[Nijmegen Open 2020] Getting more and more used to online debating

ByRoel Becker

[Nijmegen Open 2020] Getting more and more used to online debating

Source cover image: Holland.com

On December 19, 2020, the first Nijmegen Online Open took place. It was great to see the lovely Trivium organize another competition, especially because the society has certainly seen its ups and downs over the last years. On top of that, it was a special competition for me personally: Nijmegen is where I grew up, started debating, and the place where I CAd my first (and now probably last) competition.

A special aspect that is probably more relevant to the world, however, was the meticulous organization: the competition ran on time and often ahead of schedule, communication was clear, and the (less relevant members of the) organization committee even found time to spam the Shitposting-channel. Tabber Annemarijn Tamminga and especially convenors Mara Burgstede and Daan Spackler deserve every credit they can possibly get. Other than that, the comfortable atmosphere struck me: teams and judges were nice to each other and the organization committee. It is also good to see more and more people getting used to online debating; more POIs being offered and people remaining to pay attention to each other’s speeches, even though we are still far away from offline levels. The golden final was won by Roel Schoenmakers and Lotte Claassen, making them the most productive civil servants in the month of December (a vaccine strategy would be nice, guys).

Details

Convenors: Mara Burgstede & Daan Spackler
Tabbing: Annemarijn Tamminga
CAs: Fabian Beitsma, Gigi Gil, Hadar Goldberg, Lucy McManus, Parth Pandya, Marta Vasić & Roel Becker
Tabbycat: nijmegen2020.herokuapp.com

Motions

  • THO the depiction of conflicts in non-documentary films (e.g. The Land of Blood And Honey, Saving Private Ryan, Hair).
  • 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.
  • In emerging democracies, THS capping the maximum number of seats in parliament that a political party can get.
  • THBT non-autocratic states with compulsory military service should allow individuals to exempt themselves on moral grounds.
  • THBT humanities and social science faculties should prioritize the hiring of conservative academics.
  • Infoslide: Moral pessimism is the belief that humans are innately bad, and need to learn morality from external sources, fighting their inner urges to be better. Moral Optimism is the belief humans are innately good, and need to follow their true self and overcome societal expectations to be better.
    Motion: THP a world in which the majority of people believe in moral pessimism rather than moral optimism.

Motion analysis

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

I picked this motion for the motion review for two reasons (other than pensions being the most fascinating thing on earth). Firstly, when I compare the (excellent!) debate I saw and discussions of the other debates I heard with the discussion we had in the CA team and my own ideas about the motion, I feel there are a number of dimensions most teams did not touch upon. I hope that makes the motion review more interesting for readers. Secondly, and more importantly, I believe this motion has quite some didactical value as it requires teams to be explicit about argumentation that normally implicitly wins them debates: why certain groups are more important than others and in characterizing what society looks like. 

Roel Becker
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Roel Becker is a debater of the Leiden Debating Union. He has reached the finals of the European Debating Championships and the semifinals of the World Debating Championships, among others.

About the author

Roel Becker administrator

Roel Becker is a debater of the Leiden Debating Union. He has reached the finals of the European Debating Championships and the semifinals of the World Debating Championships, among others.