Thursday, January 04, 2007

Master Debater

This evening we were awarded the title of winners of the Masters competition of the UBC Worlds University Debating Championships (British Parliamentary debating is done in two person teams). This required winning the two preliminary rounds and then a final where we were defending the motion "This house would introduce a 35 hour maximum working week".

We were the second proposition team and extended by arguing Layard's case that the importance to happiness of relative income creates a significant externality to working longer hours by pressuring others to follow suit. The debate was not as good as it could have been because we were all kept to a five minute time limit (seven is more common for finals) but still the standard was pretty high.

In the Worlds Masters competition it is traditional to name your team after your country of origin. In an attempt to upset the Canadians we chose to debate as Quebec. Ironically, the joke was somewhat undermined by them all finding it vaguely amusing. Still, probably Quebec's first international debate victory.

Quite a few people were recording our final and I'm trying to get a copy so I can prove, to my mother in particular, that all the various trips where I've claimed to be debating have actually been spent doing something productive. If I can track down the video and it isn't too embarassing then I'll post it on YouTube and add it here.


Meg said...

congratulations! saw you guys on ciaran's blog and was very pleased, well done. :) see you in a week

Mr Eugenides said...

Well done that man. The Masters may be little more than a glorified Seniors Tour, but an impressive achievement nonetheless.