Saturday, January 29, 2011
The First Rule of Debate Club
I do remember - quite vividly - the profound shock I felt when I was named top speaker of the tournament. I remember thinking that I'd performed poorly, but apparently the judges felt otherwise. Mark and Jason and I went on to compete in the provincials, narrowly missing a spot in the semi-finals to place fifth overall. I remember we felt pretty ripped off after losing one debate to a trio of pretty girls a year or two younger than we were. We felt we'd won the debate pretty handily, and that the judges awarded the victory to the other team out of sympathy. In hindsight, I'm sure the judges ruled correctly.
I don't recall which issues we debated, although I have a faint memory that nuclear disarmament may have been among them; on the other hand, that might have been a practise topic. It was certainly one of the biggest issues of the 80s, one that loomed large in the culture of the time.
I wonder if any of our provincial politicians participated in Debate Club when they were younger. I'd say that the NDP's Rachel Notley might have, or perhaps former Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft; maybe our imported neocon Ted Morton was a member down in the States.
But then, if they were, surely the first rule would have already compelled them to talk about it.