Resolution (debate)

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In general a resolution in the context of debate by an assembly is a formulation of a determination, expression of opinion, etc., submitted to an assembly or meeting for consideration.[1] A proposal is put to the meeting, debated, and a resolution adopted.

In policy debate, a form of formal speech competition, a resolution or topic is a normative statement which the affirmative team affirms and the negative team negates. Resolutions are selected annually by affiliated schools.

At the college level, a number of topics are proposed and interested parties write 'topic papers' discussing the pros and cons of that individual topic. Each school then gets one vote on the topic. The single topic area voted on then has a number of proposed topic wordings, one is chosen, and it is debated by affiliated students nationally for the entire season.

The high school policy debate topic is selected annually under the auspices of the National Federation of State High School Association's Speech, Debate, and Theater Association. The topic process calls for two rounds of voting, the first narrowing down five initial choices to two, and the second selecting the final resolution. In each round, each state has a vote, the National Forensic League has a vote, and the National Catholic Forensic League has a vote. Each state's activities association has its own process for determining the state's vote.

Recent National Policy Debate High School Resolutions[2][edit]

(2014-2015) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its non-military exploration and/or development of the Earth's oceans.

(2013-2014) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic engagement toward Cuba, Mexico or Venezuela.

(2012-2013) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its transportation infrastructure investment in the United States.

(2011–2012) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its exploration and/or development of space beyond the Earth’s mesosphere.

(2010–2011) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce its military and/or police presence in one or more of the following: South Korea, Japan, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey.

(2009–2010) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase social services for persons living in poverty in the United States.

(2008–2009) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase alternative energy incentives in the United States.

(2007–2008) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its public health assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa.

(2006–2007) Resolved: The United States federal government should establish a policy substantially increasing the number of persons serving in one or more of the following national service programs: AmeriCorps, Citizen Corps, Senior Corps, Peace Corps, Learn and Serve America, and/or the Armed Forces.

(2005–2006) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially decrease its authority either to detain without charge or to search without probable cause.

(2004–2005) Resolved: That the United States federal government should establish a foreign policy substantially increasing its support of United Nations peacekeeping operations.

(2003–2004) Resolved: That the United States federal government should establish an ocean policy substantially increasing protection of marine natural resources.

(2002–2003) Resolved: That the United States federal government should substantially increase public health services for mental health care in the United States.

(2001–2002) Resolved: That the United States federal government should establish a foreign policy significantly limiting the use of weapons of mass destruction.

(2000–2001) Resolved: That the United States federal government should significantly increase protection of privacy in the United States in one or more of the following areas: employment, medical records, consumer information, search and seizure.

(1999–2000) Resolved: That the federal government should establish an education policy to significantly increase academic achievement in secondary schools in the United States.

(1998–1999) Resolved: That the United States government should substantially change its foreign policy toward Russia.

(1997–1998) Resolved: That the federal government should establish a policy to substantially increase renewable energy use in the United States

(1996–1997) Resolved: That the federal government should establish a program to substantially reduce juvenile crime in the United States

(1995–1996) Resolved: That the United States government should substantially change its foreign policy toward the People’s Republic of China.

(1994–1995) Resolved: That the United States government should substantially strengthen regulation of immigration to the United States.

(1993–1994) Resolved: That the federal government should guarantee comprehensive national health insurance to all United States citizens.

(1992–1993) Resolved: That the United States government should reduce worldwide pollution through its trade and/or aid policies.

(1991–1992) Resolved: That the federal government should significantly increase social services to homeless individuals in the United States.

(1990–1991) Resolved: That the United States government should significantly increase space exploration beyond the Earth's mesosphere.

(1989–1990) Resolved: That the federal government should adopt a nationwide policy to decrease overcrowding in prisons and jails in the United States.

(1988–1989) Resolved: That the federal government should implement a comprehensive program to guarantee retirement security for United States citizens over age 65.

(1987–88) Resolved: That the United States government should adopt a policy to increase political stability in Latin America.

(1986–87) Resolved: That the federal government should implement a comprehensive long-term agricultural policy in the United States.

(1985–1986) Resolved: That the federal government should establish a comprehensive national policy to protect the quality of water in the United States.

(1984–1985) Resolved: That the federal government should provide employment for all employable United States citizens living in poverty.

(1983–1984) Resolved: That the United States should establish uniform rules governing the procedure of all criminal courts in the nation.

