This is a partial list of topics that have been used in MSPDP competitions. As new topics are used, we add them to this page and occasionally announce them on the "News" page. Where topics are specific to states or cities, they are left as models for others to use. You'll find topics organized in the following groups:
Domestic Policy Culture and Society International Affairs Science School Policy
Abolish the Electoral College.
Abolish midterm elections.
Abolish the penny.
Affirmative action should factor into admissions decisions for public universities.
Andrew Cuomo is good for New York.
Americans should be required to provide one year of national service.
Americans should not be allowed to burn the United States flag as an act of free speech.
Ban the public display of Confederate symbols.
Ban unpaid internships.
California should abolish the death penalty.
California should eliminate its "three strikes" law.
California should issue drivers' licenses to undocumented immigrants.
California should substantially increase the minimum wage.
Californians should approve Prop 74.
Cigarettes should be illegal.
Chris Christie is good for New Jersey.
Close the Guantanamo Bay prison.
Colleges and universities should divest their fossil fuel company holdings.
Colleges' early admissions policies do more harm than good.
Columbus Day should not be a federal holiday.
Community college should be free.
Congress should pass the "Clear Skies" initiative.
Consumers should not purchase SUVs.
Corporal punishment of children should be illegal.
DC should keep its taxi zone fare system.
DC should make it mandatory for its citizens to vote in elections.
Domestic surveillance by NSA does more good than harm.
Drug companies should not be allowed to advertise prescription drugs to the general public.
End government arts subsidies.
FEMA's responsibilities should be handed over to the states.
Fried foods should have warning labels.
Governor Schwarzenegger has been good for California.
Handguns should be illegal.
Homeland security is more important than the protection of civil liberties.
Immigration reform should include a path to citizenship.
It is unjust to have the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial in Boston.
It should be illegal to sell coffee and coffee products to minors in the United States.
James Hahn should be reelected mayor of Los Angeles.
John McCain is the best choice for Commander in Chief.
Juveniles should be tried as adults for felonies.
Lotteries cause more harm than good.
Lower the legal drinking age in the U.S. to 18.
Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) do more good than harm.
Mayor Bloomberg is good for NYC.
Military service should be mandatory in the United States.
New Jersey beaches should not be free to the public.
New Jersey's bullying laws do more harm than good.
New Jersey's red-light camera program should be extended.
New York should legalize physician assisted suicide.
NJ drivers should be able to pump their own gas.
NYC should adopt congestion pricing for vehicles traveling in Manhattan's central business district.
Offshore drilling is good for the United States.
On balance, special interests are a positive influence in American politics.
Persons with a felony conviction should not be allowed to vote.
Police officers should wear body cameras.
Public funds should not be used for professional sports stadiums.
Puerto Rico should be a state.
Raising the minimum wage causes more harm than good.
Re-elect the President!
Released felons should have voting rights.
Repeal the 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution.
Repeal the Military Commissions Act.
Ride sharing services should be regulated as taxis.
Right to Work laws do more good than harm.
September 11 should be made a national holiday.
Stand your ground laws do more harm than good.
State lotteries should be ended.
States should require drug tests to receive welfare benefits.
Stop-and-frisk does more good than harm.
Supreme Court proceedings should be televised.
Suspend MTA Fare Increases in NYC.
Tax increases are good for America.
Term limits for state legislators should be eliminated.
The American presidential primary and caucus system does more good than harm.
The assault weapon ban should be extended.
The DC government should provide free wireless internet access.
The District of Columbia Curfew law(The Juvenile Curfew Act of 1995 (DC Code 6-2181)) does more harm than good.
The District of Columbia should become a US state.
The federal government has failed in rebuilding the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.
The government should restrict free speech during national emergencies.
The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 causes more harm than good.
The late-night Metrorail service is a failed transportation experiment.
The legal system should have the option to charge juveniles as adults in murder cases.
The President of the United States should be elected by the direct vote of the people.
The Supreme Court should end affirmative action in higher education.
The U.S. should have a draft for military service.
The United States Constitution should be amended to establish a mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court Justices.
The United States Federal Government should significantly increase the gas tax.
The United States should adopt a new timber policy.
The United States should adopt English as the official national language.
The United States should amend the Constitution to allow foreign-born citizens to serve as President.
The United States should amend the constitution to criminalize flag burning.
The United States should ban the death penalty.
The United States should end its use of the penny.
The United States should establish a living wage for its workers.
The United States should guarantee health care for its residents.
The United States should have a draft for military service.
The United States should have more than two political parties.
The United States should lower the voting age.
The United States should open federal lands and offshore areas for oil drilling.
