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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:40 am 
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http://www.planetdebate.com/blogs/view/221

I think the author of this article makes two points that are relevant to the NCFCA and Stoa:

1. The strength of a 50-states counterplan is undeniably excessive. Given the general Affirmative limitation to Federal government fiat, a 50-states counterplan wields far greater effectiveness. I haven't seen it as much in the NCFCA and Stoa, but it's out there. In a sense, it's like the atom bomb - far too much power to use indiscriminately. I have no doubt that the US would hesitate to use its nuclear weaponry even if it were invaded by multiple foreign countries because of the sheer devastation possible. Too much power, used indiscriminately, simply to gain a competitive advantage, reduces debate to a level of inanity and repetition that is unacceptable.

2. Any beneficial debate that discusses ideas, reasoning, and practicality behind the domestic policies of the US is squashed between the Negative's massive power and the Affirmative's attempts to defeat it theoretically, logically, or philosophically. The debate enters a phase that confuses almost all judges, drags the Affirmative off of their main topic, and stifles any productivity. If we are to be this world's next set of leaders, we must spend our time understanding and debating what really matters, not talking about whether a counterplan like that is supposed to be run or not. Will any of us become president if we waste time debating debate and not debating policy?

I'd say, in summary, that the negative 50 States Counterplan is an unethical means of attempting to win a debate round by obliterating competition. It should not be used.

If you are hit with one, though, how do you propose to defend against it? I have a few theories of my own, but I haven't had the opportunity to test them.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:53 am 
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The Neg needs specific advocacy for using the States.

Also since the USFG is reforming "its" Criminal Justice System there is not much jurisdiction for the states.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:10 am 
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*Awfully happy that the Stoa rez has few to no cases which a 50-states CP could be run against.*

Multi-actor fiat bad is the best attack I've found that works. Write up/find reasons why multi-actor fiat is bad.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:38 am 
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David Roth wrote:
The Neg needs specific advocacy for using the States.


Why? Does an Aff always need specific advocacy for implementing their plan? I would say no, but that's just me personally.

David Roth wrote:
Also since the USFG is reforming "its" Criminal Justice System there is not much jurisdiction for the states.


Since when did negative counterplans have to follow the actor fiat restrictions inherent in the resolution? The negative team is not bound to follow the resolution.

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What do you guys think about disenfranchising all white people? That could be legit, too. I think there's lots of advocacy for it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:48 am 
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Feel free to critique the following theory, but I think the best way to beat states CPs (theory-wise) is to argue against extra-topical CPs entirely. The argument would go something like this:

Standards: extra-topicality should apply to both teams
In order to make an accurate comparison, we view the negative team as affirming the negative of the resolution. Thus, just as the affirmative shouldn't be allowed to affirm more than the resolution, the negative team should not be allowed to affirm more than the negative of the resolution. For example:

The affirmative team must affirm "that the USFG should sig. reform its CJS," and ONLY "that the USFG should sig. reform its CJS."

The negative team must affirm "that the USFG should NOT sig. reform its CJS," and ONLY "that the USFG should NOT sig. reform its CJS."

Why? Well, it makes no sense for extra-topical boundaries to apply only to the affirmative. If the negative can be extra-topical, then it's unfair to the affirmative since the negative options for a CP are unlimited.

Violation: states CP is extra-topical
While the negative team shouldn't affirm more than "the USFG should NOT sig. reform its CJS," the states CP affirms that AND "[insert CP]." This violates the standards set out.

Impact: inconsistent + unlimited NEG ground
Allowing the negative team to make extra-topical CPs while prohibiting the affirmative from doing so is inconsistent and unfair. Additionally, extra-topical CPs allow for unlimited negative ground. It is abusive to the affirmative team to allow the negative to propose not only this CP but any of infinite CPs.

Lastly, a word from "the other side": http://loosenukes.cogdebate.com/?p=2192

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:16 am 
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kingwill wrote:
Feel free to critique the following theory, but I think the best way to beat states CPs (theory-wise) is to argue against extra-topical CPs entirely. The argument would go something like this:

Standards: extra-topicality should apply to both teams
In order to make an accurate comparison, we view the negative team as affirming the negative of the resolution. Thus, just as the affirmative shouldn't be allowed to affirm more than the resolution, the negative team should not be allowed to affirm more than the negative of the resolution. For example:

The affirmative team must affirm "that the USFG should sig. reform its CJS," and ONLY "that the USFG should sig. reform its CJS."

The negative team must affirm "that the USFG should NOT sig. reform its CJS," and ONLY "that the USFG should NOT sig. reform its CJS."

