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Asian Parliamentary Debate

There two opposing teams in an Asians format of debate:
1. Government side- proposes and defends the motion;
2. Opposition side- refutes and negates the motion.
Each side is composed of three members.
The embers of the government side are the fo!!owing:
1. "rime minister #"$ - opens the debate% defines the motion and advances arguments;
2. &eput' prime inister#&"$- refute at first instance the case of the opposition% re-estab!ish the government(s c!aim% and advances arguments;
). Government whip #G*$ - ma+es an issue-based rebutta! of the opposition(s case and summari,es the case of the government.
The embers of the Opposition side are the fo!!owing:
1. -eader of the Opposition #-O$- responds direct!' to the case of the government b' giving a direct c!ash% and advances arguments. a' cha!!enge the
motion if the definition is cha!!engeab!e;
2. &eput' -eader of the Opposition #&"-$ - refutes the case of the &"% reestab!ishes the case of the opposition% and advances an argument;
). Opposition *hip #O*$ - ma+es an issues-based rebutta! of the government(s and summari,es the case of the opposition.
Time of .peeches:
Each spea+er is a!!ocated seven minutes to de!iver their constructive speeches. One spea+er from each side #/or the Government:"0&"% for
Opposition: -O0&-O$ is given four minutes to de!iver a rep!' speech. The spea+ers wi!! be spea+ing in the fo!!owing order:
1. "rime inister
2. -eader of the opposition
). &eput' "rime inister
1. &eput' -eader of the Opposition
2. Government *hip
3. Opposition whip
4. Opposition 5ep!'
6. Government 5ep!'
&uring the constructive speeches% "oint of 7nformation #"O7$ ma' be raised b' the opposing side after the first minute up to the si8th minute. "O7 ma' be
refused or accepted b' the spea+er. &uring rep!' speeches% no "O7 ma' be raised.
5ep!' .peech:
5ep!' speech is a comparative ana!'sis of the strength and wea+nesses of the case of both sides. The aim of the speech is to give a bias 9udgment as
to wh' shou!d the peop!e support the team(s c!aim. The speech is first de!ivered b' the opposition side and fo!!owed b' the government side who wi!!
c!ose the debate.
atter% anner% ethod:
Asian "ar!iamentar' &ebate is assessed b' an Ad9udicator "ane! composed of an odd number according to the fo!!owing criteria:
1. atter #1:$- substance of the debate% the arguments and evidence presented% and the !ogica! reasoning and presentation of said arguments.
2. anner #1:$- the st'!e of de!iver'% the persuasion s+i!!s% and the conduct of the debaters.
). ethod #2:$- the response to the d'namics of the debate% and the observance of the ru!es of debate.
Speaker Roles in Asian Parliamentary Debate
Prime Minister (PM)
&efine conte8t and parameters of debate. /or e8amp!e% in an open motion !i+e ;This <ouse *ou!d .upport usicians;% the debate cou!d be
conte8tua!i,ed into whether music shou!d be a commodit' for trade% or it shou!d be avai!ab!e gratis #i.e. free music down!oad and transfer$
"rovide concise bac+ground or histor' !eading to the issue
Give framewor+ of government bench(s case. 7.e. mechanisms #if an'$% argumentation f!ow #what the government(s first argument is and what the &eput'
"rime inister wi!! ta!+ about$
7ntroduce 1st argument
Assert Government stand
Deputy Prime Minister (DPM)
5ebut first argument from -eader of Opposition
5ebut rebutta!s to "(s argument
7ntroduce 2nd and )rd argument
5eassert Government stand and case
Government Whip
5ebut &eput' -eader of Opposition% and -eader of Opposition
5ebut rebutta!s to &" and " arguments
"rovide a deeper !eve! of ana!'sis for previous arguments and rebutta!s
=o new arguments% but new ang!es of arguments shou!d be given
>rief summar' of entire case of Government
5eassert Government stand and case
Leader of Opposition
Agree or disagree with conte8t0 parameters of debate #an' definitiona! cha!!enges% accusations of s?uirre!ing% or unfair set up shou!d be made from the
-O speech and no !ater$
5ebut "rime inister(s argument
Give framewor+ for Opposition case #if Opp agrees to prob!em% then their case shou!d provide so!ution% or at !east effective!' high!ight how Government
proposa! wi!! worsen the situation$
7ntroduce first Opposition argument
Assert Opposition stand
Deputy Leader of Opposition
5ebut &" and " arguments
5ebut rebutta!s to -O arguments
7ntroduce 1st and 2nd #if an'$ argument
5eassert Opposition stand and case
Opposition Whip
5ebut &" and " arguments
5ebut rebutta!s to -O @ &-O arguments
"rovide a deeper !eve! of ana!'sis for previous arguments and rebutta!s
=o new arguments% but new ang!es of arguments shou!d be given
5eassert Opposition stand and case
5ep!' .peech:
Aan on!' be done b' either 1st or 2nd spea+er from each bench
"rovide a biased (ora! ad9udication( of wh' the debate shou!d go to own bench
<igh!ight issues 'ou thin+ 'our side won% carefu!!' tiptoe around issues 'ou thin+ 'ou !ost
=ew e8amp!es to e8pand on discussed e8amp!es are usua!!' a!!owed and ma+e the rep!' speech sound fresh as opposed to verba! regurgitation
5eassert stand
ost important!'% tr' to have fun whi!e 'ou(re doing a!! this. ;$
.trategies @ Tips for -imited "reparation &ebating
5ead *ide!'