The United States should pay reparations for slavery.
The United States should switch to the metric system.
The US Federal Government should significantly increase taxes on gasoline.
The US government should allow oil exploration in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
The US Senate should abolish the filibuster.
The US should eliminate farm subsidies.
The US should pardon Edward Snowden.
The US should substantially restrict corporate campaign contributions.
The US War on Poverty is a failure.
The use of Predator drones should be subject to greater Congressional oversight.
Torture is justified for national security.
Voter ID laws cause more good than harm.
Voting rights of United States felons should be reinstated after they have served their time.
Wal-Mart is good for America.
Warrantless wiretaps make America safer.
Water rates should be the same price for farmers and residential customers.
Culture and Society
Alexander Hamilton should remain on the $10 bill.
Animal performances should be banned in circuses.
Animals should not be used for entertainment.
Ban beauty pageants.
Ban energy drinks.
Ban plastic shopping bags.
Ban single-use shopping bags.
Ban the use of digitally enhanced images of women in advertising.
Ban violent video games.
Beauty pageants do more good than harm.
California should ban drivers' use of cellular phones in cars.
Celebrities should not be role models
Cigarettes should be illegal.
College athletes should be paid.
College football should be exempted from Title IX requirements.
Cultural treasures should be returned to their countries of origin.
Credit cards do more harm than good.
Daily fantasy sports should not be considered illegal gambling.
Disney movies do more harm than good.
Eliminate the designated hitter in professional baseball.
Facebook causes more harm than good.
Facebook should not allow members under 18
Fast food restaurants do more harm than good.
Gentrification does more harm than good.
Giving an allowance to children does more harm than good.
Giving money to panhandlers is justified.
Internet users have a right to be forgotten.
It is unethical to buy an SUV.
It is unethical to eat meat.
L.A. County should ban all transfats in restaurants.
Nontraditional English should be acknowledged in academia.
NYC should invest in additional bike lanes.
Occupy Wall Street!
On balance, children's television does more good than harm.
On balance, video games do more good than harm.
Parental spanking of children should be a crime.
Parents should be held legally responsible for the actions of their minor children.
Parents should be punished for their childrens' mistakes.
Parents should not purchase war toys for their children.
Peer pressure does more good than harm.
Private swimming pools are unethical.
Professional athletes should be role models.
Professional athletes should not be allowed to compete in the Olympic Games.
Rap music does more harm than good.
Reality TV shows do more harm than good.
Remove smoking regulations on the use of e-cigarettes.
Repeal the 16 oz. soda limit in New York City.
Repeal the trans fat ban in New York City.
Size zero fashion models should be banned.
Soccer players should wear helmets.
Social media does more harm than good.
Television does more harm than good.
Television is a bad influence.
Texting does more harm than good.
The driving age in California should be raised to 18.
The media should show the horrors of war.
The movie rating system is ineffective.
The NBA player dress code is justified.
The public's right to know is more important than the privacy of celebrities.
The US Postal Service should continue Saturday mail deliveries.
Uber does more harm than good.
Violence is a justified response to oppression.
Violent video games should be banned.
Walmart is good for society.
Wikipedia does more harm than good.
Wrestling should not be an Olympic sport.
Youth contact sports do more harm than good.
American military involvement in Iraq has done more good than harm.
Boycott the Beijing Olympics.
China should allow Hong Kong to have democratic elections.
Developed nations have a moral obligation to accept refugees.
European nations should be required to accept refugees from Africa and the Middle East.
European nations should be required to accept refugees from Syria.
Food aid does more harm than good.
Fossil fuels are easily replaced.
Halt trade with nations that practice child labor.
Iran should be allowed to develop nuclear energy.
NAFTA should be extended throughout the Americas.
NATO should withdraw from Afghanistan.
Pakistan is more an enemy than an ally of the United States.
Saudi Arabia is more an enemy than an ally to the United States.
The 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change is bad for the developing world.
The Amero should adopted.
The atomic bombing of Hiroshima was justified.
The caste system was good for Indian Society.
The European Union should drop the euro.
The French government should permit students to wear visible religious symbols in state schools.
The Olympic Games do more good than harm.
The U.N. should impose sanctions on Myanmar/Burma.
The U.S. invasion of Iraq did more harm than good.
The United Nations has failed at its mission.
The United Nations Security Council should have no permanent members.
The United States is losing the War on Terror.
The United States should ban the importation of all products from China.
The United States should close its Guantanamo prison.
The United States should eliminate its own weapons of mass destruction.
The United States should end the embargo on Cuba.
The United States should sign and ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
Ukraine should join the European Union.
