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22 January 2008

Asian re-unification committee respond to AUDC


The ADC Unity Challenge

Dear Asia:
Bad news: The AUDC excom has vetoed the agreement to not offer bids for 2009 until Australs in Manila.

Ultimately I am dismayed by this puts the All Asians in a tenuous position as they have to make a choice about what to do.

The division is bad, continues to be bad, and should be ended in whatever compromise way possible.

I feel pretty confident that if we took a poll of all attendees at these tournaments and offered them the following choices: (A) go to Asians, (B) go to AUDC, or (C) go to a Unified Tournament, the result would be that most people would choose the unified tournament. This was the voice that the vast majority of attendees to Worlds spoke with. We have an obligation to that voice to do something.

So....what should we do????

I think the Unity Committee needs to fulfill our duty:
-(1) Create a unified constitution that founds the Asian Debate Championship (or some other name...though that seems simple enough and a reasonable compromise between the two). Our goal remains the same: to create a unified competition based on a compromise constitution and take it Australs as planned.
-(2) Agree to take bids for the 20th Asian Debate Championship at Australs in Manila (the number counting all the All Asians and all of the AUDC's prior to it 15 All Asian + 4 AUDC)
-(3) Deliver the unified constitution to both tournaments and request approval/advising from both tournaments on revisions which can be finalized at Australs, while notifying both tournaments that bids for the unified tournament will be taken in Manila.

However, as this committee is not created by either tournament, and neither tournament is bound by it (which was made clear by Estelle) ....neither is either tournament capable of disbanding the committee nor is either tournament capable of telling the committee to quit working.

This only makes sense if people are willing to take a stand and make it clear that they will go to a Unified Tournament even if they are outvoted, or if their ExCom and "leaders" threaten them with whatever nebulous claims of stigmatization or whatever.

In essence we need to stop working for our "sides." If it isn't obvious to everyone that taking sides is stupid yet, then you have missed the boat. We need to all be working for Asia and stop trying to represent our own self interest.

No one is against transparency. No one wants an unfair tournament. No one wants crappy adjudication.

However, some people clearly do want to protect their fiefdoms to the detriment of Asia as a whole....we should IGNORE those people until they provide constructive help in raising the standard of Asian debating by helping with this process.

Vague references to "principle" opposition without specific identification of what those principles are need to be scrutinized. When they become specific, they should be listened to and integrated into the new Constitution if they have merit.

Everyone should be invited to join the ADC, but no Committee, organization or single institution should be allowed to disrupt this process.

I honestly believe that we are at a unique moment right now....we need to seize it. The Worlds should have been a wake up call to all of us: division only serves the interest of a small few, at the expense of the strength of Asia as a whole, and at the expense of developing regions that can substantially strengthen the quality of debate throughout Asia.

So here is the challenge: Will you and your institution agree to attend a Unified Asians (to be known as the 20th ADC, or something else palatable to everyone) EVEN IF your current organization (AllAsians or AUDC) votes against the tournament?

Please reply with a public or private backchannel. I am making a list!
--Jason Jarvis


  1. Rafa'ei10:28 am

    Jason's right and I think everyone knows this. As a new generation towards the debating community, I think there are many benefits that people will miss out on if this unification is not emphasized.

    In fact, prolonging this unification is only going to hurt both sides at the end where ideas won't be able to be shared. We need to start working together and there's no better time than now.

  2. from Philippines7:34 am

    In the World Debvate Rankings, DLSU_College of St Benilde ranks 144 while St. Benilde ranks 200th.

    DLSU-College of St Benilde and St. Benilde are one and the same institution.


  3. Unification for unification's sake is stupid. Yes, there are benefits of having one Asian-wide championship, but the harms caused by rushing it in more than outweigh the benefits incurred.

    The point is that the Unity Committee has not even forwarded anything resembling a constitution, no less a list of compromises between the two competitions to bridge the gap. To ask the excom of AUDU to suspend its constitutional obligation on what might happen is unfair - and may even be destructive.

    It is better to wait it out a few more years, with a Unity Committee in place to bridge the gap and build a new consensus on how an Asian championship ought to be. Rash compromises that would surely result from a rushed unification would only result in the schism - the same schism that led to the split to begin with.


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