Topics for Nationals! – PF and LD


2016 Nationals PF Topic Area: Election Process

Resolved: On balance, a one-day national primary would be more beneficial for the United States than our current presidential primary process.

Hit the Extemp Files and look for the Elections folder. The catch right now is that, while there have been some articles on the primary process, they’re getting buried by the overwhelming number of articles on the specific candidates and primaries. I’ll pull and post what I can find specifically on primaries in the near future, as well as some thoughts on the topic.

A larger Elections folder, from which the one in the Extemp Files is derived, exists in Dropbox (I have a Government folder for teachers), and I’ll get a link to it up shortly.

Ponder: if you had a single-day primary, would you have to have some sort of ranked voting (listing the order in which you favored the slate of candidates, passing your vote on to your next choice if your earlier choice was eliminated) so that one person would emerge as the consensus pick? Would you have a run-off of the top two candidates if no one received a majority of votes, or could a candidate receiving a plurality of votes get the nomination?


2016 Nationals Topic:

Resolved: Immigration ought to be recognized as a human right.

Look for past posts on the Nov. ’15 PF topic on migrants and the refugee crisis – several articles posted then will apply to this topic. Some came from the Extemp Files folders on the EU and specific countries, others can be found in the Immigration – US folder. The Extemp Backfiles link will take you to earlier articles, though I’d recommend starting with the Immigration – US folder over other folders, since the crisis elsewhere has mostly been since 2015 began (exception: Syrian refugees in neighboring countries).

The basic question at the root of pretty much any human rights discussion is whether we have human rights simply because we exist (as human beings), or only because others with more power grant us rights (often only a subset of the spectrum of human rights). Then consider why people become immigrants; this goes back to the push factors and pull factors you should have encountered in your U.S. History course(s). Refugees fleeing violence that threatens their existence would seem to have a pretty strong case – but what about climate or economic refugees? Is fleeing a particular type of political system that narrows your rights (see: same-sex attraction, or religious rules) enough to justify immigration as a human right?

When we debated the CX immigration topic back in the 1990s, one point made at the time was that immigration was acceptable only if it met two conditions: 1.) It was good for the individual immigrating, and 2.) It was good for the country to which that person immigrated. How does this view pay into the resolution’s wording?

Topic recap:

Cross-Examination Policy Debate  2015-2016 topic:
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially curtail its domestic surveillance.

After judging Districts, State, and NatQuals, one of my key observations is that teams aren’t keeping current. Check the Terrorism-Surveillance folder in the Extemp Files for the latest articles.

Cross-Examination Policy Debate 2016-2017 topic:
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic and/or diplomatic engagement with the People’s Republic of China.

Both the Extemp Files and Extemp Backfiles have extensive China folders. Debate camps start soon – start reading! I’ll post specific articles later.


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