Friday, January 30, 2015

Pan American Univerities Debate Championship, January 2015

Held at the University of Miami.

CAs were Ken Newby (Morehouse, USA) and Alfred Snider (Vermont, USA) in English, and Nicole Hansen Salas (Andres Bello, Chile) in Spanish.

1. THW implement mandatory voting in all elections.

2, This house believes both parents should be required to attend parenting classes before and after having a child.

3. THBT international military intervention against Boko Haram is justified, regardless of the views of the Nigerian government.

4. THBT the normalization of relations between the USA and Cuba will result in substantial improvements in civil rights in Cuba.

5. This house regrets the commercialization of “hip hop.” DEFINITION SLIDE: Hip-hop is the culture associated with rap music.

6. THW reject the installation of non-medical information technology (such as enhanced memory, enhanced perception and distance communication) within the human body.

Quarterfinals English, Semifinals Spanish. TH regrets the deployment of fear about the ebola situation.

Semifinals English. THBT the struggle against ISIS should be conducted solely by Middle East nations.

Finals Spanish and English. This house would establish a free trade area comprised of all countries in the Western Hemisphere. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Kuala Lumpur Open Challenge 2014

Thanks to everyone for coming to KLOC 2014. It was a pleasure to have you and we hope you enjoyed the topics and the tournaments. 

Round 1: This house believes that the ICC should prosecute George W. Bush and Barack Obama for war crimes.
Round 2: This house, as the Malay people, would give up Bumiputera privileges in exchange for the abolition of vernacular schools. 
[Bumiputera is a Malaysian term used to describe the Malay race and natives of Sabah and Sarawak. Bumiputera privileges include quotas for entry into public service positions, trade or business licenses, public scholarships and public education. National schools have Malay as the medium of instruction. Vernacular schools have Tamil or Chinese as the medium of instruction.]
Round 3: This house believes that the Feminist movement should oppose sex change operations.
Round 4: This house would actively discourage home ownership in the developed world.
Round 5: This house believes that courts should enforce Ulysses contracts.
[Ulysses contracts are contracts in which there is only one party to the contract. The contract restricts the party’s liberty in some way, usually by imposing a financial punishment if certain terms are not met by the party in the future.
  • A smoker could sign a Ulysses contract stipulating that if he has not quit smoking after a year, he will pay a large fine to the state.
  • A young person could sign a Ulysses contract stipulating that if at any future time her income exceeds a certain threshold, the excess will be donated to charity.]
Pre Quarter Final: This house believes that companies in the sharing economy (Uber, Airbnb etc) should be liable for offences committed by service providers against customers.
Quarter Final: This house believes that the US should cut ties with the ruling regime in Saudi Arabia.
Semi Final: This house opposes the culture of outrage.
Grand Final: This house believes that development organisations should work closely with religious institutions. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

BRAC Masters 2014 Bangladesh

BRAC Masters 2014

R1- THW financially incentivize men to take up jobs that are traditionally dominated by women or become house husbands
R2- THW allow victims to chose the punishment for convicted sexual offenders
R3- THW Ban logos from luxury goods
R4- THBT political assassinations are a legitimate tool of Foreign policy
R5- THBT nations should hold the Catholic Church financially liable for   of Catholic HIV/Aids patients in areas where the church has strongly campaigned against condom use
Finals- THBT states should withhold democratic elections during economic crisis

NSU IV 2014 Bangladesh

NSU IV 2014

R1: THW allow corporations to incorporate child labor in return for educational opportunities

R2: THW Shut down all state owned media (eg. BTV, BBC,RT, etc)

R3: TH Regrets Obama's Immigration Policy

R4: THW break up tech companies that get too big

R5: THW ban the killing of animals for commercial purposes (except for medical research).

NDDC Bangladesh 2014

NDDC 2014

Round 1: THBT all the public services should be provided by private providers.
Round 2: THBT western education system should never rationalize their colonial history.
Round 3: THBT West and Nigerian Government should arm Nigerian Citizens against Boko Haram,
Round 4: THBT the media should not report on street crimes.
Round 5: THW bar its citizens from tourism trips to countries with high rates of child prostitution.
Semi Finals: THW bar government agencies from taking personal information from tech giants.
GF: TH, as the People's Republic of Bangladesh, would allow transit facilities to India.

