CONTENT HOW IT ALL HAPPENED .......................................... 3 WORLD SCHOOLS DEBATE FORMAT .................................. 6 The Roles of the Speakers .................................. 6 Points of Information ...................................... 8 Judges .................................................... 10 Content/Arguments ......................................... 10 Understanding the issues .................................. 12 The Case Division ......................................... 13 The Mark Sheet ............................................ 13 World schools debate format overview ...................... 15 How to build a speech ..................................... 16 SIMULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT....................... 20 Why use the simulation model as a learning tool? .......... 20 Why the European Parliament? .............................. 21 Before the simulation ..................................... 24 Preparation process in four steps ......................... 24 Implementation of the Simulation – an example ............. 27 How the educators assessed the implementation of the Simulation ................................................ 30 How the students felt ..................................... 33 PUBLIC DEBATES – LESSONS LEARNED ............................ 35 HOW TO ORGANIZE AND MODERATE A PANEL DISSCUSION ............ 38 Types of panel discussion ................................. 38 Choosing the topic and preparing the concept of discussion 38 Speakers – panelists ...................................... 39 Panel size and length ..................................... 40 Moderator ................................................. 40 Questions and structure of the discussion ................. 41 Setting the stage ......................................... 42 During the debate ......................................... 43 Public .................................................... 43 After the formal discussion ............................... 44 SUGGESTED EXERCISES ......................................... 45 TITLE OF THE EXERCISE: Get to the core of it .............. 46
TITLE OF THE EXERCISE: Argument step by step – person by person .................................................... 48 TITLE OF THE EXERCISE: ‘Why?’ Chain ....................... 50 TITLE OF THE EXERCISE: Speaking in character .............. 51 TITLE OF THE EXERCISE: Contrast ........................... 52 TITLE OF THE EXERCISE:
Four point debate ................. 53
TITLE OF THE EXERCISE: Negotiations game .................. 54 TITLE OF THE LECTURE: WARM UP SPEECHES AND MORE ........... 56 TITLE OF THE LECTURE: MOTION ANALYSIS ..................... 57 TITLE OF THE EXERCISE: 5-9-3 .............................. 58 TITLE OF THE EXERCISE: Balloon game ....................... 59 CASE EXAMPLES, RECOMMENDED TOPICS AND EXERCISE ARGUMENTS ... 60 THBT we should tax products according to their environmental and social footprint. ..................................... 61 SIDE PROPOSITION (Jure Hederih) ......................... 61 SIDE OPPOSITION (Samo Planinc) .......................... 66 THBT online activism is counterproductive ................. 70 SIDE PROPOSITION (Denis Horvat) ......................... 70 SIDE OPPOSITION (Neja Berger) ........................... 75 THBT cannot be equal opportunities without a strong welfare state ..................................................... 81 SIDE PROPOSITION (Zoran Fijavz) ......................... 81 SIDE OPPOSITION (Ziva Antolin) .......................... 88 LIST OF SUGGESTED TOPICS .................................... 93 EU related ................................................ 93 General ................................................... 94 EXERCISE ARGUMENTS .......................................... 97
HOW IT ALL HAPPENED Before you is a manual that is a product of international non-formal education partnership between seven countries under the title ‘Simulation for Action Stimulation’ supported by the European Commission, Europe for Citizens Grant. Partner countries in the project included, Za in proti, Zavod za kulturo dialoga as the leading partner and Asociace debatních klubů, o.s., Praha (Czech Republic), Estonian Debating Society, Tallinn (Estonia), Hrvatsko debatno društvo, Zagreb (Croatia), Debating Society Germany, Stuttgart (Germany), Slovak Debate Association, Bratislava (Slovakia), Asociatia Romana pentru Gandire si Orato, Ploiesti (Romania). The project lasted for 10 months in which we organized 6 national events, compiled a research pack, voted on the topics of the event, cooperated in the preparation phase of the international event in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia and implemented it with great success (read the evaluation here). The
project acted as a follow up for the networking of partner organizations from
the event 'Think-Meet-Debate-Include-Europe' plus includes a wider network of participating organizations dealing with informal education. The decision for the follow up followed the extremely good evaluation of the first event and the expressed wish of the participating organizations to organize a longer event with a more diverse methodology for debating European issues with a special interest to youth. The main aims of the proposed event were: 1. to strengthen the network of partner organizations already established through the first event; 2. to multiply the effects of exchange of best practices to a wider network of partners; 3. to upgrade methodological framework of the first event with the inclusion of Simulation of the European Parliament as a learning model; and 4. to continue the debate about the current dilemmas of Europe through a participatory and democratic approach. The international event, as the main event of the project, featured debates, Simulation of the European Parliament, a round table public discussion, cultural exchange activities, sightseeing and a lot more. It was attended by 65 participants from 6 countries. Content wise the project addressed the issues that
of youth, their mobility and of education as defined in the Europe 2020 Strategy and the Lisbon Treaty. Young participants actively participated in the selection of the topics for the international event, which means that the topics debated reflect their interests and their concerns about the future of Europe. The topics debated at the event include: ‘European education system is out of touch with the job market’; ‘Online activism is counterproductive’; ‘THBT the EU should impose sanctions on the member states that do not protect the rights of sexual minorities’; and ‘EU universities should be free’. The Simulation of the European Parliament brought to the table the discussion about whether the EP should adopt international counterfeiting trade agreement ACTA and whether we should tax products with a negative social and ecological impact. By coincidence the young participants rejected the ACTA agreement on the same day than the MEP’s. Apart from debating and participating in the Simulation the young participants took part in content, argumentation and public speaking lectures and exercises, which proved once again to be a great learning success model. This manual is a product of partner cooperation on methodology, exchange of best practices, lessons learned during the event and outcomes of the workshops conducted during the event itself. In the manual you will find introduction to the World Schools Debate Format, presentation of the model of the Simulation of the European Parliament (accompanied by students and teacher evaluation) and a guide to organizing public discussions (with a report on the implemented activities during the project). It is supported by diverse learning tools that are made ready to use in a classroom or a workshop. The partners compiled a list of exercises, the students contributed the arguments and we all selected a list of topics that can be used when dealing with the contemporary challenges of the European Union. We hope that you’ll find the manual useful and informative. We had great fun implementing the activities, and we hope you will as well!
List of contributors: Miha Andrić
Slovenia, workshop leader
Estonia, workshop leader
Slovakia, workshop leader
Croatia, workshop leader
Slovenia, workshop leader
Romania, workshop leader
Alfred C. Snider
USA, workshop leader
Romania, workshop leader
WORLD SCHOOLS DEBATE FORMAT Adapted by Bojana Skrt The World School Debate Format was specifically created for the Worlds Schools Debating Championship. More about the championship www.schoolsdebate.com However, now there are numerous countries adopting the format and Worlds School Debate Format is the most common debated debate format in high schools in countries like Germany, Netherlands, Slovenia, Greece, Israel, New Zealand, South Korea, Qatar, Singapore and a lots of others. Format. Each debate has two teams. Each team has three debaters, who each speak once, these speeches last for 8 minutes. After each speaker has spoken once, each team has one 4 minutes reply speech, the reply speech is firstly presented by opposition team, and then the governmentâ€™s reply speech comes. The reply speeches can be given by the first or second speaker on the team. The reply speech is half the length of the main speeches. During the main speeches the opposing team can offer points of information. Points of information cannot be offered in the first and the last minute of the speech. Furthermore, no points may be offered during the reply speeches. The motions that the teams debate are general issues rather than specific programs or proposals. The debate is between teams, not individuals. Each team member has a specific part of the team case to present, and must also attack the other side and defend the team from attack. As the debate progresses, more and more time must be spent dealing with issues already raised in the debate, and less and less time must be spent on new argument and issues. Each team must persuade the audience that its arguments are superior. To do this it must present sound logical arguments, it must present them in an interesting and persuasive speaking style, and it must structure and prioritise its arguments. All three aspects of debate are given emphasis.
The Roles of the Speakers The first government speaker defines the motion, outlines the government case, announces the case division, and presents her or his part of the case.
The first opposition deals with the definition if it is a problem, explains the important differences between the two team cases, outlines the opposition case, refute the proposition case, announces the case division, and presents her or his part of the case. The second government defends the government definition (if required) and case from the opposition attacks, rebuts the opposition case, and proceeds with her or his part of the government case. Somewhere around 2 to 3 minutes into the speech the speaker will turn from attacking the opposition to presenting the new part of the argument. The second opposition does much the same as the second government. The opposition will turn from attacking the government to presenting the new part of the argument somewhere around 3 to 4 minutes into the speech. The third government is going to spend a large part of her or his time attacking the other side. She or he can have a small part of the government case to present, but they do not need to do it. However, she needs to rebuild the proposition case. The third opposition is going to spend most of her or his time attacking the other side and rebuilding the opposition constructive. The reply speeches are not going to go into fine detail, but will take a broad approach to the issues of the debate. They should also summarise their own case either as part the analysis of the issues or towards the end of the speech as a separate section. For obvious reasons the reply speeches cannot introduce new arguments. Not only is this unfair but a complete misunderstanding of the role of reply speeches. The reply speech is a summing up of the whole debate, not a chance to introduce new ideas. The debate begins with a speaker whose arguments are entirely new. As it goes on, more and more time is spent dealing with what has been said by previous speakers, and less and less comes in that is new. By the end of the debate there is no new argument, and the speakers deal only with what has gone before. If you were to graph this, there would be a line dropping from 100% new matter at first government to almost O% at third opposition and replies, and a corresponding line rising from O% rebuttal at first government to almost 100% rebuttal at third opposition and replies.
Points of Information A point of information is offered in the course of a speech by a member of the opposing team. The speaker may either accept the point or decline it. If accepted, the opponent may make a short point or ask a short question that deals with some issue in the debate (preferably one just made by the speaker). It is, if you like, a formal interjection. Points of information bring about a major change in the role of speakers in a debate. In this style each speaker must take part in the debate from beginning to end, not just during their own speech. A first speaker for the government continues to play an active role in the debate even when the third speaker for the opposition is speaking. Equally, the third speaker for the opposition must play an active role in the debate when the first speaker for the government is speaking. The speakers play this role by offering points of information. Even if the points are not accepted, they must still demonstrate that they are involved in the debate by at least offering. A speaker who takes no part in the debate other than by making a speech should lose marks for content and strategy - content for failing to take advantage of opportunities, strategy for failing to understand the role of a speaker under this style. Equally, speakers must ensure that they accept at least some points of information during their speech. In an 8 minute speech, taking at least 2 would be expected (depending, of course, on how many are offered). A speaker who fails to accept any points of information must lose marks for content (failing to allow the other side to make points, thus reducing the amount of direct clash between the two teams) and particularly strategy (for not understanding the role of the speakers in this style - or, to put it another way, for cowardice!). Of course, a speaker who takes too many will almost certainly lose control of the speech and thus lose marks for style and probably also for strategy (poor speech structure) and content as well. The Etiquette of Points of Information. A point of information is offered by standing and saying "Point of information;' or something similar. The speaker on the floor is not obliged to accept every point. She or he may - ask the interrupter
to sit down finish the sentence and then accept the point, or accept the point then and there. More than one member of the opposing team may rise simultaneously. The speaker on the floor may decline all or some, and may choose which one to take. The others then sit down. Opposing speakers must sometimes tread a fine line between the legitimate offering of points of information on the one hand, and barracking on the other. The fact that points must be offered makes the style more aggressive and more prone to interruptions. However, continuous offering by a team really amounts to excessive interruption and is barracking. This should incur penalties in style for the team members involved. It is impossible to put a figure on how many points of information a team may offer before its behaviour constitutes barracking. Judges should determine when the offering of points of information, far from adding to the debate, begins to infringe on the right and/or ability of the speaker to address the audience. This determination requires sensitivity to the context of the particular debate: two well-matched and highly-skilled teams may offer each other many points of information without disrupting the debate or unsettling the speaker on the floor, but points offered at this same high rate to a speaker who is less confident may constitute barracking. In general, speakers should not offer points of information only a few seconds after a previous offer has been declined or while the speaker on the floor is clearly in the early stages of answering a point of information she just accepted: frequent violations of these principles might reasonably be penalized. The point of information may be in the form of a question to the person making a speech, or it may be a remark addressed through the person chairing the debate. Some teams tend to use the latter format, while most teams tend to ask a question. Let it be clear that either format is perfectly acceptable. The point of information must be brief. 10 to 15 seconds is the norm, and over that the interrupter should be told to sit down by the speaker. As well, when the person making the speech understands the point, she or he can tell the interrupter to sit down - the speaker does not have to let the point get right through to the end in all cases. Always remember that the speaker who is
making the speech has complete control of points of information - when to accept them, whether to accept them and how long they should go on for. This, of course, puts a premium on clear simple points. In one debate the interrupter began by saying ‘I may be particularly dense...’ and paused, whereupon the speaker said ‘yes you are’ and continued with his speech. This was a waste of a good opportunity, all because the interrupter chose to indulge in pompous oratory rather than a crisp clear point.
Judges Debates are judged by one or more judges. Each judge makes decision by her or himself. After the debate is over, judges give an oral critique revealing the decision, explaining why one team wins and the other loses. Judges make the decision on the basis of three elements: content, style and strategy.
Content/Arguments Content covers the arguments that are used, divorced from the speaking style. It is as if you are seeing the arguments written down rather than spoken. The judge must assess the weight of the arguments without being influenced by the magnificence of the orator that presented them. Content will also include an assessment of the weight of rebuttal or clash. This assessment must be done from the standpoint of the average reasonable person. The adjudicator's job is to assess the strength of an argument regardless of whether the other team is able to knock it down. If a team introduces a weak argument, it will not score highly in content even if the other team doesn't t refute it. Two consequences flow from this, however: First, if a major team argument is plainly weak, an opposing team which doesn't refute it may well have committed a greater sin than the team which introduced it. In effect the team has let the other team get away with a weak argument. This is not an automatic rule, but is true in many cases. Of course, it must be a major argument, not a minor example which the opposing team correctly chooses to ignore in favour of attacking more significant points. Second, adjudicators have to be careful not to be influenced by their own beliefs and prejudices, nor by their own specialised knowledge.
Arguments have three components:
claim or assertion
reasoning which explains why the claim is true
evidence, which proves the reasoning.
Style. Style covers the way the speakers speak. There is not just one, the best speaking tyle, there are different good speaking styles! Strategy. Strategy covers two concepts:
structure and timing of the speech, and
whether the speaker understood the issues of the debate.
These matters are sufficiently important to justify taking them separately. Structure and timing. A good speech has a clear beginning, middle and end. Along the way there are signposts to help us see where the speaker is going. The sequence of arguments is logical and flows naturally from point to point. This is as true of a first speaker outlining the government case as it is of the third speaker rebutting the government case. Good speech structure, therefore is one component of strategy. Timing is also important, but it must not be taken to extremes. There are two aspects to timing:
speaking within the allowed time limit, and
giving an appropriate amount of time to the issues in the speech.
As to the first, a speaker who goes significantly over time (for example, 9 minutes in an 8 minute speech) ought to get a penalty. Equally, a speaker who goes significantly under time (for example, 7 minutes in an 8 minute speech) in most cases would get a similar penalty. Bear in mind, however, that timing is only one element of strategy. A speaker whose only sin is to go over time might still get a reasonable strategy mark if every other aspect of strategy was quite outstanding. It would not be a brilliant mark - there would still be a penalty - but it would not automatically be a very low mark either. It all depends how good the rest of the elements of strategy were. As to the second, a speaker ought to give priority to important issues and leave unimportant ones to later. For example it is generally a good idea for a rebuttal speaker (i.e. anyone other than the first speaker for the government) to begin with the attack on the other side before going on to the speaker's positive case
This is because it is more logical to get rid of the opposing argument first before trying to put something in its place. A speaker should also give more time to important issues. If there is a critical point that buttresses the whole of that team's case, it ought to get a fair amount of time so that it can be properly established. But if there is a point that is fairly trivial, it doesn't deserve more than a trivial amount of time. So the adjudicator must weigh up not only the strength of the arguments in the content category, but also the proper time and priority that was given to them in the strategy category.