Even 9ust s+imming a few internationa! news websites% !i+e >>A news% A! Ba,eera or The =ew Cor+ Times wi!! he!p +eep 'ou abreast of internationa!
issues. 7f 'ou have a computer% set one of these sites as 'our homepage so that g!oba! issues ;sin+ in; each time 'ou open 'our browser. A great wee+!'
read for sheer breadth is the The Economist.
5esearch Time!' 7ssues
7f there is an issue that is dominating the news and 'ou have a debate tournament coming up% 'ou can be sure that there wi!! be a motion on that topic.
.p!it tas+s with 'our partners and teammates and create briefs on these issues before the tournament so that ever'one can be up to speed. Deep these
briefs throughout the 'ear so that 'ou can update them as events change.
5esearch De' Aountries and Organi,ations
.ome countries are g!oba! p!a'ers and wi!! enter near!' an' internationa! debate in which 'ou find 'ourse!f. >eing even passing!' fami!iar with the
po!itica! structures and current situations of these countries - or groups of countries - can he!p 'ou win debates. .ome good p!aces to start are: Ahina%
the E.% 5ussia% the EE and Bapan. 7nternationa! organi,ations% especia!!' the E=% feature prominent!' in man' debates as we!!. Dnowing the decision-
ma+ing machiner' of these organi,ations% their 9urisdiction and their activities wi!! he!p 'ou immense!'. 7n addition to the E=% 'ou ma' want to !oo+
into =ATO% A.EA=% the *TO and the G6.
Ese 7&EA(s /ree 5esources
&ebatepedia #the wi+i 'ou are on right now$ is a free resource open to an'one with internet access. 7t is a great p!ace to get a sense of an issue and
begin constructing arguments. Cou ma' want to dig deeper into important events and controversies% but with thousands of artic!es% &ebatepedia is a
good p!ace to start.
Overview of Asian Parliamentary Debate
7n Asian "ar!iamentar' .t'!e% there are 2 teams - Government and Opposition. Each team has ) members and each team gives 1 speeches. The format
is a !imited preparation format% meaning that the topic is announced% depending on the tournament% rough!' ): minutes before the debate.
The ) members of the Government shou!d defend the motion. The ) members of the team% each of which gives a 4 minute speech% are:
1$ "rime inister
2$ &eput' "rime inister
)$ Government *hip
One spea+er from the Government team - either the "rime inister or &eput' "rime inister - is charged with giving a 1 minute rep!' speech that
c!arifies the debate from the Government perspective without bringing forth new arguments.
The ) members of the Opposition team shou!d negate the motion and refute arguments brought forth b' the Government. The ) members of the team%
each of which gives a 4 minute speech% are:
1$ -eader of Opposition
2$ &eput' -eader of Opposition
)$ Opposition *hip
-i+e the Government team% one spea+er from the Opposition team - either the -eader of Opposition or &eput' -eader of Opposition - is charged with
giving a 1 minute rep!' speech that c!arifies the debate from the Opposition perspective without bringing forth new arguments.
7n the 4 minute speeches% the opposing team can stand up and as+ for "oints of 7nformation #"O7$ after the first minute and unti! the si8th minute. A "O7
shou!d be a brief ?uestion or comment and not a !ong-winded mono!ogue or bac+ and forth cross e8amination session.
