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Author Topic: 2012-2013 CEDA Topic Ideas  (Read 8246 times)
Posts: 28

« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2012, 10:32:44 PM »

Another couple quick thoughts:
-I'm surprised I guess to hear people wanting to give more power to the topic committee to make decisions. Just two years ago it seemed like everyone's main complaint was how undemocratic it was and how the slate of resolutions was nothing like what they thought they were voting for.

-The time pressure that the committee is under can't be emphasized enough. Though we all want the "best debate option" to win, the scope of the question must be significantly limited in advance as the committee process is so crunched from the start.
It was not until the morning of day 2 of the meeting last year that it became clear to me how really limiting of a slate of resolutions we were about to vote for. Remember that the mechanism of DA is in the abstract fairly large, it wasn't until people broke off to do the country papers on Saturday night that we realized that the functional literature limit was so high. At that point there was some support for including "positive conditionality" or some broadening phrase but, as Whit said, it went nowhere. This was because most people felt (rightly I think in retrospect) that it was just too late to try to include something we'd done almost no research on just a few hours before we had to conclude.
I recount this to emphasize why I think it would be very difficult for the committee to responsibly engage in a significant changes to a paper at the meeting without significant research and deliberation happening prior.

-One possibility is to encourage each controversy proposal to specify as precisely as possible what questions are to be left open to the committee and which would be off limits if the paper were to win. Thus the "mandate" of the committee is much more clear and the agenda is easier to set.

-How Gordon has one of the most thankless jobs in our community and still dedicates so much of his time to doing it this well is beyond me.

-I would like to propose the following doctrine for the upcoming topic construction process: S.O.E. - Solvency Over Everything.
Full Member
Posts: 147

« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2012, 11:19:53 PM »

Actually, there were some of us that very carefully explained why the "assistance" portion of the topic would suck.
Posts: 12

« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2012, 02:30:38 PM »

What about ocean policy? Seems like a good split between the Environmental/Energy/Navy areas which all have substantive literature bases for good debates on both sides with the added bonus of not being debated since the high school topic in like 03 or something. Plus, I remember that topic being awesome.

« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2012, 02:55:40 PM »

Perhaps we should consider having an expirimental resolution to use in addition to the traditional resolution.  I find a resolution in the passive voice interesting, but a bit scary.  I feel the same way about all of the suggestions for alternative resolution wordings.  Why can't we test them out?  In the same way that standardized tests include an expirimental section to test certain types of questions we can test how teams might react to an alternative resolution that we can later use as an actual resolution or as a model for a future resolution. 

I am not certain how it would operate, but maybe we have two versions of a resolution on one topic.  Maybe we try it for a semester or a tournament or a few tournaments or a few rounds at a few tournaments (all in first semester).  Maybe you give teams the option?  Maybe we could test it only in the novice/JV divisions?

Aninda, good post and Iím all for a Latin America topic.  From having debated the political stability topic in high school I agree itís definitely overdue for a college resolution.  I also think we should explore the possibilities of an Occupy/wealth redistribution topic area, perhaps building off of the financial reform topics areas that Kathryn and Malgor submitted last year.  Iíd be willing to jump in on some of those efforts if there is a push for it.  I also think the financial reform issues might be ripe for the passive voice, a construction we used to debate fairly regularly prior to the hegemony of the USFG agent.  Perhaps something like one of these could be the basis for a solid controversy paper:

R: That more comprehensive and equitable wealth redistribution should be substantially implemented in the United States.

R: That corporate control and influence should be dramatically challenged/reduced/curtailed/limited (in the United States).

R: That more progressive policies of social justice should be adopted and enacted (in the United States).

Obviously these need a bunch of fleshing out, but something to get out there early to begin percolating.


Posts: 4

« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2012, 06:40:07 PM »

Education should be resubmitted... It hasn't been a topic for college policy since the early 80's and it's been over a decade since the high school circuit debated it. No doubt it will have to come up at some point during the election, and there will be fresh evidence that emerges from the debates about what types of education policies are most successful... I might consider opening up the topic mechanism, however... Reducing neoliberal education certainly sounds like it could work, but I also like the idea of really intricate case debates with the affirmative getting to advocate for the adoption of some sort of groundbreaking charter school method that the evidence may just now be trickling in on.
Posts: 49

« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2012, 08:01:02 PM »

we were discussing possible topics on the long drive back from CEDA -

here are a few old & new (just brainstorming, not advocating at this point):

1. health care - with the challenges made to obamacare, an expansion of the law *may* go in the opposite direction of court rulings, providing some DA uniqueness while allowing some AFF creativity.
2. russia - proposed previously - putin's election biz probably makes this even more timely for those folks that wanted it before.
3. energy - proposed previously - gas prices, keystone, drilling on federal lands, investment in clean energy, etc.
4. defense cuts - proposed previously - maybe a unifying mechanism might require a reduction to a list of programs (weapons procurement, pmc's, etc.) at a certain quantifiable amount (cut spending for x by 25%).
5. israel / palestine - can't seem to get this into a middle east topic, maybe it should be a stand alone (obviously not a great option for next year, but something to consider in the future...)
6. reproductive freedom - maybe a subset of health care, but seems somewhat pertinent
7. labor rights - may have missed the moment after Wisconsin, but may still be something there....
Ryan Galloway
Full Member
Posts: 119

« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2012, 10:10:01 PM »

I'd like to see us debate a topic that required the AFF to increase taxes in one or more areas.  By including green taxes (like a carbon tax or a gas tax) in the mix, the topic direction and mechanism could stay unified while allowing us to debate income taxation as well as the environmental issues Archer mentioned and that others like Jamie Carroll have mentioned.

I think a taxation topic would allow us to have in-depth debates with plenty of solvency advocates on an economic/environmental issue that is timely and relevant to everyone (as we all pay taxes).  It would also be the first time in my tenure in debate we tackled the issue of taxation head on.  Yes, we debated the all mighty payroll tax as a politics scenario, but the central question of the topic would be whether or not the current taxation system is fair, equitable, and/or meets America's needs as a society.

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