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British parliamentary debate

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A summary of British Parliamentary Debate
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BRITISH PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE
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Page 1: British parliamentary debate

BRITISH PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE

Page 2: British parliamentary debate

History

Page 3: British parliamentary debate

The British Parliamentary debate format differs from many other formats because it involves four teams rather than two.

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Debates are presided over by a Speaker, who is often the Chair of the adjudicator panel. The Speaker keeps time and calls debaters to the floor.

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Two teams, called the First Proposition and the Second Proposition teams, are charged with the responsibility of supporting the proposition while two other teams, First Opposition and Second Opposition, are charged with opposing it.

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The Government supports the motion (the given topic or subject being debated), and the Opposition opposes it.

The teams are also divided into the Opening and Closing halves of the 'House‘

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British Parliamentary debate sometimes is referred to as Worlds-style debate or simply four-team debate.

Each team consists of two members with an allotted seven (7) minutes given to each speaker.

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Diagram Illustrating the Arrangement of Members in the House and the Sequence in which Speeches are

Delivered

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ROLES OF GOVERNMENT/PROPOSITION AND OPPOSITION

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Government/PropositionIn supporting the motion, the Government/Proposition carries out the following functions: Defining the motionConstructing a positive case in favor of the

motionProviding substantive materials and

arguments in support of the caseResponding to any challenges made to the

case made by the Opposition.

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OppositionIn negating/opposing the motion, the Opposition carries out the following functions:Responding to the Government's definitionConstructing a case in opposition to the

motionProviding substantive material and

arguments in support of the opposition caseResponding to the arguments delivered by

the Government.

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Role of the Teams (Overview)

Opening Government:

· Defines the terms of the debate· Opens the case for the Government· Opposes the case of the Opening Opposition when it is presented

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Opening Opposition:

· Opposes the case of the Opening Government· Opens the case for the Opposition

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Closing Government:

· Extends the Government case· Opposes the cases of the Opening and Closing Opposition teams· Summarizes the debate

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Closing Opposition:

· Extends the Opposition case· Opposes the cases of the Opening and Closing Opposition teams· Summarizes the debate

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SPEAKER ROLES AND SPEECH SPECIFIC PURPOSES  

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Prime Minister 

The Prime Minister’s responsibilities may include some or all of the following: to offer a reasonable interpretation of

the motionto present a case supporting that

interpretation to employ other strategies deemed

necessary in advancing the Government's stance.  

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Leader of the Opposition 

The Leader of the Opposition’s responsibilities may include some or all of the following:to directly or indirectly refute part or all of

the government's caseto make at least one argument that

demonstrates why the First Opposition team opposes the motion as interpreted by the Prime Minister;

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to employ other strategies deemed necessary in advancing the Opposition's stance.  

The Leader of the Opposition may also challenge the interpretation of the government's case if it is unreasonable, that is, if it completely misinterprets the motion or severely inhibits meaningful debate.

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Deputy Prime Minister

 The Deputy Prime Minister’s responsibilities may include some or all of the following:to reestablish the First

Proposition’s case by confronting any refutation presented by the Leader of the Opposition

to refute some or all of the arguments presented by the Leader of the Opposition

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to further develop the case presented by the Prime Minister

to employ other strategies deemed necessary in advancing the Government's stance.

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Deputy Leader of the Opposition

The Deputy Leader of the Opposition’s responsibilities may include some or all of the following:  to continue refutation initiated by

the Leader of the Oppositionto reestablish the Leader of

Opposition’s arguments against the motion

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to initiate a new argument against the motion as interpreted by the First Proposition team

to employ other strategies deemed necessary in advancing the Opposition's stance.  

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Member of the Government The responsibilities of the Member of the Government may include some or all of the following:

to briefly support the case developed by the First Proposition team

to introduce a different argument, sometimes called a “case extension” which is consistent with yet different from the case introduced by the First Proposition team

to employ other strategies deemed necessary in advancing the Government's stance.

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Member of the Opposition

The responsibilities of the Member of the Opposition may include some or all of the following:

to briefly support one or more arguments introduced by the First Opposition team

to introduce direct and/or indirect refutation to the case extension presented by the Member of Government

Page 26: British parliamentary debate

to introduce some new argument, compatible with, but different from that of the First Opposition Team

to employ other strategies deemed necessary in advancing the Opposition's stance.

Page 27: British parliamentary debate

Government Whip

The responsibilities of the Government Whip may include some or all of the following:

to support any new arguments introduced by the Member of the Government

to reply to any new arguments introduced by the Member of the Opposition

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to summarize the debate from the perspective of the Proposition Teams, especially from that of the Second Proposition team

to employ other strategies deemed necessary in advancing the Government's stance.

The Government Whip should not introduce new arguments into the debate.

Page 29: British parliamentary debate

Opposition Whip

The responsibilities of the Opposition Whip may include some or all of the following:  to support any new arguments

introduced by the Member of the Opposition

to reply to any new arguments introduced by the Member of the Government

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to summarize the debate from the perspective of the Proposition Teams, especially from that of the Second Opposition team

to employ other strategies deemed necessary in advancing the Opposition's stance.

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Points of InformationPOIs shouldn't be given for the sole

purpose of destroying the other team's case. POIs should build your case up as well.

It is always better to get in one or two excellent POIs than four or five mediocre ones.

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Speaking StyleThe most important thing is to keep

the audience engaged. Not everyone can be a funny

speaker, and that's okay. Never insult another debater's race,

gender, sexual orientation, or religion. Anything offensive will be penalized.

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Definitional Challenges

The only speaker who can object to the OG definition is the LO. If the LO doesn't object, no one else can.

Definitional challenges are exceedingly rare.

The only time you should object to the definition is if it is a truism or tautology.

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Knifing

Knifing is when a closing team, or even a partner on the same team,

blatantly disagrees with a fundamental part of the substantive

case that they're supposed to be supporting.

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AnalysisTry to introduce facts, case

studies, and philosophical analysis instead of statistics.

Focus on examples.

Stay focused.

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Adjudication

The adjudicator has 3 important roles. He or she must:decide the debatemanage the debatejustify the decision

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The adjudicator is also not a coach—their primary role is to decide who won and lost the debate in the fairest and most comprehensive manner, and relay that information to the teams.

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Adjudicators also have a management role. This includes:inviting speakers to the podiumensuring speakers are provided

with clear time signals

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ensuring the ballots are filled in accurately and reach the adjudication team

in extreme situations, adjudicators may need to step in and protect speakers from abuse

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Matter and Manner

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Matter is the content of your speechMatter Includes:· Substantive arguments for your side· Rebuttal arguments· Case Studies / Facts· POIs

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Manner is how you present that content.Manner Includes:· Humor· Appropriate language· Engaging the audience

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When judging, matter and manner should be weighted equally.


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