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Introduction to parliamentary debate
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Introduction to parliamentary debate

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  • 1. INTRODUCTION TO PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE PRESENTED BY ABHINANDAN RAY BBA LLB, 3RD YEAR
  • 2. What?? Why??
  • 3. TYPES 1) British Parliamentary debate 2 members in a Team 2) Asian Style Parliamentary Debate 3 members in a Team
  • 4. Indian Context
  • 5. Motions • UNDERSTAND MOTIONS A MOTION CAN BE PHRASED AND INTERPRETTED DIFFERENTLY MOTION PER ROUND • OPEN MOTIONS e.g. “THBT the glass is half full” • SEMI-CLOSED MOTIONS e.g. “THW alter its genetic code” Like “Food Security Bill” • CLOSED MOTIONS e.g. “THW bomb Iraq” • SPIRIT OF THE MOTION
  • 6. ABBREVIATIONS THW = THIS HOUSE WOULD THS = THIS HOUSE SUPPORTS THC = THIS HOUSE CELEBRATES THR = THIS HOUSE REGRETS THBT = THIS HOUSE BELIEVES THAT
  • 7. FORMAT OF DEBATE • 2 teams • Those who proposes the motion known as: ‘The Proposition’, ‘The Affirmative’ or ‘The Government’ • Those who opposes the motion known as ‘The Opposition’ or ‘The Negative.
  • 8. Proposition a. Prime Minister / 1st affirmative b. Deputy Prime Minister / 2ND affirmative c. Proposition Whip / 3rd affirmative Opposition a. Leader of Opposition / 1st negative b. Deputy Leader of Opposition / 2nd negative c. Opposition Whip / 3rd negative
  • 9. Speaking Sequence a. Prime Minister / 1st affirmative b. Leader of Opposition / 1st negative c. Deputy Prime Minister / 2nd affirmative d. Deputy Leader of Opposition / 2nd negative e. Proposition Whip / 3rd affirmative f. Opposition Whip / 3rd negative g. Opposition reply speech h. Proposition reply speech Note – Whips from either team are barred from giving the reply speeches
  • 10. Role of Adjudicator • Each debate shall be adjudicated upon by a panel comprising of an odd number of adjudicators. One of these shall be designated as Chairperson. • In exceptional situations, and only in Phase 1, a debate may be adjudicated by a single experienced adjudicator. • But normally there are 3 adj. for judging
  • 11. Speaker Roles • Prime Minister (PM) / 1st Affirmative • Provides the set-up of the Debate 1. Defines the house, proposes a definition based on the motion and logically links it to the theme by using constructive arguments. How to define? Definitions should be consistent with the spirit of the given motion. 1.Word for word definition – is based on giving the meaning of only the significant word in the motion 2.Thematic definition – it requires that the theme of the motion be identified and be made the central issue of the debate. This is applicable to metaphorical debate.
  • 12. Definitional challenge • There are four instances when the need for a definitional challenge arises: 1.when the definition is tautological; 2.when the definition is squirreled; 3.when the definition places the debate in a particular time and/ or place; 4.when the definition is truism
  • 13. Squirrel • If a team twists the wording of the motion to define onto something else , by way of distorting the definition to enable a team to argue a pre-prepared argument, it amounts to “squirreling.” • In order to prevent the debate from getting diverted towards unduly narrow or bizarre subjects , squirreling is made a ground to raise definition challenge. • This House would “legalize performanceenhancing drugs in sport” but if PM define
  • 14. Truism • A truism is matter that is obviously true. For instance: Literally defining the motion „This House Believes That man breathes oxygen‟ would be a truism. There cannot be a debate on this motion because t here is no issue as to whether man breathes oxygen or not.
