By Simon Martina-Perez
With a great number of participants, a full program, and great venues to offer, the Leiden Open 2015 commenced on a splendid Saturday morning. The enthusiasm of all participants, some of which coming from hind and far, would turn out to be completely grounded. This tournament combined a fantastic atmosphere, a healthy amount of competition and above all great debates into a an experience that was awesome for both the new novice and the skilled veteran (and more importantly, everybody in between).
Aside from my personal opinion – debaters like ‘’objective’’ – these are some things you should know about how the tournament was held. The CA’s were Daan Welling, Emilia Carlqvist, Matthew Willmore and Helena Ivanov. The Leiden Open is held in the British Parliamentary format and consists of five inrounds with seven minutes speeches. After those rounds a Novice Final (for new speakers), a Semi Final and a Final would take place.
All inrounds took place on Saturday. Considered and expected by some to be tiresome, the very comfortable program of the day made the day pass quickly. After each round there was enough time to talk to friends, complain about judges, or discuss each other’s cases before moving on to the next round. The rounds of the day were:
Round 1: This House would allow euthanasia for consenting adults and children
Round 2: This House believes that democratic countries should not allow family members of recent presidents to run for office
Round 3: This House believes that the EU should introduce a unified tax system for companies
Round 4: This House would ban the provision of amnesties for serious crimes commited during wartime
Round 5: This House opposes organised religion
At the very nice social, the break was announced just after midnight. All breaking debaters, regardless of their condition, were delighted to hear the news. The teams that broke to the semifinals were:
1. GUU Blue Dress (Erin Kyle and Duncan Crowe)
2. PEP A (Michael Dunn and Harish Natarajan)
3. Edinburgh Oh Shit (Shannon Turner and Nishith Hegde)
4. Krabbendijke A (Simon Tunnicliffe and Tom Moran)
5. Kapelle Beizelinge A (Kit Mercer and Joe Mayes)
6. I don’t give jokes away for free (Arielle Dundas and Anne Valkering)
7. Edinburgh Oh No (David McCreath and Ollie Ballinger)
8. Maagdenhuis bezetting (Irene Graafsma and Harriet Bergman)
They debated on the following motion: This House would make soldiers, upon return from the battlefield, take a pill that lets them forget about the war.
Meantime, the novice debaters held their own final in the Lorentzroom of the KOG, the Leiden Law School. The teams that broke to the finals were:
1. WSDC Deurne-like-a-baus (Sam Melief and Jeroen Wijnen)
2. Roosevelt B (Clara Spohrer and Tsjalline Boorsma)
3. DAD* (Teun Fiers and Shahin Kassabian)
4. Tilbury House Blue (Anja Jacob and Joe Wend)
* DAD broke but sadly could not attend the novice final. As the 5th-breaking team was also not present, the 6th-breaking team ‘He’s dating my ex’ (Jop Kerkhof and Rokus Loef) was allowed to compete in the novice final.
The novice final was about the motion: This House would cut all benefits from those able but unwilling to work.
After lunch, there was also a meeting on Dutch WUDC for prospective volunteers. The Dutch bid for WUDC is looking good! A website has been launched, namely www.dutchwudc.nl. Check it out for the latest information.
Then, there was no way back; the final was about to begin. The best debaters of the competition prepared themselves for the final that was about to come. The motion for the final was: This House believes that capitalism is absolutely incompatible with long term peace. This great motion and the great debaters that debated it made sure that this was a final to remember. The winners were PEP A (Michael Dunn and Harish Natarajan). Best open and novice speakers were Harish and Monique Bouffé respectively. Congratulations to the winners and to all debaters for their great accomplishments!
The full tab can be found at: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1DLBAYUYDCx8OJ-KsfBHRn2RLvKvGxaAgZC_6hCtfEnA/edit