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Mike1669

The role of the ballot

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What is the role of the ballot? specifically in the context of framework when debating kritikal theory.
This depends upon the alternative. Generally speaking, the kritikal team will want the ballot to represent a rejection of problematic discourse, ontology or epistemology. The argument being that the opponent's positions within the round represent an invalid approach to problems and to reward them with a victory would more deeply engrain the thinking or assumtions in question.

 

This is markedly different than viewing a round from a strictly policy oriented approach. In such an approach the judge will evaluate based on the effects of policy proposals in the round. The kritikal framework removes the imagined effects of the plan to discuss the implications of what we say and how we argue in the round.

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Usually the K team just says the role of the ballot is to function as an individual rejection of <biopower/capitalism/technology/patriarchy/ etc..>

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IN contrast to policy debate, kritikal debaters will want to say that the ballot does something other than pass something, and will probably try to say that the individual round does something.

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IN contrast to policy debate, kritikal debaters will want to say that the ballot does something other than pass something, and will probably try to say that the individual round does something.
That's wrong. A kritikal debater (on neg) will claim that nothing the judge does will pass the plan - that's done in government. Further, there are genuine implications to how we argue the issues at hand, and those implications are real and not imaginary (like plan passage). So the kritikal debater is seeking to avoid theoretical discussions of what might happen if a plan which won't be passed no matter what decision is made, becomes policy.
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The aff imagines the government passing certain policy while the neg imagines starting a anti-capitalist revolution. The judge's ballot will do nothing to make either of these imaginations come to life (and no one outside the tab will likely see it anyways). It's silly to pretend otherwise. The aff can win on either that the neg's imagined world is bad (impact turn), that we can imagine both (perm), or that the act of them imagining a socialist world is bad to do (framework).

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Another instance of debaters playing a giant game of "The Emporer's New Clothes"...

 

The ONLY thing that MY ballot will EVER "mean" is which team gets the W in the tab room and which team gets the L. There is NEVER any symbolic importance or metaphysical message implied. I endorse no movements nor do I sanction any mindsets. The ballot is a scoresheet in a zero-sum game. Period. I do not take my instructions on my role in the debate from the debaters in the round; that role was assigned to me by the tournament director and by the ballot itself ("The better debating was done by"). Do the better job of debating and you get the W. Don't and you won't. It's implications begin and end right there.

Edited by DeCoach

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Another instance of debaters playing a giant game of "The Emporer's New Clothes"...

 

The ONLY thing that MY ballot will EVER "mean" is which team gets the W in the tab room and which team gets the L. There is NEVER any symbolic importance or metaphysical message implied. I endorse no movements nor do I sanction any mindsets. The ballot is a scoresheet in a zero-sum game. Period. I do not take my instructions on my role in the debate from the debaters in the round; that role was assigned to me by the tournament director and by the ballot itself ("The better debating was done by"). Do the better job of debating and you get the W. Don't and you won't. It's implications begin and end right there.

 

You say this very well. I've never really bought the idea that my ballot means something. However, I remember a round where the aff read an extremely graphic card and the neg ran a porn k and said if i vote them down they won't use the card anymore so they got some kind of advantage from that. I didn't really fall for that one though.

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Sure, as a judge every ballot I have ever filled out was simply an indication of the better team in the particular round. That doesn't stop the language from showing up in rounds. Frankly, the whole "role of the ballot" is just a clever way of saying framework. The team that wins framework in a kritikal debate will determine my judging criteria and heirarchy for the other issues in the round, and those criteria are the only thing that changes from round to round for a good judge. And for some very good judges, not even those criteria change. All that a debater who talks about the "role of the ballot" really is seeking is to move away from traditional policy based judging to a more philosophical approach.

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The big problem with the role of the ballot being more than win/loss in a debate competition, is that there is no way to escape the "K is an argument not an advocacy" without escaping the debate round/tournament in its entirety. No matter what silly argument the critiquing team makes (e.g. tear up the ballot, transcend the ballot, etc), they are still arguments in a debate round in front of a judge to which your opponents will respond. If they are arguments in a debate round, then the ultimate goal of the argument is to affect the decision on the ballot and there can be no denying it. Only by forfeiting the debate by refusing to participate in the debate and by leaving the debate/tournament can the speech act of the critique be of greater relevance than as an argument for the ballot. But then thats a loss and I seriously question how many teams would openly lose 100% of the time in order to present a critique.....

 

So I'd go with all arguments are arguments within the confines of a debate round. Therefore the role of the ballot is only to determine a winner and loser and no more or less regardless of the arguments used to make such decisions.

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