Why? Well, it makes no sense for extra-topical boundaries to apply only to the affirmative. If the negative can be extra-topical, then it's unfair to the affirmative since the negative options for a CP are unlimited.

Violation: states CP is extra-topical
While the negative team shouldn't affirm more than "the USFG should NOT sig. reform its CJS," the states CP affirms that AND "[insert CP]." This violates the standards set out.

Impact: inconsistent + unlimited NEG ground
Allowing the negative team to make extra-topical CPs while prohibiting the affirmative from doing so is inconsistent and unfair. Additionally, extra-topical CPs allow for unlimited negative ground. It is abusive to the affirmative team to allow the negative to propose not only this CP but any of infinite

Lastly, a word from "the other side": http://loosenukes.cogdebate.com/?p=2192


You are coming from a view that the resolution is there to be either affirmed or denied. (I believe the term is rezcentrist, but I might be wrong.) I would argue against this using parametrics.

Basically you have this big circle that encompasses the resolution. Cases that are in the circle are reforms to the CJS, cases outside of it are not. When the affirmative team presents their case, it is basically a tiny circle in the circle of the Resolution. The resolution then shrinks down to only encompass the affirmative teams case. Thats why if a team runs mandatory minimums you can't run disadvantages against the exclusionary clause, because they are only affirming and passing a repeal of mandatory minimums.

The negative team is negating the resolution because once the Aff team limits the resolution, everything outside of it is outside the resolution, and is now ground for the neg to CP with. So basically neg is not affirming the resolution, and is not extra topical, and as such your impacts don't matter.

The argument is very interesting, but in the end I do believe that 50 State Counterplans are legitimate.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:37 am 
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Foxtrot wrote:
You are coming from a view that the resolution is there to be either affirmed or denied. (I believe the term is rezcentrist, but I might be wrong.) I would argue against this using parametrics.

You're right about my rezcentrism. ;) But that's a debate for another thread.

Quote:
The negative team is negating the resolution because once the Aff team limits the resolution, everything outside of it is outside the resolution, and is now ground for the neg to CP with. So basically neg is not affirming the resolution, and is not extra topical, and as such your impacts don't matter.

That's my point - the negative shouldn't have claim to CP anything and everything outside of the resolution. That's inconsistent and unfair.

My argument fits in a parametrics framework too, though:

The affirmative's job is to affirm "[insert case]" and NOTHING BUT "[insert case]" (without going outside the resolutional boundaries)

Thus, the negative's job is to negate "'[insert case]". To make a comparison, we say that negating the resolution is equivalent to affirming the negative of the resolution, and thus the negative should affirm "we should not do the affirmative's case" and NOTHING BUT "we should not do the affirmative's case."

By affirming "we should not do the affirmative's case" AND "[insert CP]," the CP is extra-topical, and thus inconsistent and unfair.

So, no matter which framework you look at, the negative shouldn't do MORE than affirm the negative of the resolution, thus ruling out extra-topical (including states) CPs.

As a sidenote: Has anybody actually ran a states CP, or had a states CP run against them? At the beginning of the year, I thought they'd be very common, but I haven't really heard of any. Maybe a regional difference?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:18 am 
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Beautiful. Devolution to parametrics in less than 2 hours. Classic HSD theory thread. :P

I don't really have time to offer a complete commentary (I have an assignment due at midnight...) so I'll just say this:

There are some cases where "should the Federal Government or the States do this?" is clearly the most important, legitimate real-world policy issue involved.

An example might be a case that is blatantly in violation of the 10th Amendment, but is a really good idea. Here's what I say in my blog post on this, linked earlier:
Quote:
Let's look at the NCFCA resolution this year: Resolved: The United States Federal Government should significantly reform its criminal justice system.

Debaters are expected to make all sorts of arguments about the resolution:
  • We shouldn't significantly reform the criminal justice system; the problems are small.
  • We shouldn't reform the criminal justice system; it's fine the way it is.
  • We shouldn't reform the criminal justice system; the problems are with the laws, not their enforcement.
We're expected to argue about "should", "significantly", "reform", "its", and "criminal justice system". So why aren't we expected to argue about "The United States Federal Government"?

A states counterplan is just like a significance argument: it tries to prove that part of the resolution is false (in this case, "The United States Federal Government should".) If you're OK with counterplans theoretically, it makes no sense to allow arguments about the second half of the resolution while shunning arguments about the first half.

