A Confused Prime Minister

The 13th was celebrated as Diwali across India. Since I do not happen to particularly festive when it comes to celebrations (holidays are always welcome, though) starting the morning with a ton of laundry followed by gyaan on debating seemed just perfect.

So, sitting in the sunny open air theater close to my dorm, my friend E and I were coached by a senior, who also coordinates the uni litsoc.

The government believes that it should legalize weed. It being the time of the year when my throat gives up on me, that I sounded like a screw driver leisurely drawn against scrap metal is not much of a surprise. [Update: Can barely speak now]

Legalization of weed is probably the easiest topic out there, I was told.

My first attempt at the Prime Minister’s opening speech was nowhere close to impressive. I’ve always wondered where all those awesome sounding lines run away; when alone, ruminating on some topic, I can spin words for a good 5 minutes or so. But when it comes to ‘speaking’ speaking, Brain decides to sit down instead of running.

Anyway, apart from knowing what to define in a motion, I also learnt how to put forward arguments: in case of the PM, the primary constructor on which the government’s premise rests. The key, as was later explained, is to define a principal argument and base your next two arguments on it. It is also important to pre-empt the opposing party’s arguments and cater to them in your speech beforehand: this should leave them tongue tied for some time, if not forever.

Jotting down points before a speech also needs to have a method to it. Since a fixed time (usually 7 minutes) is allotted for a speech, timing your definitions, arguments and rebuttals are necessary. Promptly starting off on the left foot, I put my note-making skills to use. As the fifteen minutes that were allotted as thinking time ended, my ‘arguments’ really were nothing but four points centered around personal choice and freedom (legalization of weed, remember?)

A two minute speech later, my senior/mentor spoke as the Leader of Opposition, with a fiery rebuttal to my less than two minutes’ worth of arguments. We picked up a lot of info on speaking style and have a better idea about strategy now.

Me and a friend have decided to dedicate one day a week to debating on motions for half hour.

I’m hoping it works out.

What will also play out as I proceed is the role most suitable for me. I feel very comfortable being the deputy on either side. The slacker in me runs out to the opposition whip, given how one can only summarize after a debate and not propose any points. This is because doing so will be considered rude (why did they not argue on those points when it could have been debated upon?)

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