1. Category Description & Objective

The goal of the Parliamentary Debate category is to encourage undergraduate engineering students to present a well-reasoned viewpoint with a minimum of preparation time. Engineers are often required to evaluate and argue for or against a proposal on short notice. In this category, competitors defend or refute a previously undisclosed resolution using a straight debate style.
2. Category Logistics

2.1. Awards
First Place: Coming Soon
Second Place: Coming Soon
Third Place: Coming Soon

2.2. Facilities Provided by the Competitors

· Competitors are recommended to bring paper and writing implements for preparing arguments.


3. Topic Selection

The resolutions will be topics related to science, engineering, technology, education, or other topics of direct interest to engineers and engineering students but will not be too complex or difficult.

4. Judging

Three (3) judges per preliminary debate are required. Scoring a debate is based on the overall impression the debater provides to the judges in the following areas:

· Argument and Evidence – have the important points of the resolution been sufficiently developed? Has enough argument and evidence been presented?

· Refutation – Did the debater address points brought up by the opponent?

· Organization and Analysis – Were the arguments presented in an ordered and logical manner?

· Delivery and Persuasiveness – Was the speech clear and precise? Was the debater interesting and entertaining? Were they convincing and confident of what they were saying?

· Ingenuity and Wit – Did the debater have a unique style? Did the debater make appropriate use of humor?

Particular attention is given to the summaries presented at the end of the debate.

5. Scoring

Each debater on the team is graded out of a total of fifty (50) points for a combined maximum total of one hundred (100) points per team. Debaters will be penalized for any Points of Order or Privilege “well taken” against them during the debate. The amount of the penalty is dependent on the severity of the offense and is at the discretion of the judges.

Debaters exceeding their time limit during the debate will be assessed a deduction by the judges. Debaters who use significantly less than the allotted time will not be assessed a timing penalty; however, it will likely affect their scoring in accordance with the marking scheme.

6. Competition Procedures

6.1. Setup of Preliminary Rounds
Teams will be given the topic 10 minutes prior to the start of the debate. Each team will debate once in the preliminary rounds. Each team will undergo 3 rounds with 20 minutes for each round.6.2. BriefingAt the beginning of each round, competitors will receive the resolution and find out whether they are representing the Government or the Opposition and who they will be debating against. A coin toss will determine which team represents the Government and which team represents the Opposition in each pairing. 6.3. The DebateDebaters must address all arguments to the speaker and must refer to all persons in the third party. For example, a debater must not directly address an opponent and state, “Your argument is ridiculous because …” but must directly address the Speaker and state, “Mr. (or Madam) Speaker, the Prime Minister’s argument is ridiculous because …”

7. Debate Content

7.1. Guidelines for Defining the Resolution
The Prime Minister must define the resolution and state the contention of the debate during the opening speech.
7.2. Allowed ReferencesDebaters may only refer to things that are likely within the knowledge base of an intelligent, reasonably informed person. In other words, debaters may not utilize “specific knowledge” in an argument. For example, an intelligent, reasonably informed person is expected to know that Professional Engineers Ontario regulates the profession of engineering in Ontario, but the same person isn’t expected to know that Professional Engineers Ontario spent “x” dollars regulating the profession of engineering last year.
7.3. RebuttalsNo new arguments may be presented during the rebuttals. This does not prohibit debaters from bringing up new evidence in support of or counter to a previously raised point as long as the new evidence is brought up in direct response to something that has already been mentioned.
7.4. HecklingHeckling is allowed if it is short and witty. Speeches from the floor will not be allowed during the preliminary or semi-final rounds. Speeches from the floor will be allowed after the final debate at the discretion of the speaker and after the judges have left to evaluate the debate.