I find complaints about "too much power" unpersuasive. Honestly, the Affirmative has a lot of power (three entire branches of government overseen by thousands of individual congressmen and public servants? Powerful. Seriously.) By itself, how much "power" a team has does not determine whether they are abusive; how they use it determines whether they are abusive. A run-of-the-mill, legitimately-policy-motivated states counterplan is not abusive.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:28 am 
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Foxtrot wrote:
Why? Does an Aff always need specific advocacy for implementing their plan? I would say no, but that's just me personally.
Because (at least in the 50 state version) the Counterplan needs to be a reason to reject the affirmative plan.

Saying: "Good plan, but let's do it with the states." Is not even an argument.
Foxtrot wrote:
Since when did negative counterplans have to follow the actor fiat restrictions inherent in the resolution? The negative team is not bound to follow the resolution.
States have precisely zero jurisdiction to reform the Federal Criminal Justice System. ie you can't say: "Aff mandates but... WITH STATES!" because you have zero solvency or workability.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:38 pm 
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Yeah, "good plan, but let's do it with the states" probably comes along with REASONS for it. Those REASONS create the argument. One ought to attack the REASONS with OTHER REASONS instead of blanketing some ethics violation. lol.

The best debaters will make arguments like this: It would be better done at the state level because of the wide social and geographic and economic differences in each state and because of the flexibility provided to test out this policy. DAs specific to MS, CA, and NY if it's all done one way.

The silliest debaters will say: I mandate 50 states as the actors of a counterplan to adopt the same mandates.

Which you crush with the following ARGUMENT: A 50-States exact counterplan isn't even a counterplan, doesn't support federalism or freedom, and is just a cop-out to coming up with real arguments. The following shell creates enough 2AC backdrop that you can explode any point (i.e. the theory or the DAs) in rebuttals depending on what neg does.

A. Not "counter". At the point where you are mandating the exact same result as my plan, you aren't really running a "counter" plan. The DAs you've made up about the difference are equally cancelled out by DAs I hereby make up about yours (make up some similar DAs with similar impacts). So it's a wash on this level. As an alternative, consider "NAFTA will do this" is different because a greater area is involved, while "States should be free to do this" or "this state will do it" involve lesser area. All 50 states IS my plan.

B. Doesn't support federalism. The reason for state action is to preserve liberties by allowing each state to tailor a solution that fits. My opponents violate federalism by mandating (yes, that's even the word they used--mandating) a one-size-fits-all policy. It's what AFF does with the proper authority to do that, because our authority is binding and will stick. Two solvency points: 1) Freedom not upheld, and 2) Solution won't stick.

C. It's a cop-out to real arguments. It gets them fairy-tale advantages like "no states will disagree with each other or sue each other". That's the problem when you start fiating multiple actors is you can artificially create agreement where none would exist. It's a really handy way to prevent disadvantages and a really awful way to consider which policy is actually best. And that's what the resolution is about, what real world policy is actually BEST. You can't even evaluate those which are placed in fantasyland where the actual DAs that actually would occur can't be discussed. How many arguments do they have from our case that don't originate in fantasy-land? Let's see... (refute them).
[In college, you'd need to add - Here are those DAs, don't let them de-link with "but we FIATed"]

And if your brain is wired like me, you add this implied counter-counterplan, which is actually just the thesis of your response anyway.
D. States as testing grounds would be better. Yes, here's a DA on 50 states doing it. My opponents can't advocacy shift and say just some or one state should do it, so they get beat by our argument that one state doing it is better than 50 states as states doing it. However the BEST approach is for the Federal Govt to do it, like in our 1AC. So out of options A (fed), B (50), C (some), exclude the middle -- only A and C make sense. Because of the exact federalism arguments MY OPPONENTS MADE. If those arguments survive, they support option C. Obviously, since neg ran option B we didn't spend our 8 minutes refuting option C and cannot in this debate. We were so ready for that and have great points, but it's too late now to change course.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:29 pm 
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David Roth wrote:
Foxtrot wrote:
Why? Does an Aff always need specific advocacy for implementing their plan? I would say no, but that's just me personally.
Because (at least in the 50 state version) the Counterplan needs to be a reason to reject the affirmative plan.

Saying: "Good plan, but let's do it with the states." Is not even an argument.


Usually State Counterplans can be/are run when you have the government overstepping it's bounds and violating states rights. You run a DA off of that, and that's the reason that it's better to go with the state CP, because you have all the advantages of the aff, and you don't have the disadvantage.

kingwill wrote:


As a sidenote: Has anybody actually ran a states CP, or had a states CP run against them? At the beginning of the year, I thought they'd be very common, but I haven't really heard of any. Maybe a regional difference?


I ran one earlier in the year, but havn't ran one, or seen one run since.