Understanding the issues Closely related to the last point is that debaters should understand what the important issues were in the debate. It is a waste of time for a rebuttal speaker to deal with trivial points if crucial arguments are left unanswered. Such a speaker would not understand the important issues of the debate, and should not score well in strategy. By contrast, a speaker who understood what the important issues were and dealt with them thoroughly should score well in strategy. It is very important that adjudicators understand the difference between strategy and content. Imagine a debate where a speaker answers the critical issues with some weak rebuttal. This speaker should get poor marks for content, because the rebuttal was weak. But the speaker should get reasonable marks for strategy, because the right arguments were being addressed.
The Reply Speech The thematic approach to argument outlined above becomes critical in the reply speeches. These have been described as "an adjudication from our side" and really amount to an overview of the major issues in the debate. A reply speaker does not have time to deal with small arguments or individual examples. The speaker must deal with the two or three major issues in the debate in global terms, showing how they favour the speaker's team and work against the opposition team. As a general rule, a reply speaker who descends to the level of dealing with individual examples probably doesn't understand either the issues of the debate or the principles of good argument.
The Case Division With three speakers on a team, the affirmative arguments has to be divided between the first two (and perhaps the third government as well). The same is true for the opposition team, however the third speaker should not present new opposition constructive arguments, because their main role is to refute the propositionâ€™s arguments. The first proposition speaker is obliged to present the proposition time line and division of the case. This needs to be done before the first speaker starts to explain their part of the case. The same is true for the first opposition speaker.
The Mark Sheet Here is the standard mark sheet. Marks are awarded to each speaker as follows: Content
In the reply speeches, the marks are halved. Substantive Speeches (Out of 100)
Reply Speeches (Out of 50) Standard
Very Good to Excellent
Pass to Satisfactory
World schools debate format overview Speech
Duties Interpretation, definition of the motion.
Proposition 1st Speaker
Outline the government case, announce the 8 minutes
case division. 2 or 3 major arguments supporting the motion Outline the opposition case, announce the case division.
Opposition 1st Speaker
Accept or dispute definition Refute proposition’s major arguments Present 1-2 major arguments opposing the motion Attack new opposition arguments
Proposition 2nd Speaker
Rebuild original proposition arguments Present new argument supporting the motion
Opposition 2nd Speaker Proposition 3rd Speaker Opposition 3rd Speaker
Attack new proposition arguments 8 minutes
Rebuild original opposition arguments Present new argument opposing the motion
8 minutes 8 minutes
Refute opposition arguments Rebuild proposition arguments Refute proposition arguments Rebuild opposition arguments
Opposition reply speech 7
(given by 1st
Summarize the debate from the perspective of the opposition
speaker) Proposition reply speech 8
(given by 1st of 2nd speaker)
Summarize the debate from the perspective of the proposition
How to build a speech Important features of any case Be clear Divide the issues Name each point Present the major arguments in a clear organized way, through the identification of several contentions or major issues or major arguments. Match them with the topic’s stock issues. Word the contentions clearly and simply so that judges can write them down easier. Avoid using lots of subpoints. You want your ideas sound big, not fragmental or trivial. Choose the language carefully, dapt to the audience Structuring A basic proposition case should follow the basic narrative form: introduction, body and conclusion. The first government speech should look like: 1. A speech introduction 2. An interpretation of the motion 3. A case that supports the motion 4. A speech conclusion Speech introduction The presentation must give a good impression of the debaters and their ideas. Why: to establish your/speaker credibility and offer a powerful introduction on the subject matter. What: present striking information, preview of the case, don’t give too much information about your case, don't let the opposition to start
preparing the refutation right after your introduction! Don’t waste time on saying hellos to everybody present! How: brief, 15 to 30 sec, using pathos, appeal to the audience, you may be emotional, use stories, anecdotes, humor, lyrics. You want they remember you! You want they listen to you! You want they believe you! You want they want for you! You want to strengthen your position! Using these examples is what we call rhetorical framing and it makes your speech more powerful and easier to remember. By a rhetorical framing we mean slogans, metaphors, analogies that frame the general idea of your case. The introduction should not be a reaction of the opposition speeches, but the foundation for your arguments, before you start to speak about the opponents arguments. Interpreting the motion Any given topic can be interpreted in different ways so it is important that you clearly define how your team understands the motion. Since words have different meanings you might consult a dictionary, encyclopedia or other relevant sources. Make sure you choose the commonsensical meaning of the motion, by that we mean that you should avoid extreme, obscure definitions. Remember – your audience should interpret it the way you did. You must debate the motion as presented and interpret it as best you can. Present a case that supports the motion i.e. ‘a case is a set of arguments that provide a proof for the motion’ In debate we broadly differentiate between policy and value cases. In the first example you address a specific problem that needs a proposal of reform, i.e. a change in (public) policy (e.g. We should tax products according to their social and environmental footprint). In the second case you argue about the relevance of a specific value and you the teams argue about the meaning of it (e.g. Environmentalism is the new religion).
Remember – in both of the examples you can not exclude either arguing about policy, or, on the other hand, arguing about values. They always overlap, but each motion calls for a different focus. Below is a description of you should typically address a policy motion. There is a problem in our societies and this problem causes harm: The proposition wants to change a status quo, i.e. the existing state of affairs at this time. You need to prove something is a problem by either/or showing that the problem is ongoing and that it has serious negative repercussions. The problem is important, i.e. significant enough to demand our attention: at this point you should amplify the qualitative and quantitative dimension of the debated issue - how seriously does the issue profoundly affect the life of an individual? and how many individuals are troubled by this matter?. A problem grows greater as it bothers people more and as more lives are touched. Include an explanation of the ongoing nature of a problem and the degree of its significance. Here is the solution, plan, model A comprehensive solution to a problem should include a plan of action and sufficient argumentation and information to sustain the claim that the presented plan adequately fixes the problem. Plan or model is it the formal expression of a solution to a problem. It should be brief but sufficient to provide a meaningful solution to the identified problem. The plan might be a summary of model legislation, agency or executive action, a sample court decree. A good plan would typically give answers to the following questions: Who will do it? What are they required to do? How will they accomplish their goals?
Here are the effects of our model, plan solutions By effects we mean social, individual, economic, environmental, etc. benefits that we typically occure if we were to adopt the proposed plan. It is the aim of the proposition to show that the plan carries significant advantages compared to living in the pre-plan state of affairs. Speech conclusion A good conclusion is as important as the introduction. Debaters should deliver powerful final comments in support of their side of the motion, although keeping in mind that the concluding remarks should not take more than 10 or 15 sec. The purpose of the conclusion is to summarize the relative positions of the teams in debate, identify a consistent and powerful theme associated with the presentation of the case, or remind the judges and audience of the serious matters under consideration. This technique will leave the judge with a final persuasive appeal for the case.
SIMULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT Anja Ĺ erc
Why use the simulation model as a learning tool? Simulations in their various forms enable students to address complex problems they are faced with through a didactic model that on the one hand simplifies the decision making process of political decision-making, and on the other hand provides them with a 'real-life' experience of participating in a political process. The simulation process allows for different variations which in turn provide the educators with the opportunity to adapt to differing needs of their students. General goals of simulations in the learning process are according to the Organization for global learning the following: -
To increase the level of awareness of an any given political context;
Encourage the understanding of different angles of any given topic, i.e. social, political, religious and economic implications;
To increase the understanding of the feeling of those involved;
To analyze the possible or concrete (historical) outcomes of deliberations on a given topic;
To increase the understanding of the procedures to be able to better understand other, similar situations.
The added educational value of the simulation model is, following different pedagogical guidlines in: -
Encouraging cooperative behavior;
Developing empathy towards the subjects because of the near real-life experience;
Increasing the ability to analyze the situations from different perspectives;
Enabling the participants to exercise direct decisional influence;
Activating the participants to act in relation to a real-life problem;
Motivating the students for learning;
Facing the students with the consequences of their own decisions through the evaluation process;
Teaching the students the lesson of taking on the responsibility for the own decisions;
Teaching the students the skills of writing, listening and public speaking.
The differing simulation models developed in the last fifty years are today considered as an important tool of 'education for global citizenship' since they encourage transformative learning, i.e. they cause changes not only in knowledge, but also in behavior. The different aspects of the transformative learning the process of Simulation implementation are the following: -
The lead the students through the process of understanding and getting to learn about the current state of affairs (preparation phase)
They demand from the students presentation of possible alternatives to the existing state of affairs (preparation and implementation phase), and
They confront the students with the outcomes of their decisions (implementation and evaluation phase).
Why the European Parliament? Students are generally reluctant to talk about what they deem are high political topics that bear little connection to their real life experience. They tend to find the topics boring, unconnected to their interests and too complicated. It is our role as educators to simplify the topics and make them relevant for them, which can be quite hard, especially when we’re talking about the complexities of the European institutional set-up. The students however have to be acculturated to the political landscape to which they belong and need to understand the basic democratic principles of the political institutions of Today. In this regard the European Parliament surely presents a body that will lead the political dance floor of the future. It’s unique composition, development and competencies are presented below. The description aims to bring a basic overview of the most important features of the only transnationally democratically elected body in the world today In the EU's unique institutional set-up:
the EU's broad priorities are set by the European Council, which brings together national and EU-level leaders
directly elected MEPs represent European citizens in the European Parliament
the interests of the EU as a whole are promoted by the European Commission, whose members are appointed by national governments
governments defend their own countries' national interests in the Council of the European Union.
The European Parliament is the only transnational directly elected body in the world. It is directly elected by EU voters every 5 years; members of the European Parliament (MEPs) represent the people. Parliament is one of the EU’s main lawmaking institutions, along with the Council of the European Union ('the Council'). The European Parliament has three main roles:
debating and passing European laws, with the Council
scrutinising other EU institutions, particularly the Commission, to make sure they are working democratically
debating and adopting the EU's budget, with the Council.
Passing European laws In many areas, such as consumer protection and the environment, Parliament works together with the Council (representing national governments) to decide on the content of EU laws and officially adopt them. This process is called "Ordinary legislative procedure" (ex "co-decision"). Under the Lisbon Treaty, the range of policies covered by the new ordinary legislative procedure has increased, giving Parliament more power to influence the content of laws in areas including agriculture, energy policy, immigration and EU funds. Parliament must also give its permission for other important decisions, such as allowing new countries to join the EU. Democratic supervision Parliament exercises influence over other European institutions in several ways. When a new Commission is appointed, its 27 members – one from each EU country – cannot take up office until Parliament has approved them. If the Members of the European Parliament disapprove of a nominee, they can reject the entire slate. Parliament can also call on the Commission to resign during its period in office. This is called a 'motion of censure'. Parliament keeps check on the Commission by examining reports it produces and by questioning Commissioners. Its committees play an important part here.
MEPs look at petitions from citizens and sets up committees of inquiry. When national leaders meet for European Council summits, Parliament gives its opinion on the topics on the agenda. Supervising the budget Parliament adopts the EU’s annual budget with the Council of the European Union. Parliament has a committee that monitors how the budget is spent, and every year passes judgement on the Commission's handling of the previous year's budget. Composition The number of MEPs for each country is roughly in proportion to its population. Under the Lisbon Treaty no country can have fewer than 6 or more than 96 MEPs. The current numbers in the Parliament were set, however, before the coming into force of the treaty. The numbers will be adjusted for the next mandate of the European Parliament. For example, the number of MEPs for Germany will thus be reduced from 99 to 96, whilst for Malta this number will increase from 5 to 6. MEPs are grouped by political affiliation, not by nationality. Location The European Parliament has three places of work – Brussels (Belgium), Luxembourg and Strasbourg (France). Luxembourg is home to the administrative offices (the ‘General Secretariat’). Meetings of the whole Parliament (‘plenary sessions’) take place in Strasbourg and in Brussels. Committee meetings are also held in Brussels. The simulation model presented below followed the procedural guidelines of the Plenary Session, which represents the culmination of the legislative work in the committees and in political groups. These sessions are intended for the Parliament to vote on EU legislation and adopt positions on the political issues. In our case we decided to bring before the Parliament two important issues: i) concrete decision of the European Parliament on the adoption of the ACTA Agreement and ii) a unique resolution on the possibilities of the adoption of a model of taxation for sustainability across the European Union member states. Source: The description was taken from the web portal Europa.eu
How it works?
Before the simulation As educators involved in the preparation process for the Simulation we have to make a careful analysis of what ends we wish to achieve with the learning process and adapt the model to the needs of our students and the time constraints of our teaching schedules. Through the description of the steps involved in the preparation phase we’ll highlight what we need to be careful of when preparing based on the experiences of the implemented simulation model during the ‘Simulation for Action Stimulation’ international debate academy.
Preparation process in four steps The event preparation process can be viewed and analyzed in four distinct steps: 1. CONTENT PREPARATIONS Because the goal of each Simulation is that participants acquire knowledge on a given subject we need to consider in what way will we lead them through this process and how we’ll actively involve them in it. There are generally speaking two options: i) to guide the students through the content preparation process where they are responsible to prepare the content materials like resolutions, amendments, party positions, etc.); or ii) to prepare the content materials ourselves prior to the event. These two options have to be considered in light of the time frame in which we can actively work with the participants. If the students cannot work together for a longer period of time (like a limited day international event), we need to carefully consider how much quality work they can actually do in that time and if necessary evaluate what we should prepare in advance in order that the process runs smoothly. Example: for the purposes of the implementation of the Simulation for action Stimulation European parliament simulation the organizers prepared the descriptions of the political parties, general outline of the resolution proposals and prepared the reports of the Special Rapporteurs. 2. PROCEDURAL PREPARATIONS Generally speaking all simulation models follow the general structure of the rules of procedure of the simulated bodies. Before each event we need to carefully study the rules of procedure of that body if we wish that the students don’t just learn
about the topic but also about the functioning of the institution they are simulating. The rules need to be clear and simple if we wish that the Simulation succeeds. All the rules have to be made clear prior to the event and discussed with the participants.
Example: prior to the event one of the youth leaders gave a lecture on the functioning of the European parliament and the basic principles of modern parliamentiarism. The students then had the chance to ask about the possible un-clarities and to discuss the importance of the European Parliament with the lecturer in the Q&A session.
SIMULATION SCHEDULE Monday, 2nd July 20:00 – 21:00
General introduction to the work of the European parliament
and the role of civil society -
introduction to EU institutions
general outline of the concepts related to the simulation: structure of the European Parliament, form of representation, relation to the European Commission, role and competencies, parliamentarism v. decision making
overview of the basic concepts related to simulation: motion, political groups, resolution, amendment, rules of courtesy, representation of European interests, roles of different members in the European Parliament (chair, member of the European Parliament, secretary-general of the European Parliament, Committees, Rapporteur)
role of civil society – European Citizens’ Initiative
Tuesday, 3rd July 9:00 – 10:15 Opening meeting of the parliamentary session -
establishing roles of members in attendance
establishing political groups
nominating and electing the Chair (three members of the Assembly are chosen to act as Chairs during the sessions based on rotation system)
nominating and electing the Secretary-General of the European Parliament
10:30 – 12:00
Round table discussion
Mojca Kleva (Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament),
Simon Delakorda (director of Institute for e-participation),
Domen Savič (member of the Slovene NGO e-democracy),
Mojca Markizeti (activist and member of the TRS party).
