PREPARING FOR THE OPPOSITION

†††††† By Jim Hanson

You are opposition and youíve just been given your topic. The government is already furiously working on their case. What are you going to?

1. Start brainstorming

What cases and arguments could the government present?

2. Start listing out arguments

Take each of the main cases and arguments and write out lists of arguments. Your lists should include both responses to arguments you expect the government to make in their case AND arguments that will develop your position against the government.

If you expect the government to develop a policy case, think about the following:

1. Do you want to support the current policy or a counterplan?

2. List out arguments showing the problems arenít that significant; that the current system is working to resolve the problems; that the suggested policy will not solve the problem

3. Prepare disadvantages against the affirmative proposals you expect. Be sure to explain how the disadvantage applies to the government plan and the impact to this disadvantage (how it will hurt people and outweigh the affirmative advantage). Make sure you have disadvantages that apply only to the plan and not to the counterplan/current policy.

4. Think about any other arguments that will work: link/topicality arguments showing that government proposals donít support the resolution.

5. If you have stock issues judges, be ready to argue that the government burden is to prove each stock issue (significance--showing a problem; inherency--showing the current policy cannot solve the problem; solvency--showing the plan will solve the problem; disadvantages--showing that the plan will cause harmful consequences; and topicality/link--showing that their case supports the resolution).

If you expect the government to develop a value/fact case, think about the following:

1. List out your value and counter-criteria/burdens for the debate. Strong suggestion: pick a value that the government case is unlikely to meet.

2. List out arguments you will make showing your side of the resolution meets your value/counter-criteria/burdens.

3. List out responses you expect to need to make against the government case contentions.

4. List out additional arguments against the government position showing why it is bad.