Lincoln-Douglas Debate 2020-2021 Potential Topics and New Voting Procedure Announced

The NSDA has released the potential LD topics for 2020-2021, and this season voting will look different.

In previous years the NSDA released a list of 10 topics and over the summer voters would rank their top three for each topic slot. The first choice for nationals was assigned first, then March/April, working backwards to September/October.

This season, the topics have been divided into groups of three by topic slot, and the top vote getter in the group will be the topic for that particular slot. As the NSDA puts it:

“The Lincoln-Douglas Wording Committee will assign a set of three topics to each bi-monthly topic cycle. All potential topics for the year will be released on Monday, June 22. In June, chapter advisors and member students will know “These three topics will be voted on for Sept/Oct. These three topics will be voted on for Nov/Dec” etc. One week prior to the topic being released for that topic cycle, chapter advisors and member students will vote on which of the three topics they prefer. The topic that receives the most votes will be the topic for that cycle. This change was made to involve more people in the voting process and introduce new possibilities for coaches who teach debate in the classroom.”

Here are the topics and groupings for 2020-2021:

September/October 2020

  • Resolved: The United States ought to adopt a proportional representation system for elections to the House of Representatives.
  • Resolved: In a democracy, voting ought to be compulsory.
  • Resolved: Social media companies ought to be legally responsible for content posted by users on their platforms.

November/December 2020

  • Resolved: In the United States, workers ought to have the legal right to vote for representatives on corporate boards.
  • Resolved: The United States ought to legalize adult sex work.
  • Resolved: The United States ought to provide a federal jobs guarantee.

January/February 2021

  • Resolved: States ought to ban lethal autonomous weapons.
  • Resolved: The United States ought to expand the application of the Public Trust Doctrine to wildlife habitats.
  • Resolved: The United States ought to end its use of secondary sanctions on other countries.

March/April 2021

  • Resolved: The United States ought to guarantee universal child care.
  • Resolved: The United States ought to recognize a positive right to reproduce.
  • Resolved: Direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising is unethical.

National Tournament 2021

  • Resolved: A wealth tax is just.
  • Resolved: Sin taxes are unjust.
  • Resolved: A public health emergency justifies limiting civil liberties.