Monday, February 18, 2008

Long and Direct Motions

Motions and topics must be worded in such a way as to clearly give opposing teams the opportunity to reasonably argue both sides. Motions must be specific enough to give both sides in the debate the opportunity to reasonably foresee what to anticipate from their opposing team. It may happen that a motion is worded as a long statement to specifically describe the issues that are expected to come out in the debate.
A very long motion helps the debaters screen out issues that are no longer necessary in the debate and helps them focus on crucial issues that need to be addressed. This type of motion will help the debaters spot good arguments that will be expected from them. It gives them already a clear context and background on what the debate is all about.
This type of motion imposes on the government the duty not to squirrel thus avoiding debates that are outsite the spirit of the motion. And gives the opposition the duty to prepare the clash that is expected from them thus avoiding debates on different paradigms.
For beginners, it may be surprising that we have such kind of motion. But in reality, yes, there is such type of motion. Long and direct motions are given during national and international debate tournaments. The spirit of the competition is always fair, thus everything must be seen outright.
An example of a long and direct motions is the Cross Examination Debate Association topic which reads:
THBT the United States Federal Government should increase its constructive engagement with the government of one or more of: Afghanistan, Iran, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, and Syria, and it should include offering them a security guarantee(s) and/or a substantial increase in foreign assistance.

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