At the Toronto Debating Society, members will defend any side of any issue to challenge even their own viewpoints. In general, we don’t necessarily believe a single word we’re saying!
To debate effectively, you don’t have to take what you are saying about particular subject to heart – all you have to do is make convincing arguments about your proposition and persuade your audience that your point of view is more sound than you opponent(s).
Could you defend a position without even knowing what the topic is ahead of time?
The Speaker will prepare the impromptu motion in advance. Impromptu motions should be general, accessible to all and easily comprehended. Note: It is advised that the Speaker consult with a member of the executive to ensure that the motion is appropriate and that it is debatable. For example, a motion which is complex or would normally require research should be discouraged. Debaters will sign up in teams of government and opposition as per a usual debate.
The debaters should be the first four participants of the unrelated Impromptu speaking exercise at the start of the meeting. Following this, the Speaker will announce the resolution and dismiss the debating teams to prepare for their debate.
The Prime Minister will define the resolution in their opening presentation.
The debate is scored as a regular debate, however it should be anticipated that scores for “content” (supporting evidence) will be lower than in a regular debate. Supporting evidence is certainly still possible in the form of common knowledge or anecdotes – but cited sources of evidence are not expected.