This House Believes That Populism-Oriented Parties Bring More Harm than Good During Economic Crisis


Alright, let’s start with.. the two aspects in this debate: the parties, and economic crisis. First aspect, both affirmative and negative teams are expected to have an agreement regarding the characteristics of populism-oriented parties, as the nature of those parties are absolute and are not actually debatable (not necessary, even). Second aspect, economic crisis should generally have (should!) the same characteristics, absolute, no matter how and which perspective you may look at it from. Now, some negative teams might be tempted to challenge this aspect by diminishing whatever the magnitude of urgency affirmative teams might have to propose. However, we highly recommend you negative teams to just concede and accept whatever the urgency is from your Team Affirmative. Number one, because that is not where the debate should go anyway. Number two, even MAD Training Handbook explicitly stated in its syllabus that negative teams should accept the urgencies established by affirmative teams 95% of the times. This is one of those times. The reason? Simple. You look stupid if you don’t. That’s what they said.

But, if you really really really want to challenge the urgency, dear Team Negative, or if you are feeling like YOLO-ing, or if you are a swing team (hate those guys), or if you are a troll, then, yes, the urgency is challengeable. That’s why we wrote ‘(should!)’, not must. The nature of an economic crisis is not fixed. The parameters are still debatable until now among economists. Well, at least the numbers are. And then, the state of when “Are we there yet?” is all based on thresholds — thresholds of how much damage a country can suffer before succumbing to it. These thresholds are arbitrary, and there it is – the reason why the urgency is challengeable. We hate you if you do this, though (especially if you are a swing team).

With that being said, we expect to see no “third-world countries are more prone to facing economic crisis than your average liberal democratic countries” sort of geographical bias challenge in this debate. A crisis is a crisis. A populist party is a populist party. Period. A crisis doesn’t change attributes depending on its location and neither will a populist party.

So, this is pretty much a straightforward motion geography-wise. However, the actors for this motion and the goal of this discourse, that would feature the debatable trait of this motion, if our predictions should serve us right.

Whose interests are we trying to uphold in this debate? If the actors established is as simple as “the country, duh” then of course both Team Affirmative and Team Negative will agree (again, unless trolls and swing teams). However, expect a clash to happen when talking about which part of the country. Because country constitutes a wide range of actors starting from the lower-class who need subsidy and welfare system to survive to the middle-class who contribute to the country from their taxes to the upper-class who pretty much controls almost the entirety of the country’s economy. These characterizations might differ in Team Affirmative’s perspective and Team Negative’s perspective, especially regarding their integrity and proximity in resembling “the whole country”’s interests.

Right, and.. let’s go!

Team Affirmative

The wording of the motion being THBT instead of THW means that the frame of groundwork for Team Affirmative will circulate around setting up a value-judgment debate instead of a proposal debate.


  • What is the urgency of the current status quo? Do we have any problems as of the current affairs? [THE PROBLEM]
  • Or, is it rather a goal that we have in mind? What do we expect to achieve supposing this motion stands? [THE GOAL]
  • Why do this? [THE SOLUTION]
    1. Why is this solution the best, if not the only, solution to point (1)?
    2. Or why is this solution the best, if not the only, way to reach point (2)?

We will be doing the classic checklist of “more harm than good”:

  1. What is a harm? What constitutes harm? The fundamentals, the traits, the attributes, everything.
  2. What is a good? What constitutes good? The fundamentals, the traits, the attributes, everything.
  3. What are some other examples of harm? Because if you can find the similarities between this motion and those other parallel examples of harm, you can freely fit this motion in, thus proving that it is indeed a harm, and thus satisfying one burden of proof of yours.
  4. What are other examples of good? Because if you can find the similarities between this motion and those other parallel examples of good, you can freely fit this motion in, thus proving that it is indeed a good, and thus satisfying one burden of proof of yours.
  5. When is something more than another thing? The final question. In order to serve as the grounds for your linkback and to prove that your harm is indeed more than your good.
  6. What are some other examples of one thing more than another thing? Because if you can find the similarities between this motion and those other parallel examples of one thing being more than another thing, you can freely fit this motion in, thus proving that a transcendence indeed happens, and thus satisfying the last burden of proof of yours and empowers the credibility to your answer (6).
  1. Because these parties worsen public psychology

The ideology of populist parties differ from what course of actions countries need to pursue during times of crisis. This difference calls for contradiction. Contradiction (sometimes) calls for confrontation.

Some predictions at this point. Expect your Team Negative to concede your point when you want to prove that these parties differ in interest, but there might be a challenge from them if you try to prove that they are.. erm… barbaric. So, if it happens that you explain the destructive tendencies they possess as a result of their confronting beliefs, and then that they will cause riots or incite revolution, and then you get challenged afterwards by Team Negative (worse, with fact checks for them), just concede. Weak point, my friend. Weak point.

By now, everybody inside the chamber discussing the motion will have agreed that these parties are different, but not dangerous. Burden of proof then lies on you, Team Affirmative, how difference alone is enough of an evidence that they bring more harm than good (as always, remember to consult the to-do checklist, just like the rest of all your arguments).

Anyway, what ideologies, exactly? Well, it comes to the Keynesian versus Austerity measures in terms of dealing with crisis. Go Google. Too-long-and-did-not-read-it-ly speaking, Austerity measures make more sense and is more realistic. But, people hate Austerity measures. One of the most sensitive issues being at the brink of this when crisis happens is the welfare system and subsidy. It might be compelling to cut costs and save money by decreasing allocation for welfare and subsidy, but then here comes the populist parties acting all high and mighty heroes, claiming that the government “shouldn’t sacrifice the poor” when dealing with economic crisis. Just about sums up how helpful they are in solving problems. Intentional sarcasm.

