Personal tools

Beijing BP Training

From Debatepedia

(Difference between revisions)
Jump to: navigation, search
Revision as of 02:48, 26 October 2007 (edit)
Alex.dukalskis (Talk | contribs)
(Rules and roles in British Parliamentary Debate: First Proposition and First Opposition)
← Previous diff
Revision as of 02:58, 26 October 2007 (edit)
Alex.dukalskis (Talk | contribs)
(Rules and roles in British Parliamentary Debate: First Proposition and First Opposition)
Next diff →
Line 80: Line 80:
==Rules and roles in British Parliamentary Debate: First Proposition and First Opposition== ==Rules and roles in British Parliamentary Debate: First Proposition and First Opposition==
 +*The Basics
 +**Speeches are 7 minutes
 +**Points of Information can be requested during the middle 5 minutes of these speeches
 +***Judges will signal when it is acceptable to ask questions and when it is not by a pounding of a gavel or a knock on the table.
 +**Definitions should not be self-proving and should have a logical link to the resolution. Definitions should be broadly in line with how the resolution might be interpreted in the public sphere.
 +**All speeches in this first half of the debate should provide "positive matter"
*Roles of the teams *Roles of the teams

Revision as of 02:58, 26 October 2007

On November 2, 3 and 4, 2007, IDEA will conduct a British Parliamentary (BP) Training in Beijing. This WIKI page serves as a collaborative training manual and agenda for that training and should be edited by trainers.

The IDEA Training Schedule

Friday, November 2, 2007

13:00 - 13:40 Opening Ceremony (Vincent and Gary)

13:40 - 14:00 Introduction and training Orientation (Robert)

14:00 - 14:30 Debating Constructively (Robert)

14:30 - 14:45 Break

14:45 - 15:15 Overview of Four-Team Debating (Veronika)

15:15 - 17:00 Sample Four-Team Debate

17:00 - Analysis of sample debate (Robert, Veronika, Alex, James and Vishal)

17:00 - 18:30

Saturday, November 3, 2007

09:00 - 10:30 Rules and Roles of British Parliamentary Debate: First Proposition and First Opposition (Alex and Vishal)

10:30 Break

10:45 - 12:00 Constructing a Case for the Proposition (Robert and Alex)

12:00 - 14:00 Lunch Break

14:00 -16:00 Judges Workshop (Veronika and James)

14:00 - 15:15 Constructing a Case for the Opposition (Robert and Alex)

15:30 - 17:00 Rules and Roles of British Parliamentary Debate: Second Proposition and Second Opposition (Alex and Vishal)

17:15 - 18:00 The nature of an "extension" (Robert, James and Vishal)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

09:00 - 10:00 Fallacies: Robert

10:15 - 11:00 Effective Delivery (Vishal and/or James)

11:00 - 11:15 Break

11:15 - 12:00 Concluding questions and discussion

The IDEA Training Team

  • Robert Trapp, Willamette University, Director of Training

Dr. Robert Trapp is Professor of Rhetoric at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, USA. He also is the Director of the IDEA at Willamette. Dr. Trapp is a past president of the Western Forensic Association and of the National Parliamentary Debate Association. He directed the National Parliamentary Debate Championship Tournament for five years. He has coached debate at several universities in the United States and working with IDEA has been involved with debate training in a number of countries including Russia, Romania, Belarus, Macedonia, Lithuania, Estonia, andUganda. Last May he was the Director of Training for the FLTRP Cup in Beijing.

  • Alex Dukalskis

Alex Dukalskis graduated from Willamette University in the United States. For debated there for 3 years. Alex was a successful national and international debater at Willamette, advancing to quarterfinals in the national championship and winning the IDEA International Tournament in Lithuania. After graduation, Alex was awarded a Fulbright scholarship. After completing his Fulbright year in South Korea, he studied for and was awarded a master's degree in Human Rights at the London School of Economics (LSE). Since February of this year he has been working with IDEA doing training, event organizing and program coordination in a number of countries, including South Korea, Mongolia, Uganda, and the Czech Republic.

  • James Edenborough

James Edenborough is a trial lawyer from Britain, where he prosecutes and defends in criminal cases. He studied the history of political thought at university, and began debating as a graduate student at the London College of Law, where he was elected President of the College debating society in his second year. James has adjudicated and taught debate at tournaments in Belarus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovenia, and the IDEA camps in Slovakia and Russia. In his spare time he is an amateur actor. He says law is like debating except they pay you to do it."

  • Vishal Nangalia
  • Veronika Vlckova, IDEA Youth Forum Director

Veronika Vlckova is an internationally accredited debate trainer. She has 6 years of debate training experience encompassing various formats as well as public speaking skills. Until recently she has been a member of the Board of Directors of IDEA and currently she is the Youth Forum Coordinator. Veronika is finishing her studies at the University of Vienna, major Sociology. Her research focused on how social participation and volunteering in youth activities relate to the level of tolerance among young people.

