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November 24, 2011 / compassioninpolitics

Ramblings about Policymaking, Framework, and Critique in Debate

A couple of ramblings….
Normal critiques should implicitly critique many of the assumptions that 2ac framework arguments are grounded in.

Even if it doesn’t, it should be easy to find evidence–and you have the entire block to be making this argument, so you can throw down–just be sure to have mini-frontlines to core 2ac claims.

Bottom line: Critique is an argument.

Also, exploit that the policy vs. critique distinction is a myth. And even if it isn’t the critique asks prior questions and as such is a gateway issue. Also, read the wiki, and many critiques make this & similar arguments in the shell (ie in the implications or final subpoint, often).

Getting better at critique debates over framework:
Also, watching just 15 minutes of two videos will likely help.
1. Watch the infamous John Turner critique lecture at Dartmouth. He makes a distinction between problem/solution of policy and the critique. This distinction is a FW argument in my opinion. Many people read the Dillion & Reid evidence.
2. Watch one of the demo debates where John is debating (there is one from Dartmouth & one from this year at Emory Debate institute).
3. Watch and/or read critique debates…..you should have no problem finding 6 to 10 reasons why this is true. You really probably only need 3 really good ones to win.
4. Dive into the critique and framework literature, some of which is available at the Open Evidence Project.

However, the further you dive into this issue will make you a much, much better thinking and debater. If you decide to stake out territory here…..so many debates come down to this issue that it will pay big, big dividends.

Answer some questions to think about roleplaying vs. critique framework debates:
1. why is it important that we examine our assumptions?
2. how should we deal with policy or ideas based on flawed assumptions? what will the effect of implementing policies with bad assumptions be?
3. why is a critical approach to policy and life decisions important? Why is it more important than policymaking?
4. can we combine policy making and critique in terms of decision calculous? What would that look like? which side would that favor?
5. how should we prioritize social science and philosophy when making public policy decisions?
6. how do the issues of utilitarianism & pragmatism relate to the critique vs. policymaking discussion?
7. what is the role of the ballot? what is the role of the judge? or what should be their role & why? what is the role of debate?
8. what are parallel instances in which these same issues arise….how would we resolve those issues?

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