12:00 – 13:30
Report from the Rapporteur on ACTA (12:15 – 13:00) Report from the Rapporteur on taxation for sustainable development (13:00 – 13:30) Wednesday, 5th July 9:00 – 10:30 Work in political groups Internal discussion of the proposed resolutions and preparation of a general party mission Presentation of individual party political missions 10:45 – 11:15
Preparation of general party statements on the resolutions
11:15 – 12:15
12:15 – 13:00
Work on amendments
13:00 – 16:00 LUNCH AND INFORMAL LOBBYING 16:00 – 16:45
Final preparation of amendments and last stages of lobbying
17:00 – 18:30
Discussion and vote on the first resolution
18:30 – 20:00
Discussion and vote on the second resolution
3. PUBLIC SPEAKING AND ARGUMENTATION
When we’re preparing students/participants for a learning model that includes public speaking we have to equip them with the tools that will help them cope with their tasks. Lecture on the basic principles of public speaking and argumentation are an integral part of the preparation process, since we want the participants to feel confident.
Example: browse through the examples of exercises we used at the event in the manual. 4. ROOM
Before we start with the Simulation we need to make sure that the room is appropriate for the number of participants we wish to include in the process and that it enables them to move around freely. They also need to feel good in the room and if we can we need to equip the room with accessories that give it a feeling of a 'real thing'. Example: for the purposes of the Simulation we used the conference room of the Hotel where the event was taking place. We decorated the room with a EU flag and pre-pared power point slides featuring the titles of the proposed resolutions, different phases of the Simulation process, etcâ€Ś
Implementation of the Simulation â€“ an example
Simulation of the Youth European Parliament * The steps of the simulation and the involved institutions have been modified for pedagogical purposes and do not necessarily reflect the proceedings of the European Parliament. Day I Introductory lecture (45 minutes) -
introduction to EU institutions
general outline of the concepts related to the simulation: structure of the European Parliament, form of representation, relation to the European Commission, role and competencies
overview of the basic concepts related to simulation: motion, political groups, resolution, amendment, rules of courtesy, roles of different members in the European Parliament (chair, member of the European Parliament, secretary-general of the European Parliament)
Opening meeting of the parliamentary session (45 minutes) -
establishing roles of members in attendance
establishing political groups
nominating and electing the Chair (three members of the Assembly are chosen to act as Chairs during the sessions based on rotation system)
nominating and electing the Secretary-General of the European
Parliament SESSION OPENS
1. Special report by the Rapporteur on Youth Issues in the European Parliament (45 minutes) The Rapporteur presents the current state of affairs concerning youth in the European Parliament with special emphasis on youth political participation. What are the causes of general decline in interest, what is the demographic structure, what are the most worrisome trends with regard to youth policies in the EU, etcâ€Ś
The participants are presented with the Resolutions developed by the Rapporteur
Special time slot is dedicated to a Q&A session with the Rapporteur on possible questions connected with the introduced motions
Participants are given basic research pack on the presented motions and time to refresh their knowledge 2. Work in political groups (1,5 hour)
a) POLITICAL MISSION OF EACH GROUP (45 minutes) -
Political groups brainstorm about their political mission and goals. They prepare a short party programme, form the position to youth issues and select a name of the political group.
Participants select a representative who in a short speech (no more than 3 minutes presents the general political position of the group, their position on youth issues and the name of the political party.
b) INTERNAL DISCUSSION OF THE PROPOSED MOTIONS (45 minutes) -
Political groups meet to discuss the introduced motions. They prepare the list of motions they tend to support, brainstorm about suggestions to improve the motions; think about possible shortcomings of the suggested resolution.
Each group selects a Rapporteur who will present the position of the political group on the proposed motions
3. First reading
- Representative of each political group presents the position of their political party about the proposed motions (no more than 5 minutes per group) - the participants have to be aware of the importance of the first reading since they will form coalitions and positions in relation to other political groups based on the results of this session - there is no discussion in this phase of the simulation Day II 4. Lobbying
- (informal in the evening, morning session on the 2nd day starts with 45 minutes formal time allocated to finalizing the coalitions) 5. Second reading (2 hours) -
Each proposed resolution is debated before the Assembly. Each group can present maximum 2 changes to the resolution. Coalition of at least 2 political groups can introduce an amendment to the resolution. An amendment is either a change in the original wording of the resolution or an addition to the proposed text of the resolution.
The changes and possible amendments are debated in general discussion â€“ pros and cons of the proposed resolution, proposed changes and proposed amendments are discussed. Members who do not support the assemblyâ€™s decision continue to participate equally in future deliberations.
The resolution is put to vote. First the members of the Parliament vote on the amendments and changes made to the original text of the resolution. The voting procedure continues with a vote on the (amended) resolution. Resolution is adopted through a simple majority vote. Members of the European Parliament act in accord with their own judgments, often informed by the views of their constituents and/or political group membership.
6. Feedback and evaluation (45 minutes)
How the educators assessed the implementation of the Simulation Samo Novak (Slovenia) Description of the simulation Prior to the simulation the participants were divided into smaller groups that represented the political groups in the EP. Each of them was given a description of the main characteristics of the group, which corresponded with the basic principles, policy orientations and values held by the actual political groups in the EP. Participants, however, had to come up with their own ideas for the names of their respective political group and were never given the names of the actual EP political groups whose positions they were representing. In order to make the simulation as interesting and interactive as possible, the trainers also assigned some students with roles other than those of MEPs. Three participants represented the media and were posting news about the developments in the simulation on Facebook and on flipcharts in the so-called ‘media corner’. Furthermore, four students were assigned the roles of lobbyists (representing non-governmental organizations and the corporate fora) and were given time slots in which they were able to communicate with the political groups. Two students were assigned the roles of the Chairperson and the Secretary General. Before the commencement of the simulation, the participants took part in two ‘rapporteur sessions’ with the trainers where they were informed about the key issues pertaining to the two topics that were to be discussed in the simulation of the plenary sitting. The first session focused on the EP’s call for a new EU-wide consumption tax aimed at strengthening the commitments of member states to sustainable development in times of financial crisis. The second session focused on the EP’s call for greater transparency in the process of adopting the AntiCounterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and its appeal to member states to put ACTA on a national referendum. The simulation started with a brief presentation of the identities of each political group and their positions on the two recommendations (drafted by the trainers in advance) that were to be discussed in the session. The groups were then given time to draft their amendments and interact with the lobbyists and the media.
This was followed by a lively discussion on the proposed amendments and a final vote; first on the amendments and then the final text of the two EP recommendations as a whole. While the recommendation on green taxation was passed only with slight changes to the draft document, the recommendation containing the appeal to member states to put the adoption of ACTA on a national referendum was rejected. Evaluation of the simulation: knowledge acquired and lessons learned In the course of the of the simulation participants acquired a detailed insight into the work of the EP and furthermore explored two particular substantive fields that currently represent highly contentious and salient issues in European as well as other societies. The tangible results of and observations about the simulation can be summarized in the following paragraphs. Becoming familiar with the culture of parliamentarism. With most of the participants not having reached their voting age, introducing them to the basic principles and procedures of parliamentary work was essential in terms of paving the road to their active citizenship. Students learned about the nature of the work of parliamentarians and about the responsibility that they bear vis-Ă -vis the population they represent. This was also apparent in the discussions in which participants commonly referred to the people as the key potential beneficiaries of EPâ€™s decisions. Furthermore, the inclusion of lobbyists and the media in the simulation demonstrated the direct influence that the non-governmental sphere can have. Hence, the participants were given the possibility to comprehend the EP as an EU institution that is increasingly open to the interests of the people. Recognizing parliamentarism as a method of conflict resolution. Both motions discussed in the simulation were topics that have bred conflicts among political, economic and social groups all around Europe in the last couple of years. Although students had to represent particular points of view in line with their political groupâ€™s policy orientations, the discussions showed that they were willing to resolve their conflicting opinions through dialogue and negotiations. Through the simulation they were confronted with the need to make compromises in order to achieve certain rationales that they all agreed upon
(protection of the environment, protection of individuals’ privacy, sovereignty in taxation matters, etc.). Discussion, negotiations, and finally parliamentarism were therefore presented to them as a democratic means of conflict resolution. Improving communication and advocacy skills. Prior to the simulation all students also took part in workshops and practice debates that focused on improving their argumentation and public speaking skills. As the key role of parliamentarians is to convince their fellow politicians, the people and other stakeholders that certain measures need to be adopted, the acquisition of these skills is of utmost importance. The inclusion of students in these trainings helped them immensely in understanding the difference between structured and substantiated arguments based on knowledge and sound logic and weak arguments based on populist claims and emotional appeal. The diverse effect of both types of argumentation was also clearly visible in the simulation itself. Participants firmly rejected populist rhetoric and demanded that their fellow parliamentarians present them with arguments based on solid evidence and research rather than appeal to abstract concepts (e.g. ‘suspend rights to preserve them’, national independence and sovereignty, etc.). The simulation thus also demonstrated the value of debate teaching methodology and how the skills acquired in debate trainings can be used outside of the ‘traditional debate setting’. In-depth analysis of issues. The substantive nature of both motions used in the simulation required the participants to acquire a great deal of knowledge in order to have meaningful discussions. Each participating country prepared a research package on a particular aspect of the simulation prior to the event itself. The materials were made available to all participants in order for them to become familiar with the subject matter. The distributed materials were furthermore coupled with trainers’ lectures on related topics – intellectual property, EU law, protection of fundamental rights in the EU, history of European integration, development of the EP, protection of the environment, etc. Moreover, prior to the simulation students also participated in a round table discussion with experts on the issues to be discussed and a Slovenian MEP. The participants’ discussions in the simulation showed, however, that they were still more comfortable with using
arguments that they have actually heard people use. Teaching students how to be even more assertive in their thinking and how use arguments based on independent research rather than merely projecting other people’s opinions is therefore something that deserves future attention.
How the students felt Participants evaluation of the Simulation of the European Parliament In general the Simulation received a clear ‘very good’ mark in the category of ‘overall assessment’ (N=4). The great majority of the participants thought it was either ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’. The worst assessed category of the Simulation implementation was the round table discussion on the first day of the event (N=3.2). This category was also the most commented on in the ‘suggestions for future Simulation events’. The participants felt that the guests were avoiding giving concrete answers, that they didn’t have enough information and that they were not interesting in general. While there were some answers that indicated that participants had mixed feelings about different guests, the overall assessment shows that they didn’t really enjoy it in comparison to other activities connected to the Simulation. Experiences also show, that participants enjoy the activities in which they are active more than only listening (event though they participated in activities with questions). Best assessed categories were the ‘level of engagement of adult participants in the activity’ and the ‘quality of the supporting materials’ (both N=4.3). We are really pleased with this result since it shows that the participants had a good supporting environment in which they could engage with the learning process. One of the aspects in which we need to put more stress on is communication with the participants prior to the event with the aim of settling expectations and preparing a platform for the event, especially, when planning a group dynamic transcending national boundaries. While the overall assessment of the engagement of national youth leaders shows that the young participants were
generally satisfied, there are a high percentage of ‘not so good’ answers in this category (12%). There were few suggestions that the young participants believe would improve future implementations of the Simulation at similar events:
better guests at the round table discussion (which was also the worst assessed category of the Simulation implementation, i.e. N=3.2)
more days (at least two)
more specific instructions
building Resolutions alone from scratch (due to time restraints the trainers decided to build the Resolutions for the participants to modify)
more concentration on the results of the Simulation - what does it mean?
The main recommendation following the implementation of the Simulation is therefore to motivate participants to engage in activities leading up the event itself, prepare good supporting environment that engages both the participants and leaders of the event and to clearly establish the rules and procedure prior to the event the implementation of activities.
PUBLIC DEBATES – LESSONS LEARNED During the preparation phase leading up to the main event of the project the partners organized 6 different public discussions on 6 different topics with a total attendance of 600 people. The topics for the discussion were selected based on the identified interest of the audience and on the regional specifics under the theme of the project. In majority of cases the partners decided to organize round table discussions on topics of youth, since they are their primary public. The issues discussed ranged from youth poverty to violence in the family, mobility and employment / education. Romanian partners decided to discuss the anticounterfeiting trade agreement ACTA and the in Za in proti focused on the question of survival of the welfare state in times of economic crisis. Not only the topics varied, but also the formats of the discussion and places where they were organized. We had public discussions organized in parks (Estonia), libraries (Slovenia), schools (Slovakia, Croatia), Senate of the Parliament (Czech Republic) and a theatre (Romania). Some partners decided to incorporate the discussion as a part of a broader event and some as an individual event. Guest speakers on public discussions ranged from academics, political representatives, NGO workers, students, counsellors, etc…. All public discussions were well attended but struggled to attract major media coverage, which is, based on the experience of the partners, one of the major struggles that we face when trying to get our message across. Here are short description of public discussions as presented by the partners coordinators: Bojan Marjanović from Croatia: ‘The main goals of the discussion were to shed light on the main reasons for relatively high youth unemployment and low levels of youth mobility (both social and geographical) among youth in Croatia. Reform to the educational system was proposed as a long term solution with emphasis on practical knowledge and up to date information needing to find their way into curriculum.’ Serban Pitić from Romania: ‘Topics discussed: ACTA, intellectual property, patents, current intellectual property issues, EU parliament issues, EU scepticism, ACTA protests. Challenges: Changing current situation with ACTA, understanding concepts of intellectual property, EU activism, equipping us to face similar issues
in the future. Solutions proposed: staying informed, talking to political involvement, petitioning, showing representatives that youth has an opinion. “Kai Klandorf from Estonia: ‘The topic was chosen on the basis of the topics connected to the theme of the project, youth issues through the lens of the current socio-political framework of the EU (Lisbon Treaty, Europe 2020)The main issue for this particular debate was child poverty. It is a very burning topic in Estonia at the moment because the statistics in this area are relatively catastrophic. In 2010 approximately 26% of children under 18 were considered to live in absolute poverty. The main debate topic was however related to whether we should subsidise children in developing countries. After the debate there was an open discussion related to practices and things that could be done in Estonia to reduce child poverty.’ Michael Pečena from Czech Republic: ‘The topic of the discussion was domestic violence; special emphasis was put on the impact of domestic violence on the youth. Mr. Vydra briefly introduced the audience to the basics of the issue and identified the typical problems which he deals with in his work for the Crisis Intervention Centre. Given that a majority of the audience was formed by teenagers, most questions concerned domestic violence among partners, and especially the issue of prevention – whether there any methods by which one can avoid finding a potentially violent spouse.’ Matuš Huba from Slovakia: ‘In the discussion that followed the debate, audience and guests took on various topics concerning role of the state when it comes to unemployed, social security and standards that state has to/should/doesn't have the obligation to meet. Also a question of sustainability of welfare state was discussed from regional (Eastern Slovakia), national and international perspective.’ Anja Šerc from Slovenia: ‘The context of the discussion was to analyze the dominant policy solutions to the European economic crisis and its possible impacts on the political unity of the European Union. The speakers were asked to evaluate the prevailing policy proposals in the light of their impact on the idea of a European social state. Can this model survive the neoliberal interventions and to what extent does it harm the process of European integration? All of the speakers were unanimous in their judgment about the faith of the European social state. They expressed great concern about the consequences of neoliberal interventions on
the protection of social rights across Europe and expressed warning over the possible implications this might have in terms of political polarization. The main message of the round table discussion was that European economic crisis needs a plurality of answers and cannot be solved following one single recipe.’ At the international event public discussions were analyzed in terms of how to intensify the struggle to get the message across, how to best attract media coverage and how to pick ‘the right topic’. In the Chapter that follows we offer a set of guidelines that in our experiences work best and that we’re sure will help you in organizing public discussions. Additionally, if you visit the web page of the project you can find additional explanations about the implementation of the public discussions, some videos and photos.