(1982–1983) Resolved: That the United States should significantly curtail its arms sales to other countries.

(1981–1982) Resolved: That the federal government should establish minimum educational standards for elementary and secondary schools in the United States.

(1980–1981) Resolved: That the federal government should initiate and enforce safety guarantees on consumer goods.

(1979–1980) Resolved: That the United States should significantly change its foreign trade policies.

(1978–1979) Resolved: That the federal government should establish a comprehensive program to significantly increase the energy independence of the United States.

(1977–1978) Resolved: That the federal government should establish a comprehensive program to regulate the health care system in the United States.

(1976–1977) Resolved: That a comprehensive program of penal reform should be adopted throughout the United States.

(1975–1976) Resolved: That the development and allocation of scarce world resources should be controlled by an international organization.

(1974–1975) Resolved: That the United States should significantly change the method of selecting presidential and vice-presidential candidates.

(1973–1974) Resolved: That the federal government should guarantee a minimum annual income to each family unit.

(1972–1973) Resolved: That governmental financial support for all public and secondary education in the United States be provided exclusively by the federal government

(1971–1972) Resolved: That the jury system in the United States should be significantly changed

1971 Resolved: That the federal government should establish, finance, and administer programs to control air and/or water pollution in the United States.

1970 Resolved: That Congress should prohibit unilateral United States military intervention in foreign countries.

1969 Resolved: That the United States should establish a system of compulsory service by all citizens.

1968 Resolved: That Congress should establish uniform regulations to control criminal investigation procedures.

1967 Resolved: That the foreign aid program of the United States should be limited to non-military assistance.

1966 Resolved: That the federal government should adopt a program of compulsory arbitration in labor-management disputes in basic industries.

1965 Resolved: That nuclear weapons should be controlled by an international organization.

1964 Resolved: That Social Security benefits should be extended to include complete medical care.

1963 Resolved: That the United States should promote a Common Market for the western hemisphere.

1962 Resolved: That the federal government should equalize educational opportunity by means of grants to the states for public elementary and secondary education.

1961 Resolved: That the United Nations should be significantly strengthened.

1960 Resolved: That the federal government should substantially increase its regulation of labor unions.

1959 Resolved: That the United States should adopt the essential features of the British system of education.

1958 Resolved: That United States foreign aid should be substantially increased.

1957 Resolved: That the federal government should sustain the prices of major agricultural products at not less than 90% of parity.

1956 Resolved: That governmental subsidies should be granted according to need to high school graduates who qualify for additional training.

1955 Resolved: That the federal government should initiate a policy of free trade among nations friendly to the United States.

1954 Resolved: That the President of the United States should be elected by the direct vote of the people.

1953 Resolved: That the Atlantic Pact nations should form a federal union.

1952 Resolved: That all American citizens should be subject to conscription for essential service in time of war.

1951 Resolved: That the American people should reject the welfare state.

1950 Resolved: That the president of the United States should be elected by the direct vote of the people.

1949 Resolved: That the United States now be revised into a Federal World Government.

1948 Resolved: That the federal government should require arbitration of labor disputes in all basic American industries.

1947 Resolved: That the federal government should provide a system of complete medical care available to all citizens at public expense.

1946 Resolved: That every able-bodied male citizen of the United States should have one year of full-time military training before attaining age 24.

1945 Resolved: That the legal voting age should be reduced to eighteen years.

1944 Resolved: That the United States should join in reconstituting the League of Nations.

1943 Resolved: That a federal world government should be established.

1942 Resolved: That every able-bodied male citizen in the United States should be required to have one year of full-time military training before attaining the present draft age.

1941 Resolved: That the power of the federal government should be increased.

1940 Resolved: That the federal government should own and operate the railroads.

1939 Resolved: That the United States should establish an alliance with Great Britain.

1938 Resolved: That the several states should adopt a unicameral system of legislation.

1937 Resolved: That all electric utilities should be governmentally owned and operated.

1936 Resolved: That the several states should enact legislation providing for a system of complete medical service available to all citizens at public expense.

1935 Resolved: That the federal government should adopt the policy of equalizing educational opportunity throughout the nation by means of annual grants to the several states for public elementary and secondary education.

1934 Resolved: That the United States should adopt the essential features of the British system of radio control and operation.

1933 Resolved: That at least one half of all state and local revenues should be derived from sources other than tangible property.

