Kevin and I made quarterfinals! We found out that Bayley and Raffi just missed the cutoff, and the team they faced in the sixth prelim ended up making it to quarters, so they were really right on the fence.
Kevin and I ended up getting Gov, which is unequivocally the better side. You can debate semantics about what the Arab Spring’s goal was and maybe suggest that saying it has already failed is too strong of a claim, but just gut reaction most people are going to say the resolution is true.
We defined the resolution as a facts case and borrowed a page from the State quarterfinal with Carleton and made some straight-up mean necessary but insufficient burdens for Opp. Specifically, we said the Arab Spring was defined as pro-democratic uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. Democracy is defined by Freedom House in four primary dimensions: civil liberties, transparency, rule of law, and political participation. Accordingly, Opp had to demonstrate that the majority of the countries involved in the Arab Spring saw marked gains in all four dimensions of democracy, which, one, just didn’t happen, and two, is pretty much impossible to prove in eight minutes. We went on to list all 20 of the countries in the region that experienced some sort of public protest, no matter how minor, and stated that only Tunisia saw any sort of improvement, but not even in all four dimensions.
They ran some T that I personally never quite understood, saying that the point of the Arab Spring was to be peaceful, and so we can’t reference any sort of conflicts that resulted in violence. They then ran one off-case position saying that that the Arab Spring lead to democracy at least being in the public consciousness.
Kevin said that we had essentially the same interpretation as their T-shell, you can just look to see if the countries saw any gains before the military crackdowns, and just talking about democracy has no terminal impact. We won on a 2-1 decision, with the dissenting judge voting on T.