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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:53 pm 
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What I mean by “Future response” cases are cases that pass a plan with premonitions that something will happen in the future or they wait until something happens in the future to take effect.

I hit two of these cases at Nationals and ran one during the practice tournament season last year. Examples would be:
Case: “The United States will recognize Kurdistan when the Kurds recognize themselves.”
Case: “The United States will pass a Mutual Defense Treaty with Israel when Israel agrees to do so.”
Case: “The United States will create a back-up base for the 5th fleet so that we have contingency plans if we get kicked out of our current base.”

To me, most (but not all) of these cases tend to take much of their force from a little fear-mongering (yes, I ran 5th fleet, so I’m guilty of that).

The problem that I see with the cases in a debate-theory realm is that Aff cases are supposed to fix problems with the status quo, right? However, the Aff is making the argument that we should change our policy based off of a hypothetical situation that could happen. However, the Status Quo necessarily has to change before the Aff’s plan can be passed (Kurds have to recognize themselves, Israel has to agree to an MDT, and the 5th fleet has to get kicked out).

This seems like it is a power that could be easily abused. When we hit recognize Kurdistan (when the Kurds do it themselves) we ran several arguments relating to how all those problems won’t be around by the time the Kurds actually declare their own independence, etc, etc. So the Affirmative team basically used it as a back-door to spike our disadvantages.

To put it more simply: Aff is not identifying a problem with the Status quo (an inherent issue), but rather a hypothetical situation. Neg is no longer defending the status quo, but rather saying that the hypothetical situation the Aff mentions can’t or won’t take place.

Do “Future Response” cases make sense? Are they legitimate theoretically? Also, how would you defeat them in a debate round? (in our last round against such a case I used the above analysis, not sure if that’s the best way though)

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:18 am 
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Do “Future Response” cases make sense? Are they legitimate theoretically?


Resolutions are typically worded that the [Actor] should reform policy on the [topic]. That would be in the present tense. So the only “future response” case I would view as legit would be when the lack of a plan for the future is a policy problem in the present.

To take the 5th fleet example, if your case proved:
1) There’s a significant possibility we may get kicked out of our current base
2) We don’t currently have a back-up base or contingency plan
3) If we were kicked out (without a back-up base already developed) we wouldn’t have time to respond and so XYZ bad things would happen…

In that case I think you would have a legit position, assuming of course that the plan was a good one and cost/benefits worked out. A policy is a plan or course of action. We can make a plan in the present that applies to a possibility in the future. I do think though that if someone runs such a case their harms shouldn’t be “the bad things that might happen in the future”. Their harms and advantages should be a risk calculus of the possible future problems with a plan vs. the possible future problems without a plan.

The other two examples you mentioned don’t really sound legit. In the event that Kurdistan declares independence or Israel asks for a treaty, we would be perfectly capable of responding in the future - so the lack of a plan for the future is not really a policy problem in the present. Unless the team running that case could prove that a US plan to recognize Kurdistan would cause the Kurds to declare independence, or cause Israel to ask for the treaty.

Quote:
Also, how would you defeat them in a debate round?


How do you defeat a topical counterplan? You can argue theory, and in some cases that may be worthwhile. But you should always be able to argue against the policy (claim we shouldn't recognize the Kurds, for example).


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:31 am 
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Voice of Reason wrote:
Do “Future Response” cases make sense? Are they legitimate theoretically? Also, how would you defeat them in a debate round? (in our last round against such a case I used the above analysis, not sure if that’s the best way though)


I ran one of these kind of cases about a third of the year one year (pm me if you want to know what the case was, because its not really relevant here), and I found all the theoretical arguments against this kind of case to be pretty hollow. To answer your questions specifically...

1) Yes, I'm not sure why they wouldn't. Preventing problems is just as legitimate of a cause as fixing problems.
2) If our policy is one that is grossly unstable and could easily lead to future problems, then its a bad policy and should be reformed.
3) I think you can use the fact that its preemptive or "future response" as potential solvency and/or significance arguments, but you're probably going to be better off just arguing it like any other case.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:38 am 
_TakenUsername_ wrote:
1) Yes, I'm not sure why they wouldn't. Preventing problems is just as legitimate of a cause as fixing problems.


Agreed. Though I'm thinking I would add an extra layer to that. If you are really preventing the problem you would need to show not only that the plan could work, but also that passing the plan now would work while passing the plan in the future (when the problem pops up) would not.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:33 pm 
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Quote:
The problem that I see with the cases in a debate-theory realm is that Aff cases are supposed to fix problems with the status quo, right? However, the Aff is making the argument that we should change our policy based off of a hypothetical situation that could happen. However, the Status Quo necessarily has to change before the Aff’s plan can be passed (Kurds have to recognize themselves, Israel has to agree to an MDT, and the 5th fleet has to get kicked out).

No, Aff's plan can be passed right now. Aff's plan is to have a contingency protocol. We don't have to wait, we can pass it this instant. The IMPACTS of the plan (i.e. the contingency plan actually serving a purpose) come later, but the PLAN ITSELF can be passed now.

Similarly, offering Israel an MDT is something we can do right now, it just won't have an effect until they agree to it.

Then we come to the Kurds case. This one is a little sketchy. Whether it's legit or not depends on your plan text. For instance, you could say "our plan is to recognize Kurdistan, and our plan will take place when Kurdistan recognizes themselves." In this case, your plan won't actually get passed till the future. I think you could still make the case that it's Topical though, because the resolution simply says "we should change our policy," so you could argue that changing our policy in the future is still changing our policy. This would be kinda sketchy tho. I mean, after all, if reforming future problems with a future plan is legit, why isn't reforming past problems with a past plan legit? :P

On the other hand, you could also have a plan text that said "our plan is to pass a bill that says we officially recognize Kurdistan when they recognize themselves." In that case, the plan is passed NOW. It won't have any impact until Kurdistan recognizes themselves, but it can still be passed, and it's definitely Topical. That said, I think this plan text would make a very stupid case, because if you pass a bill to recognize them as soon as they recognize themselves, other countries will perceive it as a recognition of their independence in the status quo, so you might as well just og ahead and recognize them right now. :P

Quote:
To put it more simply: Aff is not identifying a problem with the Status quo (an inherent issue), but rather a hypothetical situation. Neg is no longer defending the status quo, but rather saying that the hypothetical situation the Aff mentions can’t or won’t take place.

There's nothing wrong with that in my view. Threats ARE real-world issues, and ARE inherent problems. A lot of real-world policies are going to involve speculation about the future. I ran TNWs last year, for instance, and it dealt with preventing future terror attacks. I think that's perfectly legitimate.

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