Pan African Universities Debating Championship 2014

Pan Africans Debating Championship 2014

Round 1
THW not grant demands for hazard pay during times of epidemics in developing nations.
Round 2
THBT China should subsidise families for every daughter born.
Round 3
Given that you discover with 100% proof that God does not exist, THW not disclose the information.
Round 4
THS a unisex FIFA World Cup.
Round 5
THW grant the police unlimited access to data collected by private companies (e.g. telecommunications, GPS services).
Round 6
INFO: You are a heterosexual male in his twenties living in an impoverished African state. You have been given the chance to be smuggled on a ship to a country in the West.
Motion: THW choose to go to the West.
Round 7
Assuming the technology existed, THW allow for the cloning and growth of brain-dead human beings for the purpose of organ harvest and scientific research.
Round 8
THW require victims of recurrent domestic violence to move to homes for abused women for a limited period of time.
Round 9
THBT previous colonial powers should pay reparations to former colonies for past atrocities (including but not limited to slavery) in addition to development aid.
THW institute a “Beauty Privilege Tax” for individuals whose physical appearances are conventionally appealing.
INFO: Corporate negligence occurs when a company is not able to fulfil the standard duty of care to a third party, consumer or employee.
THW incarcerate the decision makers of companies that commit corporate negligence.
THW exclusively fund African NGOs instead of Western NGOs working in African countries.
INFO: Saartjie Baartman, an African woman in colonial times, took the chance to leave the country and stay overseas on display in Western museums, in which she would sing and perform for onlookers. She was often naked. After a few years, she also resorted to prostitution to support herself. The people of the West were fascinated with her culturally distinct physical features, which were embalmed and put on display after her death. However, she has also been hailed as a courageous woman for taking the chance to go overseas and refusing genital examination up until her death.
Recently, Kim Kardashian's set of photographed poses were likened to those of Saartjie Baartman.
THR Kim Kardashian's recent photoshoot.

Ljubljana IV 2014

Round 1: This house believes that countries with booming populations should allocate every adult a single, tradable permit to have a child.
Round 2. This house would launch a ground invasion to fight the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq
Round 3. This house believes that states should seek to prioritise reducing income inequality over GDP growth
Round 4. This house believes that states should pay reparations to minorities, who are citizens, that the state has previously oppressed
Round 5. This house believes that the EU member states should sanction any state that ignores ECJ rulings.
Finals: TH regrets the increased mechanization of manual labor 

Skopje Open 8-9 November 2014

Skopje Open (Skopje, 8-9 November 2014)
Round 1: THBT the interests of the ethnic Albanians in Macedonia is best served through participation in ethnic Macedonian parties.
Round 2: THW ban all medical procedures intended to change an individual's racial appearance.
Round 3: TH supports the US's use of drones to eliminate terrorist targets.
Round 4: THBT homosexual football players from top western leagues should publicly declare their sexuality
Round 5: TH supports the radical redistribution of wealth.
Final: This House Would suspend the right of free movement of people in the EU.

Tilbury House 8-9 November 2014

Tilbury House (Cologne, 8-9 November 2014)
Round 1 - THBT the EU should send a single unified team to the next world cup.
Round 2 - THW criminalise all forms of high school bullying (including physical, verbal, written, cyber bullying and boycotting)
Round 3: For the purpose of this debate a Disease Charity is a charity organisation dedicated to funding research, treatment, public campaigns and other activities focussed on a specific disease.
THB that donations to disease charities should be redistributed among these disease charities according to the number of people affected by each disease.
Round 4 - THS the use of feminist catch phrases about freedom, empowerment and choice in advertisement of fashion and beauty products.
Round 5 - THB that governments should tax individual income out of labour (paid salary) significantly less than individual's income generated out of capital (which includes inheritance, real estate, stock portfolios, etc.)
Semifinal: THB that the German government should significantly fund films and tv shows that sympathetically depict the narratives of non-Jewish German civilians under the Nazi regime.
Final: This house would ban anti EU parties from participating in the EU elections.

Durham Open 8-9 November 2014

Durham Open (Durham, 8-9 November 2014)
R1: THW ban religious organizations from providing rehabilitation services to drug and alcohol addicts.
R2: THBT democracies should extend voting rights to migrant workers.
R3: TH, as a feminist, would oppose products marketed to help women protect themselves from date rape.
[Info slide - Undercover Color are a company that are developing a nail-varnish that changes colour in the presence of date-rape drugs such as GHB and Rohypnol. Many bars provide bottle toppers such as 'the Spikey Bottle Topper' that encourage customers to protect their drinks.]
R4: THBT Arab-Israelis who successfully seek election to the Knesset should opt not to take up that seat.
[Info slide - The Knesset has 120 seats. 12 seats are taken up by Arab-Israelis, who are divided into six parties.]
R5: THBT the state should construct false historical narratives that promote social cohesion (e.g. racial and religious tolerance)
Semi-Final: THBT true women’s liberation is incompatible with the existence of organized religion.
Novice Final: There is a potion which can stop you falling in love. TH, as an 18 year old, would take the potion.
Open Final: THBT FB should manipulate users’ newsfeeds in order to promote progressive content.
[Info slide - In the past few years Facebook has engaged in a series of experiments manipulating the content that users are exposed to (e.g. skewing news feeds to show more happy/sad posts, showing or hiding posts about having voted) to determine whether this can have an effect on user’s actions/attitudes. In 2012, Facebook modified newsfeeds to test the effect of exposure to news articles about the upcoming elections, and whether it increased or decreased voter turnout. Research data suggests that these methods are effective at increasing voter turnout.]