HOW TO ORGANIZE AND MODERATE A PANEL DISSCUSION Miha Andrić (Slovenia) The purpose of a panel discussion is to bring together top talent and all institutionally or personally involved in one area so that a group of experts and representative of politics and public – civil society can share and build upon each other’s experience and opinions. Panel discussions are useful if an issue is too complex for one person to handle, or if the audience needs to be exposed to various people or viewpoints in the same session. Typically, panel discussions have a goal in mind, whether to introduce a new concept, disseminate facts, show different points of view, get people to think in a new direction, or any one of other hundred possibilities. Generally we know two types of round table types that can be distinguished by the goal of discussion.
Types of panel discussion The first type involves the panelists that have similar approaches to the topic and generally agree about its content. The goal of such a discussion is to inform public and to clarify some opinions. By that we mean the contribution to the deeper analysis of the topic which can bring out surplus value for the argumentation of the specific stance or even the stimulation of political action. The second type is classical clash of radically different opinions. These kinds of discussions are very interesting for public, especially when discussing generally important issues that people can personally relate to but can be difficult to moderate, because the difference of opinions can sometimes bring the discussion off topic and the event can become very confusing.
Choosing the topic and preparing the concept of discussion The crucial part of organizing the panel discussion is specifying the topic we are going to talk about. It is important to know that such public events are always organized for public, so when choosing the topic we should know the target group and then adapt the content and concept of the round table accordingly. So, when preparing the concept of a debate, moderator must know the audience. What are
their key interests, needs and concerns? What is it about the panel that attracts them? What questions are they hoping to find answers to? What will be the impact of the panelistsâ€™ comments on their work and lives? Answers to these questions can help the moderator to prepare a discussion guide or structure that captures public intention and will keep the discussion relevant and meaningful to the audience. In addition to that we also have to consider two other aspects. We have to be able to invite panelists who are qualified to present their point of view on the topic and the topic has to be manageable for the moderator, so she can prepare proper questions and the key bases for the discussion. Successful panels need to have a title that is catchy or provocative, in tune for the conference, and has a detailed summary of what the audience will get out of it. That is the minimum requirement for a good promotion.
Speakers â€“ panelists The panelists should be chosen very carefully. For the event you namely need the right mix of expertise, ability to express an opinion coherently and divergent point of view. Organizers should look for diversity in backgrounds, opinions and vested interest and should be cognizant of the hidden agenda theyâ€™ll each have for agreeing to be on the panel. When choosing panelists we should consider the variety of different approaches to the topic and different points of view presented in the public discourse. We should take care that all these opinions are equally represented by speakers. The organizer should invite the main actors (public institutions, groups of interest, individual representatives, experts, politicians, academics) publicly involved with the topic. Moderator has to research the panelists and know their points of view on the topic, as well as much as you can about their interests and background. He has to know their opinion on the topic so he can adapt the questions and the concepts of the whole event. He also has to know their past activities connected to the topic and has to collect biographies of the speakers for introduction purposes, that is to say moderator has to prepare their general references (which are proving the
quest is someone we can trust and someone whose opinion we want to hear) and descriptions of his involvement in the topic. This is very important because the references are answering the question why the guest could be interesting for public and relevant for the debate. Finally, it is very important to connect and talk to the speakers about their role and contribution to the debate. It is usually advised that moderator makes sure that the panelists know the basic background of the upcoming debate. The moderator also has to find out how the speakers would like to be announced or introduced. It is very important to connect and talk to the speakers about their role and contribution to the debate. It is usually advised that moderator makes sure that the panelists are introduced to the basic concept and background of the upcoming debate. It is good to establish and send some general high level bullets, so it helps the panelists to prepare and research. Moderator also has to find out how the speakers would like to be announced.
Panel size and length Proper number of panelist is 3 to 5 - any less becomes difficult to flesh out all the viewpoints, and furthermore, it becomes unwieldy and confused. This is the only way that the discussion can stay focused; interaction among the speakers can bring out the real clashes of different opinions. It also enables the proper moderation. Event should not take longer than one hour and a half, considering the concentration of the public. It is namely the end of the discussion which can, by involving the public, bring to the conclusions, articulation of new opinions and maybe even the idea for the political action, so we have to keep everybody focused.
Moderator Moderator has to have a sense of how to structure his questions and juggle the different points of view and of course he has to be able ensure that the panel has a tight focus or value proposition. He has to be rhetorically excellent, simply because likeable speech is easier to follow. The moderator creates a feeling that every step of the discussion, every answer and question logically and contently
follows the previous one. That is to say he has to create an atmosphere of a debate as a connected and holistic event. Moderator should be able to follow all the answers of the speakers and should be able to contextualized them accordingly to the structure of the debate and connect them with his following questions. That is why he should make a proper and detailed research on the topic and public discourse on the topic; he should be updated with current, pertinent and controversial relevant issues. Moderator should holistically understand the subject matter; in comparison to the speakers he should see the bigger picture of the whole debate and topic. The most entertaining panels have a dash of debate and look at an issue from many angles. Moderator should also find where the points of contention are and be sure to bring it up, this is how one can bill the panel. Moderator can use a blog post, Twitter or other feedback tool to glean questions from the community. A good moderator is always in a position of â€œtabula rasaâ€?, that is to say moderator should be empty democratically critical subject who does not have any opinion in advance but is able to critically analyze all the answers of panelists. He has to be objective, he has to give equal amount of time to all the speakers and he has to be equally critical and provocative towards every argument. Moderator should not be a star of the debate. He has to act as anonymous representative of the public connecting the people to the speakers. He is not there to present and enforce his own opinions. He should realize that he is there just to guide the conversation
Questions and structure of the discussion The questions must be prepared in advance. Moderator should prepare openended questions that are both specific to each panelistâ€™s individual interests and representative of issues the audience will be interested in. There are also three possibilities how to ask questions. First, is just to give the opening word to each panelist so they can explain their position on the topic. Even though it is true that a complex argumentation needs a lot of time to be explained this option is to time consuming. The second option is to give specific
questions to each speaker according to their references and interests. With this option each speaker gives an answer to the same question which can become very boring. The advice is to give them some time to explain their positions (which is really important so their point of view is presented to the debate), but focusing their speech within the frame of the debate with some sub questions. Usually moderator starts out with an easy question or topic so that panelists can settle in and relax. Then, he raises the stakes, probing into more controversial areas. Before the questions moderator has to make the opening speech in which he shares the results of his research and introduced the public with the topic. This speech should be short, consistent; it should not be one of the central speeches of the discussion, but comprehensive enough to articulate the main goals of the debate. The opening speech has to extract the problem of the debate which has to be contextualized in the current events. It has to contain major concepts, the purpose of the round table, presentation of different positions on the topic and the current status of the topic discussed so far. The opening speech has to ensure the general reference to which all the answers can refer to, which is nothing more than conceptual frame of the debate with a common language. It is very important that all the panelists agree at least on what they disagree about. Beside the opening speech moderator has to prepare some link text to connect the questions and put them into the prospective. The most important is that debate is conceptual, meaning that the frame of the discussion is formed and the moderator has to make sure that the debate does not deviate from the proposed concept. At the beginning also some technical clarifications have to be made. Moderator has to lay out the timeframe and any other ground rules or guidelines they need to know â€“ format of the debate, how and when public can actively participate and so on.
Setting the stage The moderator has to make sure that the place for the event is properly prepared. The organizers have to take care of lightning, position of moderators, microphones (if needed) and seating arrangement of panel as well as audience,
acoustics and so on. It’s very unpleasant if discussion is distracted by any practical inertion that is why moderator should carefully attend to the room logistics – ‘moderator has to own the place’.
During the debate Firstly, opening speech has to be made and then the panelists need to be introduced. The moderator has to explain who are the panelists and why are they a part of this debate – presentation of the bases and views on the topic of each panelist. He also has to present their references, explain why they are relevant to the discussion and interesting for the public – their connection to the topic. While the panelists are talking, especially if there’s a part of the panel where panelists deliver prepared remark the moderator should listen very carefully, take notes and, wherever possible, capture important statements verbatim. Later on the moderator can use what he has heard to invite other panelists to comment on particular parts of other panelists’ statements. The moderator should ask follow-up questions that get to the story behind the canned response: Ask “Why do you believe this…?” “Do we all agree with what Joe has just stated…?” Panels that are too general or full of platitudes tend to bore audiences; controversy keeps it interesting. The conclusion of the debate has to be a question for each participant of the panel discussion – it is namely very boring just to ask panelist for some final thoughts. But these final questions should be open enough to let the panelist draw and present their own conclusions. The moderator has to keep time and ensure equal amount of time for each panelist at the same time he has to take care for order during the debate. Moderator should also be prepared to navigate and intervene with panelists on behalf of the audience when needed
Public The public can be included in the debate at the end or during the debate. Questions from the public during the debate are very popular, because of the trend of ‘democratization of the panel discussions’, saying everybody is equal – no matter you are an expert or just an ‘average Joe’ your opinion counts as well as long as it is well represented. So the moderator can choose to let the audience
know that he will take questions trough out debate, if audience member raise their hands. The key with doing that is not to allow an off-topic or obscure question to derail the panel and bore the other audience members. If you get a super-detailed question that seems like it is only of interest to the person asking, the moderator can easily ask one specific panelists to address it and then move on. This kind of discussion is hard to moderate and control. If the public is included at the end of the debate then the round table is easier to handle. During the main question-and-answer period, the moderator should try to avoid calling on the same person twice until everyone has gotten a chance to ask a question. In the event that there are no questions immediately, it's good for the moderator to either have someone in the audience (perhaps one of the organizers) primed to ask a question, or for the moderator to have an extra question or two in reserve. No matter how the moderator includes the public in the debate he should establish a simple system that everyone can access. This might range from an open microphone in the aisle to note cards that the audience can write questions passed to your assistants, or an established online system for submitting questions.
After the formal discussion Many audience members will want a chance to chat informally with the panelists and moderator. That is why it is good to ask your speakers in advance to stick around at the end of the event for at least 15 or 20 minutes after their session, so that the guests will have a chance to buttonhole them in the hallway after their session. Even better is to encourage them to stay for reception if it is planned.
TITLE OF THE EXERCISE: Get to the core of it Matus Huba (Slovakia) TIME FRAME: cca. 20 min. CONNECTION TO SCHOOL SUBJECT: It's universal character enables to implement this exercise in virtually any class, however, it can be very helpful in language (especially foreign language) classes, where students will be forced to effectively chose their vocab as well as speech structures and quickly adapt them to pressuring situation, helping them to get a better grasp of the language. SHORT SYNOPSIS: The exercise focuses on the ability to extract the most important part – the core - of the information that one's trying to communicate. Firstly, class will be divided into groups of 10, 5 students creating inner circle, facing other five students creating the outer one. The job of the students in the outer circle is to tell the person from the inner circle they're facing the story of their holidays/weekend/previous day – something they're going to find pleasant and not intimidating to talk about. At the start students will be given 2 min. to think about their story and consequently 2 min. to tell it to the person in the inner circle. The times are going to go down, always by half, finishing with 15 seconds to think about the story and 15 seconds to interpret it. After the first round, the inner and outer circle switch places. This was the first part of the exercise. The second part will take it to the other – debating – level. The outer circle's story telling will change to more complex EXPLAINING. The explanation is the crucial part of the argument. If a person understands what he's saying, he should also be able to explain his statement shortly, coherently and comprehensibly. The exercise follows the same time pattern. The feedback is given by the partner from the inner circle, who can also take notes if necessary. The partners should also compare the improvement between the rounds. The exercise master has to be careful especially in the second part of the exercise. It's important to choose not too broad statements for the exercise, depending on
the level of students/debaters. Exercise master also has to make sure that all speakers were given feedback. EXAMPLES OF TOPICS TO IMPLEMENT THE ACTIVITY: Examples of the statements to work with in the second part of the exercise: Online activism is counterproductive because it doesn't affect the real world. We should sanction EU members states that do not ensure protection of sexual minorities, because it is the only leverage we have. EU public education system should be rebuilt because it doesn't meet standards of the job market. We should support strong welfare because it enhances equal opportunities. We should introduce all-European elections to the European parliament because it is democratic thing to do. It is in the interest of our health to support sports at schools from public money. We should introduce quotas to the European institutions because it will increase the gender tolerance.
TITLE OF THE EXERCISE: Argument step by step â€“ person by person Matus Huba (Slovakia) TIME FRAME: 15 min. (10 persons) CONNECTION TO SCHOOL SUBJECT: Teachers can adopt this exercise especially in social sciences lessons, as a part of teaching how to compose arguments. The exercise could be very helpful also in essay writing preparation. SHORT SYNOPSIS: The role of this exercise is to help students realize all three parts of the argument â€“ statement, explanation, example/illustration. The exercise leader will choose three students, each of them representing one part of the argument. In the first round, every student will have 10 seconds to complete his/her part of the argument. In the second round, the students representing explanation and example will have 30 seconds to complete their parts of the argument. This round helps students to learn how to expand their argumentation. After each group of three students, class should brainstorm on how they could have expanded their arguments and give the group feedback. If students have any problems to expand their assigned part of the argument, exercise master should / can help them with suggesting that they might use analysis or other ways to expand. This should be done in the feedback part, without addressing a specific student. The best way is to write suggestions down on the whiteboard, in order to avoid demotivation. IDEAS FOR HOMEWORK: The homework part can be a very effective learning tool for essay writing. Students are often ask to introduce arguments when writing an essay. By assigning the essay title and leaving arguments for homework, and giving students feedback in the next class, you can reach the same goal as with the oral exercise. Also, teachers can give students their old essays and make them find arguments, and complete the parts or them that are missing.
EXAMPLES OF TOPICS TO IMPLEMENT THE ACTIVITY: THBT the European public education system is out of touch with the job market; THBT online activism is counterproductive; THW sanction EU members states that do not ensure protection of sexual minorities; THBT we should tax products according to their environmental and social footprint; THBT there can be no equal opportunities without strong welfare state; THBT sports should not receive any public funding; THW increase the age of retirement for soldiers, policemen and firemen to the national threshold; THW introduce a negative income tax; THW abolish state pensions and instead only award benefits based on disability; THBT welfare payments should be done solely through vouchers; THW only pay social security to those who participate in community service.
TITLE OF THE EXERCISE: ‘Why?’ Chain Romania TIME FRAME: 20 to 60 minutes, as needed CONNECTION TO SCHOOL SUBJECT: Social Sciences SYNOPSIS: The objective of the exercise is to develop argumentation skills while exploring the depths of subjects by the group. The exercise begins with taking a statement or motion relevant to the subject matter being studied. The first student is asked why the statement is true – Students are only allowed to use a couple of sentences. The next student is asked why the next step of the argument the last student was true. This continues until all of the students have contributed to deepening the argument that will be formed to support the initial statement. Chains should last 10-15 minutes. It is important that students are asked to try again when they use logical fallacies, after the teacher explains the fallacy. Reverse chain: After the previous exercise is practiced with a few motions, a more advanced form of the exercise can be used, focusing on counter-argumentation: The task for all students becomes to explain why the statement of the last student was wrong, untrue, weak or irrelevant. EXAMPLES OF TOPICS TO IMPLEMENT THE ACTIVITY: Any statement relevant to the subject matter. Motions that allow for deeper analysis are preferable. Look up the list of suggested topics in the Topics Chapter.
