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MUNRFE | Parliamentary Debates
Parliamentary debates

During more than 7 years of its existence Model United Nations of the Russian Far East has regularly conducted regional and international conferences in Model UN format. By those means young individuals were granted the surface for political debates that enabled them to improve their consensus building, public speaking and debate skills, as well as to propose alternative ways to solve various problems of the international scale. However, in addition to the debates in Model UN format members of the organization practiced discussions in the format of parliamentary debates- such organization of work makes the process more dynamic, achieve tangible results faster and because of this involves a greater number of participants.

 

In Spring 2007, MUNRFE conducted the Regional Parliamentary Debate Tournament “Start Point”. The project was aimed at granting talented students with the opportunity to practice their spoken English, as well as attain new skills in the spheres of public speaking and overcoming objections. The project was organized in two cities of the Russian Far East: Vladivostok and Khabarovsk.

 

In competitive parliamentary debating, each round of debate has a different topic announced just before the debate begins. The amount of preparation time varies, allowing from ten minutes to (in British secondary school tournaments) one hour of preparation between the announcement of the topic and the beginning of debate.  Fifteen minutes is the most common allotment.


During preparation time, the participants analyze the proposition and outline their major arguments. They ask themselves: What does this proposition mean? What important issues are raised by it? How may it be affirmed or denied? What examples and events are relevant to its discussion? The answers to these and other questions will serve as the foundation for the government case and prepare the opposition for its refutation. Some tournaments and competitive leagues permit the use of dictionaries, texts and other prepared materials during preparation time. Others limit or even prohibit coaching and use of prepared materials prior to the debates.


The first speaker for the proposition must use some of the preparation time to organize the main issues of the case into a logically complete and persuasive form to convey the best possible impression of their case. The first speaker therefore uses preparation time to arrange the essential elements of the case into a brief outline. The argument outline should clearly bring the major elements of the case into relation with each other and constitute a complete case on behalf of the motion.