Rebuttal and Reply


In all of Saskatchewan’s styles of debate, either a reply or a rebuttal may be delivered in the final address from each side. In other places, either a rebuttal or a reply is required. Because reply speeches require a stronger understanding of the entire debate and greater experience with debate in general, reply speeches are typically mastered after a debater learns to deliver a good rebuttal. If a debater is using a case line, a reply must be used.

Two examples are used below to illustrate the differences between a rebuttal and a reply:

Resolution: This house believes that low taxes are preferable to extensive government services.
Negative case line: Social Services are beneficial to society in both an economic and humanitarian sense.

A sample Negative rebuttal:

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have shown that lower taxes should not come at the price of social programs. Our opponents stated that taxes are too high, but they are not as high as many other places. Our opponents also argued that things like our health care system are not working and we should let people pay for better service. However, this also means some people get no service like in the United States. Do we want a country of people who are petrified about losing their health benefits? We on the negative do not want to live in that kind of world. You may think that our opponents are correct when they state that many people abuse social services. But what about the child who needs to eat or the elderly woman on a fixed income? Are they abusing the system? No! As my partner has proven, the vast majority of Canadians need the social services they get. Finally, the Affirmative has argued that lower taxes will stimulate growth in the economy and we will all be better off. As I stated in my first speech, what lower taxes really do is increase the gap between those with money and those without. The working poor can afford less and the wealthy can afford more. Clearly my opponents’ argument is based on faulty economics. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Negative has proven to you today that the ideas of the Affirmative would rip apart the fabric of our society. We have shown that the current system is superior even if it has its faults. This resolution must fall.

A sample Negative reply:

Ladies and Gentlemen, the issue here today is the best way to invest in the future of Canadians. (put the debate in perspective) My opponents believe in the principle of every man for himself.(distill the opponents’ case line, and put it in a negative light) We on the Negative contend that pooling our money is the best way to invest from not only an economic perspective but also with regards to the quality of service and quality of life. (restate own case line including three major constructive points).
The Affirmative has focused their argument on the basic Keynesian principle that giving people more spending money through fewer taxes has huge economic benefits. They have contended that this outweighs the value of social programming. This viewpoint is fundamentally shortsighted. Education is a classic social program. It is funded almost completely through taxes, and those taxes are an investment in our future. As these young people achieve high levels of learning and join the economy, they are what really stimulate growth.

Rather than a short-term increase in consumer spending, we could achieve a capable workforce with the resources to both make and spend higher income. Any good capitalist will tell you that
you need to spend money to make money. Because the need to stimulate the economy is best met.

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