It’s John from Debate Academy and today we’re going to learn how to answer the negative topicality argument. Aff answers must come in the 2ac so that T is not dropped. This is essential because if topicality is dropped or conceded the negative will likely win the debate.
Remember from last episode, T is basically saying that aff has broken the rules and changed the topic of discussion so much that the debate round is even fair.
The 2ac can answer topicality in the following ways:
They can say-
We Meet: the aff plan actually fits under the interpretation of the resolution that the neg has established. This is very similar to the “no-link” argument made while answering a DA.
The 2ac can also read a Counter-interpretation which defines the same word interpreted by the neg team. A counter-interpretation should always allow for the aff plan.
This part of the debate will often center around interpretation vs. counter-interpretation.
The aff can read counter-standards as well. These are reasons that support the counter-interpretation and defend why the aff interpretation of the word is preferable to the negative’s interpretation.
Finally, the aff can make no-voter arguments. These are saying that the debate is fair enough, the neg has enough to say, and that T should not be a reason that the aff should lose. These are like a no-impact on a DA.
Let’s look at our pie vs. cake example for some context. So a possible set of 2ac arguments could be:
We meet: we’re actually making a tart which is a mixture between a pie and a cake. This means we fit under their interpretation that says we must have a baked good with fruit.
Counter-interpretation: pie includes layered baked goods with sweet fillings.
Counter-standards: fair limits–there is a small number of different pies making it too easy to be neg. There’s only five good pies that exist so we have to expand the topic a bit for both sides to have a fair debate and learn.
No-voting issue: there is a reasonable number of cases on both sides and they can still use their crumb and sugar Das since those apply to cakes as well. Let the debate happen.
So to recap: T must be answered in the 2ac and possible responses include a we meet, a counter-interpretation, counter standards, and no voting issues.
That’s all for this lesson. Congratulations on taking the next step to become a successful policy debater. I’ll see you in the next episode.