Training Handout

Debating constructively

  • Attack ideas, not person
  • Argue in manner - respect
  • Point of debating - discussing content not critiques and jargon
  • "Arguing Constructively" by Dominic Infante

Basics of British Parliamentary Debate

  • Overview and structure of a British Parliamentary Debate
  • Flow of debate
  • Relationship (similarities/differences) to other formats and discussion forms - focus of the BP debate on Policy interpretation rather than value

Rules and roles in British Parliamentary Debate: First Proposition and First Opposition

  • The Basics
    • Speeches are 7 minutes
    • Points of Information can be requested during the middle 5 minutes of these speeches
      • Judges will signal when it is acceptable to ask questions and when it is not by a pounding of a gavel or a knock on the table.
    • Definitions should not be self-proving and should have a logical link to the resolution. Definitions should be broadly in line with how the resolution might be interpreted in the public sphere.
    • All speeches in this first half of the debate should provide "positive matter"
  • Roles of the teams
    • First Proposition
      • First Speaker
        1. Introduction/Overview
        2. Define Terms
        3. If adopted as a strategy, outline the case split
        4. State thesis/advocacy
        5. Present arguments
      • Second Speaker
        1. If adopted as a strategy, present rest of case
        2. Refute OPP case
        3. Rebuild PROP case

Rules and roles in British Parliamentary Debate: Second Proposition and Second Opposition

  • Roles of the teams
  • Roles of the speakers
  • Extension
  • Closing speeches (whips)

Constructing a case for a proposition

To construct a case for a proposition, one needs to do three things: Define the motion, Present your thesis (ordinarily a plan of action), and present arguments in support of your thesis.

Define the Motion

  • More detailed discussion will take place in the "Definitions" session, but a few general points:
    • Define key words or phrases - The point of these definitions is to clarify your position with regard to the resolution as well as to set the direction that the debate will likely take.
    • Do not define words or phrases whose definitions are obvious or clear to all.
    • Define words and phrases fairly - Trying to be sneaky really only makes teams look insecure.

Present and elaborate your thesis

In British Parliamentary debate, the thesis ordinarily involves a plan of action. For instance, "Our team believes capital punishment should be abolished."

  • First,if possible, present your thesis in a simple sentence.
  • Next, provide one or two sentences to explain how your plan of action relates to the resolution - especially on metaphorical topics.
  • Finally, provide several sentences to explain the necessary details of your plan of action. Essential elements of the plan include:
    • An actor - who will carry the plan out?
    • An action - what will the actor do?

Depending on the debate, your plan may also include some other elemtns:

    • How long will it take to implement the plan?
    • How much will the plan cost and how will it be funded?
    • How will the plan be enforced and who will enforce it?

Present arguments in favor of your thesis

  • Show why your plan/advocacy is worthy of endorsement. This is usually done through advantages or warrants. Some questions to ask yourself when thinking of advantages are:
    • What pressing problem will your plan solve or mitigate?
    • What positive effects will your plan produce?
    • What principles or positive values does your plan uphold?
    • What symbolic effect will it have?

Example Proposition Case - This House Would Shine the Spotlight on Burma/Myanmar.

  • Definitions:
    • "Shine the spotlight" means to keep up pressure through the media, international organizations, local solidarity activities, etc.
    • "Burma/Myanmar" refers to the human rights situation stemming from the recent crackdown on monks and activists.
  • Plan of action:
    • This side of the house believes that the best way to achieve change vis a vis the brutal government in Burma/Myanmar is through consistent and vigilant international pressure; i.e. a spotlight.
  • Arguments supporting the plan of action
    • We will show you through our arguments that the West, the media, and citizen groups should shine a spotlight on Burma/Myanmar. Any one of these ways is valuable and thus if we can show that "this house" should endorse any or all of them, then we have done our job as the proposition.
  1. The West should continue to press for condemnation at the UN
    • This does a few things: 1) keeps pressure on Asian (India, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, ect.) countries dealing with the regime, which is important since these countries have more diplomatic leverage in the region than the United States; 2) keeps the issue in the international news; and 3) may lead to a Security Council or Council on Human Rights resolution with some teeth. Even, however, if the third scenario does not play out, we still believe that the first two effects are enough for us to shine the spotlight on Burma/Myanmar at the UN.
  2. The media should continue to report on the subject
    • Often with international crises like these, the media shows fleeting interest for a week or so and then moves on to the next story. In this situation it is crucial for the media to continue to search for facts about the September crackdown since the junta is so keen on hiding those facts. Media reports keep the issue on the forefront of people's minds, which in democratic countries translates to keeping the issues on voters' minds. Voters ultimately elect leaders, meaning that widespread media coverage contributes to action. Witness the media vigilance in reporting on Darfur and how the West is at least paying attention and trying to do something about the crisis. Contrast this with civil wars in the Congo or any other crises that are not reported in the media and are thus not acted upon by rich countries.
  3. Citizen groups should continue to organize protests, vigils, and other public events
    • This accomplishes a few goals: first, like argument 2, it keeps the issue timely and gives the media something to report on; second, it establishes solidarity with those in Burma. Radio Free Asia and other media outlets are available in Burma/Myanmar, meaning that a great many activists find their way around the junta censorship to get their news from the outside. Seeing that the outside world is still in solidarity with them even as the months wear on is an important psychological boost.

