Slider3
Daniel Kustin 2017-11-28
The Stereotypes Are Broken At Russian Debating Championships

International relations are not only built by prominent politicians but also by young leaders who have a passion for public speaking. Student parliament debating is a tradition that inspires the youth to change the future.

Four teams are debating in one room for an hour. Each team consists of two speakers and each speaker speaks for 7 minutes. The teams from each side are to maintain loyalty with one another while demonstrating the unique qualities of their own arguments. Debating begins with a seven-minute speech by the Prime Minister.  The Prime Minister defines and interprets the motion as well as develops the case for the proposition.  The Leader of the Opposition accepts the interpretation of the proposition, refutes the Prime Minister’s case, and presents one or more arguments in opposition to the case delivered by the Prime Minister.




Debating exposes to a wider variety of people and opinions. What a debater experiences is a very transdisciplinary approach towards issues in business, in politics, in ethics, in social institutions like health, education and so forth. This is quite unlikely to happen if students are going to a scientific conference, where everybody basically studied very similar professions or majors so the scope is often more limited.

In debating speakers are confronted with so many topics and such different people that after it they gain many different perspectives. As a result, participants are becoming better decision makers and more profound thinkers. This caters towards a real pressing demand of the job market which is a broad and open minded thinking. It's this "thinking out of the box״ tool that debates gives.





Yael Bezalel, a debate trainer , believes that every talented student will take a leadership in business and political communities so for a person who might be interested in a career in political sphere spending one or two years in debating society is absolutely not a waste of time.  This statement fails in every framework that can be tested. People are influenced by economy factors but the impact of human relations and ethical principles is much higher.

Yael Bezalel teaches debate at both the Israeli College of Management at the Technion Institute of Israel. She came to the HSE Open debating championship as a Chief Adjudicator (CA) and is still interested in a Russian debating society. She gives advices to Russian speakers as they participate in international championships.

International community is highly interested in Russian debating society. Jeremy Miraglia graduated from The George Washington University and London School of Economics and Social Science. A couple of years before he considered coming to debate in Russia. He was hesitant at first. He was concerned about the conflict and whether or not it would be safe to go to a country that is under heavy sanctions from his country. He was also afraid that Russia had a lot of crime. This fear came from stories students were told about post-Soviet Russia and how the economic crisis led to the rise of criminal organizations and an abhorrence towards Westerners.


At the debating championship he got to meet some of the most intelligent and kind people on the Russian debating circuit. They had some high-caliber topics and phenomenal discourse. Jeremy Miragila expressed his willingness to return to Russia and maybe one day work there in the financial sector. ‘This is, of course, assuming I can pronounce the letter “ы” and learn how to correctly pronounce “ь”.’ – laughs Jeremy.


In debating society taboos motions are set. There are topics that are forbidden to be argued because they may harm one’s feelings. The rules are easy but towin debaters are to follow standards and professional qualifications. 


‘On tournaments and championships it is not fair to set the motion that might trigger students to feel extremely unhappy or being hurt and make people regret the fact that they came to the championship. For championships we’re picking motions that are somehow linked to issues where there will be equally approach of local and international guests. People should be provoked about things that they might not be discussing in general. It is a delicate art when you choose between provoking and exciting and putting people in extremely uncomfortable situation.’ – states Yael Bezalel.   


Speaker

Speaker Responsibilities

Prime Minister

1st speaker for 1st proposition:

Defines and interprets the motion

Develops the case for the proposition

Leader of Opposition

1st speaker for 1st opposition:

Accepts the definition of the motion

Refutes the case of the 1st proposition

Constructs one or more arguments against the Prime Minister’s interpretation of the motion.

Deputy Prime Minister

2nd speaker for 1st proposition:

Refutes the case of the 1st opposition

Rebuilds the case of the 1st proposition

May add new arguments to the case of the 1st proposition

Deputy Leader of Opposition 2nd speaker for 1st opposition:

Continues refutation of case of 1st proposition

Rebuilds arguments of the 1st opposition

May add new arguments to the case of the 1st opposition

Member of Government

1st speaker for 2nd proposition:

Defends the general direction and case of the 1st proposition

Continues refutation of 1st opposition team

Develops a new argument that is different from but consistent with the case of the 1st proposition (sometimes called an extension).

Member of Opposition

1st speaker for 2nd opposition:

Defends the general direction taken by the 1st opposition.

Continues general refutation of 1st proposition case

Provides more specific refutation of 2nd opposition

Provides new opposition arguments

Government Whip

2nd speaker for 2nd proposition:

Summarizes the entire debate from the point of view of the proposition, defending the general view point of both proposition teams with a special eye toward the case of the 2nd proposition

Does not provide new arguments.

Opposition Whip

2nd speaker for 2nd opposition:

Summarizes the entire debate from the point of view of the opposition, defending the general view point of both opposition teams with a special eye toward the case of the 2nd opposition

Does not provide new arguments.

willamette.edu


 ‘On tournaments and championships it is not fair to set the motion that might trigger students to feel extremely unhappy or being hurt and make people regret the fact that they came to the championship. For championships we’re picking motions that are somehow linked to issues where there will be equally approach of local and international guests. People should be provoked about things that they might not be discussing in general. It is a delicate art when you choose between provoking and exciting and putting people in extremely uncomfortable situation.’ – states Yael Bezalel.  Some topics are controversial but where else might one stresses official position and approach the topic from another angle?





Yael advices to look at debating as a very fun process of learning. ‘You have to be better then you were on the previous practice. It is hard because you have to speak for a seven minutes without anybody interrupting you. You will hardly get this opportunity in the real life.’- she convinced those who contemplated about whether it’s worth debating at all. 


ph: Flickr