Cambridge IV 21-23 November 2014

Cambridge IV (21/23 November 2014; Cambridge, UK)

Round 1: This House Would not punish those who live below the poverty line for economic crimes, e.g. theft
Round 2: This House, as a superhero, would agree to use their powers solely in service of the democratic state
Round 3: This House Supports the objectification of men in popular culture.
Round 4: This House Would require that any houses or apartments left vacant for six months or more be surrendered to the State.
Round 5: This House Believes THat Western foreign policy should abandon attempts to universalise liberal values
ESL Semi: This House Believes That Google should inform the authorities about suicide searches
ESL Final: Assuming the existence of a gay gene, This House Would disproportionately favour embryos that possess it in IVF.
Open Quarter: This House Would prohibit all research aiming to create sentient artificial intelligences.
Open Semi: This House Supports the New Atheism movement
Open Final: This House Believes That unpaid domestic workers should strike for state pay

Cicero Debattoernooi 22 November 2014

Cicero Debattoernooi (22 November 2014; Tilburg, the Netherlands)Motions are translated from Dutch
Round 1: This House would grant an additional vote to families with children for national elections
Round 2: 
You are a doctor. You have a patient of whom it has been commonly assumed that she suffers from epilepsy. This patient spends her spare time in visiting and forming social contacts in epilepsy support groups. A recent medical test showed that she does not suffer from epilepsy after all.

This House would hide the diagnosis of pseudo-epilepsy from the patient
Round 3: This House would submit religious organisations to the full extent of anti-discrimination laws
Round 4: This House would nationalise social media
Round 5: This House would show a more prominent role for women in history books
Novice Final: This House disapproves of movements that aim to further the acceptation of obesity in society
Semi Final: This House would never target civilians in a total war
Final: This House Believes that it is justified for society to demand of migrants that they accept the dominance of existing norms and values

Cambridge Women’s 23 November 2014

Cambridge Women’s (23 November; Cambridge, UK)

Round 1: This House Would legalise the buying and selling of sexual services

Round 2: This House Believes That football fans should boycott the 2022 world cup in Qatar

Round 3: This House Believes that the US and Iran should ally to fight ISIS

Round 4: This House Would aggresively financially incentivise the enrollment of female students in areas with low female enrollment

ESL Final: This House Believes That developed countries should grant an amnesty to illegil immigrants

Open Semi This House Believes that individuals have a right to a basic income regardless of capacity or willingness to work

Open Final: This House Would allow individuals to sue religious organisations for making decisions that harm them

Yorkshire Novice Cup 23 November 2014

Yorkshire Novice Cup (23 November 2014, Hull, UK)

Round 1: This House would replace all sin taxes with an increase in income tax
Sin taes are taxes above VAT, levied on goods considered to be unhealthy such as alcohol and tobacco

Round 2: This House believes that the EU should issue a directive to all its member states to legalise gay marriage
An EU Directive is a non-binding requirement passed to EU member states to enforce a policy within a certain time frame. Not fulfilling this requirement will lead to heavy financial penalties.

Round 3: This House would abolish all non-comprehensive schools and require children to attend their geographically closest school.

Round 4: This House believes that sexually assertive female pop stars identifying as feminists is harmful for feminism.

Final: This House believes that Western nations should not attend sporting events in countries with bad human rights records

Moscow Open 2014 28-30 November

Moscow Open 2014 (28 - 30 November)
1. THBT laws about abortion should be decided in women-only referenda
2. TH prefers a world in which people do not believe in the existence of God or a divine being
3. THBT Putin's interventionist role in global geopolitics is contrary to the interests of the Russian people
4. This House Supports the use of tiger parenting techniques
5. THBT celebrities should not act as spokespeople for humanitarian issues
SEMI: THW if it was technologically possible erase memory of the idea and events caused by Nazism
FINAL: THBT a state's primary obligation is towards its own citizens

Westminster Open 6-7 December 2014

Westminster Open 6-7 December

Round 1: THW base monetary criminal fines primarily on the income of the perpetrator rather than the severity of the crime

Round 2: THBT the EU should abandon its commitment to the principle of open borders between member states.

