Minister Constructive (PMC)
first responsibility is the most important. The PMC frames the debate.
Be particularly careful to give your case statement using explicit
language like "We propose that..." or "Be it resolved
that..." or "Our case statement is...." The case
statement should be no longer than one sentence. You may define
certain terms after your case statement, but the statement itself
should be one sentence long.
- State a clear case statement that does not violate any of
- Offer any further explanation or case background.
- Present a case consisting of arguments which support the case
case will ordinarily consist of three to five arguments that support
the case statement you have made. Note that these are not arguments
related to your case or about the same topic, but arguments that
specifically support the case statement you have made. If
the case statement, for example, is "The judge should not have
found Microsoft to be a monopolistic competitor at trial,"
then your arguments cannot be about why Microsoft is good or how
your little sister owns their stock. The judge does not take into
account the moral value of the Microsoft corporation or your little
sister's college tuition problems. Any arguments about such extraneous
factors are a waste of time and do not prove the case statement.
of the Opposition Constructive (LOC)
any rules-based objections to the case should be done at the very
beginning of LOC. The objection should be stated and explained.
The LO should then proceed with the round, even if it will be difficult
to make effective arguments. Once the LO has explained the objections,
the matter is left to the judge to decide. Do not spend your entire
speech on objections, but do fully explain any that you make. Please
note that most rounds do not involve bad cases or any objections
to the case statement. The LO should use these rules sparingly.
- State any important objections to the case or case statement,
for example, claims of tightness or specific knowledge.
- Construct the opposition's independent arguments, including
specifying whether the opposition will pursue a counter-case.
- Attack the government's case.
LO should then construct an opposition based on independent arguments
about the case statement. Independent arguments deal with subjects
that were not brought up by the government. Responses to government
arguments are generally given after all the independent analysis
has been made.
of the Government Constructive (MG or MGC)
will often not be any new material for the MG to bring up. If there
are additional points, the MG should make them at the beginning
of his or her speech. The most important thing the MG does is cover
all the previous arguments in the round and describe the Government’s
position on each of them. This will be the last opportunity the
Government has to say anything new, so make sure you do not leave
any arguments un-addressed. The MG speech usually has the greatest
time pressure on it, as there will be many arguments for the MG
to talk about. Most debaters begin with rebutting LO independent
analysis and then support the PMs arguments against the responses
of the LO. This speech must be clear and organized to prevent confusion
in the round.
- Introduce any remaining new Government material.
- Respond to the LO's attacks.
- Reconstruct the Government Case.
of the Opposition Constructive (MO or MOC)
MO is the most free-flowing speech in the round. Although there
are many different effective ways to give an MO, there are two basic
tasks. First, the MO has to cover the LO. If they failed to make
any important Opposition arguments or missed one of the governments
points, the MO must make those arguments. Second, the MO speech
should give the judge clear reasons to vote for Opposition. These
could be independent arguments or synthesis of the LO arguments,
but good MOs often bring a new perspective to the round or attack
the Government from a new angle. MOs should attack MG independent
points, MG responses and the case. Powerful arguments, however,
should not be deliberately saved for the MO. Debaters should not
offer a weak LOC in order to pack the MO with the best arguments.
This packing strategy is called MO dumping. It is poor debating
and judges may count an MO dump against a team, if the judge believes
that the Opposition acted unfairly to gain a tactical advantage.
- Introduce any new Opposition arguments.
- Respond to the MG.
- Respond to any Government arguments that have not been responded
of the Opposition Rebuttal (LOR)
LOR does not give new arguments. The speech serves to frame the
debate from the Opposition's point of view. The LO should explain
each of the reasons why the Opposition has won the round and why
these reasons outweigh the arguments the government has made. This
would also be the last opportunity to remind the judge briefly
of any objections the LO raised about the case or the case statement.
Do not dwell on the technical issues, but do remind the judge that
Opposition cannot argue very well against a case that has specific
knowledge or some other flaw. If the Government has dealt with an
issue vaguely, point out to the judge that the Government has not
made it position clear before the PMR and that the Government's
exact position has not had to bare the brunt of the Opposition attack.
Most LOs will point out any arguments that the MG failed to address
and ask the judge to count these dropped arguments against the Government.
- Crystalize the round into clear Opposition voting issues.
- Preempt any problems due to lack of clarity or objections
the Opposition has made to the case, i.e., specific knowledge,
tight case, etc.
Minister Rebuttal (PMR)
PMs begin the rebuttal by responding to any MO arguments. Do not
spend too much time dealing with these arguments unless they are
very important. A good PM often incorporates these MO arguments
into the organization of the rebuttal. Judges should realize that
you have only five minutes and that the MO spoke for eight minutes.
At least three minutes of any good rebuttal will be spent arguing
the key arguments which win Government the round. Do not simply
state the arguments, but demonstrate why the Government case outweighs
the Opposition. PMs should also point out dropped arguments and
explain their impact on the round.
- Respond to any new MO arguments.
- Crystalize the round into clear Government voting issues.