ENDGAME Litterbox #3 -- patio11 v steinguitar


#21

Tom is not for the turning. I’ll try and read this asap and make a decision.


#22

OK, so I either post my ballot within the next half hour or so, before I leave work, or I don’t do it until tomorrow morning, UK time. Let me know what’s best. I understand that there’s a tight schedule here, so you may all want me to post as soon as I can - or it may not matter, since nobody else has posted their ballots for the other debates, so far as I can see.

Anyway, I’m happy for the other two judges to post, as I’ve already written my ballot and I absolutely won’t be swayed by whatever they say.


#23

If you’d like, you can PM it to me and I’ll post it when the two other judges agree to.


#24

I will allow until noon Thursday CDT to receive ballots before I will assign new judges. If new judges are required at that time, I will grab whoever I see available in IM, so it will be unpredictable. I won’t allow the next round to be delayed any longer than that. Apologies in advance to the debaters if this winds up disrupting strategies ex post facto.


#25

I am posting the “Catfight” round now. Sufficient time will be allowed during the “Catfight” so that the debaters will not be punished for the judges’ slow submission of ballots. So don’t worry about it, guys.


#26

I vote for Patio11:
RFD- according to him (you are a him right?) I get honorary “the man” status for the day. Not sure why that is true, but it sounds cool. Sorry I don’t have a cooler debatish RFD, but I’ve been cutting interp for 8 hours and decided to go with a political thoughtless RFD. Sorry hun ;).


#27

I’m voting [B]Gov[/B], by a fairly substantial margin. It’s an interesting case, it’s well argued, and it beats the counterplan. And that’s good enough for me.

I’m not sure that Japanese intervention in Sudan is actually an option on the table in real life, but I’m not particularly bothered about that: Patrick shows me that it’s possible in theory, and I’m happy to go along with the fiat and see what happens. He beats Darryl on a lot of the quibbles raised in the LOC. The rules of engagement issue seems to me to be misunderstood by the opp, and Patrick comes back well on it. I don’t see why it matters that the Sudanese government won’t be happy ? unless you’re going to run an “intervention without Sudanese government approval will lead to a horrible bloody war” opp, which strikes me as an entirely plausible line but which doesn’t come up. Darryl tells me that Japanese troops aren’t trained to stop genocide, and I’m not thinking “yeah, so let’s bring in the Rwandans”.

Now, the counterplan. One question: WHY, IN THE NAME OF GOD, WHY? So far as I’m concerned, it is not opp’s job to come up with a better plan; it is opp’s job to tell me why gov’s plan won’t work. You are absolutely [I]allowed[/I] to have a counterplan if you want to, but it means that you can’t spend as long as you should arguing against gov’s plan, and that’s unlikely to be tactically sensible. As a judge, my thinking goes something like this: “Opp has decided it would be better to have two debates about two (not by any means the only two) possible solutions to an undoubtedly difficult problem, rather than debating fully the one solution proposed by gov. Is this likely to lead to a clearer, better debate?” And my subsequent thinking goes something like this: “Not really, no”. The burden of proof is all on Patrick at the beginning, and it’s a tough ask (I mean, [I]Japan[/I]? To [I]Sudan[/I]?); by the end of the LOC the burden of proof is shared equally, Darryl’s lost a significant advantage, and I’m thinking, “I don’t think Japanese intervention in Sudan is a very good idea at all, but it?s more sensible than Darryl’s proposal”.

The tactical weakness of the counterplan in this case is all the more apparent because Darryl is forced to accept much of Patrick’s advocacy ? so the massive, and presumably in real life contentious, questions of whether military intervention is sensible in this case, and of whether 20,000 troops will be sufficient, are explicitly conceded. So Darryl concedes a lot of ground which he could well win on, and we’re left with a massive, ignored elephant in the room called “Is military intervention in Sudan a good idea?”. And Darryl instead runs things like “This will help the AU to end international farm subsidies and arrange debt forgiveness”. Please. The fact that these are so self-evidently stretched and implausible arguments looks to me like strong evidence that there are few, if any, [I]real[/I] reasons why the AU would be better at intervening in this case than Japan would, so they actually make Darryl’s case weaker.

When counterplans happen in British debating (I don?t know whether it’s the same in the US ? maybe you’re told to do it, in which case you just got unlucky by getting a British judge), it’s normally because opp gets scared by the fact that gov is proposing something designed to stop, say, genocide and doesn’t want to be tagged as the pro-genocide party. But the answer to the trick question gov often asks, “What would [I]you[/I] do?” is “It isn’t my job to solve the problem, it’s my job to tell you why your solution’s silly”. In other words, once you’ve beaten Patrick’s case, and won the debate, all other options are still theoretically on the table ? you’re not arguing against [I]all[/I] solutions, you’re arguing against [I]this[/I] solution, and you don’t have to say what alternative solution you prefer. That’s for another debate. In my thinking, provoking a counterplan from opp is usually a significant tactical victory by gov (unless it’s been provoked by gov having no plan, or a truistic plan, which is a very different matter) because opp is going to have to do two jobs instead of one. Opp can still win, but it’s much harder. In this case, for me, opp didn’t win.

Some side points, which are more for me to talk self-indulgently for a bit than for me to explain my decision:

  1. A cultural difference between US and British debating: you always seem to put the plan text right at the end of your PMC, after the arguments; we always put it right at the beginning and then argue for it. To me, our way makes more sense because everyone knows what the debate’s about for the maximum possible time, but I’m sure there?s a logic to your way and I’m not going to penalise you for it, particularly in a written debate format where I can just scroll to the bottom of the speech and then go back to the beginning.

