Welcome to Round 1 of the Future of Europe E-Debate Competition!
The topic for the 1st debate is:
The President of the European Council should be elected by EU citizens.
In this debate The EUnity (Affirmative) will face The Change (negative).
The 1st debater of the affirmative team has 24 hours to post the 1st speech of the debate. Even if the speech is posted before the 24 hours expire, the 1st negative speakers’ 24 hours of preparation time will begin when the initial time expires.
Before posting please consult Guildelines and the Online Debate Guide.
Good luck to all teams!
I thank both teams for this debate.
This was a somewhat tricky match to arbitrate, but I ultimately sided with team proposition, The EUnity.
On a technical note, the 2nd proposition speech was way over the character limit (4900 characters without spaces, instead of the 4000 limit). As a consequence, the speech received a 1 in strategy, but in the end this did not affect the overall outcome of the match.
The reason for this call is, in essence, simple. The affirmative team had some good arguments, if somewhat simple or occasionally underdeveloped, while the opposition team had some interesting ideas and some dubious claims that were left unexplained.
For the proposition team I understand their general philosophy and the nature of their arguments. A president elected by the people will be more in tune with them and be better at solving their problems (a mechanism was not provided though, which made this idea less impactful), it would reduce the perceived democratic deficit, citizens’ expectations would get fulfilled, leading to increased trust in the EU and so on. These ideas are further developed in the 2nd proposition speech, which talks about the need for transparency, the legitimate needs and grievances of the people, how bigger countries deserve a bigger say (a bold claim in today’s climate) and tackling the idea posited by opposition that people could cast their vote “incorrectly”.
Opposition makes many such unsubstantiated claims, such as the idea that citizens ask for unimportant things (such as?), that they are uneducated (to what degree and what education would they require?), which would render the council ineffective (how?), the dangers of using incorrect criteria (which are? And what are the correct criteria?). There are some legitimate ideas presented in these speeches, like how representatives have greater knowledge of what is required of a Council President, the dangers of populism or the possibility that countries will not engage and just vote for the local candidate. But none of these ideas are explained or given enough impact to counter the solid arguments made by proposition.
In conclusion, the winning team is The EUnity.
1st Affirmative: 18 (Content: 7; Style: 6; Strategy: 5)
2nd Affirmative: 14 (Content: 7; Style: 6; Strategy: 1)
1st Negative: 11 (Content: 5; Style: 3; Strategy: 3)
2nd Negative: 8 (Content: 4; Style: 2; Strategy: 2)