Monday, June 24, 2013

The Definition of British Parliamentary Style Debate

The Definition of British Parliamentary Style Debate  - Debate in this era has been spread widely entire world. There are a number of Debate Style, one of them is British Parliamentary Style, beside Aussie Style. British Parliamentary style debate is a common form of academic debate. It has gained support in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Europe, Africa, Philippines and United States, and has also been adopted as the official style of the World Universities Debating Championship and European Universities Debating Championship. Speeches are usually between five and seven minutes in duration.

Because of the style's origins in British parliamentary procedure, the two sides are called the Government or Affirmative Team, more commonly called "Proposition" in the United Kingdom and Opposition or Negative Team. The speakers are similarly titled:
1. Opening Government (first faction)

    1. Prime Minister
    2. Deputy Prime Minister

2. Opening Opposition (second faction)

    1. Leader of the Opposition
    2. Deputy Leader of the Opposition

3. Closing Government (third faction)

    1. Member for the Government
    2. Government Whip

4. Closing Opposition (fourth faction)

    1. Member for the Opposition
    2. Opposition Whip

Speaking alternates between the two sides and the order of the debate is therefore:
1. Prime Minister
2. Leader of the Opposition
3. Deputy Prime Minister
4. Deputy Leader of the Opposition
5. Member for the Government
6. Member for the Opposition
7. Government Whip
8. Opposition Whip

As British Parliamentary debates take place between four teams their roles are split into two categories, those for the Opening factions, and those for the Closing factions.

The first faction on each Government and Opposition team, known as the Opening Factions, has four basic roles in a British Parliamentary debate. They must:
• Define the motion of the debate.
• Present their case.
• Respond to arguments of the opposing first faction.
• Maintain their relevance during the debate.

The Opening Government team has the semi-divine right of definition, preventing the opposition from challenging their definition of the motion unless it is either a truism or clearly unreasonable.

The role of the second two factions are to:
• Introduce a case extension.
• Establish and maintain their relevance early in the debate.
• Respond to the arguments of the first factions.
• Respond to the case extension of the opposing second faction.

In addition, the final two speakers of the debate (known as the Whips) take a similar role to the third speakers in Australia-Asian debating:
  • The opposition whip may not introduce new arguments for his faction, the government's whip may add new positive material as long as it's "small" and does not start a new line of argumentation. This is a relatively new standard that has become the standard at the Worlds University Debating Championship, as well as the European University Debating Championship;
  • They must respond to both opposing factions' arguments;
  • They should briefly sum up their Opening Faction's case;
  • They should offer a conclusion of their own faction's case extension.


The style demands that all speakers offer Points of Information (POIs) to their opposition. POIs are important in British Parliamentary style, as it allows the first two factions to maintain their relevance during the course of the debate, and the last two factions to introduce their arguments early in the debate. The first and last minute of each speech is considered "protected time", during which no points of information may be offered.

While, the each time of debate, there is a motion. Motion is the main topic which will be used as the issue of debate, whether each team agree or disagree with the motion. 

Well, dear lover readers, we do hope that this article entitled The Definition of British Parliamentary Style Debate will give you an important information. Thanks for your kinds attention.

Source: Wikipedia


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