Archives for augustus 2015

THW ban X? Why counterpropping nationalization is an easy win

This article is written by Srdjan Miletic and can be found on his blog.

In most debates about banning a good, the main clashes should be whether access to the good is desirable and whether a black market will arise. Often, a major tenet of the Government case is that market failure occurs as markets have incredibly perverse or damaging incentives, meaning that the good should be banned to prevent the existence of an abusive market. This argumentation is incredibly flawed as it is not specific to banning. There are other ways to be rid of an abusive market while still allowing the consumption and production of a good. Namely, nationalization.
As opposition, counter-propping nationalization has a number of advantages. One, it at a stroke makes irrelevant all of a PM’s analysis on why markets are bad. Two, it throws off Gov teams, especially IoNA or Israeli teams who are by and large exceptionally unused to counter-props. Three, it’s really fun.

 

Vienna EUDC 2015: Last three days

By Mussé Redi

Thursday
After the break announcement of yesterday, breakfast was extended today up to half past eleven; offering a possibility to party until the end. Most people took that as an opportunity to sleep until long after the sun came up. Afterwards, we had a few free hours.

Different people had different schedules today. Some went on to see the quarter-finals; others took a dive in the river, the weather acting friendly (thirty degrees Celsius); even others were sightseeing the city, witnessing the beautiful palace, with a sloped garden of a few hundred meters; yet others were taking a UN city tour.

In the quarter-finals, Leiden A (OO) fought against Tel Aviv (OG), Warsaw (CG) and Riga (CO) on the motion This House would legalize surrogacy for profit in Western Liberal Democracies. Leiden B (CO) debated against LMU Munich (OG), Tartu A (OO) and BGU A (CG).

The Open quarters were held later in the afternoon on the motion This House would prohibit businesses from taking a public position on social justice issues.

Before we knew it the evening was in its late hours, and the OrgComm was announcing the teams that made it to the semis.

Leiden A made it to the semi-finals.

Pizza was served as dinner. Red bull and other beverages were served as drinks.

In the city center a social was being held; and another one at the hotel afterwards, people standing and talking within a radius of a fifty meters of the hotel lobby. Leiden A went on to sleep early.

Friday
In the semi-finals Leiden A (CO) was up to Tartu (OO), Tel Aviv C (OG) and Munich (CG) on the motion This House would allow EU citizens to donate to political parties in any EU member state.

The building got evacuated during the Deputy-Leader-of-Opposition speech, due to a fire-alarm. There we were, standing outside, baffled by this unconventional situation. In a few minutes, the CA (Michael Shapira) announced that a reserve motion was going to be announced in the building where the briefings are held.

Half an hour later, the motion was announced: This House would introduce a mandatory term of at least one year of non-military national service for eighteen-year-olds.

Afterwards, we were directed to return to the hotel and dress up in formal attire for the final. Upon arriving at the aesthetic venue, the majority were dressed in black-tie; others whore a tie; the women dressed in an infinite variety. A guest lecture was held about the importance of debating. All sorts of important people also joined and a small army of cameras arrived.

Leiden A (CG), was announced to have made it to the finals, with Tel Aviv C (OG), Tel Aviv B (OO) and Stockholm A (CO). The motion was announced, directly after the announcement of the teams: This House believes that parents of a musical child genius have the obligation to push that child to maximize their musical potential.

The Open final motion read: This House would treat the deaths of soldiers as regrettable loss of human life, rather then something heroic.

Following the finals, a dinner-incorporated social was held inside a huge castle-like building in the middle of Vienna: a courtesy of the mayor of Vienna. Acknowledgements were made and awards were given. Roel Becker and Ybo Buruma were respectively second and third best ESL speaker of Vienna EUDC 2015 (English as a Second Language). Tel Aviv B (OO) eventually won the ESL final over Leiden A (CG) on a 4/3 split.

The after-social was held in yet another sparkling, less-formal, part of the city. We were transferred by bus, which had an excellent AC; an appreciable quality in Vienna, with the average temperature being above thirty degrees Celsius.

Saturday
After a last breakfast, we checked out of our rooms before 11.00 am in the morning and were headed back for the Netherlands. New friends were made, old friends were spoken to, exciting debates were held; as a whole, Vienna EUDC 2015 is something worth remembering. Our compliments to the people who made it possible!

Vienna EUDC 2015: Day 4 (Break day)

By Mussé Redi and Sarah Rust

Wednesday
The last three preliminary rounds are closed, which means that the results are not announced right after the debate. This lead to people conjecturing on their scores and judges trying to hold a poker face whilst passing a judged team in the corridor.

The motions today were:
R7. THBT the West should stop all attempts to gather information or intelligence by deception and/or coercion of foreign citizens
R8. THBT it is legitimate for individuals to punish people they deem to have committed online harassment by revealing their identity online
R9. THW introduce a 100% inheritance tax

As the last rounds finished, people were guided to the “Space-shaped building” to commence dining. We where welcomed with pork-beef-and-cheese hamburgers.

The sun was still fryingly hot, at about 30 degrees and people were heading back to yet another mesmerizing social, in a park-like bar. There we had a Dutch caucus to discuss the agenda for the Euros council, where policy is developed for upcoming EUROS.

This night’s social was held at the Pratersauna, a club with indoor and outdoor dancing areas and an outdoor pool.

At the party the CA team announced that the break result was delayed by an hour so some of the nervous teams had their patience tested. Eventutally, the CA-team grabbed the microphone and directed those present to gather around. In these next few minutes tensions reached a climax.

The break announcement started with judges, followed by the ESL-break (English as Second Language) and the Open break. Every breaking teams and judge received a tremendous applause.

