Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Debate topics

I always wished I had gotten a government reform topic, but I never did in my eight years. It seems like these are never used for policy debate. Reform topics seem like these would be great for Public Forum or Parliamentary debate.

On elections:

  • The U.S. House of Representatives districts should be drawn by non-partisan commission, not legislatures.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives should be elected using multi-seat, proportional districts. (I also wrote an earlier post here.)
  • The U.S. Senate should be elected with an open primary system, allowing the top two primary finishers, regardless of party, advance to the general election.
  • The Federal Election Commission should ban private funding of elections, substituting comprehensive public funding.

On structure:

  • The U.S. Speaker of the House should not have the power to delay a vote on a motion if a substantial minority of Representatives desire the vote. (abolish the "Hastert rule")
  • The U.S. Senate should abolish the filibuster.
  • Congressional pay should be suspended if Congress is unable to pass a budget.
  • The U.S. Congress should only be allowed to pass a spending bill if it contains a suitable increase to the debt ceiling.
  • The U.S. Congress should be required to take an immediate up-or-down vote if the President proproses raising the debt ceiling.
  • U.S. Supreme Court justices should be limited to 18-year terms (also here).
  • The U.S. Supreme Court should no longer have the power of constitutional review (also this, this, and this).
  • Amendments to the U.S. Constitution should require a substantially lower threshold for passage.


  • The U.S. federal government should not use block grants to administer federal programs.
  • The U.S. should increase the federal gasoline tax.
  • School funding should be collected and dispensed at the state, not local, level.

I'm sure there a lot more fun topics on general government reform, but these are the ones that occurred to me off the top of my head. Please post additional ones in the comments.

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