TITLE OF THE EXERCISE: Speaking in character Romania TIME FRAME: 60 to 120 minutes, as needed CONNECTION TO SCHOOL SUBJECT: Social Sciences, Literature SYNOPSIS: The objective of the exercise is to develop argumentation framing skills so as to allow for stronger emphatic characterization. The exercise begins with assigning a different motion, statement or topic to speak for or against on to each student. Students are then instructed to imagine, firstly, in what context that subject might be discussed by decision makers. After giving answers, with any additions by the instructor or the other participants, students are then asked to pick a position for or against. Students are then asked to describe the person that would most emphatically and convincingly propose for or against the motion and to imagine the most effective context in which they would speak to the motion. After taking answers, students are to deliver a short 2-4 minute speech as they have visualized it - in the role of the speaker they described and in the context they chose. Personal references may be used in these speeches. Feedback should be given with regards to the correct adaptation the “character” and context. After all the speeches are done, the idea that empathy and sincere conviction are strong tools for advocacy should be analyzed. If time allows, follow-up speeches that should obey the full rules of argumented speech can then be performed, retaining the tone and applicable emphatic elements of the previous “character” EXAMPLES OF TOPICS TO IMPLEMENT THE ACTIVITY: Any statement relevant to the subject matter. Motions with a strong component relying on characterization argumentation are preferable. Look up the list of suggested topics in the Topics Chapter.
TITLE OF THE EXERCISE: Contrast Romania TIME FRAME: 40 to 80 minutes, as needed CONNECTION TO SCHOOL SUBJECT: Social Sciences, Literature SYNOPSIS: The objective of the exercise is to expand the stylistic range of public speaking. Speakers should be given a motion each. After they prepare basic arguments for a 2-5 minute speech, they should be given sets of contrasting stylistic speaking categories, such as: Aggressive/Reasonable Fast/Slow Wide ample body-language gestures/ Focused tight gestures Light-hearted/Serious High volume/Low volume Etc. They should each deliver the speech knowing that when the instructor makes a certain sound â€“ like clapping, they should switch between the two contracting styles. Instructors should seek to have the speakers make 2-3 switches during the speech, ideally where the contrast could actually be useful. If possible, the instructor should assign the style sets to the speakers that have least habit in switching between the two categories. Speakers should be given feedback on how they used the styles. They instructor can interrupt to give helpful feedback during the speech if the speaker is not able to perform one of the styles and have the student start over. Follow-up speeches can be performed if time allows. In closing, the instructor and students should discuss about how variation in style can be a very useful tool in constructing the style of speeches. EXAMPLES OF TOPICS TO IMPLEMENT THE ACTIVITY: Any statement relevant to the subject matter. Motions with a strong component relying on characterization are useful. Look up the list of suggested topics in the Topics Chapter.
TITLE OF THE EXERCISE:
Four point debate
Bojan MarjanoviÄ? (Croatia) TIME FRAME: 30 minutes CONNECTION TO SCHOOL SUBJECT: This exercise could be used in almost every classroom setting and topic. SHORT SYNOPSIS: Students are dived into 4 groups (maximum 4 participants per group. Groups are assigned positions - 2 pro topic (strongly for and moderately for) and 2 of them contra topic (strongly and moderately opposed). Example would be to divide students into communist party, socialist party, conservative party and libertarian party in order to show them gradual differences in perception of government between different political options. Students are given topics to debate from this perspective and try to convince either a teacher or public (other students) into their position. Depending on the results you wish to achieve you can define different settings of the debate. You could debate a book, different historical dilemmas, modern social questions etc. EXAMPLES OF TOPICS TO IMPLEMENT THE ACTIVITY: EU bailout fund, different EU wide topics. Students can be given roles of different EU parliament parties. Look up the list of suggested topics in the Topics Chapter.
TITLE OF THE EXERCISE: Negotiations game Bojan Marjanovič (Croatia) TIME FRAME: 60 minutes CONNECTION TO SCHOOL SUBJECT: The exercise is great for team building, communication awareness, raising the importance of dialogue. Uses can vary from teaching students to cooperate to making students aware of different social process involved in negotiations and cooperation between different groups. SHORT SYNOPSIS: An exercise based on game theory. Students are divided into groups and offered opportunity to receive rewards based on their decision to cooperate or compete. The exercises can be modeled according to teaching needs through influencing the story behind the game, rules and through debriefing. Students are divided into groups. Minimum number of groups for this excersise should be 4. Each group is seated in a way that they cannot see »into« another group or easily overhear them. Each group is given 2 cards, one showing X and another showing 0. (you can also instruct students to make these themselves). Moderator explains the rules to the students. Rules of the game are following. The game is played in a number of rounds. Each round teams are asked to select either X or 0. They cannot show both or none and they should make sure other teams do not see their choice. Moderator takes note which team chose which without saying it as he collects the notes. After a round teams are given rewards depending on the sign they have shoved according to this table X X X X – All teams lose 4 points X X X 0 – X teams gain 1 point, 0 team loses 1 X X 0 0 – X teams gain 2 points, 0 teams lose 2 X 0 0 0 – X team gains 3 points, 0 teams lose 3 0 0 0 0 – All team gain 4 points
Usually the game is played for 10 rounds. Teams are not allowed to speak to each other accept after rounds 2, 5 and 9 when the teams are allowed to talk to each other. After these rounds all points, positive and negative are multiplied by 2, 4 and 6. Number of rounds, points, rewards and context of the game can be adapted according to teaching needs. Depending on the results you wish to achieve this game can be greatly influenced by the moderator. You can present the game as a competitive element, stating to the students that the group who receives most of the awards will win or you can just state that the goal of the game is to receive maximum amount of rewards and then through debriefing talk to students about how did they interpret these instructions and why. EXAMPLES OF TOPICS TO IMPLEMENT THE ACTIVITY: EU Commission negotiations, EU parliament negotiations etcâ€Ś
TITLE OF THE LECTURE: WARM UP SPEECHES AND MORE Alfred C. Snider (USA) TIME FRAME: depends on the number of students and rounds of implementation CONNECTION TO SCHOOL SUBJECT: can be used in any given class. SHORT SYNOPSIS: There are three main goals for the exercise: i) get over the nervousness of initial speaking; ii) discover students that have serious speech anxiety problems; and iii) identify significant problems and work on them. In the introduction to the exercise explain to the students how important public speaking skills are how we all need to improve them and ensure them that your classroom is a safe environment for learning. The exercise can have three rounds: 1. Students give one minute speeches on a ‘safe’ topic like favorite pet animal, favorite vacation spot, best friend, least favorite media figure, worst movie ever seen, “I wish my parents would….”, “I wish my school would…”, favorite subject in school, favorite sport, gadget they most want,
After each speech tell them two things they did well and one thing they need to improve on in their next speech. 2. Students speak on a motion for two minutes, this time in pairs. Each pair gets a motion, where one students speaks for the motion and the other against. They all have 5 minutes to prepare only one major argument for their side. Tell them to incorporate the advice from the previous round. In this round each speaker has two minutes to present the speech, while their partner takes notes. At the end you and the partner give them feedback. 3. If you have time, give them 3 minutes to prepare a one-minute answer to what the other side said. After each pair, give feedback to them.
EXAMPLES OF TOPICS TO IMPLEMENT THE ACTIVITY: stick to the safe topics that are closely connected to the students’ interest, especially if you are dealing with inexperienced speakers.
TITLE OF THE LECTURE: MOTION ANALYSIS Alfred C. Snider (USA) TIME FRAME: depends on the number of students and rounds of implementation CONNECTION TO SCHOOL SUBJECT: can be used in any given class. SHORT SYNOPSIS: The exercise aims at encouraging students to approach complex motions through a pre-programmed analytical tool. It guides them into recognizing the most important arguments on a given motion and to arrange them accordingly. It also strives to encourage team work and sharing of ideas when analyzing a subject. The exercise is divided in three phases: 1. Cases. Put students into groups of two, one on the proposition side and the other in the opposition. Give each pair a motion. Allow them to have ten minutes to think of their best three arguments. Have them present their ideas (not as a speech, but in a discussion) for five minutes, including: definitions (if needed), model (if needed) two arguments for first speech, third argument for second speech. Then have opposition do the same. Make sure everyone is taking notes about all motions. You make comments, allow a very few from the other students. Make concrete suggestions for how to improve. 2. Better cases. Give students five minutes to make adjustments, and then present their basic ideas again, BUT also including examples and other forms of support they would use. After each presentation, have students suggest other examples or forms of support they might have used. 3. Beauty contest. Nominate cases from two pairs of students, and have people argue in one-minute speeches why one is better than the other.
EXAMPLES OF TOPICS TO IMPLEMENT THE ACTIVITY: Look up the list of suggested topics in the Topics Chapter.
TITLE OF THE EXERCISE: 5-9-3 Anni Haas (Estonia) TIME FRAME: 20 minutes per student plus preparation time SHORT SYNOPSIS: Students get a debate motion and 10 minutes to prepare their speech. Firstly, theyÂ´ll make a speech of 5 minutes and receive feedback. Then theyÂ´ll make a speech of 9 minutes on the same motion and lastly speech of 3 minutes, receiving feedback after each speech. Students can also be included in giving feedback.
TITLE OF THE EXERCISE: Balloon game Anni Haas (Estonia) TIME FRAME: Dependent of number of participants 10 minutes for setting up and ending the game and 2 minutes per participant for game e.g. 5 students should have 10 minutes for explanations. SHORT SYNOPSIS: Teacher gives each student a role of now famous people (Mozart, Einstein, Hitler, etc...) and introduces the situation. Students represent those historically important people flying on a hot air balloon altogether and balloon will fall eventually. Only one person can survive. Students must explain and convince others why they should be the one person who can survive.
CASE EXAMPLES, RECOMMENDED TOPICS AND EXERCISE ARGUMENTS
THBT we should tax products according to their environmental and social footprint. SIDE PROPOSITION (Jure Hederih) Outline of the problem Consumerism is an essential aspect of nowadays society in the majority of the global village. That does not mean that all the societies are capitalist, not at all. What the previous claim essentially means is that trade between individuals and either government or companies (at least to some extent controlled by the government) takes place regularly. This means that the government is involved in the trade between almost all individuals and companies. Furthermore, the tax system is already established and it is obligatory to follow its regulations, as trade without paying taxes is not allowed. There are also different classes of taxation as that of â€œnecessary productsâ€? is lower. This also indicates that there already is some clear distinction between what is socially necessary and what can be considered a luxury. The purpose of taxes is, of course, to provide money for the perpetual functioning of the state. But are there any other implications of taxation in the status quo? Of course. Letâ€™s just point out the excise taxes, which also serve as special contribution to the state budget and sanction the use of substances, which are widely recognized as harmful to health, environment and other people and might also have a negative social impact. Most prominent cases of such products are alcohol and tobacco products. So let us inquire: Would it not be sensible to extend this system? Tax is a necessary monetary contribution to the state budget, which is paid in every legal trade. We perceive this debate as a debate, acceptable at all levels, philosophical, economical, religious and social. But we also believe that it is in the spirit of the motion to debate about the countries, which have a developed and fully functional monetary system, which means that they already employ some kind of taxes. Because an increasing number of products influences many people in a negative way, either environmentally or socially, it has become necessary to impose some kind of moral responsibility and pure practical compensation for both: production and consumption of those. My plan is to divide the products into main categories,
which will include products according to their similar environmental and social impact. Note however, that this does not necessary mean that every product must be taxed to a greater extent, as most product already are taxed and this would represent the â€œfirst classâ€? of product that are of high necessity and low negative social and environmental impact. I would just recommend an increase of excise tax on products that are of low necessity and can harmfully influence society or environment. We perceive the term environmental and social footprint as an indicator of the extent to which something influences society or the environment. This includes the payments for the labour force, environmental damage because of transport, harming others health or integrity or simply possible misuse. Argument 1 â€“ Conceptual Outline Let us first reason at the philosophical and psychological, or conceptual level, if you will. We will follow the statement, that it is our moral obligation to take responsibility for our actions. Let us assume that every society is a mass of individual beings. Why? Because the state itself is a formation of its people and for the state to mistreat its own people is as people would be mistreating themselves. But because the state is viewed as a whole, we must conclude that the best possible outcome is when the happiness of all the people is maximized as people are only animate objects, which constitute the state. You may already see where this is going: We may therefore establish that the moral obligation of any greater power is to maximize the happiness of its people. This utilitarian concept certainly demands some sacrifice by individuals, but it provides the morality in form of happiness. How is utilitarianism inevitably bound to responsibility in form of additional excise taxes? Well, let us analyze the concept on a simplistic mental experiment. If a person goes to a bookstore, he buys an average book, produced in his own country and he reads it. It has no significant and direct influence on anyone but the government, seller and consumer. If another person goes to a market, he/she buys a tomato, eats it and is happy. No influence to other people. This implies that no extra responsibility needs be taken by the consumer. He takes only the responsibility for himself. And since he is a free
being, there is no need to enforce extra responsibility. Let us now consider another case. A person goes to a store and buys a pack of cigarettes. He goes home and freely puffs his smoke in the same room as his pregnant wife is resting. He harms not only himself, which is to a great extent his free will, but also other innocent people. If we do not want to completely forbid such behaviour, we must enforce some responsibility to the mentioned smoker. Again, a person should take responsibility for the harm it has done with the product he/she has bought. Of course, not all the harmful products are misused, but if we do not want to completely forbid their use, we must attempt to lessen their use by excise taxes. But it is essential to determine which products are harmful to such an extent that they must be addressed through taxation. From the previous example we may say that this is determined by two main factors: To what extent does it harm people and how many people does it harm? Both of these factors are essential in determining the reduction of overall happiness. And since one product can negatively influence many people, but positively just one (e.g. cigarettes), it must be compensated with excise tax, which returns some of the “happiness” to the other residents in form of money. We can thus conclude that excise taxes are a moral obligation to society if we want to maximize good. Argument 2 – socio-psychological implications To elaborate the concept of excise tax as a necessity we must look at its other important aspect, i.e. socio-psychological. I am aiming at the following claim: Excise taxes will not just morally compensate for harm that has been done they will also lower the wish for harm. If, however they will not lower the wish, they will certainly force at least some people into reconsidering. The equation is fairly simple. By excise taxes, we may give people very strong reasons to buy one product over the other. That is, by taxing the environmentally and socially unfriendly one with a higher tax rate compared to the ‘friendlier product’. If, however they still decide to pay more money and buy the product that is recognized as more harmful, we are back in the situation of the argument one, where I justified such decision with “moral redemption” to society by giving extra money to the state. So, we have a win-win situation. Let us for a second now deal
with the half that chose not to pay the extra money. In many examples this would mean that they are simply reluctant towards their previous habit. This would include tobacco consumption, alcohol consumption and other products, where no friendly alternative is possible, because the harm is great in every case. The question what happens with the products that offer a friendly alternative, will be dealt with in the next paragraph, when we examine the economic impact, which is greatly entangled with the one we are discussing now. Let me just point out the calculation by Peterson et al. who have predicted that 10% increase of price per pack of cigarettes, would mean a 5% lower demand for the product. This effectively means that excise taxes are not just a moral necessity and obligation for the society; they are also a tool to eradication of some harmful habits, which threaten innocent and guilty individuals. So, what happens once we have raised excise taxes on harmful products? According to the argument and the research that we have discussed about in the previous paragraph, we can assume that the demand of harmful products will drop. But what if there is a less harmful alternative? It will be preferred by the consumer over the harmful product. Because we cannot just assume that the demand for one product will vanish. It is reasonable to predict that it will only shift to the cheaper product of similar quality which is also more environmentally and socially friendly. In turn, this means greater demand for the less harmful product. This is a kind of a positive loop, which will fix a consumer into a circle with environmentally friendly products. Argument 3 â€“ State as a Role Model The last argument I want to point out is one considering the role of the state as a role model. A state is a highly organised social form, which necessarily means that it employs some ideals and social concepts that are desired by the majority of its people. This means that residents of one country probably look up to people, who are leading the state, as the representatives of strong and well thought ideas. What impact does this have on our problem? Well, if a certain government decides to implement a law, promoting environmentally and socially friendly products, it makes people believe that there is a conceptual and political cause
behind it (which there indeed is). And this means that people do not even necessarily need to know the reasons as long as they trust that the state is a responsible and well organised entity. If however, we do not decide to tax harmful products, we achieve the opposite effect. This means that the people will feel quite okay while supporting harmful products, because the state gives an impression that it does not care. But if government cares, it will certainly encourage some people to think about it and perhaps opt for a different way of life. I believe that I have indisputably shown that raise in excise taxes is needed for harmful products, as it is a moral obligation of the state to do so, to offer at least some compensation to people who suffer collaterally. Further in the essay I have shown that psychological perception could influence people in a way that would also lower the consumption of harmful products, which was be further consolidated through my economical argument, which also showed that for the products that are absolutely necessary (or people would not want to give up), we could promote friendly alternatives. And in my last argument I discussed about how important it is to really show to the citizens that it is wrong to promote harm through consumerism and one of ways of doing that is by raising the taxes which act as a governmental message. All in all, I believe that my argumentation line was fairly consistent and logically showed why you simply must propose the motion.