  • 15. Tautology • A tautology is a definition which, in development proves itself. • For example: If, in the motion, “This House believes that extremism is the catalyst for progress”, the term extremism is defined by the proposition as good extremism‟ in terms of positive change that contribute to the advancement of society, the motion will ultimately end up in something like this: “radical groups that contribute to the
  • 16. Place Set • A place set definition is a definition which gives an unfair advantage to a team by setting it in a particular place. This implies that one team defines the debate in a particular place in order to gain an advantage over the opposition. • 1st KSOL PD “This House Should use the Pornography in Sex Education in Schools” Define either in India or in USA . • For example: „This House would ban sale and consumption of liquor‟. It will be wrong to state that the debate is happening in Gujarat
  • 17. Time Set • It refers to setting unnaturally restrictive chronological durations as a major parameter. • In other words, debate must take place in the present. • For example: This House would invoke an embargo on foreign goods . It would be wrong to set the time of debate in 1937 as Swadeshi movement in the Indian
  • 18. Executing a Definitional Challenge • The Definition Challenge must be made in the speech of the Leader of Opposition , who has the onus of establishing the same, by stating clearly whether the definition is being rejected or challenged. Subsequent speakers are strictly permitted to only clarify the stand of the LOP. • Once the Definition Challenge is made, the LOP shall provide a substitute definition, which the Opposition must then go on to negate. • If the LOP does not challenge the definition,
  • 19. Role of Prime Minister (cont.) • Provides the house with – • Background, explanation or context for the Government case, if necessary. • Roadmap, whereby team split and structure of the debate is mentioned. • Detailed model, if any.
  • 20. Role of Leader of Opposition (LOP) / 1st Negative 1. States, citing reasons through own constructives, whether the definition put forth by the Proposition is accepted or rejected. 2. Offers rebuttal to the Government case. 3. Puts forth a counter-model, if any. 4. States burden of the Opposition.
  • 21. Role of Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) / 2nd Affirmative 1. Presents arguments in support of the proposal. 2. Offers rebuttal to the points established by the LOP. 3. Reiterates (if necessary) and further substantiates the constructives of the PM. 4. Explains extensively the intricacies of the
  • 22. Role of Deputy Leader of Opposition (DLO) / 2nd Negative 1. Refutes government’s arguments and engages with independent arguments put up by the DPM. 2. Puts forth new constructives at the outset. 3. Strengthens the case based on the
  • 23. Role of Government Whip / 3rd Affirmative (Do mockery of Opposition) 1. Rebuts arguments of the Opposition and reiterate the ones of the Proposition. 2. Points out flaws in argument and logic. 3. Brings out thematic clashes. 4. Cannot introduce new matter, but can establish the same through new examples. 5. Summarizes the debate by emphasizing on issues that lead to the Proposition’s victory
  • 24. Role of Opposition Whip / 3rd Negative (Do mockery of Govt.) 1. Rebuts arguments put forth by the Proposition. 2. Points out flaws in argument and logic. 3. Brings out thematic clashes. 4. Cannot introduce new matter, but can establish the same through new examples. 5. Summarizes the debate by emphasizing on issues that lead to the Opposition’s victory.
  • 25. Reply Speech 1. Framing the debate in favour of the Opposition/Proposition by way of crystallizing issues. Essentially, biased adjudication. 2. Bring to notice concessions, inconsistencies and vague responses by the Proposition/Opposition and arguments or rebuttals that have not been replied to by the Proposition/Opposition. 3. New matter cannot form a part of this
  • 26. POINTS OF INFORMATION • Points of Information (POIs’) may be offered during constructive speeches only, after the first single knock of the gavel and up to the second single knock of the gavel. Points of Information may not be offered during the first and last minutes of constructive speeches. If a Point of Information is offered in the first or the last minute of a constructive speech, it is the duty of the speaker holding the floor to reject the same as being out of order. Only if the speaker holding the floor fails
  • 27. • A POI must be indicated by a member of an opposing team rising from his/her seat, placing one hand on top of his/her head and extending the other towards the member holding the floor. A member offering a Point of Information may draw attention to the offer by saying “on that point Sir/Madam,” or short headlining tags. • A member holding the floor must respond to an opposing member, or members offering POI’s, in one of the following ways. 1. A clear gesture or hand signal rejecting the offer. 2. A verbal rejection of the offer, or 3. A verbal acceptance of the offer.
  • 28. Timing of Speeches • Preparation Time • 25 to 30 minutes • Constructive Speeches • 1+5+1 minutes • Reply Speeches • 3+1 minutes • Duty of Time keeper
  • 29. Essential Ingredient of Speech 1) Matter Valid arguments, in-depth analysis of the issue in the debate, giving examples relevant to the case, timeless and relevance of POI’s and through rebuttal. The overall matter accounts fifty percent of the total score of the team. 2) Manner • Vocal Style: volume, clarity, pronunciation, pace, fluency, confidence • Language: conversational or conventional. • Use of notes: should not be read, should not distract from speech. • Eye Contact: with audience or with opposing team
  • 30. 3) Method • The logical organization of ideas, the clear presentation of arguments and examples, the unity in content and delivery of individual speakers, and consistency of the team as a whole. • Team effort • Individual effort
  • 31. THANK YOU