Constructing argument against a proposition

General opp. strategies

  1. Show that there is no need for a change in policy
    • A Prop team will probably outline some big problem in the world and how they intend to solve it. The vast majority of the time, they pick a "moral high ground" scenario (i.e. endemic poverty or a polluted environment) that really is a problem. Sometimes, though, teams will pick a "problem" that could be reasonably argued to not be such.
  2. Show how the plan presented by the proposition will not work
  • Show how the plan has failed to eliminate a necessary cause of the problem.
  • Show how the plan is not a sufficient cause of the positive effects.
  • Both of the above points are meant to show how the problems will remain even after the implementation of the plan.
  1. Show disadvantages to the proposition's plan of action
    • In other words, what bad will happen if we endorse the proposition's policy?
  2. Show how the philosophy underpinning the proposition's advocacy is not something we ought to endorse

Example Opposition Strategy: This House Would Shine the Spotlight on Burma/Myanmar

  • We as the opposition agree with the proposition side of the house that the government of Burma is a brutal regime intent on squelching democracy and free expression. We disagree, however, that shining a spotlight on the government is the best way to achieve change. We accept all proposition definitions. We have several arguments:
  1. The spotlight has not worked
    • Since 1988, the world has been watching Myanmar become progressively more authoritarian. The spotlight of Ang Sang Su Kyi winning the Nobel Peace Prize did little to alleviate the suffering of ordinary Burmese. The recent media lauding of the brave monks has only led to crackdowns by the security forces. For weeks, Burma was global front page news - on the cover of The Economist and the BBC and at the forefront of United Nations deliberations. The result: no significant change. The proposition just has not demonstrated how this junta will become enlightened to the error of their ways by reading the newspaper or listening to the radio.
  2. This junta clearly fears losing face
    • Witness the recent media blackout the junta prevarications in front of the global media: this junta clearly will not bow to international pressure for fear of losing face. Spotlighting the issue only entrenches the junta's brutality.
  3. We advocate a less publicity-oriented approach
    • Countries like the US and organizations like the EU should negotiate with the actors holding leverage over Burma/Myanmar: China, India, ASEAN (specifically Thailand and Singapore), South Korea, Japan. Similarly, these negotiations should not be built-up spectacles, but lower-profile negotiations. This is predicated on the viewpoint that the junta is most likely to change through realist politics (i.e. power and economic coercion) rather than public pressure.
  4. Finally, it is irresponsible to foster uprisings in Burma
    • Solidarity meetings and protests to encourage uprisings in Burma are just plain irresponsible. The 1988 and the 2007 uprisings both met with brutal repression and hundreds of deaths. It is not morally responsible to foster disobedience knowing that 1) it is unlikely to achieve change, and 2) people will die as a result.

Points of information

Technicalities - protected time, presentation (how to offer and accept decline), timing


Argument patterns (reasoning)

  • Types of arguments - best utilized in BP

Structure of the speech


Standard tips on delivery Importance of style within BP Communication between judge and debater


Judging a debate

1. role of the judge in the debate:  technicalities - fill the ballot - points and rank, low point win not acceptable  general - be critical, fair, open, constructive with feedback, treat debaters with respect regardless of the abilities of the debaters, any disagreements the judge might have with debaters arguments

2. overview of the roles of the teams and roles of the individual speakers

3. what to look for in a good speaker - speakers' score range, content, analysis, delivery, POI

4. discussion about the actual rules : rules printed out for the judges' session

5. common areas of dispute - what is an extension, what is a valid interpretation of motion (open, closed motions)

6. show debate/taped debate - go through the debate as if judging it

Before the round: prep time, Consultation with coaches, printed, electronic material

  • Definitions/Interpretation of motions

Preparation - Research

  • Samples of motions
  • Interpretation
  • Model arguments/speech

Problem with the site? 

Tweet a bug on bugtwits