The Leader of the Opposition (LO) has three responsibilities:
1. Accept or reject the definition
First, the definition of the resolution proposed by the PM must be accepted or rejected. Acceptance of the definition may be tacit, but to reject the definition a formal refusal must be made on the grounds of Squirreled, Tautological or Special Knowledge. Having explained why the resolution as defined is unacceptable, the leader should present an alternate definition and proceed to debate from that new foundation.
2. Refute the government’s case
Once the topic of debate has been clarified, the leader proceeds to refute the case presented by the Government. The leader may refute either the examples which support the Governments case, the thrust of the case itself (by presenting their own examples) or the philosophical premise on which the case is built. The leader may also choose to counter the Government in all three levels.
3. Present counter-thesis
The final responsibility of the LO is to introduce and support the counter case. On adjudication scorecards, the Opposition are awarded points both for their refutation of the Governments case and for their own arguments against the resolution.
As the final speaker for the Opposition, the LO should concentrate on rebutting the main thrust of the Governments case and reaffirm the Opposition’s case. During this summation, the speaker is not permitted to introduce new evidence to support or refute previous arguments.