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Bosh Bebb wrote:
What do you guys think about disenfranchising all white people? That could be legit, too. I think there's lots of advocacy for it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:39 pm 
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Foxtrot wrote:
I ran one earlier in the year, but havn't ran one, or seen one run since.

What case did you run it on?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:42 pm 
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bigsister23 wrote:
Foxtrot wrote:
I ran one earlier in the year, but havn't ran one, or seen one run since.

What case did you run it on?


It was at the Ethos camp, and we ran it on Voter Disenfranchisement. We just mandated that the states would come into compliance with the provisions of the law. I'm not sure if that was the best way to run it, but that's what we did, and it was successful.

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Bosh Bebb wrote:
What do you guys think about disenfranchising all white people? That could be legit, too. I think there's lots of advocacy for it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:37 pm 
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Quote:
1. The strength of a 50-states counterplan is undeniably excessive. Given the general Affirmative limitation to Federal government fiat, a 50-states counterplan wields far greater effectiveness. I haven't seen it as much in the NCFCA and Stoa, but it's out there. In a sense, it's like the atom bomb - far too much power to use indiscriminately. I have no doubt that the US would hesitate to use its nuclear weaponry even if it were invaded by multiple foreign countries because of the sheer devastation possible. Too much power, used indiscriminately, simply to gain a competitive advantage, reduces debate to a level of inanity and repetition that is unacceptable.

2. Any beneficial debate that discusses ideas, reasoning, and practicality behind the domestic policies of the US is squashed between the Negative's massive power and the Affirmative's attempts to defeat it theoretically, logically, or philosophically. The debate enters a phase that confuses almost all judges, drags the Affirmative off of their main topic, and stifles any productivity. If we are to be this world's next set of leaders, we must spend our time understanding and debating what really matters, not talking about whether a counterplan like that is supposed to be run or not. Will any of us become president if we waste time debating debate and not debating policy?


Here's the difference: using counterplans as alternatives to federal policy is real life. Ron Paul uses it to oppose almost every single federal policy possible. Maybe it's "reasonable" to have a policy, but is it reasonable for that policy to be implemented at a federal level?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:37 pm 
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andrewmin wrote:
Quote:
1. The strength of a 50-states counterplan is undeniably excessive. Given the general Affirmative limitation to Federal government fiat, a 50-states counterplan wields far greater effectiveness. I haven't seen it as much in the NCFCA and Stoa, but it's out there. In a sense, it's like the atom bomb - far too much power to use indiscriminately. I have no doubt that the US would hesitate to use its nuclear weaponry even if it were invaded by multiple foreign countries because of the sheer devastation possible. Too much power, used indiscriminately, simply to gain a competitive advantage, reduces debate to a level of inanity and repetition that is unacceptable.

2. Any beneficial debate that discusses ideas, reasoning, and practicality behind the domestic policies of the US is squashed between the Negative's massive power and the Affirmative's attempts to defeat it theoretically, logically, or philosophically. The debate enters a phase that confuses almost all judges, drags the Affirmative off of their main topic, and stifles any productivity. If we are to be this world's next set of leaders, we must spend our time understanding and debating what really matters, not talking about whether a counterplan like that is supposed to be run or not. Will any of us become president if we waste time debating debate and not debating policy?


Here's the difference: using counterplans as alternatives to federal policy is real life. Ron Paul uses it to oppose almost every single federal policy possible. Maybe it's "reasonable" to have a policy, but is it reasonable for that policy to be implemented at a federal level?


If that's how you're using and intending to use a 50 States CP, then yeah, it's definitely legitimate. But running it against every semi-applicable case that you come up against, simply to achieve first place at a tournament, is unethical. Once again I draw a parallel to nuclear weaponry. When the use of it is legitimate, as many argue it was in the case of Japan, you use your most powerful weapon. When it isn't - when you can defend yourself and others with conventional weaponry that is far less devastating - you do so.

According to the article I linked to, other debate leagues suffer from an overpopulation of 50 States CPs, because it is such a powerful negative strategy if done skillfully. I don't say 'if done right' because doing it 'right' is doing it properly, in the right circumstances. The author of the article implies that many teams in the debate league he's familiar with simply focus their entire negative strategy on a 50 States CP. That's not right. If you're doing it to win outright with no competition, you shouldn't be doing it.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:44 pm 
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It's not UNETHICAL to try out silly arguments!

You don't need to apologize to anyone, including Jesus (i.e. it's not "immoral").

It's just silly. And you should beat the argument by showing its silliness.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:46 pm 
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ImagoDei wrote:
According to the article I linked to, other debate leagues suffer from an overpopulation of 50 States CPs, because it is such a powerful negative strategy if done skillfully. I don't say 'if done right' because doing it 'right' is doing it properly, in the right circumstances. The author of the article implies that many teams in the debate league he's familiar with simply focus their entire negative strategy on a 50 States CP. That's not right. If you're doing it to win outright with no competition, you shouldn't be doing it.


50 States CP's are not evil - Perhaps other leagues "suffer" from 50 states CP's because most of the policies proposed should be implemented at a state level rather than at a federal level. It is quite possible that the use of 50 states CP's serves as a check to narrow the scope of the resolution down to truly Federal policies. I don't see that as a bad thing, certainly not on the level of horror of a nuclear strike.

Don't judge people's motives - One can not rationally conclude that just because someone's running a 50 state's CP that their motive is to, "WINWINWINWINW AT ALL COSTS!!!"

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:11 pm 
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ImagoDei wrote:
andrewmin wrote:
Quote:
1. The strength of a 50-states counterplan is undeniably excessive. Given the general Affirmative limitation to Federal government fiat, a 50-states counterplan wields far greater effectiveness. I haven't seen it as much in the NCFCA and Stoa, but it's out there. In a sense, it's like the atom bomb - far too much power to use indiscriminately. I have no doubt that the US would hesitate to use its nuclear weaponry even if it were invaded by multiple foreign countries because of the sheer devastation possible. Too much power, used indiscriminately, simply to gain a competitive advantage, reduces debate to a level of inanity and repetition that is unacceptable.

2. Any beneficial debate that discusses ideas, reasoning, and practicality behind the domestic policies of the US is squashed between the Negative's massive power and the Affirmative's attempts to defeat it theoretically, logically, or philosophically. The debate enters a phase that confuses almost all judges, drags the Affirmative off of their main topic, and stifles any productivity. If we are to be this world's next set of leaders, we must spend our time understanding and debating what really matters, not talking about whether a counterplan like that is supposed to be run or not. Will any of us become president if we waste time debating debate and not debating policy?


Here's the difference: using counterplans as alternatives to federal policy is real life. Ron Paul uses it to oppose almost every single federal policy possible. Maybe it's "reasonable" to have a policy, but is it reasonable for that policy to be implemented at a federal level?


If that's how you're using and intending to use a 50 States CP, then yeah, it's definitely legitimate. But running it against every semi-applicable case that you come up against, simply to achieve first place at a tournament, is unethical. Once again I draw a parallel to nuclear weaponry. When the use of it is legitimate, as many argue it was in the case of Japan, you use your most powerful weapon. When it isn't - when you can defend yourself and others with conventional weaponry that is far less devastating - you do so.

According to the article I linked to, other debate leagues suffer from an overpopulation of 50 States CPs, because it is such a powerful negative strategy if done skillfully. I don't say 'if done right' because doing it 'right' is doing it properly, in the right circumstances. The author of the article implies that many teams in the debate league he's familiar with simply focus their entire negative strategy on a 50 States CP. That's not right. If you're doing it to win outright with no competition, you shouldn't be doing it.


Can you give an example of a case that is 1. semi-applicable and 2. illegitimate? That would be much more helpful.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:46 pm 
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David Roth wrote:
Because (at least in the 50 state version) the Counterplan needs to be a reason to reject the affirmative plan.

Saying: "Good plan, but let's do it with the states." Is not even an argument.

Watch any of the Republican debates?
David Roth wrote:
States have precisely zero jurisdiction to reform the Federal Criminal Justice System. ie you can't say: "Aff mandates but... WITH STATES!" because you have zero solvency or workability.
That's why most 50 states counterplans this year are not mutually exclusive. Basically, the 50 states cp only applies if the case is not topical to begin with.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:49 pm
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Isaiah wrote:
B. Doesn't support federalism. The reason for state action is to preserve liberties by allowing each state to tailor a solution that fits. My opponents violate federalism by mandating (yes, that's even the word they used--mandating) a one-size-fits-all policy. It's what AFF does with the proper authority to do that, because our authority is binding and will stick. Two solvency points: 1) Freedom not upheld, and 2) Solution won't stick.


Unless you CP with an implementation justification.

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That's why most 50 states counterplans this year are not mutually exclusive. Basically, the 50 states cp only applies if the case is not topical to begin with.


They are competitive though. If you run one on federalism = freedom, perming would still make the feds do things in state jurisdiction. If you run one on federalism = better implementation, having them do both is redundant, creates an extra layer of bureaucracy, etc.

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Andrew Min
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Arete Speech & Debate, NCFCA, Class of 2011


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