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August 26, 2013 / compassioninpolitics

Answering uniqueness arguments in policy debate

How do you answer non-uniqueness arguments in policy debate????

Use a uniqueness counter plan.

Use a counter plan

Offense/defense distinction.
Make rhetorical or common sense reasons why uniqueness is only a mitigator.

Systemic disads/linear links. These tend to make das function more like the way many advantages do.

Figure out the ways in which the uniqueness argument & the link argument are different (generally size/degree or brink)

I tend to think uniqueness is less of an issue when DA turns the case

Make uniqueness inroads on their aff. These are more difficult for the neg, because the aff can spin these often as try or die, but still its important. This seemingly makes the issue go both ways. But notice DAs & advantages sometimes focus on different issues. (or you can use empirical denial to your advantage)

Read uniqueness that post dates. Or create a better story around the brink–now is the key time.

Realize the author of your link probably had their own idea of why the argument was unique (despite the context of the uniqueness press). The chances of you knowing what this is may be minimal–but in a minority of cases it may help you to think through the issue–perhaps.

Summary of the 10 ways–I think in the order of importance:
1. counterplan or uniqueness counterplan or both. counterplans help mitigators be less effective. also, they tend to make large portions of the aff (and its offense strategy) go away.

2. offense/defense distinction. its only a mitigator.

3. we have issue specific uniqueness. (this works often on politics, this can also work elsewhere too)

4. disad turns the case (this means that if their is a semi-decent risk of the link–

5. develop a better brink/uniqueness story (or a distinction)

6. mitigate/case presses. Or more offense (aka turns on their case)

7. consider linearity. note this does often mitigate against your impact story.

8. ethics impact (this won’t get you very far in most debates) with an explanation why the ethics transcend questions of uniqueness.

9. certainly impact turns, but impact turns still have to have uniquness or you have to spin a uniqueness story around them.

10. this one doesn’t work with most disads–but there is the chance that their uniqueness press will theoretically make the disad more likely–pushing us closer to the brink. this is kind of a silly argument, but in some select cases if you make the argument or have some reason why this is the case–it might be viable.

I would focus on the first 4. They are incredibly effective.


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