Category Archive Op-ed Articles

ByYige Liu

Should the education system use personality tests to stream children?

Source cover image: The Varsity

THBT the education system should use personality tests to stream children from a young age.

Leiden Open 2021 – Round 3

In the past, I had come across quite a few motions on academic streaming. However, I found this one motion at Leiden Open 2021 particularly interesting as it involved the use of personality tests. When I read the motion, the first thought that came to mind were sketchy online quizzes that told you what flavour of ice cream you were. But not to fret, there is actually quite an interesting discussion to be had here. 

These are just a few general ideas that came up during my debate which I found intriguing. If you have any other ideas, feel free to share your ideas and comment!

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ByMike Weltevrede

Should Trump not have been banned from social media?

Source cover image: ABC News

At the Bonapartian Debate Tournament 2021, the debates immediately were spicy with the following motion:

This House regrets the decision of social media giants to ban Trump’s accounts.

BDT 2021 – Round 1

The ban of Donald J. Trump from social media channels was, of course, big news. This motion discussed whether that was a good idea. Before analyzing both sides of the motion, let me emphasize that the motion is not (necessarily) about defending Trump and his ideals. Therefore, the strategy is probably more focused on the decision itself and its effects on society as a whole. The average intelligent voter, at least in the Netherlands, is generally more in agreement with the Democratic side of the political spectrum, so it is not wrong to focus on that in this case.

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ByTom Steenblok

Valentine’s Day: Romantic love should not be the primary consideration in a marriage

It is February, the coldest months of the year are almost over, and that’s how the most romantic day of the year arrives: Valentine’s Day! That is why in this article I will analyze a motion on that age-old subject: love. I will analyze the following motion:

TH prefers a world where romantic love is not the primary consideration in a marriage.

What an unromantic motion for this time of year! But the first question that naturally arises when you claim that something shouldn’t be the most important is, of course, what should be the most important? And while the proposition may not necessarily want to prove that something else is most important, it will likely happen that they will cite some examples. The motion can also be approached from different perspectives. You can approach this motion from the individual, but you can also quote society as a whole, or the family.

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ByJoris Graff

Should environmental activists support sabotage and destruction against major polluting companies?

This house believes that environmental activist organizations should start a campaign of sabotage and destruction against major polluting companies

Round 3 – Utrecht Online Open 2021

This motion was set in round three of Utrecht Online Open 2021 and was the most interesting debate I was allowed to judge this tournament. If a motion concerns the climate problem, then I am already interested. As far as I am concerned, the motion is also interesting because it offers the possibility for principled arguments (do environmentalists have a right, or even an obligation, to self-defense, even when it takes on violent forms?) and for the analysis of a large number of stakeholders (environmentalists themselves, large companies, the general public, the government). It is necessary for teams to go into detail about the motives of these different stakeholders and the way in which these motives are influenced by the motion. Below, I will briefly discuss some arguments for the proposition and opposition and the way in which these can be weighed against each other. Since in my debate hardly any attention was paid to principled arguments, I will omit them, which does not mean that these arguments cannot be effective.

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ByRoel Becker

Arguments: People should receive their entire pension upon retirement

The following motion was the topic of the second-round debate of the Nijmegen Open 2020.

Infoslide: A lump-sum pension payment is when workers receive their whole pension at the start of their retirement. A staggered pension payment is when they are paid their pension monthly.

Motion: THW allow workers to make a choice between a lump sum pension payment and a staggered pension payment.

Round 2 – Nijmegen Open 2020

This motion review is partly based on the discussions and testing that was performed within the CA team of the Nijmegen Open: Fabian Beitsma, Gigi Gil, Hadar Goldberg, Lucy McManus, Parth Pandya, Marta Vasić & Roel Becker. I thank all co-CA’s for their hard work. Obviously, only I am responsible for any mistakes.

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ByRyoji Yoshisada

Arguments: Should we allow Income Share Agreements?

At the Amsterdam Open 2020, the following motion was discussed:

Infoslide: For the purposes of this debate, income share agreements are contracts where a person can agree to receive money from investors, in exchange for the investors making decisions over their career choices and reaping some of their income.

Motion: This House would allow people to sign income share agreements (ISA).

Amsterdam Open 2020 – Round 3

When we see this motion, there are two conclusions we need to think about.