SIDE OPPOSITION (Samo Planinc) Outline of the problem Today's world is a world in which economy is exploiting different sources to make profit. But this often strays into abusing resources one has available, such as environment, energy sources, or workers. If we want to make a world in which we will not live on trash and everybody will love their work, we need a change. The best way is to make preservation of environmental and social capital more appealing to the companies. We can do this in many different ways, but as I am going to show you through my case taxing them differently would not solve the problem effectively. First, let me present an alternative to changing the taxing system based on negative encouragement to ensure that companies improve their environmental and social footprint. My suggestion is that using positive encouragements would solve the problem in an easier and more profitable way for all sides than applying negative taxing sanctions. We propose to create an agency that would give call for subsidies for companies that have good environmental and social footprints. It would also give subsidies to companies that are just staring out and are trying to focus on environmental and social friendly businesses. Additionally, the subsidies would be determined by the final fixed price of the products which would prevent abuses. With such a system we would create a much more intriguing environment for the development of products with a much better impact on environment and society. As to why I will present in my four arguments. Argument 1 - Investing in environmental and social friendly products: With taxing we have two options. First is to raise taxes on products with bad environmental and social footprint and the second is a decrease taxes on the ones with a good footprint. In first case country profits a little from high taxes but everybody else is worse off. In the second case the consumer, environmentally and worker friendly companies profit in the short run but everybody else loses out. The worst thing is that neither of the selected solutions directly contributes to investments in improving the technology and improving the working conditions. With the system we introduced above, companies who go on their toes
to make their products positively influence the environment and society would get a compensation for their troubles and means to found improvements and research to make their products bring an even more positive influence on both environment and society. Also, companies that are just beginning could make a commitment to produce products with good environmental and social footprint since they could include the subsidies in their investment funds. This example nicely shows the difference between negative and positive encouragement. Argument 2 - Negative effects of taxing I have already presented the two options that we have when applying the tax difference between products with good and bad environmental and social footprint. Now let us take a closer look at these two options. The first, which is to raise taxes on products that have negative environmental and societal impacts, would cause an enormous pressure on todaysâ€™ global goods markets and would severely imbalance the world economy. How would it do that you ask? Let me explain. Products whose production is in a way harmful to environment and society have a common trait which makes them appealing for a consumer and that is their cost. Usually products which are made by cheap labor and are produced at an edge of environmental regulation laws are very cheap. If we take the away of increasing tax rates on those products we instantly make them uninteresting to the rest of the world, which would mean a near breakdown of worldsâ€™ economy because of the millions of companies that would not be able to produce products that are sought after around the globe. The other option is a little better since it does not imbalance the market so drastically but is still troubled with many problems, the most immediate of which is also present in the first case. This is for e.g. funding the start-up of a company that produces low impact products. In order provide good working conditions and acquire machinery that will have low energy consumption and produce little pollution you need a big starting investment. In a context in which environmentally and socially less friendly products are completely unappealing, or in best case less appealing for the consumer, it is also hard to start a company that focuses on production of normal products and later on, restructures into more
environmentally and socially friendly company. This would result in gradually smaller and less competitive markets which would be in hands of small elite that could afford the starting investment. The solution this side proposes solves all of the above problems. Products that would keep their status of bad environmental and social footprint would be able to keep their low prices and thus still remain competitive, but would lose a little in comparison with products that are produced with as little negative impact on environment and society as possible and these would in turn lose a bit on price because of state subsidies. This would help solve the problem of consumersâ€™ low interest in such products. Also, the problem with new companies would be solved with state directed start-up subsidies. The only one at loss here is the country, but even that is not so true. At first it would need resources to start such a system, but that would make it interesting to foreign companies as well. Argument 3 - Intractability of products Another problem with the taxing model is keeping track of all the products that are on market to ensure that they are taxed accordingly. Here it would come to a great deal of abuse and enormous amounts would have to be spent to establish at least a little proof of productsâ€™ positive influence on environment and society. The country would have to spend much more resources than they would receive from additional taxes or would receive even less taxes and still had to keep the records for every single product on the market which is simply not viable. With the solution our side is supporting, every company that would like to get a subsidy would have to keep record of their products, what ingredients is it made of, how much energy was consumed and in what kind of conditions workers made it. This would enable the agency responsible for the subsidies to study every case individually and inform general public about the products they are buying. It would result in higher awareness of consumers and thus better preservation of environmental and anthro capital.
Argument 4 - Global economic effects of taxing With standardizing the taxes all over the world to ensure that everywhere people are trying to improve the way we leave would give rise to a new set of problems. Less developed countries would have to keep their taxes low so they could compete with the rest of the world. Big companies would see the opportunity and exploit this by moving their productions there and sell in their markets products with drastically bigger impact on environment and society. That would also create a strong lobby layer in those countries that strive to keep their production cheap. This would have strong negative impact on economy of the country and severely hamper its development. With the plan of our side this would be solved in a way that companies would receive subsidies according the footprint of the products. So, if they are abusing a country in development they would not receive any subsidies and thus would have to keep higher prices which would make them less appealing on the market.
THBT online activism is counterproductive SIDE PROPOSITION (Denis Horvat) Outline of the problem In the past few years, humanity has been a witness to a totally new phenomenon in the political sphere. Due to the spread of the internet connection all over the world and due to exponential growth of its users, politically motivated actors in the society have found a new area of activation. At first sight this might seems nice, as more transparency and widespread opinion is what current western societies seem to support. However, there is one particular kind of online politics that does not really function. In fact, I stand firmly behind the notion that, online activism is, as a specific kind of political working, counterproductive. Online activism include all sorts of actions, such as signing on-line petitions, adding a Twibbon to your avatar or icon, posting "memes" to your Facebook status about how bad cancer is, or how everyone deserves equal rights, blogging about a cause and retweeting messages about social justice or awareness campaigns. I believe that it is, due to recent events, in the spirit of the motion to discuss expedience of activism such as Kony2012 campaigns and all the Facebook pages and pictures badges that promote gay marriage or awareness for global poverty and hunger. Now, the true purpose of activism is not only to inform, but also to promote and achieve change. However nice and humane Facebook pages about starving children or campaigns such as Kony2012 might look, in fact such things have more negative than positive effects. Such online activism simply does not promote actions that can result in a change and is therefore, quite counterproductive. Undoubtedly I will offer several good reasons to support this claim. Argument 1 - Lack of personal engagement and illusion of help make it irrelevant When we look for the essential differences between online and off-line activism the most important one to notice is the facelessness that comes along with e-
activism. This is particularly disturbing because the interest and will to really change something are in this case lost. Let’s consider an example of a parliamentarian whose job is to be aware of the major social issues. He would most certainly look on the internet for information about what is going on, but he won’t decide based on what he had seen on-line whether some topic deserves to be debated in the national assembly or not. True determining factor whether specific issue is going to find its way into the major political institutions is how many people take personal responsibility in fighting for a change and how efficient they are in using other sources trying to effect political happening. If people use their contacts and lobby with politicians then the parliamentarian would see true interest for change and might consider some issue as worthy of attention. A term has been coined that nicely depicts true nature of e-activism; ‘slacktivism’. The problem is that e-activism encourages already disengaged people to believe they’ve done their bits with clicking a ‘Like’ button or twitting about horrors of cancer. Remember that the essential goal of any form of activism is not to inform public, but to achieve changes in the status quo. ‘Like’ button simply won’t transform itself into bread and fishes and duplicate itself until there are no more hungry mouths in a crowd. Argument 2 - Funds for e-activism are often wasted There is a say that ‘Bad aid is worse than no aid’, which truly is the case in eactivism. A major part of e-activism is not only raising public awareness but also collecting funds for organizations that would supposedly then go in the field and solve the problem in the traditional way. One of the major critiques of the most noticeable online activism project Kony2012 is that only about 32% of raised money was actually spent for providing aid to local community. Other 68% was spent on salaries, travel expenses and filmmaking. But even the help of these 32% of collected money (roughly $6.8 million) is questionable. Most of this money went into the budgets of Uganda’s military and Sudan People’s Liberation Army, both of which have done despicable things such as rape and torture as weapons of war and pledging homes and businesses. It would be much more helpful if money that has been raised would be given to people who really know what they are
doing, to true aid providers working for United Nations, for example. Being an activist means having a large set of political and economic expertise and experiences, if one wants to be a good one. We have to keep in mind that Kony2012 is just one of the most visible examples where money spending has gone extremely wrong. And as soon as activism takes this kind of form as in case of Kony2012 it stops serving its purpose â€“ to make a change for a better. Moreover, due to wasted and wrongly spent resources it is very a very damaging organization, actions of which result into nothing like they should, if they were to be a true aid-providing organizations. Argument 3 - E-activism devaluates an icon of an activist Activism has a long history in the political world. Some forms of activism, aimed directly at the political system, have even resulted into revolutions, like Stalinâ€™s revolution, for example. What is very specific about that revolution is that it has been done mostly just by few dozens or hundreds of well-educated people with strong beliefs and clear goals, like every successful revolution so far. Even on smaller scale, the icon of an activist has gained some respect because they have been politically aware, intelligent people who had the guts to go out there and try to address social issues. As a consequence of online activism the respected icon of an activist is diminished. People of all sorts may nowadays by clicking a button, sharing a video or re-tweeting about children in Africa join in advocating a helpless cause. Vast majority of them have no idea whatsoever about the actual political happening in Uganda, Sudan or Kongo, yet they call themselves activists. There has been an experiment conducted in Copenhagen in 2009. In the span of few weeks over 27000 people joined Facebook group to top the dismantlement of the Stork Fountain in the city of Copenhagen. The catch is that document calling for fountainâ€™s dismantlement has never existed. 27000 people were led to believe in a fake cause in a span of just few short weeks. Argument 4 - Online activism is, due to internet being its primary working platform, easily manipulative, misleading and annoying Another malfunction of e-activism stems from the specific nature of the medium
it uses for its working – the internet. The fact is that internet sources are not reliable and that this medium can be widely misused. Just remember the Arab spring and how many times there have been tweets about Mubarak’s appearance in public that misled public into thinking that there is the place to strike and how people have lived in fear of being held responsible for something they didn’t do just because of easily falsifiable information. Those of you who like to get to the bottom of the things know that Ugandan Lord’s Liberation Army, led by Kony, has only approximately 300 members and that its actual working has stopped in the 2006. You might also know that Kony is in fact a refugee, hiding from official Ugandan forces while there are peace negotiations going on between the two. In the project Kony2012 he is depicted as a mean warlord, which he most probably was, but is definitely not anymore. This is again a really nice example of how can manipulative online campaigns deceive us into fighting for helpless causes. There’s not only that. A lot of online activism takes form in the randomly sent emails that were supposed to break our hearts and make us go on the streets and protest against wearing furry clothes. Well, these spam e-mails are usually deleted and due to spam mail being by definition annoying, makes us less like the organization that is sending out these messages. Argument 5 - E-activism is often an end in itself and a distraction from other issues One of the problems with online activism is also that it often comes about as an end in itself. Bunch of people singing online petitions, re-sending emails and doing similar things create a closed circle out of which nothing productive emerges. These kinds of actions too often stop at the point of public awareness. As Andrew Harding from BBC nicely put it: ‘The awareness of American college student is NOT necessary for conflict resolution in Africa’. And, not only that we are fighting for nothing, instead of fighting for nothing we could be fighting for something. A movie about a mean kidnapper Kony has reached major public attention, over 90.5 million streams on Youtube as I speak. And the public seemed happy and satisfied after watching this movie, posting it on Facebook and maybe donating few dollars to the Invisible Children. What is wrong with this
picture is that such activism draws attention from other, even much more important issues. Not only children in Uganda need help because Kony terrorize(d) them, injustices are done in Asia, other African countries, Latin America and basically all over the world. Conclusion At the end of the day one must admit that deeper insight into the mechanisms of online activism shows that the whole idea of activism is, through this particular kind, destroyed. Being an activist has meant being educated, politically aware and courageous enough to show your face, speak your words and stand behind your actions. Nowadays political activism seems like a bunch of college students engaging in a counterproductive means of fighting for a cause they donâ€™t really know anything about. Moreover, they donate money, and even make other peers do it, that goes into the hands of people that are often not able to really make something out of it. It could even happen, as in the case of Kony that most of the funds that are actually given to local organizations go into hands of politically motivated people and are spent for financing Sudan Peopleâ€™s Liberation Army, which is known to have practiced rape and torture to achieve their goals.