  2. I have judged so many debates on Sudan in the last few weeks (this is the third) in which someone has said something along the lines of “If the intervening troops are African then they’ll be more accepted by the Sudanese people”. Er, (1) Africa’s a very big, ethnically diverse continent; (2) why would ethnic homogeneity be useful anyway (c.f. internal wars in Europe, Africa etc and the fact that you didn?t ever hear the French in 1940 going “No, it’s fine, they’re the Germans, they look a bit like us!”)? As an argumentative line, it’s na?ve at best and patronising at worst. Stop it.

  3. One little “Ha!” point for me: Patrick says, “South Africa have never mounted any sort of intervention by themselves”. I say: “Lesotho, 1998”. And I win! If you want to go back further, to the Apartheid era, they were intervening all over Africa against alleged ANC proxies. So there.

Anyway, interesting debate everyone, well done, good luck, bad luck, and all that.


#28

I vote gov.

This debate didn’t need the counterplan, but even if it did, this wasn’t the one to use.

It was poorly constructed, and didn’t really have any sort of logic behind it short of ‘they’re African too’. One only needs to look to the situation in Burundi right now to see the flaws to that sort of logic. I also don’t think putting Libya on a peacekeeping force was the smartest move possible.

That said, Patrick’s arguments were solid enough, but there were holes there to be exploited. As far as I can tell they just weren’t picked up on in sufficient enough detail to justify me voting opp. I am often told by opposition teams that certain things were wrong, and I often agree with them. But if they don’t point them out, they don’t win the debate. It’s not for me to do their job for them.

I don’t see enough real clear blue water between the positions either, it’s more a case of whose military intervention is better. Which leaves little real clash in the debate. Which smells.

I had PM’d a ballot to Jason, but decided to word it differently after I sent it.

Sorry for the lateness, I’m a man who really does need his beauty sleep!!!

Well done patio11, hard cheese steinguitar.

It’s been emotional.


#29

Originally posted by Tom H
[B]A cultural difference between US and British debating: you always seem to put the plan text right at the end of your PMC, after the arguments; we always put it right at the beginning and then argue for it. To me, our way makes more sense because everyone knows what the debate’s about for the maximum possible time, but I’m sure there?s a logic to your way and I’m not going to penalise you for it, particularly in a written debate format where I can just scroll to the bottom of the speech and then go back to the beginning.[/B]

Some of us do it the right way.

The Brits are hypo-testers. Who knew? cool

IS


#30

I could make a case for our way being better on grounds of pronoun abuse: “Japan is ready for this”; “Japan can do it” - ready for what? Can do what? Tell me!


#31

Congratulations, Pat.

And of course, thanks to the judges.

good luck, patrick.


#32

There are three reasons I know of for not putting the plan at the beginning of the case. First, “this is how my coach told me to write a case.” This is quite weak. Second, teams seek a strategic advantage by not letting the opposition know what the plan is for as long as possible. This is cheap and annoying. Third, the plan requires a good deal of background before it would make sense. This is a somewhat self-serving category, because it’s the only one that justifies the property rights case I wrote against Marie, but I think it made for a more effective story where the harms were not very publicly known.

Dan


#33

I frequently put the plan one paragraph into the case, but when I do Japan is ALWAYS near the end, because there usually needs to be a lot of explanation first. In this case, I was worried about “Japan is pacifistic, duh, opp wins” killing me if I didn’t get that out of the way first.

Congratulations for the excellent round Darryl.

Patrick McKenzie


#34

Ok I really was expecting to be told why I recieved “the man” status. Hook me up.


#35

Originally posted by patio11
[B]I frequently put the plan one paragraph into the case, but when I do Japan is ALWAYS near the end, because there usually needs to be a lot of explanation first. In this case, I was worried about “Japan is pacifistic, duh, opp wins” killing me if I didn’t get that out of the way first.

Congratulations for the excellent round Darryl.

Patrick McKenzie [/B]

I don’t know whether this is the right place for this kind of discussion, but I’m intrigued by your thinking here. Surely even if, as an opp speaker, I’m thinking “Japan is pacifistic, duh, opp wins” at the beginning of your speech, I still have to listen to your arguments before I get to stand up. So if your arguments torpedo the “Japan is pacifistic” line, then I’ll run something else - and it would be pretty silly of me to run “Japan is pacifistic”.

If you somehow sucker me into running the losing “Japan is pacifistic” line anyway, then you’ll probably win. Either way, why not put the plan first?


#36

sometimes it’s better to give the other team 3 minutes to prep the opp to your case instead of 7. any minute you can hide your plan is a minute that they can’t write disads to it.


#37

And that, in my book, is quite simply cheating (and will lead to a bad debate). But in the debating style I’m used to, judges are more interventionist.


#38

I don’t know whether this is the right place for this kind of discussion, but I’m intrigued by your thinking here. Surely even if, as an opp speaker, I’m thinking “Japan is pacifistic, duh, opp wins” at the beginning of your speech, I still have to listen to your arguments before I get to stand up. So if your arguments torpedo the “Japan is pacifistic” line, then I’ll run something else - and it would be pretty silly of me to run “Japan is pacifistic”.

My worry was more of the judge making an intervention along those lines. Its happened before – I had a judge told me case will not solve because of X despite the fact that I had three minutes of explanation why X is just plain old false tacked on to the end of case. He said he hadn’t flowed it, because plan was obviously torpedoed by X and what was the point in wasting ink in the round…

And its obviously pretty silly to try to get a time advantage in this format by putting your plan later. What are they going to do, get eyestrain by using the scroll bar?

Patrick McKenzie