Times and Order of Asian "ar!iamentar' &ebate .peeches
"rime inister - 4 minutes
-eader of Opposition - 4 minutes
&eput' "rime inister - 4 minutes
&eput' -eader of Opposition - 4 minutes
Government *hip - 4 minutes
Opposition *hip - 4 minutes
Opposition 5ep!' .peech - 1 minutes
Government 5ep!' .peech - 1 minutes
Characteristics of Debate
*e debate not 9ust for the sa+e of sa'ing an'thing. *e debate not 9ust to throw an' point. &ebate must genera!!' be substantive% persuasive and
Debate must have the following characteristics:
1. Informative- a good debate presents comp!ete information and factua! setting. &ebate is supposed to inform the pub!ic of what the' shou!d +now% to
educate the peop!e% and to he!p them reach a !ogica! understanding of the facts. &ebaters shou!d feed the audience the necessar' facts and evidence to
wi!! proper!' aid the !atter in !earning% grasping and appreciating the nove!t' of the motion. &ebaters shou!d not re!' mere!' on their own opinions but on
the genera! princip!es !aid down b' the authorities and e8perts.
2. ell!reasone"- arguments raised in a debate must be !ogica!% re!evant% competent and we!! e8p!ained. Arguments must show a direct !in+ on the
motion that is debated upon. Arguments must support the core that wi!! aid the team prove their c!aims. Arguments raised must be acceptab!e to an
average reasonab!e person who has an average ana!'sis of the issues presented. A!! ?uestions that wi!! !ead to the conc!usion of the debate must be
c!arified% answered% and ana!',ed. &ebaters shou!d ma+e a!! their points c!ear and understandab!e.
). Persuasive- &ebate shou!d give emphasis and force to strong arguments that need the support of the peop!e. 7n order to convince the peop!e in the
position that debaters are supporting% debaters must be fir' in presenting their issues. &ebaters shou!d bui!d rapport with their audience and he!p them
fo!!ow the points raised b' the debaters.
1. Or"erly- A debate must fo!!ow a certain format that wi!! govern the proceeding of the debate and the conduct of the debaters. The ru!es shou!d among
others set the tas+ of each spea+er and the time !imit a!!oted to each of them. .peeches must be organi,ed% structured and presented in a
methodo!ogica! form.
2. Dynamic- .ince in a debate% two teams present opposing views% said views must be responded to b' both teams respective!'. A!! important points
must be ?uestioned and answered b' each team and teams must direct!' c!ash with the points raised b' their opponent. Each spea+er must contribute
and respond to the re?uirements and necessities of the debate.
hat is Debate#
Debate is venue of reasoned discussion from two opposing sides on a we!!-defined conte8t% where parties de!iver their arguments in an organi,ed
fashion with the primar' purpose of convincing and persuading the par!iament or the audience to give merit on the contention of their cause.
&ebate is tool for a"vocating a "efine" view of a particu!ar issue with the intent of providing the re!evant information and supporting detai!s that wi!!
convince the !istener to support their view.
7t is an educated e8ercise where parties out!ine their arguments and offer d'namism b' contributing and responding to the different issues raised b'
each side.
ost universit' debating in the wor!d is done in what is +nown as (par!iamentar'( format% which is based on the functioning of the >ritish <ouse
Aommons #otherwise +nown as the *estminster mode!$. >ecause of this% to understand par!iamentar' debating% it is usefu! to ta+e a !oo+ at how the
Aommons functions% and how it has been adapted for universit' debates. *hi!e there is a range of permutations in universit' st'!es% the basic premise is
the same for a!! st'!es referred to as (par!iamentar'( #as opposed to one-on-one st'!es% such as -inco!n-&oug!as% or Aross-E8amination$: in each debate%
there is a government and an opposition% who spea+ in turn% de!ivering timed speeches. 7n Aanadian "ar!iamentar' st'!e #A"$% there is one team
composed of two peop!e representing each side. 7n >ritish "ar!iamentar' st'!e #>"$% which is used at the wor!d championships% there are two teams of
two peop!e on both sides. >ut the basic ru!es are the same--!i+e in a *estminster par!iament% there must be a motion before the house% and both sides
de!iver speeches in se?uence% and tr' to convince the house #in our case% the 9udges$ to support or defeat the motion that stands before it. 7n the rea!
Aommons% essentia!!' an' sitting member can propose a motion. <owever% in par!iamentar' debate% the government team a!one is responsib!e for
proposing the motion #sometimes ca!!ed a (case($ to be debated. 7n the <ouse of Aommons% these motions can ta+e essentia!!' two forms. The' can be
motions of princip!e: i.e. the <ouse can vote to condemn a particu!ar action b' another countr'% as a matter of princip!e #e.g. Apartheid in .outh Africa$.
<owever% these motions% even if passed% produce no binding effects. Or the' can be motions of practice: i.e. the <ouse can enact !aws that are binding
on the countr'. 7n this case% the motion is in fact a piece of !egis!ation% which can be a two-page document% or a 4::-page crimina! code. 7n A" these
distinctions e8ist as we!!% but on!' as a matter of form. Government teams can propose pure princip!ed cases% pure mode! cases% or a b!end of the two.
