Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Competition: You’re The Judge

Nobody got the right answer to last week’s teaser! My thanks to those who tried and a slap on the wrist to the rest of you. Here it is again, with my explanation.

Q1: In a British Parliamentary debate, on This House Would Decriminalise Drugs, opening government defines the motion as “western countries should legalise all drugs”. Opening opposition challenges that definition, saying it is unfair because “decriminalise” and “legalise” don’t mean the same thing. Opening opposition takes the line that, rather than decriminalising drugs, governments should legalise drugs. In effect, both sides are arguing for the same policy.

A1: “While there is a difference between ‘decriminalise’ and ‘legalise’, it is a reasonable interpretation. The definition goes even further than the motion, which is the right side of the line on which to err. Opposition are wrong to challenge it, and doubly wrong to argue the line that government should legalise drugs. The judge should accept the definition.”

And now this week’s problem on extensions. Please send your answer to nhsemail@gmail.com. Fame awaits the best response as it will be printed in the next Big IDEA.

Q2: In a British Parliamentary debate, the first speaker of the closing government team is making her speech. She spends several minutes rebutting the opening opposition, then makes two new arguments to further the proposition.

After the debate, a fellow adjudicator says you should penalise her for failing to make an extension. You are forced to admit that she did not use the word “extension”. On that basis, he wants to demote the team from first to second.

You’re the judge - what should you do? who is right? why?

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