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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Judging and Case Creating essentials


The Prime Minister's job is to define the terms, outline the scope of the discussion, present a dire need or harm that isn't being addressed by the status quo, present a model or principle to address this, and advantages. Too often, when I watch debates two things are missing; a dire need and a feasible model. What does this entail? In the simplest terms, you have to have a reason for change. People hate change as change can equal failure, costs, or unforeseen disadvantages. For example, the BRT along Narathiwat is a good example. I live along the side sois of Narathiwat my whole time in Bangkok, before and after the BRT. Previously, Narathiwat was a bad road full of traffic only during the prime times of the day 4-7 p.m. and 7-8:30 a.m. The construction of the BRT took away a lane from the four lanes of Narathiwat. Now traffic is terrible all the time--from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. What was the harm being addressed with the BRT? There were previously buses along Narathiwat, and moreover, there still are buses along Narathiwat. Was there too much traffic? Now there's more. In looking at this, if the motion was THW build a mass transportation system along Narathiwhat. The harm would/should have been traffic. But is that a dire need? and the end result fails to solve the harm, moreover, it creates more harm. This is what we mean. When you propose a mechanism, be sure there is a valid reason. Secondly, the value of the model must solve the harm and outweigh the disadvantages.
The secondary element of models is it's okay for a model to be vague. You don't have to tell the judge the exact specifications of the plan, but you do/should have enforcement, funding, supervision, implementation, and be feasible. There is strength in being vague to a certain degree. For example, funding can be simply a combination of private industry and government support. Most judges will accept that. The issue only becomes one when there just seems to be enormous cost factors. For example, you want to give everyone in the country, land to use to their own desires. Instantly, you see the implications and costs. You divide the land up but some of the land is already being used by the govt, so thus you now have to pay rent? You have land owned by people, does the govt buy it and give it away? these questions are part of the debate.
Simply, when you're the PM--make a dire need, be very clear about the reason why it's important to change, and address the disadvantages. Finally, if you present a model, keep it simple.

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