There are no ru!es about what is a (right( or a (wrong( case% a!though +nowing whether the debate shou!d center most!' on princip!e or pragmatics ma'
affect the wa' the debate evo!ves and what +ind of arguments the debaters wi!! emp!o'. .o% as in a *estminster par!iament% the goa! of the debate is to
convince enough members of the house to support one(s side of the motion. *hoever does so wins the debate. 7n universit' debating% there wi!! a!wa's
be a pane! of 9udges #or sometimes on!' a sing!e 9udge$ who represent the (house( vote and decide the winner. #Eri+ Eastaugh% Debates, Cases,
Arguments, viden!e and Assertions"" the #argon $p%ained$
7n order to have a debate% the fo!!owing must be present:
1. $opic- the sub9ect to be discussed and debated upon.
2. %ormat- the certain t'pe of debate ru!e that wi!! govern the conduct and proceedings of the debate.
). Opposing teams- the' wi!! either support or negate the topic to be debated upon.
1. Arguments- the substance which both sides wi!! present.
2. &enue- p!ace to be debated upon.
3. Au"ience- the peop!e who wi!! witness and assess the issues of the debate.
E>A &ebate <.O"% .EF7 Arguments% Bune 2::4
a+ing va!id arguments is the basic s+i!! of debating. *ithout this abi!it' the best 'ou wi!! be is a st'!istica!!' wonderfu! bag of hot air. An argument shou!d
contain the three e!ements be!owG then it wi!! be a S'(I argument.
State your point:
*hat is it that 'ou are tr'ing to sa'H a+e it c!ear and brief.
;"rostitutes wi!! be safer in !ega! !icensed brothe!s.;
')plain your point:
*h' do 'ou thin+ thisH *hat is the basis for 'our statementH
;This is because it wi!! be easier to arrest an'one assau!ting them if the po!ice +now where the' are and prostitutes fee! more comfortab!e contacting the
Illustrate your point:
Give an e8amp!e or ana!og' which bac+s up 'our point.
;7n German'% where prostitution is !ega!% the number of prostitutes assau!ted b' their c!ients has fa!!en.;
Practise S'(I arguments on any topic * the structure is useful for essays an" presentations as well as formal "ebate+
hat is an Argument#
&uring their speeches% the members of each side wi!! be responsib!e for giving arguments in favor or against the motion as defined b' the government.
The' wi!! a!so have to respond to each others( arguments; this is +nown as rebutta! or refutation. Argumentation is the rea! meat of debating. >ut
(argument( doesn(t mean 'e!!ing at 'our gir!friend or 'our parents. An argument in debating is something ver' specific% to be defined in opposition to
case% assumption% assertion and evidence. To !oo+ at it one wa'% 'our case is a statement that 'ou have to prove is true. 7f 'ou can prove that it(s true%
'ou win the debate. 7f as opposition 'ou can prove that it isn(t true% then 'ou win the debate. >ut 'ou don(t 9ust stand up and ramb!e on for 4 minutes
about how 'ou thin+ 'ou(re right and the other gu's are wrong. There has to be some structure to how 'ou e8p!ain 'our point of view. Arguments are the
bac+bone of that structure. An argument is a statement put forward b' 'ou which% if it is true% supports the truth or va!idit' of 'our side of the motion. /or
e8amp!e% if we ta+e m' ear!ier case about intervening in the .udan. -et(s sa' 7 define the case as a Ahapter I77 intervention b' the Enited =ations: in
other words% an invasion. Once 7 have !aid out m' case% 7 have to convince 'ou that 7(m right. .o 7 wi!! te!! 'ou that a$ .udan cannot escape this conf!ict
on its own and too man' peop!e are d'ing% and b$ that the E= has a mora! responsibi!it' to intervene and c$ that the E= has a !ega! responsibi!it' to
intervene. Each of those constitutes an argument. >ut it(s not enough 9ust to sa' those things; 7 have to e8p!ain wh' the' too are true. 7n a wa'% an
argument is a mini-case. .o to ma+e it even c!earer% debaters usua!!' brea+ down arguments into their three component parts: point% argument%
evidence. The point is mere!' the statement itse!f. 7t is over ver' ?uic+!'. The argument is the reasoning that supports the statement. .o !et(s ta+e
argument b$ as an e8amp!e. <ere 7 wou!d te!! 'ou that the E= is founded on the princip!es of human rights and human dignit'% and that% as the most
universa! wor!d organi,ation and the corner-stone of wor!d order% it represents a!! of humanit'. 7 wou!d then te!! 'ou that the .udanese government is
massacring its own citi,ens a!ong racia! and ethnic !ines for the benefit of a particu!ar ethnic group% that humanit' #and thus the E=$ cannot to!erate this
+ind of behavior as it is offensive to a!!% and that this is precise!' the sort of thing the E= was founded to stop # i.e. =a,i e8termination of the Bews$. The
evidence is the e8amp!es that bac+ up 'our reasoning% to show that it has some basis in rea!it'. .o% as evidence% 7 wou!d give 'ou e8amp!es of other
situations where the E= has got invo!ved for precise!' the same reasons% such as Dosovo% the Aongo% .ierra -eone% the former Cugos!avia% and
5wanda. This is an over-simp!ified version of course. >ut this process must be repeated for ever' argument. ost peop!e wi!! te!! 'ou that a A" case
shou!d have at !east 1 arguments% and no more than 2. >ut this is on!' a guide!ine. an' of m' own cases on!' have ) main arguments. >ut these wi!!