  1. Is allowing ISAs beneficial or harmful?
  2. Is allowing ISAs legitimate or not?

This motion is a really good example to dig into both of the questions.

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ByDaan Spackler and Rob Honig

This is how Lagerhuis+ improves high school debating

Source cover image: DebatUnie

There are many debate formats in the Netherlands. In this new series, debaters tell you why they think a certain debate format is the best. This time: Lagerhuis+, especially for high school debating. Do you want to read more about how Lagerhuis+works? Click here (Dutch).

In the discussions about the best debate format, the largest group of debaters is sometimes forgotten: high school students. In Dutch classes, a “debate” is held at hundreds of schools in the final years as a school exam. You’ve probably experienced it like that yourself. Until recently, teachers of Dutch opted for the classic American parliamentary structure; usually with 2 versus 2 speakers. In recent years, more and more people have switched to the “Lagerhuis+” form of debate (a variant of the “World Schools Format”), also in debating clubs.

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ByFabian Beitsma

Tiger Parenting: good or bad?

Source cover image: New York Times

In this article, I have discussed different parenting styles. I will apply this knowledge to a motion that often comes up, namely:

This House supports Tiger Parenting.

This is a form of upbringing in which the parents set high standards for their child but also reward them for achieving a result.

The observant reader will have noticed that the simplest argument for the statement is that Tiger Parents are, in a sense, authoritative parents. They set high standards but are also committed and rewarded for good results. This ensures that the child has enough positive reinforcement but also develops positive cognitive schemes such as “I can achieve anything if I work hard”. They see the value of making an effort for something that will only give you long-term reward (such as studying for a degree), which is important for later skills such as financial responsibility.

An argument against the motion is that parents are, or want to be, insufficiently aware when their child cannot meet the high standards. Much milder forms of developmental disorders such as a non-verbal learning disability or Klinefelter syndrome are sometimes not noticed until late or even never. As a result, children are punished for not being able to plan enough or achieve high performance. By repeatedly being negative reinforcement without understanding where the problem comes from, children develop negative schemas like “I always fail.” These schemes are not only limited to learning but also determine how they deal with social relationships and other situations.

ByGijs Weenink

Why is Policy Debate the best debate format?

Source cover image: NK Beleidsdebatteren

There are many debate formats in the Netherlands. In this new series, debaters tell you why they think a certain debate format is the best. This time: Policy Debate. In the article, Gijs Weenink will explain what Policy Debate exactly is.

My name is Gijs Weenink. I am the founder of the Tilburg Debate Society Cicero in 1991, the Nederlandse Debat Vereniging in 1993 (the predecessor of the Nederlandse Debatbond), the Nederlandse Debatinstituut in 1997, and the Debatacademie in 1999. In 1995, I won the 5th Dutch Championship Policy Debate with Frank van der Salm and after that, I joined the Committee of Recommendation. In 1993, I followed the Policy Debate course at the University of Leiden in Language Management. The Policy Debate course was also available for years at Public Administration in Enschede and at many universities of applied sciences. In 1995 (Cork) and 1997 (Athens) I participated in the World Debating Championships. With the Debatacademie, I was able to lead 2,500 Lagerhuis debates with 250,000 participants in 21 countries in Europe. In addition, I gave approximately 2,500 debating and speech training sessions to 25,000 participants. I have written three books; one about debating in organizations (Durf te kiezen, April 2018), a book about crisis and leadership (Never waste a good crisis, April 2020) and one book, together with Richard Engelfriet, about online meetings and presentations (Ben ik in beeld?, May 2020).

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ByJonathan Kellogg

Why is WSDC the best debate format?

Source cover image: DebatUnie

There are many debate formats in the Netherlands. In this new series, debaters tell you why they think a certain debate format is the best. This time: WSDC. Do you want to read more about how WSDC works? Click here.

I am Jonathan Kellogg, a past-DSDC debater. I am now studying at LUC (I am aware of the cliché). As a schoolie, I have participated in numerous WSDC format tournaments in both Dutch and English. I have also participated in numerous BP tournaments. I doubt whether there is an objectively “best” form of debate; it is largely a matter of personal preferences. But the WSDC format is one of the most underappreciated formats among students and deserves more attention than it is currently receiving.

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