1932 Resolved: That the several states should enact legislation providing for compulsory unemployment insurance.

1931 Resolved: That chain stores are detrimental to the best interests of the American public.

1930 Resolved: That installment buying of personal property as now practiced in the United States is both socially and economically desirable.

1929 Resolved: That the English cabinet method of legislation is more efficient than the committee system is in the United States.

1928 Resolved: That a federal department of education should be created with a secretary in the president's cabinet.

Recent National High School Lincoln-Douglas Debate Resolutions[3][edit]

2011-2012[edit]

2012 NFL Nationals Resolved: A government has the obligation to lessen the economic gap between its rich and poor citizens.

March/April 2012 Resolved: Targeted killing is a morally permissible foreign policy tool.

January/February 2012 Resolved: It is morally permissible for victims to use deadly force as a deliberate response to repeated domestic violence.

November/December 2011 Resolved: Individuals have a moral obligation to assist people in need.

September/October 2011 Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights.

2010-2011[edit]

2011 NCFL Nationals° Resolved: The United States has a moral obligation to promote just governance in developing nations.

2011 NFL Nationals Resolved: When forced to choose, a just government ought to prioritize universal human rights over its national interest.

March/April 2011 Resolved:The United States is justified in using private military firms abroad to pursue its military objectives.

January/February 2011 Resolved: In the United States, juveniles charged with violent felonies ought to be treated as adults in the criminal justice system.

November/December 2010 Resolved: The abuse of illegal drugs ought to be treated as a matter of public health, not of criminal justice.

September/October 2010 Resolved: States ought not possess nuclear weapons.

2009-2010[edit]

2010 NCFL Nationals° Resolved: That the United States government has a moral obligation to afford the same constitutional rights to all people on United States soil.

2010 NFL Nationals° Resolved: Compulsory inclusion of non-felons' DNA in any government database is unjust.

March/April 2010 Resolved: In the United States, the principle of jury nullification is a just check on government.

January/February 2010 Resolved: Economic sanctions ought not be used to achieve foreign policy objectives.

November/December 2009 Resolved:Public health concerns justify compulsory immunization.

September/October 2009 Resolved: Public high school students in the United States ought not be required to pass standardized exit exams to graduate.

2008-2009[edit]

2009 NCFL Nationals° Resolved: When in conflict, the preservation of minority cultural values ought to be valued above the preservation of a unified national culture.

2009 NFL Nationals Resolved: Military conscription is unjust.

March/April 2009 Resolved: Vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.

January/February 2009 Resolved: The United States ought to submit to the jurisdiction of an international court designed to prosecute crimes against humanity.

November/December 2008 Resolved: In a democratic society, felons ought to retain the right to vote.

September/October 2008 Resolved: It is morally permissible to kill one innocent person to save the lives of more innocent people.

2007-2008[edit]

2008 NCFL Nationals° Resolved: That secondary education in America should value the fine arts over athletics.

2008 NFL Nationals Resolved: Limiting economic inequality ought to be a more important social goal than maximizing economic freedom.

March/April 2008 Resolved: Hate crime enhancements are unjust in the United States.

January/February 2008 Resolved: It is just for the United States to use military force to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons by nations that pose a military threat.

November/December 2007 Resolved: In the United States, plea bargaining in exchange for testimony is unjust.

September/October 2007 Resolved: A just society ought not use the death penalty as a form of punishment.

2006-2007[edit]

2007 NCFL Nationals° Resolved: That judicial activism is unjust in a democracy.

2007 NFL Nationals Resolved: On balance, violent revolution is a just response to political oppression.

March/April 2007 Resolved: The United Nations' obligation to protect global human rights ought to be valued above its obligation to respect national sovereignty.

January/February 2007 Resolved: The actions of corporations ought to be held to the same moral standards as the actions of individuals.

November/December 2006 Resolved: A victim’s deliberate use of deadly force is a just response to repeated domestic violence.

September/October 2006 Resolved: A just government should provide health care to its citizens.

2005-2006[edit]

2006 NCFL Nationals° Resolved: When in conflict, an individual's freedom of speech should be valued above a community's moral standards.

2006 NFL Nationals Resolved: In matters of collecting military intelligence, the ends justify the means.

March/April 2006 Resolved: Juveniles charged with violent crimes should be tried and punished as adults.

January/February 2006 Resolved: The use of the state's power of eminent domain to promote private enterprise is unjust.

November/December 2005 Resolved: Judicial activism is necessary to protect the rights of American citizens.