be ver' !arge% comp!e8 arguments with man' !a'ers of reasoning and evidence% and this comes from 'ears of practice. .o unti! 'ou have more
e8perience% 'ou shou!d a!wa's aim to have 2 arguments for 'our cases.
Assertions an" Assumptions vs+ Arguments
One of the most common accusations that 'our opponents wi!! throw at 'ou is that 'ou are mere!' asserting something rather than arguing it. The
difference between the two is fair!' eas' to understand. 7magine that% instead of going through the steps of point% argument% evidence% 7 mere!' stated m'
point and !eft it at that. That is ca!!ed an assertion: when one simp!' asserts the truth of a statement% without bothering to provide evidence of its truth. 7t
is inevitab!e that at some point% some things wi!! be assertions% because 'ou are !imited in the time 'ou have to support 'our arguments and 'our means
of providing evidence. 7 can te!! 'ou that the E= was founded to prevent crimes against humanit'; but chances are 7 won(t have a cop' of the E= Aharter
around to show 'ou that it(s true. 7n an' case% it is common enough +now!edge that most peop!e wi!! be!ieve me without me having to cite the specific
artic!es in the Aharter that ma+e m' assertion true. .o% sometimes asserting is o+; don(t thin+ 'ou have to prove ever' sing!e !itt!e thing 'ou sa' in a
debate. >ut as a ru!e 'ou shou!d avoid ma+ing assertions as much as possib!e% especia!!' when it comes to those things that are essentia! to 'our case.
An assumption is 9ust a hidden assertion. .ometimes it is hidden on purpose% and sometimes on!' because 'ou weren(t aware 'ou were ma+ing the
assumption when 'ou made 'our argument. 7f we return to m' case about E= intervention in .udan% there is a perfect e8amp!e of this. A!! of the
arguments 7 put forth and e8p!ain dea! with wh' the E= needs to and shou!d intervene in .udan. >ut nowhere do 7 e8p!ain that it can. 7 am assuming%
that is to sa'% 7 am secret!' asserting% that the E= wi!! be ab!e to find the resources and personne! to underta+e this mission successfu!!'. Ever' sing!e
case% and ever' sing!e argument% no matter how good a debater the person who bui!t it is% wi!! be fu!! of assertions and assumptions. .o the best advice 7
can give a new debater is: !oo+ for the assumptions. That is 'our best and simp!est strateg' for undermining 'our opponents( !ogic. #Eri+
Eastaugh% Debates, Cases, Arguments, viden!e and Assertions"" the #argon $p%ained$
hat topics to anticipate when "ebating# $ypes of motions#
"reparing for a debate a!wa's entai!s preparation on different topics that ma' be debated upon. It is a goo" e)ercise for "ebaters to always rea"
newspapers where current issues aroun" the globe are "iscusse"+
,otions debated in internationa! and !oca! debate competitions are roote" on issues an" topics that currently controversial an" "ebate"
upon+ These topics may relate to a policy that is to be implemente" by a certain country or a situation that is viewe" "ifferently in the
international community+ These topics are socially relevant to all whether "irectly or in"irectly+
These topics when debated upon are worded in the form of a motion. otions are worded in different forms. $he following are the types of motions:
1. "ositive motion- this motion is worded in a manner that a positive act must be done% or that a certain situation must be assessed as true.
a. This <ouse be!ieves that we shou!d trade with 'anmar.
b. This <ouse be!ieves that democrac' in 7ra? succeeds.
2. =egative motion- a motion proposing that something must not be done% or that which describes the situation negative!' or as fa!se.
a. This wi!! not negotiate with the terrorist
b. T<>T that 7s!am has had a bad press.