  1. Because their existence, let alone their actions, deters FDI

Although this argument would likely be more applicable in third-world countries, there is still a significant number of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in your general first-world liberal democratic countries as well. Even if there is a geographical bias challenge coming up from Team Negative, it won’t be substantial. Worry not.

So, the explanation needed in order to prove this point is, first it would be preferable if you establish precedence regarding the magnitude of importance FDIs carry, especially considering the situation right now, being in an economic crisis, calls for them even more. Second, characterize the psychology and perspective of potential investors. This is where we are getting at: almost all of them have something in common – which is having capitalist-liberalist-mercantilist ideals. This would be especially different from what most populist parties believe in: communist-socialist values. Another thing, is that if these parties try to garner even more political support from citizens, gaining more access to governmental decisions and actions, FDIs won’t likely come to save the country.

[Important] It is imperative that you know about the difference between Team Affirmative Argument 1 and Team Affirmative Argument 2. The distinction resides in the orientation of these populist parties harm. Argument 1 analyzes the harm towards inside the country. Argument 2 analyzes the hostile image they install from their presence within a foreigner’s perspective. Hence, the difference in their explanation.

  1. Because the existence of this economic crisis is what is going to empower these parties.

The fact is that as of the last 50 years we have transcended into discarding communist-socialist values. Economics indeed experience a surge and progressed well when turning into liberalist-capitalist traits and actions. However, there is a catch. There is always a certain threshold to everything, and when talking about liberalism-capitalism economics, it is about just how much credit you can sustain. The existence of credit, “imaginary money”, cards, all of them are born from liberalism-capitalism values. This argument is what populist-parties can and will use. And worse, these words have very strong convincing power. They will be able to sway away public and swing voters perception of how the current government (which happens to be of different ideals from communism) into voting for them in the next election.

What is next, is that you can extend this argument into an unbalanced political power, in which they have an unfair advantage just because circumstances happen to be beneficial to them. And in politics and governance, getting lucky is not ethical. Now, what do these parties do if the incumbent happens to be from populist parties as well? They blame the progressive movement of opposing parties who possess capitalist-liberalist values who are trying to pass their own bills. How convenient, right?

Team Negative

  1. Because the psychology residing within the people demands for an answer.

I hope you have read Team Affirmative Argument 1 and Team Affirmative Argument 3. Although the fact is that it is still debatable, we expect most debates to concede that populist parties have unorthodox values, and that populist parties are not harmful. You still might have some rebuttals to do in case your Team Affirmative decides to characterize populist parties by dehumanizing them as much as possible, though. Now, conceding that these parties have unorthodox values, that is the point of having one in the first place. You can drive your Team Affirmative to conceding, that, like it or not, extreme capitalism and liberalism was what drove the economic crisis to manifest in the first place. However, we don’t recommend glorifying communism-socialism too much. At least, only for this point. The burden of proof we recommend you to establish and answer yourselves is the nature of citizens who are in doubt during recession times, that they need a cause, a reason, an excuse, or whatever. And the existence of populist-parties, although albeit somewhat controversial, provided them their much-needed catharsis. From here on, you have two options: you can either try to deny that this argument will cause the whole country to blackmail liberalist-capitalist parties, or, you can just simply accept that, yes, all liberalist-capitalist parties will suffer the blow and be stamped the scapegoat level, and then try to justify that harbinger. Both options are as equally convincing.

  1. Because we would like to decrease our dependence on foreign help.

Not every economic crisis calls for the same answer which is foreign direct monetary intervention. That is the stance that these populist parties have. It is unorthodox and almost not proven yet, but it has its logical grounds in its philosophy. Yes, it is going to be difficult defending the existence of a party that demands for subsidy and healthcare and welfare in the middle of a crisis, yes, poor Team Negative; but this party is also the same party that tries to boost production even if using the most banal means – forcing everybody to plant their own vegetables, or carve their own woodwork, whatever, they have to “produce” something. It is not proven, but there is some degree of rationality instilled within these ideals and beliefs. What we are predicting, however, is a clash between Team Affirmative trying to prove why countries need foreign help and Team Negative trying to prove why foreign help will create dependence or even worse, liability and debt towards the lending country. So you might want to try attacking the character of your potential creditor countries.

  1. Because the current trend of governance being liberalist-capitalist has to stop.

If you happen to be especially disappointed that Bernie Sanders didn’t make it.

MegaSableye: “Me too, actually. After the Democrats anointed Hillary as their rep, at that point I changed stance into preferring Donald Trump to win. And now that he’s president, I’m secretly celebrating by mocking them Democrats ‘serves you right’, nimrods.”

Take your defenses forward one step closer and go to the offensive, by moving the blame from these populist-parties bringing the harm, into the idea of the general liberalist-capitalist parties instead being the culprit. Explain properly how it is indeed their fault of allowing overwhelming credits and bad debts to manifest in the first place, and identify how their prolonged existence is the one which will bring about more destruction to the economy. Use arguments like the tendencies of them to cover their own lies by lying even more, covering mistakes by committing yet another infraction, and it is only the dissenting ideals of populist parties which will attempt to do something else in order to reverse the current condition back to its normal supposed condition.