September/October 2005 Resolved: In matters of U.S. immigration policy, restrictions on the rights of non-citizens are consistent with democratic ideals.

2004-2005[edit]

2005 NCFL Nationals° Resolved: the primary purpose of formal education ought to be to impart knowledge.

2005 NFL Nationals Resolved: the pursuit of scientific knowledge ought to be constrained by concern for societal good.

March/April 2005 Resolved: to better protect civil liberties, community standards ought to take precedence over conflicting national standards.

January/February 2005 Resolved: democracy is best served by strict separation of church and state.

November/December 2004 Resolved: the United States has a moral obligation to promote democratic ideals in other nations.

September/October 2004 Resolved: individual claims of privacy ought to be valued above competing claims of societal welfare.

2003-2004[edit]

2004 NCFL Nationals° Resolved: a nation's citizens' rights ought to take precedence over its security.

2004 NFL Nationals Resolved: civil disobedience in a democracy is morally justified.

March/April 2004 Resolved: as a general principle, individuals have an obligation to value the common good above their own interests.

January/February 2004 Resolved: a government’s obligation to protect the environment ought to take precedence over its obligation to promote economic development.

November/December 2003 Resolved: the U.S. has a moral obligation to mitigate international conflicts.

September/October 2003 Resolved: in the U.S. judicial system, truth seeking ought to take precedence over privileged communication.

2002-2003[edit]

2003 NCFL Nationals° Resolved: capitalism is the most just economic system

2003 NFL Nationals Resolved: rehabilitation ought to be valued above punishment in the U.S. criminal justice system.

March/April 2003 Resolved: when in conflict, the letter of the law ought to take priority over the spirit of the law.

January/February 2003 Resolved: when in conflict, globalization ought to be valued above national sovereignty.

November/December 2002 Resolved: when in conflict, academic freedom in U.S. high schools ought to be valued above community standards.

September/October 2002 Resolved: when the United States is engaged in military conflict, the demands of national security ought to supersede conflicting claims of individual rights.

2001-2002[edit]

2002 NCFL Nationals° Resolved: the people's right to know outweighs the government's need for confidentiality.

2002 NFL Nationals Resolved: laws which protect citizens from themselves are justified.

March/April 2002 Resolved: limiting the freedom of expression of adults is justified by society's interest in protecting children.

January/February 2002 Resolved: oppressive government is more desirable than no government.

November/December 2001 Resolved: a lesser developed nation's right to develop ought to take priority over its obligation to protect the environment.

September/October 2001 Resolved: decentralized governmental power ought to be a fundamental goal of democratic society.

2000-2001[edit]

2001 NCFL Nationals° Resolved: providing for basic human needs of citizens in a society ought to be valued above individual property rights.

2001 NFL Nationals Resolved: on balance, violent revolution is a just response to oppression.

March/April 2001 Resolved: the public's right to know ought to be valued above the right to privacy of candidates for public office.

January/February 2001 Resolved: the possession of nuclear weapons is immoral.

November/December 2000 Resolved: establishing a safe educational environment in grades K-12 justifies infringement of students' civil liberties.

September/October 2000 Resolved: colleges and universities have a moral obligation to prohibit the public expression of hate speech on their campuses.

Recent CEDA-NDT Intercollegiate Resolutions[edit]

(2014-15) Resolved: The United States should legalize all or nearly all of one or more of the following in the United States: marihuana, online gambling, physician-assisted suicide, prostitution, the sale of human organs.

(2013-14) Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase statutory and/or judicial restrictions on the war powers authority of the President of the United States in one or more of the following areas: targeted killing, indefinite detention, offensive cyber operations, or introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities.

(2012-2013) Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially reduce restrictions on and/or substantially increase financial incentives for energy production in the United States of one or more of the following: coal, crude oil, natural gas, nuclear power, solar power, wind power.

(2011-2012) Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase its democracy assistance for one or more of the following: Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen.

(2010-2011) Resolved: the United States Federal Government should substantially increase the number of and/or substantially expand beneficiary eligibility for its visas for one or more of the following: employment-based immigrant visas, nonimmigrant temporary worker visas, family-based visas, human trafficking-based visas.

(2009–2010) Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially reduce the size of its nuclear weapons arsenal, and/or substantially reduce and restrict the role and/or missions of its nuclear weapons arsenal.

