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Auctioneer + Political Wonk + Chess Club = The World of Competitive Policy Debate. This video of the national debate championships [realplayer, and many more here, including in other languages] is a real experience. This form of debate has evolved around a very specific set of rules with results that may seem strange to the uninitiated. Each year since 1921 there has been a single topic (take a look at 1939 for an example that reflects the times). Competitors learn to speak very fast, while elaborate strategies for winning have developed and massive amounts of information are presented in just a few minutes. If you like your debates witty and understandable, you may want to check out parliamentary debate instead (real format). I assume there are some other ex-debaters out there in MeFi land....
posted by blahblahblah on Feb 8, 2006 - 85 comments

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