Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Estonian Debating Society encourages public debate during mayoral election

On October 18th, local elections in Estonia will begin, and the Estonian Debating Society is offering their expertise to help organize a debate between the candidates and local debaters. This project called, "Notice the Argument," will help analyze this public discourse, promote rational discussion, and point out any logical fallacies.

The project is a series of online debates that pits debaters from the Estonian Debating Society against candidates running for mayor in the capital city, Tallinn. The debates will take place on one of the biggest Estonian newspaper websites, the Postimees. First, the politicians will pick a topic, the debaters then present opposing arguments, which is followed by cross-examination, and the debate will conclude with final remarks from both sides. A summary of the debate will then be published in the next-day edition of the Postimees.

The first two debates have already been posted to the online newspaper, the first on local property taxes and the second on the rights of suburbs. The Estonian Debating Society has also started a blog, Demakook, which tracks more public debates throughout the election. In addition to the public debates, the society is also organizing trainings for local NGO activists. For more information on the society, visit their website.

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