SIDE OPPOSITION (Neja Berger) Outline of the problem Activism. When hearing that word, a lot of people think about protest walks, crowds of people with signs, eager speakers encouraging the crowds, the determined people prepared to walk house to house for signatures, prepared to do anything to activate more people and get the change that they want. The definition of activism goes ‘intentional efforts to promote, impede or direct social, political, economic, or environmental change’. So the idea that most people get when they hear the word activism is pretty much right. Activism is people struggling in different ways to achieve change. Different ways. That's the point of this debate. Along with millions of people, millions of other things from their every-day life have also moved online. Along with emailing, social media as a modern way of communication and online shopping, or maybe because of those things, activism too created its form on the internet. Now, even though most people imagine the traditional ways of offline activism when talking about this subject, the point of activism is achieving the goal. And, online activism, as will be proven too you, does achieve the goal and therefore is productive. I'll explain and defend this statement using 4 arguments: i) internet enables faster spreading amongst people; ii) internet activism is easier which makes more people engage in it; iii) online activism can trigger offline activism if necessary and iv) online activism becomes international faster. Argument 1 – Internet enables faster spreading The first argument speaks for itself, since we all realize how incredibly fast the spreading of information is through internet. Petitions, for example, are one successful way of achieving goals in activism and the whole process of getting people to sign them is much faster online. Once a petition gets online and people start spreading it, it's actually quite hard to stop them. Opposed to the ‘offline way’ of getting signatures , where people have to invest a lot of time and energy into going from door to door trying to get people's support, it takes as much as a creation of a website, a video, an add or an email in order to get people's
attention. Instead of going to people's homes and the streets, it is possible to bring the electronic form of a petition into almost EVERY home and let the people decide whether to contribute their signature in a matter of a few days. The only thing activists trying to get signatures have to actually do is form an official online petition and promote it. This is very easy through the Internet, either by creating a YouTube video, an email chain or getting people to tweet about it or share it on Facebook. A great example would be a website called AllOut.org, which is fighting for LGBT community rights and against the current problems the community is facing today. The website works by funders along with international LGBT organization partners (such as ABGLT(Brazil), SMUG(Uganda), Courage campaign(US),...). They together create online petitions concerning current issues, prepare videos and use social media to promote them. The petitions have been very successful in the past: ‘In less than a year AllOut has worked to halt the deportation of a lesbian Ugandan asylum seeker in the UK, organized to defend the immigration rights of bi-national same sex couples, called global attention to homophobic and trans violence in Brazil, and helped organize unprecedented pressure at the United Nations to push forward a historic resolution on LGBT equality’. The biggest success that AllOut.org achieved is the ban of »Kill the gays« bill in Uganda. In just 4 days, the online petition against the bill was signed by 500 000 people around the world and delivered to the Uganda government by Frank Mugisha (LGBT advocate from Uganda, cooperates with Allout.org) Getting half a million people from 192 countries to sign a petition in 4 days would by any logic be impossible without the use of Internet, so proven on this example, the ability of information spreading so fast and wide on the internet can clearly ensure a unique kind of productivity that might not even be possible to achieve in other ways. Argument 2 – Internet activism is easier and therefore more appealing In the second argument, that the simplicity of online activism system makes more engage in it quicker, I'll explain how the efficiency of activism triggered online increases because it is effortless and convenient a lot of times. Now,
unfortunately, even though people care about world issues, most of the time when the issue doesn't somehow directly concern them, they don't really do anything about it if the process of doing something includes the regular »inconvenient« types of helping out, such as having to show up at a place at a time and having to look up the information on how to donate and to whom. These actions are not really inconvenient, but still people do find the ‘complications’ as an easy excuse for what we basically call laziness. There's a bigger chance that one will donate pet food for animals in shelters when they see a box saying ‘while you're here, buy a can or two for the poor animals and put it in this box’ while shopping in the local market, than that someone will donate when seeing a poster that says: ‘Donate a can or two to the poor animals. You can bring it or send it by post to that pet shop situated 20 km away from your house’. Similar, it's more likely for people to give a small amount of money to a beggar on the streets, than donate a small amount of money to a local social service institute after seeing a commercial about it. What we can learn from these hypothetical examples is that while the moral obligation for people to help change problems theoretically stays the same (since the problems remain the same) and people are aware and reminded of them, the thing that truly is different is the amount of effort people have to invest in order to do something. The Internet works according to the same principles. Some of the ways that only the Internet enables make activism far more convenient and effortless for people and because of that people engage in it more and its productivity increases. Donating has become much easier with the use of Internet, since it only requires a few clicks ( that's responsible for the term ‘clicktivims’), showing support is also enabled only by liking a page or joining a group on Facebook which requires the minimum amount of effort which almost makes people feel guilty in case they don't do it. An epigraph from greenpeace.com: ‘A big 'Thank You!' to the hundreds of thousands of you who supported our two-month Kit Kat campaign by e-mailing Nestlé or spreading the campaign message via your Facebook, Twitter and other social media profiles. This morning, Nestlé finally announced a break for the orangutan - as well as Indonesian rainforests and peat lands - by committing to stop using products that come from rainforest destruction’. This epigraph alone explains another
successful online activist act - the act was started online and successfully finished online with the help of the spread of information as explained in my first argument and people having to invest minimum efforts while spreading them. Again, this proves, online activism isn't counterproductive. Argument 3 â€“ Online activism triggers offline activism I've been talking about pretty much solely how online activism is great and what makes it great and how it's better from other kinds of activism, but in my third argument I'd actually like to explain how it can also be a great tool for triggering offline activism. We think there's no logical reason why online activism wouldn't be considered as productive if it achieves the goal indirectly, by using offline activism, because it's still what acquired the change and achieved it, along with other tools and that fact doesn't make it counterproductive. I've already mentioned how the internet enables the fast spread of information. That very fact if used wisely can be a very powerful tool. As long as you get people's attention, you have a great power of making an impact on them. A simple YouTube video or even a picture can make a person passionate about something. And a lot of people feel they have some kind of a moral responsibility to the world once you've told them it's on them to make people's life's better, to prevent animals from suffering, etc. A famous example of how online activism triggered offline activism is of course KONY 2012. The video was put on YouTube in March 2012 and in 3 months it gained over 90 million views. The film was created by Invisible Children, Inc. Its intention was to accuse Joseph Kony, the head of a Uganda guerrilla group of the abduction of children to become child-sex slaves and child soldiers. The film encourages people to inform themselves about Kony, to wrap their towns in posters, and the film resulted in people becoming passionate about the problem, doing the things listed above and eventually the problem being taken care of - following the launch of KONY 2012, the United Nations and African Union announced an ambitious new plan to arrest Joseph Kony. Another example would be the effect of online activism via social networks on the Middle East uprising (the Arab spring). New York Times reported on the Tunisian uprising as: â€˜Because the protests came together largely through informal online
networks, their success has also risen questions about whether a new opposition movement has formed that could challenge whatever new government takes shape’. New York Times about the Egypt uprising: ‘More than 90,000 people signed up on a Facebook page for the Tuesday [Jan. 25] protests, framed by the organizers as a stand against torture, poverty, corruption and unemployment’. These examples prove that online activism is not only effective as a direct tool, but if necessary also helps or even triggers other forms of activism and therefore can be undeniably extremely productive. Argument 4 – International dimension on online activism Moving on to my fourth and final argument, I'd like to explain the unique way of online activism's ability to achieve international recognition in short time. Internet is not only fast, it also doesn't know boarder limits. Through Internet awareness raising campaigns spread easily, faster and achieves the public support in whichever nation it comes too. So not only are people aware of international problems, they are more able than ever to have an effect on them, to have an effect on people on the other side of the planet, to cooperate with them, and to balance out the world’s problems a little bit. I've already mentioned AllOut.org and how people of same opinions and different nationalities get to stand up for a common goal. Another interesting example would be the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement. CNN reports: ‘Facebook pages have popped up for major cities across the country. Twitter hash tags have been established for communication at general assemblies. Countless videos have been posted to YouTube, Vimeo and Livestream. We found some moving personal accounts of job loss and helplessness shared on the blog We are the 99 percent. Occupy Wall Street even got an Internet meme’. Further, CFR.org writes: ‘The Occupy Wall Street protests that began in New York City a month ago gained worldwide momentum over the weekend, as hundreds of thousands of demonstrators in nine hundred cities protested corporate greed and wealth inequality. Protesters from London to Sydney echoed the anti-capitalist, populist rhetoric of the Occupy movement in what was deemed a ‘global day of protest’. Internet. It can truly be an amazing tool. The effect of online activism has once again been proven.
So does online activism work? Yes, it does. And since it can achieve the goal it's aiming for, proven to you by many real life examples, facts and statistics, and in some cases it can achieve it faster and better than other ways of activism, therefore it is by no means counterproductive.
THBT cannot be equal opportunities without a strong welfare state SIDE PROPOSITION (Zoran Fijavz) Outline of the problem Imagine walking down to your friendâ€™s apartment and have to cross through a side alley. As you almost reach the end of it, a group of youths in gang outfit demands you to stop and give all valuables you have and threaten to use force unless you comply. The common reaction is anger and itâ€™s justified, since the gang youths are perpetrators of a crime. But even so, there is another part to the story. The perpetrators are also a victim of a crime; the crime of social, economic and educational deprivation committed by a non-egalitarian system. And as it often happens, victims tend to turn to torturers. In order to break the cycle of violence, the core of the issue needs remediation. A welfare state with equal opportunities is needed. The debate on whether a free market is enough to free the people and whether governmental redistribution of capital is needed to achieve that goal has always been, and still is, a point of contention. The recent austerity measures across Europe and the US have stirred it once again. In this paper, I will analyze whether a strong welfare state is a precondition for equal opportunities. The four major points of analysis are equal opportunities in the fields of education, health status, political engagement and gender. Before doing so, a few key words need to be explained. Equal opportunity means the ability of individuals to exercise their rights in an egalitarian manner. For example, while a student from a lower income class technically has the right to education, the lack of funds for books, extracurricular activities or a proper desk to study the right will fail to translate into actual opportunity. The other key word is welfare state meaning the concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those unable to avail themselves of the minimal provisions for good life trough wealth redistribution.
Most prominent examples of a strong welfare states are Norway, Finland, Iceland and Sweden, while the US and UK have far less welfare elements. Argument 1 - Education A welfare state is necessary to provide equal educational opportunities. Without a welfare state to neutralize the shortcomings of lower income classes, students miss on two vital benefits of education. Firstly, educational systems develop pupil’s talents, cognitive abilities and skills. Once outside educational institutions the income and flexibility at seeking employment is greatly influenced by the received education. However, there is always a cost related to education and it deters students from fully developing their potential. In order to break the repeating cycle of low life standards, welfare states intervene by subsidizing or making some educational services free as well as giving benefits to parents making educational opportunities more affordable indirectly. For example, if school meals are provided free of charge, parents are more capable of financing other extracurricular activities for their children, such as fees for sport clubs or musical education. Secondly equal education reduces isolation. Lower income is often linked with lower school performance as such parents are often not informed enough about the benefits of developing their child’s capabilities, such as reading together, giving them simple math puzzles or teaching them a sport. Since lower performers are often stigmatized, they obtain a negative perspective towards education and exclude themselves from educational social networks. Once excluded from social networks, it is likely that the pupils will continue the pattern of behavior their parents started and will not demand external professional help, either because they find it unnecessary or too costly. Welfare states prevent such repeating cycles by early intervention in form of special pedagogic treatment, and offer free retraining programs for school dropouts. Finland, for example achieved its leading status in education via an egalitarian approach. Education is tuition free to the tertiary level so low income doesn’t hamper the learning. They have a so called ‘special education’ program for children with learning difficulties. About 23% of pupils receive additional
attention on problematic subjects, following individualized plans. Already in preschool, problematic behavior is taken notice and offered professional help, before it can harm the learning process and to it related opportunities. That way, the impact of the social background is minimized. Special Education in the US, however, is provided only in more severe cases, such as visual impairment, brain damage and autism. Behavior not caused by a mental or physical disease receives special attention on local, case by case basis, and is often left untreated. While both Finland and the US have above average PISA results (Programme for International Students Assessment), the impact of social background is above average in the US and below average in Finland. Because equal opportunities start with equal access to education only a welfare state can provide a welfare state is needed for equal opportunities Argument 2 - Health Equal opportunities also regard ones bodily wellbeing. In order for all citizens to have an equal opportunity for a healthy and productive life, health must partly become a public good and be distributed regardless of wealth. Firstly, as soon as health becomes a monetary commodity the lower income classes of society are deprived of it. Without a welfare state, a low income worker is coerced into sacrificing healthcare insurance for basic existential needs. Food, shelter and transport are often chosen above health, since they need to be paid on the short term, while there are little funds for long term health insurance. In 2005 in US nearly 15 million adults did not obtain eyeglasses, 25 million did not get dental care, 19 million did not get needed prescribed medicine, and 15 million did not get needed medical care due to cost, despite that only 15% of the costs had to be covered out of the patient's pocket. Because of existential issues, low earners are deprived of basic healthcare services and consequentially in an unequal position Secondly, some choices people make about their health are not rational, but a reflection of their current economic status. The lower the income, the less likely it is that people will think on the long term, since day to day problems capture most
of their attention and because the lack of income for long term investments deters them from even considering the possibilities. As such health neglect is more likely. Additionally, they may not be informed of the impact of their choices and available alternatives, since they have limited on nonexistent access to medical personnel. Behavior like smoking, excessive drinking, obesity and lack of exercise is more prominent in the lower classes, not as a result of a free choice, but of a seeming inescapable economic situation, which leaves them without positive outlooks. In order to maintain equal opportunity to health, a welfare state is needed to include the deprived in the healthcare system, which can prevent harmful choices by advising and informing. Additionally, should an existential situation force people into making health harming choices, the welfare state is there to remedy the impacts, to ensure health stays available for all. The Equality Trust campaign reported in 2011 that countries with greater income gaps (measured by the GINI index) have higher rates of obesity, depression and addiction and lower life expectancy rate. Furthermore, the studies found that income inequality degrades not only the health of the poorest, but of the entire society. A 2009 study in the British Medical Journal concluded that almost 884,000 excess deaths per year in the United States could be attributed to the high level of income inequality. Argument 3 - Public engagement A welfare state is a condition for equal opportunities, since it increases the likelihood of political participation. Even though every citizen has the equal right to vote, the lower the income, the less likely the participation. There are several reasons why participation is linked to income. In a non-welfare state, if there is little engagement with the people by a government, there will also be little interest for the government by the people. Lower classes might feel that no one has the capability to represent them, because the political system is so isolated from their daily life. They might be overwhelmed by their daily survival, that they have little interest in politics and feel as if theyâ€™re not informed enough to give their voice. As soon as a part of the
voters is disenfranchised from using their rights by the nonreactive governmental approach, political equality starts to fade. Without the voice of the worst off, governments are likely to create arbitrary policies. The electoral system and elected government become more prone to lobby groups, with the weakened feedback from voters. That creates even more mistrust among the people, leading to even less participation and an ever increasing inequality in affecting the course a country is taking. This is why the government needs to make the first step and build on inclusiveness by offering services through the welfare state. The Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance reported far lesser turnout declines in welfare oriented countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Germany when compared to the United Kingdom, The US and Canada, where social transfers are far less common. In 2007, the UK based Political Studies Association released a cross country study where State provided welfare was found to positively affect voting outcomes. Argument 4 - Gender equality If half of the population is in an unequal position, it is impossible to attain equal opportunities. A strong welfare state is a condition for gender equality. Firstly, it grants women greater reproductive rights and maternity benefits. A choice over having a child or not is essential for womenâ€™s emancipation. In most cases, the mother will have to take care of the child, meaning her entry into education or the labor market is greatly impaired. Welfare states provide free medical access for women to medically safe means of contraception and abortion. Should they choose to have a child, the welfare state provides them with universal healthcare to cover expenses for prenatal care, childbirth, post natal care and possible complications of pregnancy. As pregnancy results in greater costs for women, the welfare state covers them and ensures women stay equal to men. Public health services in the US are only provided to limited groups. The old, the veterans and the poor and even poverty alone is not a sufficient criterion for
Medicaid programe qualification. Health insurance companies in the US and union health funds in Israel tend to deny the coverage of maternity service, unless the client was insured with them before the beginning of the pregnancy. In contrast, most women have public healthcare access in the Scandinavian welfare region. Secondly, a strong welfare state ensures women’s equality for labor market entry. To achieve gender equality, women must have their own means of creating income otherwise they are dependent on their husbands. The latter have the upper hand in the relationship and can spend the income arbitrarily or use it as a means of control. Also, pregnancy is a common excuse for employer discrimination against women. In order to achieve equal opportunity, women must have the option to enter the labor market on equal terms with men. The pressure from employers is relieved by the welfare state paying the salary and social security contributions. The pregnancy excuse is taken away. Even after the maternal leave, welfare states are beneficial for women’s market position by providing, or at least subsidizing, child day care which greatly broadens women’s access to work. Day care policy in Sweden facilitates the care of infants younger than 18 months at home, a place for all pre-school children in municipal child care and a place for 7-12 year olds before and after school. This gives women sufficient time to earn income thus becoming less dependent on their spouse. Thirdly, welfare states facilitate equal parenting. As long as raising a child is seen solely as a women’s role, it is unlikely that the stereotype that women are meant to stay at home, take care of the household and obey their husband will be broken. In order to achieve that on a larger scale, a welfare state is needed to pay compensation to fathers to make job leave feasible and to incentivize them to take active role in parenting. Sweden has parental baby-leave shared by both parents since 1974, and an optional 6 hour working day for all parents of children under the age of 8. The policy resulted in more fathers being ready to look after children when they are sick. By 1987 the number increased to 41% of fathers.
A welfare state offers women more bodily integrity, maternal rights, access to income and chances for gender balanced parenting. Therefore, a strong welfare state is a condition for women to enjoy equal opportunities.