Round 3 info video: (1:10 to 2:00)
Round 3: THBT feminists should support the HeForShe movement.

Round 4 info slide: The Association of South East Asian Nations (also known as ASEAN) consists of the following countries; Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Its aim is to accelerate economic growth, social progress and peace and stability within the region.

Round 4: THB it is in ASEAN's long term best interests to seek closer ties with China rather than the U.S.A.

Round 5 info slide: John Lennon freely admitted in multiple interviews to committing acts of domestic abuse. Jimmy Page has admitted on multiple occasions that he was in a relationship with a 14 year old girl.

Round 5: THBT the music press should aggressively negatively depict the work of artists, such as John Lennon and Jimmy Page who commit morally reprehensible ac

Novice Final info slide: To proselytise is to induce someone to convert to one's own religious faith.
Novice Final: THW ban religious charities from proselytising in the developing world.

Semi-Final: THS the decision of pop stars such as Lily Allen and Adele to not take part in Band Aid

Final: THW grant an amnesty to those who commit crimes during US race riots so long as they meet the following criteria:

1. They were motivated by a desire to fight social injustice
2. If property is targeted, it belongs to the aparatus of the state (for example, police cares and government buildings

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Open Discussion - Let's Make Better Motions

Debaters often walk out of rounds and complain about the motion. Judges often exit from difficult consensus judging (or even easy) and complain about the motion. To some extent, debaters want to blame something other than their actual performance for their results.

Motions are developed by disparate groups, some skilled and experienced and some not so experienced. Debaters and judges often complain but have very little experience at how difficult it is to set good motions.

The problem is that we have not developed a set of standards by which to make a judgement about the quality of a given motion.

This discussion aims not at solving these problems, but invites people to work on a set of standards that people framing motions can use and that people complaining about motions should refer to. As debaters we need to be able to give strong reasons for our opinions. Let us develop these standards.

GLOBAL DEBATE invites people to begin a discussion on our Facebook group BETTER DEBATE MOTIONS and below in the comments section. Comments will be examined and for the most part approved (software sales do not seem relevant and this is a world of spam) and as there is a consensus I will try to synthesize (with the help of others) a set of standards. We will not always agree, but we can come to a consensus. Judges do it all the time.

The purpose here is not to attack any tournament or adjudication core, but to do better in the future.

But we should do our homework - let us look at what others have said. They may have useful ideas.

A shortlist of places to look includes, in no particular order:

Briefings from previous WUDC tournaments can be found at 

There might be some good ideas in older debate textbooks, many of which can be found here 

Let us begin this discussion. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

WUDC 2015 Malaysia

From (also includes motion balance statistics)

THR the decline of tightly integrated families

THBT environmental movements should support climate engineering that fundamentally alters the environment in an attempt to combat global warming

THBT in areas of socio-economic deprivation, schools should train students in vocational skills to the exclusion of the liberal arts

THW prohibit the media from reporting on the mental illness of those accused of crimes

THBT the international community should cut off internet access in Syria

THBT developing countries should adopt economic development policies that heavily disincentivise urbanisation

THW ban the research and production of moral enhancement drugs

THBT the US and EU should seek to promote peace by heavily subsidising Israeli businesses who invest in the Palestinian territories

TH, as a medical professional employed by the US military or security sevices, would, and would encourage others, to refuse orders to provide medical treatment to individuals undergoing 'enhanced interrogation techniques'

TH regrets the rise of art that celebrates gaining material wealth
THBT judges should deliberately misinterpret constitutions to protect important liberties

THW ban its citizens from visiting illiberal states whose economies depend on tourism
THBT progressive politicians in conservative societies should pander to bigots, racists, hardline conservatives and others with regressive views in attempting to win elections

THBT the African-American community should actively oppose 'broken windows policies'
THW strictly limit the replacement of workers with technology by companies
THBT liberal democracies that overthrow the governments of other states should impose power-sharing, even when this severely overrides or delays democratic representation

THW allow corporations to use hackers to retaliate against cyberattacks where the state seems unwilling or unable to do so
THBT disadvantaged groups should emphasise their conformity with, rather than distinctiveness from, dominant culture, as a strategy for improving their social position
TH regrets the decline of secular pan-Arab nationalism
THBT all states should create special economic zones in cities, where all economic activities (except the purchase of goods and services) are carried out by women
THBT humanitarian organisations should, and should be allowed to, give funding, resources or services to illegal armed groups when this is made a condition for access to vulnerable civilians