The break was as follows:
OPEN
1. ULU A (23)
2. St Andrews A (22)
3. Oxford A (22)
4. GUU A (21)
5. Strathclyde (21)
6. Linkopings A (20)
7. Tel Aviv A (20)
8. Cambridge A (19)
9. UCD LawSoc A (19)
10. Warwick A (19)
11. TCD Phil B (19)
12. Oxford C (19)
13. Birminham A (19)
14. UCD L&H A (19)
15. Belgrade A (18)
16. TCD Phil A (18)

ESL
1. Tel Aviv A (20)
2. Leiden A (18)
3. BGU A (18)
4. Hebrew A (17)
5. Stockholm A (17)
6. Leiden B (17) VI
7. Tel Aviv C (17)
8. BBU A (16)
9. PEP A (16)
10. Warsaw A (16)
11. LMU Munich A (15)
12. Tel Aviv B (15)
13. Belgrade C (15)
14. Tartu A (15)
15. SSE Riga A (15)
16. Technion B (15)

Dutch breaking judges are: Annabelle van Beusekom, Karin Merckens, Bionda Merckens, Daan Welling, Leela Koenig, Simone van Elk.

Vienna EUDC 2015: First three days

By Mussé Redi and Sarah Rust

This Sunday the European University Debating Championships (EUDC) began in Vienna, Austria. Around 700 students from all over Europe partake in this competition every year. A Dutch delegation of selected teams from different institutions arrived on Sunday. This year’s delegation consists of:
EDS A, Jelle van Eijk & Yrla van de Ven;
EDS B, Luuk Nugteren & Maxim le Clerq;
Kalliope, Jeroen Claassens & Joost Kooiman
Leiden A, Roel Becker & Ybo Buruma;
Leiden B, Lennart van Laake & Emma Lucas;
Leiden C, Monique Bouffé & Martijn Otten;
Maastricht A, Evelyn Svingen & Lorenza De Dominico;
Maastricht B, Srdjan Miletic & Anna Vasylyeva;
Roosevelt A, Sarah Rust & Jordy van Rijsingen;
Roosevelt B, Max Negele & Misha Stocker;
UDS A, Bram de Rijk & Chris Duijst;
UDS B, Charlie Panhuyzen & Elmar Schmidt;
UDS C, Andrei Voineagu & Julija Stukalina.

And judging are: Judges: Annabelle van Beusekom, Anne Valkering, Alex ten Brink, Bionda Merckens, Daan Welling, Davy Fung, Karin Merckens, Leela Koenig , Marlinda van der Hoff, Mussé Redi, Oskar Pablo Avery and Simone van Elk.
Sunday was arrivals day. The teams arrived in Vienna, registered, checked in and checked the hotel out and were invited for a welcome drink. There was not an evening program but many participants reconnected with their international friends and spent some time sightseeing in Vienna.

MONDAY
In the early morning, the first actual debating rounds occurred. Tension rose as the teams looked at the draw to see what their opponents were. The first round is randomly assigned, so therefore it was a pleasant surprised to discover that two Dutch teams (from Leiden and Roosevelt) met in the very first round. The motion for this round read: This House would pay all elected politicians the median wage in their country. The main discussion among the judges was about the difference between means, averages and medians. Statistics remains a difficult subject, even among university students.
Since the beginning of the day the weather was unrealistically nice, and it stayed that way until the night. Later in the afternoon, after the second round, there was a Red Bull break for which some participants were very happy.
In the evening a “social, without alternative” was announced, to be held in the Prater, a theme park along the corner of our venue. A lot of familiar faces appeared, debaters met at competitions abroad. Upon getting back to the venue, another welcoming social was sparkling. A successful first day.
As a whole, the competition is over the top. Food is great. Organisation is very efficient. Crew is friendly. Socials are welcoming. The judges are world-class. The week looks bright.

TUESDAY
Registration was early. Even earlier than Monday, even though there were no briefings this time. It was hard for many, impossible for some and therefore the competitions started with some delay.
Yesterday most teams did really well, today was a bit more stressful for some, as gaining points proved to be more challenging. The topics debated on ranged from International Relations to, Media coverage and medicine. Tonight’s social will take place in a very typical Austrian bar where we’ll also have dinner. Tensions are rising for tomorrow, the last day of in-rounds.
As it remains a competition, below you can find the scores. In every room there are four teams that will be ranked from first place to fourth place. For each team that a team beats they get a point. The winner of a room therefore gets 3 points and the fourth place does not get points. Each round is power ranked which means that teams who did equally well face each other.
Scores of after the first three rounds (points, per round, that are known for now):
EDS A (1 0 2 1 2 2) 8;
EDS B (1 0 2 0 3 2)8;
Kalliope (3 3 0 1 3 0)10;
Leiden A (3 3 1 2 1 0)10;
Leiden B (2 1 3 3 0 1)7;
Leiden C (2 0 3 0 2 1)8;
Maastricht A (1 0 3 3 2 2)11;
Maastricht B (3 0 2 3 2 1)11;
Roosevelt A (1 3 0 2 0 3)9;
Roosevelt B (2 0 0 1 3 1)7;
UDS A (3 3 0 0 3 1)10;
UDS B (0 3 2 1 2 1)9;
UDS C (3 1 0 2 0 3)9.

The Motions until round 6 were:
R1: This House would pay all elected politicians the median wage in their country.
R2: This House believes that when multinational corporations conduct any business in Western states, these nations should enforce their environmental standards at all stages of production;
R3: This House believes that Western states should not use private military contractors in combat.
R4. THW ban any treatment, service or ritual from claiming a physical healing effect until it is tested and proven more effective than a placebo by a national regulators
R5. THBT the EU should lift its arms embargo on China
R6: This House would only allow the media and campaigning organisations to depict or publish information about the deceased in a tragedy with the explicit permission of the family