US policy should favor stability over democracy in the Middle East.
Animal testing does more good than harm.
Animal testing is unethical.
Asian Oyster seeding in the Chesapeake Bay should be banned.
Ban plastic bags in grocery stores.
Bottled water causes more harm than good.
Desert area residents should be required to use desert landscaping.
End Daylight Savings time.
Extra-terrestrial intelligence exists.
Factory farming does more harm than good.
Genetically modified foods cause more good than harm.
Human cloning should be permitted in the United States.
Human genome sequencing does more harm than good.
Hydrofracking does more harm than good.
Immunizations should not be mandated.
It is morally acceptable to experiment on animals for medical purposes.
Legalize human organ sales.
Media Coverage of Ebola does more harm than good.
Medical testing on animals does more good than harm.
New Jersey should end the bear hunt.
New York City should not build sea barriers
No space exploration should be permitted without showing that it will not harm extraterrestrial microbial life.
On balance, nuclear energy does more good than harm.
Organ donation should be compulsory for all United States citizens.
Physician-assisted suicide should be legalized.
Schools should ban animal dissection.
South Jersey Gas should be allowed to build a pipeline through the Pinelands.
State mandated administration of childhood vaccines is justified.
Stem cell research should be expanded.
The Endangered Species Act should no longer include exemptions for subsistence or traditional use.
The FDA should ban the domestic sale of foods that include GMO's.
The FDA should increase the frequency with which they inspect meat.
The international community should ban nuclear-powered spacecraft.
The Obama administration should approve the Keystone pipeline.
The U.S. should not send humans into space.
The U.S. Space Program should be privatized
The United States Federal Government should ban production of genetically modified organisms(GMO's).
The United States should expand its use of nuclear power.
The United States should increase its use of solar power.
The United States should not expand drilling for oil off the East Coast.
The United States should not send humans into space.
The US should establish a national DNA database of all residents.
The United States should significantly increase space exploration.
Zoos do more harm than good.
Schools and Education Policy
Algebra should not be required for high school graduation.
Arts education should be compulsory.
Businesses should not place advertisements in schools.
California high schools should substantially expand vocational training.
California's Class Size Reduction (CSR) program should be extended to middle schools.
Cellular phones should be allowed in schools.
Community service should be mandatory in high school.
DC area public schools should have single sex classrooms.
DC Charter schools should be placed under the authority of the superintendent.
DC public high schools should have childcare facilities for their students on site.
DC public middle schools should have student-run disciplinary courts.
DC public schools should adopt a teacher performance bonus program.
Eliminate the teaching of cursive handwriting.
High school students should have to pass a national exit exam to graduate.
Home schooling does more good than harm.
Homework does more good than harm.
Homework should be banned.
In the case of student lockers, school safety is more important than student privacy.
Junior high and high schools should randomly test their athletes for drug use.
Junk food should be banned from school cafeterias and vending machines.
Junk food should be banned in schools.
Junk food should be sold in schools.
Letter grades in schools do more harm than good.
Middle schools should allow outside food vendors for lunch.
Middle schools should have mandatory drug testing for participation in extracurricular activities.
Middle schools should have student lockers.
Middle schools should increase required classes and reduce electives.
Middle schools should not have promotion ceremonies.
Middle schools should require students to wear uniforms.
NYC should establish universal Pre-K.
Physical education in grades K-12 should be compulsory.
SAT/ACT prep classes do more harm than good.
School attendance should be voluntary.
School vouchers should be allowed.
Schools should ban junk food.
Schools should be peanut free.
Schools should be year round.
Schools should eliminate letter grades.
Schools should end the practice of giving awards.
Schools should not support competitive interscholastic sports.
Schools should not use standardized testing.
Schools should provide for single sex instruction.
Single-sex education is better than co-ed.
Spanish should be a mandatory course in public schools.
Standardized testing causes more harm than good.
Students should be allowed to chew gum in school.
Students should be punished for failing to report cheating.
Students should be required to learn a second language for high school graduation.
Students should have 30 minutes of exercise every day in school.
Students should not have to pay to participate in extra-curricular activities.
Students should take parenting classes.
Tablets should replace textbooks in schools.
Teacher evaluations should not be made public.
Teachers should not use candy as rewards.
The benefits of interscholastic sports for K-12 students in the U.S. outweigh the harms.
The Common Core does more good than harm.
The focus on standards-based education in public middle schools does more good than harm.
The No Child Left Behind Act has done more good than harm.
The number of charter schools in the DC metro area should be increased.
The student body of the NYC public specialized high schools should reflect the demographics of New York City.
There should be mandatory drug testing for participation in extracurricular activities.