Speaker Roles in Asian Parliamentary Debate

(taken from http://wiki.idebate.org)

Government:

Prime Minister (PM)

  • Define context and parameters of debate. For example, in an open motion like “This House Would Support Musicians”, the debate could be contextualized into whether music should be a commodity for trade, or it should be available gratis (i.e. free music download and transfer)
  • Provide concise background or history leading to the issue
  • Give framework of government bench’s case. I.e. mechanisms (if any), argumentation flow (what the government’s first argument is and what the Deputy Prime Minister will talk about)
  • Introduce 1st argument
  • Assert Government stand

Deputy Prime Minister (DPM)

  • Rebut first argument from Leader of Opposition
  • Rebut rebuttals to PM’s argument
  • Introduce 2nd and 3rd argument
  • Reassert Government stand and case

Government Whip

  • Rebut Deputy Leader of Opposition, and Leader of Opposition
  • Rebut rebuttals to DPM and PM arguments
  • Provide a deeper level of analysis for previous arguments and rebuttals
  • No new arguments, but new angles of arguments should be given
  • Brief summary of entire case of Government
  • Reassert Government stand and case

Opposition:

Leader of Opposition

  • Agree or disagree with context/ parameters of debate (any definitional challenges, accusations of squirreling, or unfair set up should be made from the LO speech and no later)
  • Rebut Prime Minister’s argument
  • Give framework for Opposition case (if Opp agrees to problem, then their case should provide solution, or at least effectively highlight how Government proposal will worsen the situation)
  • Introduce first Opposition argument
  • Assert Opposition stand

Deputy Leader of Opposition

  • Rebut DPM and PM arguments
  • Rebut rebuttals to LO arguments
  • Introduce 1st and 2nd (if any) argument
  • Reassert Opposition stand and case

Opposition Whip

  • Rebut DPM and PM arguments
  • Rebut rebuttals to LO & DLO arguments
  • Provide a deeper level of analysis for previous arguments and rebuttals
  • No new arguments, but new angles of arguments should be given
  • Reassert Opposition stand and case

Reply Speech:

  • Can only be done by either 1st or 2nd speaker from each bench
  • Provide a biased ‘oral adjudication’ of why the debate should go to own bench
  • Highlight issues you think your side won, carefully tiptoe around issues you think you lost
  • New examples to expand on discussed examples is usually allowed and makes the reply speech sound fresh as opposed to verbal regurgitation
  • Reassert stand

Most importantly, try to have fun while you’re doing all this. ;)

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