The Asian Parliamentary Debating System: in a Nutshell

A motion is the term used as a referral of the topic about to be debated in the Asian Parliamentary system. Most motions in the system begin with the phrase “This House…,” with the ‘House’ referring to a governing body debating the particular motion.
Teams and Speaker Responsibilities
Similar to any forms of debates, the Asian Parliamentary has two opposing sides; the government, to propose and defend the motion and the opposition, to oppose and negate the motion. Each of these two teams comprise of three speakers with distinct roles and responsibilities.
The speakers of the government side are:
– Prime Minister, whose role is to provide the interpretation of the motion and setup a ground for the debate, as well as open the case for the government
– Deputy Prime Minister, whose role is to effectively rebut the case delivered by the opposition, amplify the arguments initiated by the previous speaker of the team and later advances the government’s case by delivering a new argument
– Member of The Government, whose role is to refute the opposition’s whole case by summarizing the entire debate from the government’s perspective and give final analysis on why the government should win
The speakers of the opposition side are:
– Leader of The Opposition, whose role is to state where the opposition’s position in the particular debate, respond to the initial case brought by the government and open the case for the opposition
– Deputy Leader of The Opposition, whose role is quite similar to the Deputy Prime Minister, taking the opposition’s perspective
– Member of The Opposition, whose role is similar to the Member of The Government, taking the opposition’s perspective
Each speaker is 7 (seven) minutes to deliver a speech.
After all speakers have spoken, each team will be given the chance to give a reply speech. A reply speech is a speech that concludes the debate and state why a particular team’s case is better than the opposing one. The speakers allowed to deliver a reply speech would be either the first or the second speaker of each team. A time constrain of 4 (four) minutes is given for reply speeches.
The order of speeches would go as follows:
1. 1st government, Prime Minister
2. 1st opposition, Leader of Opposition
3. 2nd government, Deputy Prime Minister
4. 2nd opposition, Deputy Leader of Opposition
5. 3rd government, Member of Government
6. 3rd opposition, Member of Opposition
7. Government reply
8. Opposition reply
Point of Information
During the speeches (except for the reply), the opposing team may offer Point of Informations. A Point of Information, usually shortened POI, is a form of interruption delivered to challenge a case brought by the speaker delivering a speech. A POI is most commonly, but not always, question directed to a point brought by the speaker. It can also be a quick rebuttal.
A POI cannot exceed 15 (fifteen) seconds, meaning that the point brought has to be concise and sharp to ensure maximum effectively. A speaker has the right to refuse a POI, although it is highly recommended for a speaker to accept one or two during a speech to create a good dynamic in the debate.
POIs can only be raised between the first and the sixth minute of the speech. Earlier than one and later than six are called the protected time and POIs cannot be raised.
The victor of an Asian Parliamentary debating system will be determined by adjudicators. The adjudicator may comprise of a single person or an odd number of persons, with the number usually increasing as the tournament progresses into more advanced and crucial rounds.
The decision made by adjudicators is based on three criteria:
– Matter, which is the quality of the arguments brought and the logic behind them
– Manner, which is how the points are delivered, usually looking at how clear and convincing a speech is
– Method, which looks at speaker role and responsibility fulfillment


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