I have been batting around the idea with some of my friends of a civil debate on the health care/insurance issue. I think Twitter and Facebook should be used to promote it but those formats are not conducive to anything terribly informative or entertaining. Here are my suggestions in short form:
- Use traditional policy debate rules, no need to reinvent the wheel
- Need to define a resolution, something like “Resolved: That the US Federal Government should sign HR3200 into law during 2009.” This would allow for minor modifications and a focused debate.
- Teams should have two members each. We might consider multiple divisions like a speed-limited division and one for veterans of modern policy debate, those of us who can talk at 400 words-per-minute.
- Speeches should be submitted in audio format. This will keep things moving and make them easy to digest by others. We can take them and slap a video on top of the sound for youtube at a later time.
- Format for policy debate via the National Forensic League is one affirmative team (1A and 2A) and one negative team (1N and 2N), each speaker gets an 8 minute constructive in this order: 1AC, 1NC, 2AC, 2Nc. Then 4-minute rebuttals in this order: 1NR, 1AR, 2NR, 2AR. Constructives can contain new arguments and each is followed by 3-minute cross-examination. Rebuttals may contain only answers and analysis of constructive arguments.
- There should be a time limit between responses. This will have to be tweaked to account for upload times.
- NO AD HOMINEM ATTACKS
- Evidence must be used to support claims. In all cases, evidence is preferred to unsupported statements. Sources can be anything (save wiki content and the like) and must be read into the debate with name of the author(s), date of publish, and name of the source material. Summaries or cut quotes must be clearly stated.