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2007-08 Topic Choices

Which topic do you want?  

536 members have voted

  1. 1. Which topic do you want?

    • Pandemics
      102
    • Water
      55
    • Trade
      130
    • Africa
      123
    • Asia
      126


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Central Asia would be the best topic ever. I, for one, think domesticly minded topics (civil liberties, national service, mental health care, to some extent oceans) are boring as hell.

 

Central Asia opens debate up to something that it hasn't had in a long time: credible nuclear war scenarios. Not like, your plan costs political capital, jacks india deal, but good specific evidence. Why? Because central asia is on of the most important places in the world and yet recieves very little attention.

 

Now, some of you will freak out at me. "What about africa?" "What about the middle east?"

 

Africa is important only because it has so many problems (a lot of which are the US's fault, but that's kind of true everywhere). On face, you might think that'd set up a great debate but there aren't very many things that could actually solve any of Africa's problems. How do you undo that much imperial meddling or cure AIDS? Africa is a great topic for small, systematic impacts like poverty, but not much else. I see that degenerating into an indignant aff team asking "how can you let people die of AIDS?" while the neg tries to explain that the plan doesn't help enough to make it worth a risk of nuclear war.

 

The Middle East isn't something the US can really fix either. No matter what sort of trade policy we adopt towards Iran, for example, they're still going to hate jews. If the last couple of years have shown us anything, I think its that the impact of a mideast war is really overstated. I mean, shouldn't all of those escalation scenarios have happened by now?

 

Central asia, on the other hand, is hotly contested by major powers in the mideast and by Russia and China. If you get tired of that angle, you can always talk about pipeline developement, the movement of soviet era missile, small arm (or even nuclear arms) through the region. Those debates are the most fun i've ever had. They have giant impacts, decent probability and great timeframes. Even if you want to debate a different sort of impact, there are genocides in that region that our press won't even admit exist, democratic revolutions that are simmering and, given the US's cold war history, I'd bet there is a lot of critical ground concerning our treatment of that region.

 

The only thing that would make this resolution problematic is the inclusion of the term "foreign assistance." That's not as clear as I'd like (can that mean troops? If so, my old georgia aff is coming back...) and probably links you to kritiks. Not that you wouldn't link to them anyway if you had most of the advantages I see being good on that topic.

 

I am convinced that, in the future, the world will pay much more attention to central asia and I hope the topic selection reflects that.

 

Regardless of what is chosen, these are the best topics i've seen in a while. The whole resolution selecting process has redeemed itself in my eyes (albeit a bit late).

the affirmative could easily get extinction impacts from africa, trust me, if u can find a way to get to global nuclear war from not building houses in missouri u can get to extinction from any africa case, that isn't a question....but on a different note, the critical aspects of the africa topic are insane, both affirmative and negative.....and to put it bluntly, they have refused an africa topic for three years, it is time to end the wait, the students have wanted it for a while and i think we should debate about africa, its as important if not more important than the other topics up there

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I'd like to reiterate my support for water (takes a swig of H2O, thankful he lives in Michigan where water is never less than a few minutes away); if we get to who provides the most realistic nucwar impacts, well, the Middle East is a veritable hydro-nuclear time bomb. You have EXTREMELY tight water supplies, with a war getting uncomfortably close to guaranteed, with one certified nuclear power (Israel) and several potential nuclear powers (Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia) in the region, and virtually ALL other nuclear powers with very strong interests in the region. A war in the Middle East that starts over water could easily spill into a global conflict over oil.

 

Furthermore, there is an interesting division between Mideast cases, which will tend to be policy (though Said/Orientalism will apply), and Africa cases, which would be more critical, providing room for everybody. If you want to argue that this gives policy more ground, well, National Service is overwhelmingly critical. Critical-dominated regions have demonstrated their power through NatServe. Throw policy regions a bone here, will ya?

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the affirmative could easily get extinction impacts from africa, trust me, if u can find a way to get to global nuclear war from not building houses in missouri u can get to extinction from any africa case, that isn't a question....but on a different note, the critical aspects of the africa topic are insane, both affirmative and negative.....and to put it bluntly, they have refused an africa topic for three years, it is time to end the wait, the students have wanted it for a while and i think we should debate about africa, its as important if not more important than the other topics up there

 

the timeframe on your mentioned extinction impacts are non-existant. the best extinction impact, if any, is potentially a disease related one--but no africa topic would solve. specific scenarios about how going to Georgia or Armenia could potentially contain russia and/or china would be sweet. It's also the first time, in a long time, that teams can actually claim good realism/heg good impacts. and please, don't respond with the duetsche evd

 

John is right in saying that central asia is a good topic, and i agree with him 100%(even though there might be some bias about georgia being up there..fucking red spread). You say that Africa is important, we just debated it two years ago--a majority of UN cases were african based, and we got good africa debates. Central Asia hasn't even been talked about, and while its a good high school topic, i think it would be a sweet college topic.