SIDE OPPOSITION (Ziva Antolin) Argument 1 - The idea of welfare clashes with the idea of equal opportunities Two hundred years ago, Thomas Jefferson wrote that all men are created equal. Unfortunately, over the years different leaders, ideas and laws have brought us to the point, where it is up to us to provide this equality again. And we've made a huge process indeed. One of the most important milestones in this process was the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. It didn't mean just an expenditure of individual's freedom, but it was a restriction of it as well. Laws in general concern all citizens. This means that the same freedoms that apply to you also apply to any of your fellow citizens, so with your actions you have to consider other's freedoms as well. Because of this, certain things are not allowed in order to protect this freedom. To sum up, when we are given a right, we are also given a corresponding duty and vice versa. For example, we are not allowed to murder someone so this is our responsibility. But at the same time we are given a right to live without a fear of other murdering us. Articles in the Declaration of Human Rights and constitutions of most of modern states contain practically everything that individuals need to in order to pursue their ambitions. And from that point of view every citizen has an equal opportunity to do so. There is no law which would for example forbid poor child from going to school. But reality is a little bit different. Poor child also needs some resources, motivation and ability to do so, and that stands for practically everything when it comes to pursing life goals, not just education. And that is what most of the people, who have less opportunities in society than others, lack of. So the state stepped in, and it decided to protect its citizens from inequality. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but the path they decided to take doesn't bring equal opportunities. There is namely a difference between laws that apply to all citizens and laws that protect just certain group of people. When all citizens have a right to something, they also have a corresponding duty. The duty offsets the right, but if this applies to everybody, there are no groups of people that would be excused from this. Nobody is prioritized or punished, so opportunities in this case
are equal for everybody. In case of protecting a specific group we have a completely different story. A certain group is entitled to privileges or rights and along with this constraints, limitations and duties are imposed on other citizens. In this case, the duty offsets the right as well, but the problem is that some people get only good out of this and others have to put up with losses. In this case, state is providing more opportunities for one group of citizens and at the same time it is taking opportunities away from the other, so citizens in general don't have equal opportunities. Welfare program protects particular group of citizens, those who are less wealthy than the rest. The right they are entitled to is money. They might get it directly or indirectly through different subsidies. But the more important is the source of the money. It comes from taxes and taxes are paid by citizens, who enjoy a high enough income rate. That is why countries with high welfare level also have the highest tax rate. For example, EU member countries ensure a high level of welfare in general. France spends 34,9%, Germany 33,2% and Austrian 32,4% of their GDP on their welfare programs, comparing to South Korea which spends only 11% on its welfare services , USA 19,4% and Japan 18,6%. These countries have a lower level of welfare. The thing is that through welfare transfers state takes money away from those who have it and gives it to those who don't. Taking away money means taking away you freedom of spending money the way you want to. This kind of distribution limits the freedom of one group and expands the freedom of the other. This is why strong welfare state doesn't provide equal opportunities. Argument 2 - Strong welfare states cannot provide financial sustainability In previous argument I explained why strong welfare state doesn't provide equal opportunities on principal level and in this argument I will explain why it can't provide sustainable equality on a practical level. I already talked about how taxes and welfare programs are linked, since resources to provide welfare come from money paid by taxpayers. Strong welfare states subsidize education system, health care and some other programs.
Taxpayers and also their family members are entitled to benefit from public institutions and that is alright, because they have paid them. But also the ones that did not contribute benefit from these same systems. Those are unemployed, old or disabled people. Country gives them certain amount of money to live on it. So taxpayers contribute money not just for their own benefits but also for the groups that do not contribute. This means that the government has to make sure, there will be enough taxpayer contributions to cover all of the expenses otherwise it cannot support the functioning of the welfare system. I'm going to present two main reasons why is strong welfare state doomed to failure. Families have changed over the years. In the past, father's role was to earn money to provide goods for the family and mother's role was to raise children. Nowadays, usually both parents are employed so they can take care of their children and themselves. The reason for this is the emancipation of women, but there's also another reason â€“ the welfare state. Welfare programs require more money so taxpayers had to contribute more. This made it harder for men to provide for the whole family, so also women had to get a job. They started to face severe trade-offs between employment and family obligation and considering this and the fact that having children has become much more expensive, it isn't a surprise that fertility rates dropped. In EU member states in 1960s the birth rate was 3,78 children in Ireland, which had the highest rate, and 2,02 in Hungary, where the rate was the lowest. In 2009, Ireland still had the highest rate, on average 2,07 children per woman, in Hungary and Portugal the average was 1,32 children and it was the lowest among all member countries. The replacement level is 2,1 children per woman and the rate of young population in modern countries is dropping because their fertility rate is below the level of replacement. Since young people are potential taxpayers the governments won't be able to get enough money from taxes to provide welfare services in the future. While the rate of young people is dropping, the number of old people is increasing. Thanks to improvements in medicine and pharmacy and especially to welfare programs, which have made health care widely available, life expectancy is much longer than it was in the past. Among EU member states, in 1994 Estonia was the one with the lowest life expectancy with 66,6 years on average.
In 2009, Lithuania had the lowest average of 73,2 years. This increase also brought problems. The elderly are usually retired, which means that they have to be provided with pension and strong welfare states have programs which do so. On one hand, we are facing the problem of declining number of taxpayers and on the other hand, the number of people on welfare is increasing. The future isn't bright. According to World Health Organization, the number of people aged 80 or older will quadruple in the period 2000 to 2050. In Germany in 2010, there were 3 workers per each retiree, it is projected that in 2050 the ration will be 1,6. The same is with other EU countries, for example France's ratio will drop from 3,5 to 1,9 and UK's ratio will change from 4,0 to 2,1. Welfare states are doomed to fail, because their solution for addressing unequal opportunities can last only for a short time. It puts a lot of pressure on modern families, so the fertility rate is dropping, which means that in the future there won't be enough taxpayers to cover the cost of expensive welfare programs. It is predicted that US welfare system will collapse in 2037. We have to consider that welfare system there isn't even as extensive while at the same time the number of active population is decreasing at a slower rate than in EU countries. Short-term solution isn't enough to provide equal opportunities, because after welfare states' collapse, the situation will be the same or even worse than it was before. It is hard to maintain the standards of living and it will only get worse. Argument 3 - Welfare can't resolve poverty In 2010, according to Eurostat, 81 million people in the EU27 were at risk of poverty, 42 million people were severely materially deprived, 34 million people lived in households with low work intensity and 7 million of them fell below the poverty line. These numbers are high, especially if we consider how much money EU countries spends on their welfare programs to prevent poverty. The numbers vary from 25,5 % to 38 % of countries' GDP. In this argument we will explain why welfare isn't sufficient enough to resolve poverty and why we can perceive poverty as a lack of equal opportunities. Why welfare doesn't create equal opportunities in society can be explained using the concept of a culture of poverty, introduced by American anthropologist Oscar
Lewis. It says that poor people develop specific lifestyle patterns, values and norms, which form a specific culture that is passed over to the next generations. Poor people have usually given up on their future; they feel powerless, dependent and less worth. It is true, that strong welfare states do financially support people who suffer from poverty, but they don't spend it on investing in their future. Of course they spend it on basic needs, but the usually don't make saving out of what it's left. That money is used on unnecessary things, such as cigarettes, alcohol, lottery etc. According to the research by The Consumerist, poor people spend 9 % of their income on lottery. This lifestyle doesn't contribute to resolving poverty at all, and once there is some poverty, you can't get rid of it because it is passed over to the next generations. To pursue life plans, there are two requirements - possibility and ability. The first concept talks about removing constraints on individuals' choice to the use of property, on speech, on association, on religion etc. They are usually guaranteed by law in countries that are relevant in this debate. More problematic is the second thing - ability. Freedom to take action is worthless for people who, even though they have talent are unable actually to take the action. Differences in physical capabilities, family life, education and economic and social opportunities all act to define the choices that confront the individual.
LIST OF SUGGESTED TOPICS EU related THBT European public education system is out of touch with the job market THBT Online activism is counterproductive THW sanction EU member states that do not ensure protection of sexual minorities THBT we should tax products according to their environmental and social footprint THBT the European Parliament should reject ACTA THBT sports should not receive any public funding THW make EU universities free. THB there cannot be equal opportunities without a strong welfare state. THBT Europe 2020 has failed youth THBT European Parliament needs a trans-European pirate party. THBT Poverty is the biggest threat to social peace and security THBT High youth unemployment makes EU longterm prosperity impossible. This house supports Anonymous THBT Anonymous are terrorists. THBT The fear of economic crisis has more negative effects than the crisis itself. THBT Assimilation is a better model than integration for creating cohesive EU societies. THBT Countries of the EU should have a common history book. THBT There can be no EU economic union without a political one. THBT The democratic promise of the Internet has failed. THBT We should introduce a tax on transactions in the EU. THBT the internet should be regulated just like all other media THW favour employers that hire young people over those that hire older workers THBT today's young generation of Europeans has less opportunities than they're parents did
THBT the EU should strongly encourage young families to have more than one child THBT the internet is a public good THBT social media has made traditional media obsolete THBT the EU is in a crisis of democracy THBT the youth of Europe is not properly represented in decision making THBT that an unregulated internet does more harm than good THBT Facebook should be controlled democratically by it's users THW implement the electronic vote for European Parliament elections
General European public education system is out of touch with the job market Online activism is counterproductive THW sanction EU member states that do not ensure protection of sexual minorities THBT we should tax products according to their environmental and social footprint HBT European Parliament should reject ACTA THBT sports should not receive any public funding THW make EU universities free. THB there cannot be equal opportunities without a strong welfare state. Voting should be obligatory. We should lower the voting age to 16. Representative democracy has failed us. E-elections would increase the participation of youth. The democratic potential of the Internet is overvalued. A conscious consumer does for democracy more than a voter. Invalidate any election result with a turnout below 70% Children should be excluded from any religion until adulthood We support parents who secretly install spyware on their childrenâ€™s electronic devices. Install condom vending machines in all high schools.
We should not force children to sing the national anthem in schools Require large online social networks to be controlled democratically by their users. Allow minors who pass a test on civics to vote Parents should have access to their children's social networking sites. This house believes that zoos should be eliminated This house believes that elective cosmetic surgery should be banned This house believes that the advent of the Internet has done more harm than good This house believes that doctors should never lie to their patients, including one for their own good This house would authorize nudism on beaches and in public pools Romantic relationships between university instructors and their students should be illegal. The state should prohibit all items of clothing that cover the face. Allow companies to refuse hiring smokers. Criminalize the payment of ransom. European governments should pay parents to have children. Ban boxing. Women should get an equal position in war with men. Parents should not be allowed to hit children. All citizens ought to perform a period of national service. Have harsher sentences for celebrity criminals. Marriage is an outdated concept. Prostitution should be legalized. Students in public school should wear school uniforms. Public money should not be used to finance art. Strong dictatorship is better than weak democracy. We should be willing to negotiate with terrorists. All politicians should be limited to two terms in office. Nationalism is a virtue. Convicted rapists should be chemically castrated.
Testing products for humans on animals is immoral. After cohabitating for six months, couples should be considered as married. Middle school students should not be permitted to wear cosmetics to school. Parents should lose custody of morbidly obese children. Child abusers should not be allowed to have more children. Every citizen should be provided with internet access.
EXERCISE ARGUMENTS Alfred C. Snider Many European students are finishing their education and cannot find employment. So, we need to increase education spending. DEDUCTION – CAUSAL/HYPOTHETICAL Because of youth unemployment in Europe we should focus education on training people for the jobs that exist now or else not bother educating them at all. DEDUCTION – DISJUNCTIVE Many nations have defaulted on their loans and come out better because of it, such as Argentina. Greece needs to consider defaulting. INDUCTION Young Europeans are having a hard time getting jobs; it really is their own fault for not being better prepared for work. DEDUCTION - CAUSAL Online activism is a key to a better world. Why, just look at the way it has helped solve problems like drugs, human trafficking and the use of child soldiers in Africa. INDUCTION Online activism teaches people that they can make a difference, and thus makes them better citizens. DEDUCTION - CATEGORICAL A good way to stop the persecution of sexual minorities is to make such actions a crime. Then people will act better towards sexual minorities. DEDUCTION – HYPOTHETICAL/CAUSAL
We can never make strongly Catholic countries recognize full rights for homosexuals. DEDUCTION - CATEGORICAL In terms of influencing how people react to sexual minorities, the church is the most influential force, not the government. DEDUCTION - DISJUNCTIVE If we tax environmentally harmful products more, then people will buy them less. DEDUCTION â€“ CAUSAL/HYPOTHETICAL If we tax environmentally harmful products, governments will use that tax money wisely to reduce problems in the environment. DEDUCTION - DISJUNCTIVE Public funding of sports programs in bad economic times is a waste of money. DEDUCTION - DISJUNCTIVE Sports only benefit those who actually play not those who watch and cheer. DEDUCTION - CATEGORICAL If European universities were free of charge, people would go to university instead of getting jobs. DEDUCTION - DISJUNCTIVE A society in which everyone has a university education will be a better society. DEDUCTION - CAUSAL A strong welfare state will empower women more than a free market society. DEDUCTION - CAUSAL
Sexual minorities are treated with more respect in prosperous societies like Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden. Thus, prosperity is the key to tolerance. INDUCTION In young people really love their home countries; they should not immigrate to other parts of the EU. DEDUCTION - CATEGORICAL Those who discriminate against sexual minorities should be discriminated against. DEDUCTION - CATEGORICAL The European Parliament has passed bad legislation before, so we cannot trust it to pass new legislation. INDUCTION Government borrowing and then spending that money is good for the economy because it stimulates economic activity. DEDUCTION - CAUSAL The Italian government is freely elected and democratic, therefore if they want to spend more money than they collect they should be able to. DEDUCTION - CATEGORICAL There has never been a financial crisis like this in Europe before, so there will never be another financial crisis like this one in Europe. INDUCTION Because there are so many intelligent economists in Europe, they will find a solution to the current economic crisis. DEDUCTION - CAUSAL
The Pirate Party believes we should ignore all copyright laws. Life would be better under them because we would pay less for songs, movies and books. DEDUCTION - CAUSAL Poverty caused by the economic system is the biggest crime. Therefore, crimes committed by poor people should be punished less than crimes of rich people. DEDUCTION - CATEGORICAL Because we do not know who Anonymous is, we cannot trust them. DEDUCTION - CATEGORY When European citizens are very afraid, they often make bad political decisions. DEDUCTION - CAUSAL Ethnic minorities have a lot to teach us, so their identities should be preserved. DEDUCTION – CATEGORICAL Europe would be better off if we became a big melting pot and were assimilated into a common European people. DEDUCTION - CAUSAL Future wars in Europe will be less likely if we have one common history book to teach all students from. DEDUCTION - CAUSAL A system that has economic freedom will have political freedom as well. DEDUCTION - CATEGORICAL Because corporations can use the Internet more effectively that individuals, it represents a threat to individual freedom. DEDUCTION – HYPOTHETICAL/CAUSAL
Students who can pay for a university education should pay more, those who cannot afford it should pay less. DEDUCTION - CATEGORICAL When the European Central Bank lowers interest rates it stimulates the economy because people can buy new houses. DEDUCTION - CAUSAL Most smart people are rich. DEDUCTION â€“ CATEGORICAL INDUCTION 93% of police investigations are carried out legally. This is a record the police should be proud of. INDUCTION Europe was the winner in World War 1, World War 2 and the Cold War. Thus, Europe will win future wars as well. INDUCTION After Socialists were elected in country X, the unemployment rate went up. Socialism is obviously not the solution for unemployment. DEDUCTION - CAUSAL In a study of investment bankers, 90% agreed that austerity measures were an appropriate way to reduce budget deficits. INDUCTION Bankers who loaned money to countries who had weak financial performance should be held responsible when those countries cannot repay the loans. DEDUCTION - CATEGORICAL
DSK, a well-known European financial executive, has been accused of sexual offenses many times but has never been convicted. This proves he was innocent all along. INDUCTION
Manual is an outcome of an international project Simulation for Action Stimulation financed by the European Commission, Europe for Citizens...
Published on Jul 30, 2012
Manual is an outcome of an international project Simulation for Action Stimulation financed by the European Commission, Europe for Citizens...