On Thursday 13th March, the University of Birmingham Debating Society opened up to a public debate entitled ‘Should We Vote Tory?’ External members were invited to open the debate, and audience speeches were encouraged afterwards. The motion that was debated was entitled ‘This House would vote Conservative’. Speaking in proposition was Rachel Maclean, the Conservative […]

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On Thursday 13th March, the University of Birmingham Debating Society opened up to a public debate entitled ‘Should We Vote Tory?’ External members were invited to open the debate, and audience speeches were encouraged afterwards.

The motion that was debated was entitled ‘This House would vote Conservative’.

Speaking in proposition was Rachel Maclean, the Conservative Party Parliamentary Candidate for Birmingham Northfield, and Dan Brown, Chair of the European Youth Parliament Board of Trustees. Speaking in opposition was Will Duckworth, the Deputy Leader of the Green Party and first on the open list for the Green Party West Midland’s European Election, and Pete Redford, former Parliamentary researcher, speech writer and Social Policy Advisor to John Prescott.

The external speakers spoke for 7 minutes each on their respected position, followed by 3-minute audience speeches which lasted an hour. In turn, the audience was asked for one proposition speech, one opposition speech and one speech in abstention. A range of views were heard with opinions ranging from voting Tory, voting against Tory and not voting at all.

After the debate was over, each side had 7 minutes to summarize what had been said and conclude their argument. All external speakers voiced their opinion, with Rachel Maclean ending the evening with her pleasure in seeing so many people enthused about the political issues of voting.

Prizes were awarded to the best audience speakers from each view point, as decided by the vice-president of the debating society.

Points were tallied up for each stance on the matter. The majority of the house did not switch sides from the original count at the beginning. However, many people left through the debate, leading to a reduction in points for all sides. It was decided that the proposition lost the least amount of people supporting them, and thus won the motion.

Following the event was a drinks reception for all attendees.

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