(2008–2009) Resolved: that the United States Federal Government should substantially reduce its agricultural support, at least eliminating nearly all of the domestic subsidies, for biofuels, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, corn, cotton, dairy, fisheries, rice, soybeans, sugar and/or wheat.

(2007–2008) Resolved: The United States Federal Government should increase its constructive engagement with the government of one or more of the following countries: Afghanistan, Iran, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, and Syria, and it should include offering them a security guarantee(s) and/or a substantial increase in foreign assistance.

(2006–2007) Resolved: The United States Supreme Court should overrule one or more of the following decisions: Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992); Ex parte Quirin, 317 U.S. 1 (1942); U.S. v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000); Milliken v. Bradley, 418 U.S. 717 (1974).

(2005–2006) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase diplomatic and economic pressure on the People's Republic of China in one or more of the following areas: trade, human rights, weapons nonproliferation, Taiwan.

(2004–2005) Resolved: The United States federal government should establish an energy policy requiring a substantial reduction in the total non-governmental consumption of fossil fuels in the United States.

(2003–2004) Resolved: The United States federal government should enact one or more of the following:

  • Withdrawal of its World Trade Organization complaint against the European Union’s restrictions on genetically modified foods;
  • A substantial increase in its government-to-government economic and/or conflict prevention assistance to Turkey and/or Greece;
  • Full withdrawal from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization;
  • Removal of its barriers to and encouragement of substantial European Union and/or North Atlantic Treaty Organization participation in peacekeeping in Iraq and reconstruction in Iraq;
  • Removal of its tactical nuclear weapons from Europe;
  • Harmonization of its intellectual property law with the European Union in the area of human DNA sequences;
  • Rescission of all or nearly all agriculture subsidy increases in the 2002 Farm Bill.

(2002–2003) Resolved: The United States federal government should ratify or accede to, and implement, one or more of the following:

  • The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty;
  • The Kyoto Protocol;
  • The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court;
  • The Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty;
  • The Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Strategic Offensive Reductions, if not ratified by the United States.

(2001–2002) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase federal control throughout Indian Country in one or more of the following areas: child welfare, criminal justice, employment, environmental protection, gaming, resource management, taxation.

(2000–2001) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its development assistance, including government to government assistance, within the Greater Horn of Africa.

Specific wording and spelling of terms used in the CEDA-NDT resolutions can be found here: http://www.wfu.edu/organizations/NDT/HistoricalLists/topics.html

Recent NFA-LD intercollegiate resolutions[edit]

(2011-2012) Resolved: the United States Federal Government should substantially change its trade policy and/or practices with the People’s Republic of China.

(2010-2011) Resolved: That the United States Federal Government should substantially reform the provision of mental health services to the chronically mentally ill.

(2009–2010) Resolved: That the United States Federal Government should substantially reform domestic transportation infrastructure

(2008–2009) Resolved: That the United States Federal Government should substantially increase its constructive engagement with Cuba.

(2007–2008) Resolved: That the United States Federal Government should substantially increase assistance to the Greater Horn of Africa in one of the following areas: economic development, human rights protection, or public health.

(2006–2007) Resolved: That the United States Federal Government should adopt a policy to significantly increase the production of energy from renewable sources.

(2005–2006) Resolved: That the United States federal government should adopt a policy to increase the protection of human rights in one or more of the following nations: Tibet, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, East Timor, Indonesia, Philippines, and/or Pakistan.

(2004–2005) Resolved: That the United States federal government should significantly reform the criminal justice system.

(2003–2004) Resolved: That the United States federal government should substantially increase environmental regulations on industrial pollution

(2002–2003) Resolved: That the United States federal government should significantly increase assistance to United States residents living below the poverty line.

(2001–2002) Resolved: That the United States federal government should significantly alter its policy for combating international terrorism.

(2000–2001) Resolved: That the United States federal government should significantly increase restrictions on civil lawsuits.

(1999–2000) Resolved: That the United States federal government should increase restrictions on the development, use, and/or sale of genetically modified organisms.

(1998–1999) Resolved: That the US federal government should significantly increase its regulation of electronically mediated communication.

(1997–1998) Resolved: That the United States federal government should significantly change its foreign policy toward Taiwan.

For more information on NFA-LD history and the event, visit: http://www.nationalforensics.org and follow the NFA-LD links.

References[edit]

  1. ^ OED, 2nd ed.
  2. ^ "Past Policy Debate Topics". National Forensics League. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "Past Lincoln Douglas Topics". National Forensics League. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 

External links[edit]