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Thematic definition – it requires that the

theme of the motion be identified and be
Debate – talk or argue something, think about made the central issue of the debate. This is
something, talk about something at applicable to metaphorical debate.
length and in detailed, especially as
part of formal exchange of opinion. Definitional challenge
- Game of the intellectuals.
There are four instances when the need for a
Debaters are expected to possess: definitional challenge arises:
1. breadth of knowledge
2. quick wit 1. when the definition is tautological;
3. clear and straight-to-the-point arguments 2. when the definition is squirreled;
4. logical analysis 3. when the definition places the debate in a
5. common sense particular time and/ or place;
4. when the definition is truism.
Tautological definitions – from the meaning of the
In parliamentary debates, the house is word, arise when a debater uses the meaning of the
divided into Government and Opposition. The leader motion to argue for the motion.
of the government is called the Prime minister; the
second speaker is called the deputy prime minister. Squirreled definitions – the debater takes the motion
On the other side the opposition first speaker is and scurries away with a definition totally out of the
called the Leader of the opposition. The second spirit of the motion.
speaker is called the deputy leader of the opposition.
The third speaker of both sides are called rebuttal or Time-Placed Setting – a debate cannot be focused
whip speakers. on a particular time, especially if it happened in the
past, or on a particular place that no one ven knows
Team Roles exists.

The Government Truisms – one cannot debate on anything that is true.

It is the duty of the government to give a The truth value of any given motion is gauged by
reasonably debatable definition to the given motion at empirical evidence and commonly accepted
a level understandable to the AVERAGE knowledge.
REASONABLE PERSON. It is the government’s duty
to define the motion in such a way that the opposition How to challenge the definition?
is given an ample space to promote a reasonable
clash. Finally, it is the duty of the government to 1. The LO should state explicitly and as soon as
forward a case that will be faithful to spirit of the possible that they are challenging the motion.
motion, and to rebut the case presented to the House 2. The LO should forward his own definition to
by the Opposition. the motion.
3. The LO should state briefly why they
The Opposition challenge the definition.
The primary duties of the opposition are to
clash with the case forwarded by the government and Although challenging the definition has the at times
to present a case that will discredit the government’s been proven useful in debates, the options should try
arguments. to challenge should be taken as the last one. The
opposition should try to avoid challenging the
Setting Parameter definitions as much as possible.
The parameter in a parliamentary debate
includes at least four elements: (1) the definition; (2)
the link; (3) the theme; and (4) the team split.

How to define?
Definitions should be consistent with the
spirit of the given motion.

1. Word for word definition – is based on giving

the meaning of only the significant word in
the motion
Speaker Roles - rebut the arguments presented by the
The Prime Minister - build his case by presenting two to three
- give a reasonable definition to the motion arguments, several examples to prove
understandable to the Average the arguments.
Reasonable Person and avoid truistic, - Summarize his case
tautological, squirreled, and time-placed
definitions; The Rebuttal/ Whip Speakers
- link the definition to a debatable topic; The Rebuttal speakers are considered to be
- give the theme of the case and identify both the clean-up and demolitions “experts” of either
the track along which the government will team. It is their foremost responsibility to “lay ashes”
tackle its case; the entire case of the opposing side.
- give the Team Split
- prove his case by giving one or two - Give a point by point rebuttal of each
arguments, several examples to prove speech made by the opposing side.
the arguments; - Make sure that the premises which serve
- signpost the second speaker to prepare as the foundations of the other side’s
the adjudicators for the second half of case are adequately dissected and
their case. invalidated;
- Make sure that every damaging example
The Leader of the Opposition forwarded by the other team is
- raise the necessary questions that arise discredited;
out of the definition, the parameters, and - Rebuild his side’s case by reiterating
the split; every major point and providing fresh
- rebut the arguments forwarded by the examples to further prove their
PM; arguments; and
- negate the case of the government; - Provide closure to the debate.
- set up the Opposition’s case by giving
the theme, explaining the method by The Reply Speakers
which the case will be proven, and The reply speech is a biased adjudication of
stating the necessary disclaimers that will the entire debate.
be useful in the oppositions attack;
- state the split Judging Criteria
- Argue and prove his side of the case by
giving one or two arguments, several Matter
examples to back up the arguments. Valid arguments, in-depth analysis of the
issue in the debate, employment of examples
- Signpost his second speaker to prepare relevant to the case, timeless and relevance of POI’s
the adjudicators for the second half of the and through rebuttal. The overall matter accounts fifty
case. percent of the total score of the team.
The Deputy Prime Minister Manner
- rebuild the case of the government in The conduct by which the speech was
case of damage caused by the LO’s delivered, the gestures, the facial expressions, the
questioning and rebuttal; rise and tone of the voice, the use of appropriate
- Rebut the arguments forwarded by the words, and the overall credibility of the speaker.
LO; Manner also accounts for fifty percent of the total
- Remind the House of the government’s score of the team.
theme by restating it and further
explaining it. Method
- Build his part of the case by presenting The logical organization of ideas, the clear
two to three arguments, several presentation of arguments and examples, the unity in
examples to prove the arguments. content and delivery of individual speakers, and
- Summarize his case consistency of the team as a whole.
The Deputy Leader of the Opposition
- rebuild the case of the LO in case of
damage caused by the DPM’s case and