). Abstract motion- a motion wherein the sub9ect is not apparent in its meaning.
a. T<T> we shou!d p!ant cabbages rather than roses.
1. &irect motion- the motion is worded wherein the sub9ect and issue is c!ear.
a. T<>T EE shou!d sanction 5ussia for using energ' as a too! for b!ac+mai!.
2. Ia!ue 9udgement- a motion wherein a certain situation% person% or p!ace is assessed. 7t ca!!s for the measuring of a certain act wehter it is good or bad.
True or fa!se.
a. T<>T conditiona! ecomonic aid is futi!e.
3. "o!ic' motion- a motion which porses that something must be done or undone. That shou!d be supported or not. 7t ca!!s for an action.
a. This <ouse wou!d use racia! profi!ing in the war against terror.
4. -oca! motion- a motion that concerns on!' issues of nationa! interest.
a. That peop!e power is nothing but the revo!ution of the rich.
6. 7nternationa! motion- a motion which is a g!oba! concern.
a. That g!oba!i,ation defeats its own purpose.
J. .ub9ective motions- po!itica!% civi! societ'% human rights% powers of the state% internationa! dip!omac'% re!igion% science and techno!og'% economics%
internationa! po!icies% environment% etc.
a. This wou!d prosecute e8tra9udia! +i!!ings.
b. That Iatican upho!ds re!igious con?uest and not re!igous conversion.
c. That sp' satte!!ite is the wa' to go.
d. T< prefers bi!atera! to mu!ti!atera! trade.
e. A.EA= shou!d adopt EE po!ic'.
f. This house wou!d grant amnest' to war crimes offenders.
$hese motions are all aroun" us+ $opics in a "ebate can easily be anticipate" if you keep yourself abreast of current events an" by thorough
analysis an" research of "ifferent issues that are Internationally- an" socially relevant+
hat is a Case# ,otion#
This is the word 'ou wi!! hear thrown around most often in debating. A case is the motion that the government team has put forward for debate. The
case wi!! define the topic of debate% it(s p!ace and time and the actors invo!ved. The government has a responsibi!it' to define a!! of these things #+nown
as (defining the debate($ as c!ear!' as possib!e. A case can be a mora! 9udgement or a detai!ed p!an% or somewhere in between. An e8amp!e of a mora!
9udgment or (princip!ed( case is: >e it reso!ved that #>75T$ this <ouse be!ieves that pre-emtpive war is wrong. An e8amp!e of a p!an or (mode!( case is:
>75T the Enited .tates shou!d ratif' the D'oto "rotoco!. Cou can see that the p!an case ca!!s for a specific course of action% whereas the princip!ed case
mere!' ta+es an ethica! stance on one side or another of a particu!ar issue. >oth t'pes of cases are e?ua!!' va!id.
Open an" Close" ,otions
As a matter of forma! par!iamentar' procedure% there must a!wa's be an (officia!( motion before the house. At a tournament% the tournament director #T&$
wi!! give the debaters the motion for each round of debate. These motions can be open or c!osed. This wi!! be announced before the debate begins.
ost tournaments wi!! use on!' one or the other t'pe of motion% a!though some tournaments wi!! mi8 and match. A c!osed motion #a!so +nown as a
(straight( or (tight-!in+( motion$ is one where the government team must use the motion given as the basis for it(s case. .ometimes the motion wi!! be ver'
narrow% and the government team wi!! have nothing to do but come up with arguments. /or e8amp!e: >75T Aanada shou!d comp!ete!' ban the sa!e and
manufacture and consumption of cigarettes. There is no margin for maneuvre here at a!!. <owever% other times the motion wi!! be !ess strict!' defined%
and the government team wi!! have some !atitude as to how it interprets it. /or e8amp!e: >75T The wor!d shou!d intervene in the .udan. <ere% the
government team wi!! have to e8p!ain what it means b' (wor!d( and (intervene(. &oes (wor!d( mean the E=% or =ato% or the African Enion% or the EEH &oes
(intervene( mean invasion% dip!omatic sanctions% economic sanctions% etc. An open motion #a!so +nown as a (s?uirre!!ab!e( motion$ is one where the T& is
mere!' respecting the forma!ities of par!iamentar' debate% but intends to !eave it up entire!' to the government team what the debate sha!! be about.
