »

James,

There is no mandate for a passive option on the ballot and it is the paper that is governing.  Those little phrases are just markers for the direction that is most significant in the paper.  Your paper talks about a passive option, but the thrust is a government agent.  The reverse issue is present on the poverty topic where a lot of the affs (and definitely some of the wording options) are USFG.  In fact, one of the better resolutions on the poverty topic and on the labor topic would be one with the USFG as the agent.  The phrasings for both those topics are in the passive simply because there is a lot of work and writing on that possibility coming out of the papers.  I will post another message here shortly that clarifies that--Decrim. could have a passive voice option and people should know that...

Kevin
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kevin kuswa
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Posts: 345


« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2014, 10:09:23 AM »

Two things to keep in mind on the ballot for the controversies:

1. The little phrase or description connected to each controversy is NOT EXCLUSIVE.  A phrase that is in the passive voice does not mean the USFG is out of consideration.  A phrase with the USFG does not mean that the passive is out of consideration.  It is the larger paper that matters.

2. The poverty topic is focused primarily on the US...it is not about action to reduce global poverty despite how the description on the ballot reads.

From looking over the papers again on the agent question, all of the papers seem to allow for both a USFG option and a passive voice option.  Some of the papers are more forceful about the passive than others.  If this is something that matters to you in voting, please do not take the short description as an exclusive statement of the possibilities available under that controversy.
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