it seems that k links of imperialism with africa are just getting too old. its time we broaden our horizens, and central asia is the best way to do that

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I'd like to reiterate my support for water (takes a swig of H2O, thankful he lives in Michigan where water is never less than a few minutes away); if we get to who provides the most realistic nucwar impacts, well, the Middle East is a veritable hydro-nuclear time bomb. You have EXTREMELY tight water supplies, with a war getting uncomfortably close to guaranteed, with one certified nuclear power (Israel) and several potential nuclear powers (Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia) in the region, and virtually ALL other nuclear powers with very strong interests in the region. A war in the Middle East that starts over water could easily spill into a global conflict over oil.

 

Furthermore, there is an interesting division between Mideast cases, which will tend to be policy (though Said/Orientalism will apply), and Africa cases, which would be more critical, providing room for everybody. If you want to argue that this gives policy more ground, well, National Service is overwhelmingly critical. Critical-dominated regions have demonstrated their power through NatServe. Throw policy regions a bone here, will ya?

 

QFA.

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The pandemic one could be very interesting, open to a ton of different ideas on Aff and Neg- and we'd see our good friend Foucault practically comandeering the spotlight (disaster prevention? It's what Discipline and Punish was all about). Fun, fun, fun, till daddy takes the K ground away.

 

Subjective topics, in my own opinion, make for a lot more interesting debates - yeah, Topicality might pop up, but nonetheless, it keeps the Negative from having six case negs, a politics disad, and a random mandatory T violation and be good to go for eight months.

 

And yes, we'd obviously see a little too much AIDS, but then again, we're seeing too much Draft now and we saw too much Gitmo last year.

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Trade is the best topic on the ballot right now. African topics were used in college debate much too frequently and there is no way that it will be used on the high school circuit. Too many back files for people who have access to college evidence/debaters. I hope its trade it will jsut be a great topic that will open itself up for some very interesting off case argumentation.

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Asia is the best by far. Central Asia will be a big deal here pretty quick. There will be some noise about the Caspian any time

 

China Containment (Adv. or DA whichever way you spin it)

Oil

Russia relations/containment

Enviroment (There was huge soviet damage)

Proliferation

Iran (assuming it still exists ;) )

Terror

------Just to name a few

Big Kritik Ground (As if its not there every year)

Plenty of CP ground (Consult has actual impacts, UN Russia or China as Actor, etc.)

Loads of DAs

 

 

Africa is okay, and was obviously better than this years, but I don't think its as good as you all think. Sub-Sarahan will result in T disputes as will "Public Health" plus the impacts for africa are real but they are all the same.

 

Trade Water and Pandemics are all lacking substantial, while small cases don't have lots of advantages, substantial always needs to be in place as a check, moreover those are essentially limited by advantages rather than region or actor which is the problem civil liberties had.

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Central Asia is totally awesome. When it comes to education, it definitely takes the chocolatey cake. The area is just so different from the other places mentioned in debate (be it by topic or an extremely generic disadvantage). It has a multitude of interesting and REAL problems. Both the affirmative and the negative have great ground. It's not a topic everyone would be tired of by Christmas time.

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I've always wished for Africa, I think that would be such a sweet topic but alas it didn't happen for me so I hope that some day other debaters will be able expierince it.

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The water topic is probably the most real-world - it's something that we'll all need to get around to facing at some point, water supplies won't last forever.

 

The pandemics topic isn't that great simply because it's impossible to really solve many of the diseases being talked about, at least not for a while. It would be better if you could claim a bigger impact, even though I know that's overrated.

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I voted for trade because I love neolib debates, but I'd be happy with Africa or water shortages too. I don't really like pandemics and I'm neutral on Central Asia.

 

Really, anything would be better than this year.

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Asia

 

Trade is the 2nd choice.

 

I'm not an Africa fan, if nothing because you see repetitive impacts (AIDS, poverty) and there is too much kritikal ground (Aff and neg.)

Not to mention that Central Asia is awesome. YOu have little coutries with russian nukes trying to make a name for themselves, russia expanding its sphere, china trying to take over, india trying to compete with china, terrorists fighting for "independence" and kidnapping schoolchildren, a cautious UN, a "i don't want to be in deep shit" US that already tied up in Iraq, an uncaring Europe. Its great ground for everyone, and it is affected by enough factors to have large impacts.

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Asia

 

Trade is cool to, but i ahve a feeling EVERY impact is gonna use mead...

 

Another reason for Water. Because the terminal impacts are so diverse (Egypt/Sudan/Ethiopia war, Israel/Syria war, Iraq/Turkey war in the Middle East, a myriad of unique impact scenarios in sub-Saharan Africa, and of course kritikals up the wazoo), impact debates will never get boring...

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You all know that if we start the sub-saharan Africa thing up in debate, its just going to be back and forth about whether it'll actually help in the long run or if its just providing crutches to the quadriplegics. And I have to say that the K's and DA's that will be run are just gonna be bitchy. C'mon now-- give it up for water management.

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On the pandemics topic, why does it have to be a foreign policy?

(I already know that pandemics, by definition, are global)

 

What I'm saying is that we coud easily just focus on it as a domestic programme. It's way too hard to coordinate with the WHO. And then you gotta deal with the "Cuba doesn't want to do plan, so plan no solvo" card that someone's gonna find. So the topic area is forced into helping in a specific country or region. Which is retarded, becuse everyone's gonna help out Africa - one of the other resolutions.

 

The topic area is great, and not just limited to AIDS. The res is just worded to be nigh impossible.

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I didn't know they were allowed to propose the same resolution twice.... I think pandemics is the only way to go if you want to have non-generic debates. There's probably more room for K affs too...

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Central Asia would be the most debatable, most educational, and most fun. Great wording too. "Foreign assistance" can mean anything from food aid to arms sales to election oversight, but it's certainly clearer and more limited than "should change its foreign policy toward..." The topic is still a little broad, but there's tons of solid neg ground too. Lots of case-specific disads with real impact debates. Turkey disads, Russia disads, China disads, Pakistan disads, you name it. Real, workable, case-specific, *evidence-supported* counterplans too. Keep yer fingers crossed for this one!

 

I think it will win too. I don't think many people will be against it - it will probably be most peoples' second choice, and first choices will spread themselves pretty evenly among the other topics. It will pick up a lot of votes.

 

The only potential problem - if you see it as one - is that the resolution doesn't explicitly mandate government-to-government assistance. An aff could reasonably provide funding for NGOs operating in the area, avoiding many country-specific disads. You could even, in theory, provide military aid to an Uzbek opposition movement and still argue that you're topical. I think that just makes things interesting, but some people may not like how broad that could potentially make the topic.

 

On the other topics...

 

Pandemics and Africa will steal votes from one another, so neither will win. That's okay though. The Africa topic will make for two kinds of rounds: ones with generic disads and T-"public health assistance", and ones with generic kritiks and T-"public health assistance". There will be thousands dinky little affs that get a tiny fraction of their solvency for malaria and win anyway because they link to nothing. Bo-ring. The pandemics topic is identical, just without an object.

 

Water will also lose votes to Africa, since it has half the same object. I doubt it would get many votes anyway, since you REALLY have to want to talk about water for a year to vote for it. The ground is probably reasonably ballanced though, and there's lots of topic literature to support water wars, famine, and disease impacts - both as 1AC scenarios and as disad impacts. Unfortunately, the rather obscure wording will probably make for bizarre affs and lots of boring T debates. It wouldn't be a bad choice, but I'm sure I'm in the minority on that point.

 

Trade will be popular until everyone realizes that there are essentially four cases: lift sanctions on A, B, C, or D. Everyone will have four files: each one with three disads and a counterplan that can be run against any case that lifts sanctions on A, B, C, or D respectively. That doesn't mean there will be on-case debates though. I doubt there will be much beyond generic "case turns" that are really one-card generic disads. It's just too easy to come up with meatball counterplans with pidly net benefits. Okay, okay, everyone loved the sanctions topic when it was the college topic. But this topic is minus Iraq, and there's no "constructive engagement" limit. More importantly, you don't have to lift "all or nearly all" sanctions. There will be all sorts of bizarre advantages and disad spikes from allowing certain types of trade but not others, and neg teams just aren't going to try to cut answers to them all. The result will be that rounds will more closely resemble those under the WMD topic - a smattering of disads with mostly generic but country-specific links, and a nit-picky counterplan (normally agent-changing or consult). The rounds will come down to whether the aff chose an advatage that the CP doesn't suck up. Other negs will resort to kritiks of international relations, and they'll do okay too, but they certainly won't add anything interesting we haven't heard ten thousand times already. In the end, everyone will get bored of this topic quickly, and nobody will really learn much.

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I debated the college sanctions topic (this is pretty much a copy of that topic w/ some minor changes). It was the BEST topic of my career. The literature is sweet and deep and having countries from multiple regions makes it broad as well, which is total awesomerlyness.

 

Incidentally, one of the guys on our team was part Cuban. He actually wanted to research that area of the topic because he didn't know a lot about it other than stories from his family. He really enjoyed learning about the topic. Plus people who say it shouldn't be included are short sighted. There are super sweet "lifting sanctions disempowers castro/leads to revolution" cards.

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Trade may be nice but I'm for Asia all the way, because if you think about it (I apologize if this was said before) no one talks so much about central Asia and all the advantages will be really nice and realistic also there will be a wide variety of arguments for some good ol' fashion debating!

 

In other words: ASIA ALL THE WAY!!!!

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