The' are usua!!' si!!'% or wi!! fo!!ow some theme for the tournament. /or e8amp!e: This <ouse wou!d dance with the devi! b' the pa!e moon!ight. *ith an
open motion% the government team is e8pected to provide its own case for debate. These cases wi!! usua!!' be prepared beforehand. #Eri+
Eastaugh% Debates, Cases, Arguments, viden!e and Assertions"" the #argon $p%ained&$
Structuring your Speech
7dea!!' 'ou shou!d tr' to have a structure to 'our speech. 7f 'ou do then it is more !i+e!' to be a good speech. 7f 'ou don(t have some form of structure
'ou ma' be pena!ised b' ad9udicators and 'ou ma' ramb!e. Cou don(t have to use a strict structure 9ust have a menta! !a'out of what 'ou want to sa'
and when. 7n fact if 'ou have too rigid a structure then 'ou wi!! find it impossib!e to stic+ to it% when 'ou have to rebutt and dea! with points of information.
The fo!!owing is a rough out!ine of how to structure 'our speech. 7n genera! 9ust use these as guide!ines and% idea!!'% deve!op a st'!e and structure which
'ou are comfortab!e with.
1st inute #::::-1:::$:
#Aan(t be given a point of information$.*in the audience% perhaps with a 9o+e.&on(t rebutt another spea+ers speech.&efine 'our speech% i.e. sa' what
'ou wi!! address and how. 7dea!!' be ab!e to state 'our argument in a sing!e% short sentence.&efine 'our team approach i.e. sa'% rough!'% what 'our
partner wi!! sa' #or has said$.
2nd inute #1:::-2:::$:
&on(t ta+e an' "oints of information unti! foundation has been !aid i.e. unti! 'ou have deve!oped 'our speech a bit.-a'out 'our argument.Esua!!' best to
propose0oppose on ) points. #e.g. "o!itica!% Economic% .ocia!$.>egin 'our first point.
)rd-3th inute #2:::-3:::$:
Accept 2 to ) points of information. .a' out!ine po!itica! aspects and dea! with them. Then ta+e a ".O.7. on that. &o the same for the other aspects #i.e.
Economics @ .ocia!$.Ese these four minutes to ma+e a!! 'our points. Effective!' this is 'our speech.5efer bac+ to the sing!e% short% core sentence one or
two times.
4th inute #3:::-4:::$:
Once the si8th minute be!! has gone 'ou can(t be offered an' points of information./inish the point 'ou were on as ?uic+!' as possib!e.&on(t introduce
an' new points or up. 5eiterate 'our main points and arguments #and those of 'our partner if 'ou are the second team
spea+er.$.7dea!!'% if possib!e% restate the sing!e% core sentence as the !ast thing 'ou sa'.
4::: min:
.ta' on 'our feet unti! 'ou hear the be!!./inish% immediate!' if possib!e% ;r .pea+er% .ir% 7 beg to ...............;.>e bac+ in 'our seat b' 4:12% if possib!e%
and no !ater than 4:):.
Speaking Style
One thing 'ou are bound to notice at an' debate is the different spea+ing st'!es used b' the competitors. .pea+ing st'!e is perhaps one of the most
difficu!t aspects of debating to attempt to ;teach;. Cou wi!! have to deve!op 'our own st'!e and preferab!' one that comes natura!!' to 'ou. <owever there
are a coup!e of things to be +ept in mind.
1. Cou must spea+ c!ear!' and !oud!' enough so that 'our voice can be heard b' ever'one. 5emember the ad9udicators wi!! sit towards the rear of the
ha!! so at the ver' !east the' must be ab!e to hear what 'ou are sa'ing if 'ou are to have an' chance of winning. <owever 'ou shou!dn(t shout as the
ha!!s have genera!!' been designed so that 'our voice wi!! carr' towards the bac+.
2. Cou must spea+ c!ear!' and !oud!' enough so that 'our voice can be heard b' ever'one. 5emember the ad9udicators wi!! sit towards the rear of the
ha!! so at the ver' !east the' must be ab!e to hear what 'ou are sa'ing if 'ou are to have an' chance of winning. <owever 'ou shou!dn(t shout as the
ha!!s have genera!!' been designed so that 'our voice wi!! carr' towards the bac+.
). Tr' to avoid monotone. 7f 'ou are ma+ing an important point use 'our voice to stress it and ma+e it stand out. Tr' to s!ow!' increase the stress and
force behind 'our voice as 'ou go through 'our speech. >ui!d up to a high point and ma+e this the crucia! point of 'our speech. <owever don(t bring the
audience on a ro!!ercoaster ride. &on(t start high% fa!! down% bui!d-up and fa!! down again% it !oo+s as though 'ou are on!' convinced about the truth of ha!f
'our speech.
1. Deep e'e-contact with the audience and don(t stare at the podium. 7t gets easier to do this after some e8perience and once 'ou use fewer notes.
