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What do you think of the debate???

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 15,443 ✭✭✭✭ bonkey

    Following on a comment made in the other thread (all one of it), I thought I'd kick off a thread to look at everything except the topic concerning this debate.

    So far, I think its a highly laudable (sp?) experiment. Yes, its a bit quiet in here, but not everything starts as epectacularly successfully as the SSF did some months back.

    So far, I've been reasonably impressed with the teams. Although I know most of the posters as being at least somewhat regulars on Politics, I get the distinct impressoin that a bit more thought and attention has gone into these posts than into the daily argy-bargy that we're all so used to. For that, I say "bravo".

    Conversely, I think there is room for improvement on two major aspects :

    Firstly, the teamwork does not seem as strong as it might have been. OK - I've only experience with "real world" debating, so I can't really comment on the practicality of preparing a team over the internet, but I just get the feeling that it could be a bit tighter. But I'm picky, so I wouldn't pay much attention to that one.

    The other is the detail. The Devil is supposed to be in the Detail, and I ain't seeing much of Ol' Nick in a lot of these posts. Henbane made a great reference to this by knocking a lot of the analagous commentary, etc. for being just that, but then I felt he ruined it all by the following comment :

    Is there an adequate ventilation arrangement for pubs which could reduce levels of smoke efficiently? Couldn't these systems be forced on publicans who wish to allow smoking in their pubs?

    Great - we get someone pointing out how others are abusing language in place of using fact, and then he poses a question (do these systems exist), and tehn assumes a positive response in the phrasing of the second question.

    What is this if not another way to avoid supplying fact by twisting language to suit the need.

    Now don't get me wrong. I love putting the English language under undue stresses. I also love catching other people out when they do it. But the trick - I always thought - is to keep those two seperate...and Henbane seems to have forgotten this here.

    But - getting back to the detail - there is an awful lot of "my local" and other wishy-washy vagaries being thrown about, and comparatively little fact. I'm not saying that the current content shouldn't be there...I'm just suggesting that the teams could both have made far, far stronger cases by choosing a few key sources of information and working those into the material they've already used.

    Now, this is where some of you are no doubt reaching for the Reply or Quote buttons to tell me to stop whinging, but before you do, let me say this :

    Both teams have done themselves proud so far. They've done more than a good job, and nothing can detract from that. I'm just offering some thoughts on what I think could be done better. Hopefully someone will disagree with me, and we can then turn this into a discussion. Maybe it will read like less of a negative critique if that happens ;)



  • I'm really happy with the way its going. Anything thats not be spectacularly successful can be put down to me and my stupid leg mostly! :)

    The topic would have been hotter when it was first mooted as a debate topic. Also people are probably a touched tired of debating it too but I have to say the teams have risen to the idea marvelously and I'm already happy with the way this first debate has gone. From such seemingly innocuous acorns do things grow, remember Boards grew out of a mailing list :)

    We also might tweek the format a little but it seems to be working... maybe 2 posts a day for all (or just the captain?). I'm already thinking about another one for either the electronic voting issue or the referendum on asylum seekers issue.... they may be more divisive issues but then a little anger could be just what it needs :)

    So far so good I think! I'm very happy with the quality of posts and the dedication of the teams, its neck and neck as you can see from the couple of posts in Ethos.
    Yes there could be some more detail used to telling effect but both sides have obviously thought through their positions and all team members are playing their parts.

    Another thing was that not everyone understood the format of the debate, that its just as important whats said and debated here and the vote that will happen here next week as what the judges think...


  • It's an interesting debate but IMO the for compromise side had an uphill battle before the first word was posted. I am surprised that they have broadened the topic to include the ban in Hospitals etc as the debate would be difficult enough on the initial motion without widening the issue. Maybe this was a tactical decision and they have an ace to play later on that I don't see, time will tell. I think the for compromise side should be focusing more on the social and economic effects of the ban if they are to have a realistic chance of ending up Victors, they have no chance if its not broadened beyond health issues

    Interesting Reading

  • i think it makes the site a lot more interesting. i find that ive been using it a lot more in the past couple of weeks

    many thanks to Mr DeVore for coming up with it

  • I think the debate forum is excellent, and I think I understand DeVore's reasons for creating it. It is an admirable objective and I applaud anyone who tries to “raise the bar” a little in this day and age of “dumbing down”.

    I think the debate currently at large is a good building block for the future and I foresee this being a major attraction of

    I would love to debate an issue that I strongly believe in and I would be terrified to do so (Mainly because people like bonkey would run circles around me with “language”). However, if the right issue does arise I will ask to be part of that debate and until then I will happily sit back with my electronic poo flinging device and enjoy the spectacle.

    One thing I am unclear of is the publics ability to contribute to the debate, in a lot of debates I have seen the public are often given time to put a question/argument to one team or another. Is this possible ?

    In the future some of the issues I would enjoy seeing discussed are

    Racism in Ireland – perhaps a link in to the refugee citizenship referendum
    Irelands environment - How we are destroying this lovely place with the amount of crap we produce ?
    Irish culture – is it disappearing ?
    Jaffa cakes – Jacobs or McVities (sidebar: cake or biscuit)
    Blood sports and animal sports
    Religion Vs science – always a funny debate !


  • I like the idea about putting questions to the teams. Something like 3 questions per team. Questions decided by a select committee from suggestions by all users!

    As for the debate, I don't think it's really taking off yet. Maybe it's as Devore has suggested and that this topic has already been discussed to death. In saying that the teams do seem to be countering their opponents points pretty well.

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  • Its been really interesting so far and Its nice to see the compromise side making a decent fist of (as the muppet pointed out) a struggle so uphill that its practically himalayan.

    Id love to see them point out the existing excemptions and try to make some sort of case with them, and id also like to see some form of evidence of the harm of passive smoke other than just "well, we all know that its bad like".

    edit: Ive just read The Muppets question on the other thread and i think it addresses at least one of my concerns (nice one Muppet :) )

  • It's definitely an interesting start; as Alany pretty much suggested I would be interested in seeing a debate on the effect of emigration to Ireland .. specifically by refugees (or more specifically, people who wouldn't be admitted because they don't bring a specific skill, etc. to the country). I also think that would tie in directly to the "loss" of Irish culture (is it disappearing) suggestion.