.ome peop!e !i+e to pic+ out individua!s in the audience and !oo+ at them. Others 9ust spea+ to the audience as a who!e. <owever 'ou do it ma+e sure to
scan the audience and move 'our ga,e to different parts of the ha!! regu!ar!'.
2. Ese 'our bod' !anguage to bac+ up 'our speech. 7f 'ou stand rigid!' and don(t move then 'ou wi!! find it ver' difficu!t to have an' rea! conviction in
'our voice. Ese 'our arms and facia! e8pressions to conve' 'our emotions and bac+ up 'our speech. <owever don(t go overboard% 'ou want the
audience(s attention to be focused on 'our speech not 'our arms. Tr' not to have an'thing in 'our hands. .ome peop!e !i+e to carr' a pen and end up
waving it about !i+e a baton which can distract the ad9udicators. 7f 'ou rea!!' need something use inde8 cards.
3. Cou don(t have to stand strict!' behind the podium. ove around a bit and face different sections of the audience at different times. Apparent!' studies
have shown that peop!e tend to prefer to be ab!e to see the who!e person as this is supposed to indicate that 'ou aren(t hiding an'thing. <owever% once
again% don(t go overboard. 7t anno's peop!e #and more important!' ad9udicators$ if 'ou wa!+ too far from the podium. Tr' not to go more than 1-2 meters
awa' from the podium. One wa' to ensure this is to !eave 'our notes on the podium% 'ou(!! find 'ourse!f re!uctant to move too far from them.
4. &on(t be too comp!icated. 7f 'our argument is too e!aborate peop!e ma' have difficu!t' fo!!owing it. &on(t use 12 s'!!ab!e -atin words when a 2 s'!!ab!e
Eng!ish word wi!! do. 5emember 'ou are tr'ing to convince the audience that 'our argument is the best and not that 'ou consider 'our ta!ent wasted on
them #even if it is$.
6. Ese humour to he!p win over the audience and ma+e 'our speech stand out. 7f 'ou have a natura! ta!ent for comed' or impersonations etc. then use
it. 7f 'ou don(t then don(t worr' about it% even the most serious of us can be funn' at times #often even without meaning it$. Cou can wor+ out a few put
downs and one-!iners in advance but be carefu!. 7f a 9o+e sounds too prepared than it ma' bomb. Tr' to ma+e it sound spontaneous and it(s more !i+e!'
to be successfu!.
The best thing to do is watch other spea+ers and see how the' combine the various e!ements. E8periment with different st'!es and tr' to find one that
'ou are comfortab!e with. <owever the on!' rea! wa' to deve!op a good st'!e is to tr' to spea+ on a regu!ar basis and !isten to the advice of ad9udicators
and the more e8perienced debaters.
Asian "ar!iamentar': &iscussion points for each spea+er
Prime ,inister:
1. *hat is the motion a!! aboutH #.imp!if' it$
2. Give the bac+ground of the debate. .tate the prob!em.
). &efine the issues.
1. Give a ode!: echanism0.tandards.
2. Give the out!ine of 'our arguments
3. &iscuss arguments 1 b' 1
4. .ummari,e 'our points b' reiterating 'our out!ine.
6. Throw a burden
.ea"er of the Opposition
1. Overview% tr' to reconte8tua!i,e the debate.
2. 5ebut: bash the mode!; attac+ substantive case. .ometimes a counter-mode! wi!! be introduced.
.amp!e 5ebutta!:
K*i!! ta8ing church propert' so!ve the budget deficitH
=o G for two reasons ...L
). Give the out!ine of 'our arguments
a. &iscuss arguments 1 b' 1
b. .ummari,e 'our points b' reiterating 'our out!ine.
1. Throw a burden
1. Give a brief rebutta! #integrate rebui!ding of arguments$
2. Give the out!ine of 'our arguments
). &iscuss arguments 1 b' 1
1. .ummari,e 'our points b' reiterating 'our out!ine.
2. Throw a burden
1. -a' down the issues in the debate
2. &iscuss each issue b':
a. presenting the ana!'sis of the opponent on said issue
b. 5ebut their ana!'sis #b' using the case presented b' 'our team or b' giving supp!ements$
1. *h' shou!d 'ou win the debateH
a. Greater contribution to the debate.
b. 5esponsiveness to the motion and the issues presented.
2. Aomparative ana!'sis:
a. <ow 'our team had advantage over the otherH
b. *hat is the prob!em with the case of the opponentH #Aausa! !in+s% Assertions% Aontradictions$
Genera! guide to &ebating
On-!ine &ebating Tutoria!: