這次的講師是 Ray Yen 和 Syed Saddiq，據同學所說都是相當帥氣的講師。第一天早上先由 Saddiq 向全體學員講解基本規則及每個角色的責任，下午再一起到學生餐廳吃飯，有廚師們特別為我們準備的自助餐，可以吃的飽飽！下午就開始分班教學了，我們由 Ray 帶領，先從自我介紹開始，並順便提出一件自己特別在意的議題。一開始沒有想太多，到後來才知道每個人要以此為主題來練習說服別人接受自己的立場。
我們這個班的學員多半是曾參與過英辯坊或者英辯社等活動的學生，算是較有經驗，所以 Ray 也向我們招募是否有人要自願參與明天的示範辯論賽選手。就在我猶豫不決時，報名很快就額滿了，大家真的好積極。
真的要說好可惜這次的示範賽不是由講者進行，猶記得去年的示範賽是那麼精彩，以至於開始辯論時大家都會模仿講者使用的句型。但在有次練習時有人使用了去年的句子(We proudly propose this motion!)以後，我的回憶都被勾回來了，所以我也開心的使用起這些罐頭句。
第二天下午繼續分班教學。這時我們主要是分成兩大組，進行 case building，提出 Definition, Context, Stance, 3 Arguments。Ray 總是喜歡一些挑戰人既定價值的題目，像是「This house would legalize bestiality.」、「This house would legalize necrophilia.」等等，真的超級難去支持。
常常 Ray 會批評，我們的論點只是一句陳述而沒有論證理由。他總是要我們不斷的問自己 Why? Why? Why? 而不要有任何假設與成見，我們花了許多時間努力修正卻一直都還有進步空間。
在 Cindy （雖然同名不過她不是我去年的隊友）的幫忙之下，我終於找好了比賽的兩個隊友（真的感謝妳！在一群大家互相認識的班中，真的好像動作太慢就找不到人了），分別是 Sophie 和 Sophia，不過其實只知道是台大和成大的同學們，因為不同班，所以一開始見面的機會不多。我們很快用三人的英文名字決定了隊名「Triple S」，真的很有效率。
第三天的分班教學，以 4 大組的方式開始互辯，每次 2 組，另外 2 組跟班學習，由於時間關係，只進行上半部兩位辯者，只是我們對 motion 的定義似乎都不夠明確，於是下午 Ray 要我們分成兩人一組，專注在 Prime Minister 的架構設定。
我和 Cindy 一起準備「This house would screen fast food commercials.」，我們實在難以想像為何有此 policy 的必要，但還是得硬想出一些理由，最後至少架構上評價不錯。
這次的功課是以同樣主題再準備一次 PM speech，但要有 3 分鐘以上長度的論點，以 Assertion、Reasoning、Examples 架構來建構論點。下課後我很用心的想好論點，但隔天才知道要改成站在 Opposition 的立場重新建構（然後我開始發現 Ray 真的很喜歡做一些出人意料的安排），沒能講出自己精心設計的論點實在讓我有點小失望。
第四天下午我們要在觀看 debate 的過程中不斷進行 POI 練習，這次主題跟死刑存廢有關，Ray 先問過我們的立場，讓我們站在立場相符的一方，然後在比賽開始前再突然的調換我們支持的立場（這已經不令人意外了）。這時的我不知為何總無法專心聽論點，也因此提不出多少問題。
緊接著就是第一場練習賽，終於和 Sophie 和 Sophia 聚在一起討論，我先擔任 PM 和 Reply Speaker，然後互相輪流再決定大家喜歡當哪個位置。這次公佈的 3 個 motions，真的都超級奇怪，總覺得一定又是 Ray 在背後的決定。我們兩隊最後選中的是「This house would televise execution of death penalty.」。身為 PM 的我忍不住將題目定義成只有在特定地點並事先申請才能觀看，我原本以為這樣其實還算公平，但評審認為跟 motion 精神不合，雖然如此卻還是勉強得勝。
事後 Ray 又重新提到挑戰價值觀的 motion 時，說到我們應該不要只為了避免對方提出某些論點而進行奇怪的設定，也不要只為了定義而定義沒有意義的東西，而是將一些可能會混淆辯論重點的例外情形給去除。有了這次經驗，對定義 motion 又有更多了解，總之就是要義無反顧的跟隨其精神啊！
第五天早上回到自己的班繼續課程，下午三人一組進行 set up the debate and the label of argument, reasoning, examples 三大練習。很開心的能跟 Michael 和 Annie 一組。我們題目是「This house would allow homosexuals to opt out for nation military service.」。雖然感覺討論起來還是有些混亂 ，但評價其實相當不錯。是有一些小地方可以改善，像是我負責的是 reasoning，被說應該要 signpost 指出 analysis 的 levels 分別有哪些。但重要的是，我們終於有達成完整的論述架構了！
第六天早上進行了第二次的練習賽，我們的 motion 是「This house would allow teachers to administer corporal punishment.」，站在反方立場。這次終於是經典題目，大概評審也發現之前的題目太過誘惑正方去扭曲定義了吧。這次雖然一直覺得我們的立場有些小地方前後不一致，不過大體上其實不錯，很開心拿下第二勝。
Saddiq 說到，在上個辯論中就算真的要父母同意，其實還是可以使用那些強力的論點的，只是力道較弱罷了。真的嗎？我突然想到，對方若以有父母同意為條件的 policy 根本無法解決拆散等傷害來反對的話，則不可避免的會讓人覺得她們必須稍微同意我們的部份論點。「So are you saying that you actually agree with us if no parents’ consent were required?」，也因此，實際上這些論點確實還是可以進行的。若我當初想通這點或許就有時間架構我的論點，甚至進一步說服隊友們了。
第五場積分賽，再次遇上了 Ssshhh，不知道為什麼，雖然我們站在相反立場，可是每次我們兩隊對 3 個 motions 的喜好排序卻常相當類似，這次我們決定的 motion 為：「This house would only allow adults to access social networking sites.」。討論到一半我提了幾個論點時，Sophie 突然說道：「竟然你有那麼多論點，不如你這次就當 PM 吧。」
第六場，我們以 government side 對上 Happy Robby’s Friends，題目是「This house would allocate students based on their academic performance.」。在準備上台的當下，我發覺所有的要素都齊備了，幾乎所有對方的論點我都有反擊的說法，每個 deadlock 與 unresolved problem 似乎也都能被解決。再加上對方的用字遣詞讓我可以站上 moral high ground。這正是我可以 become aggressive 的時刻！
於是我便這麼做了，「How would you feel if someone called you a stupid person? Don’t you notice that it is the opposition side who is discriminating people?」，被 Sophia 和 Sophie 說是我第一次辯起來那麼激動。真的，有種淋漓盡致、盡完全力的開心，而且仔細聽對方的 Whip，我總覺得他幾乎沒有攻擊那些，我覺得目前停留在對我方有利狀態的議題，所以在當下我實在是很有信心得勝。最後的結果正如預期，但對方對於評審的說法似乎不太心服，所以和評審討論了許久，讓我都開始有些被說服了。
不過姑且不論比賽結果，我突然覺得自己愈來愈喜歡當 Whip Speaker 了。雖然在這個位置我已經不能像 Sophie 和 Sophia 一樣提出強大的論點，但是我可以清晰看到整個辯論的議題與衝突，誰佔上風、誰佔下風。在這個已經存在的邏輯系統裡，找出隱藏的連結，用既有的要素證明己方的觀點為何不得不成立，找出所有對方的自相矛盾並加以攻擊，把所有未被攻擊的重要論點用既有的邏輯加以反駁。這就好像證明一道數學題一樣的令我熟悉。
第七場積分賽對上 Nevertheless，motion 為「In an event where the state knows the date of the an impending apocalypse, this house would withhold the information from the public.」，對方將其定義定的非常奇怪，將 apocalypse 訂成已知錯誤的宗教預言。沒有經驗的我們一方面沒有挑戰定義，二方面又還是走著自己的定義，所以幾乎就要成為 parallel debate 了。但是 Sophia 用 freedom of speech 的論點打中了對方，所以還是得勝了。Ray：「Your second speaker saved this debate.」。好像是為了解決尚懸的疑問一樣，第八場積分賽我們再次對上 Happy Robby’s Friends。我們還是 government side，這次的 motion 是「This house would hold Taiwanese companies responsible for the human right abuses of their offshore factories.」。這次的我們因為連什麼是 human right abuses 都未有清晰定義與共識，加上有點打偏而吞下第二敗。
結算成績，我們以積分排名第二打進了八強賽，而下一場對手，又是 Ssshhh，我們又還是 government side。有種預感，這次應該會找到那個答案了吧。
三個奇怪的 motion，兩隊再次近似的排序，最後定下的題目是「This house would force gay public figures to come out of the closet.」，這次我們三人有志一同的覺得這個 policy 簡直是毫無道理可言。可是這次我們真正一起腦力激盪，挑戰自己的想法，並且竭力一戰。
在結果公佈前的晚會上，Sophie 向 Ray 問了好多問題，關於之前比賽的建議、如何加強自己的能力等等。Ray 說到，觀看國際賽事的影片真的幫助很大，你會發現有經驗的辯論者重點跟新手不同。比如說如果今天有人說到要把流浪貓狗放在 care center 裡，若對方說這樣會花費很大時，新手可能就會開始解釋花費其實不大，可是有經驗的人的可能會說：「Yes, but why not. We believe the government should spend the money because of the following reasons…」，Ray 從影片問題聊到以前開始 debate 時資源的缺乏。他也說到 debate 如何改變他人生的方向，如何當年將所有心力放在 debate 上，而這又如何讓他走到今天的地方。
精彩的準決賽開始，不知為何好幾次我都笑到要把臉埋在桌上以免不小心影響辯者。我發現站在旁觀者的角度，其實真的可以很清楚看見整場辯論的情形，就好像 Whip 一樣，看到整個辯論的議題與衝突，哪些議題尚未被解決，哪些地方又是誰佔了上風。只是這次的角度更加中立與宏觀。我發現我可以看出這場辯論是 extremly close debate，也能說出一點自己做這種決定的道理。只是雖然自己覺得 government side 贏，我的兩個隊友們卻都和我持不同意見。
Motion: This house would euthanize feral cats and dogs.
LO: The government side keeps saying that they want to kill animals just to save cost. Yes, they actually used the word “kill”! How can they do such a cruel thing to the animals? We opposition side believe that this policy is both irresponsible and inhuman, and it does not actually solve the problem. Let me first give some rebuttals…
Now, I would move on to my first argument, that this policy is irresponsible. There are three levels in this argument.
Let’s first think about why the dogs and cats would be on the street at the first place. It is because that their owners abandoned them. Instead of solving the really problem, the simply want to hide the problem by killing animals. But are the animals responsible? No. The real ones to blame are their owners! By killing these dogs, they are telling the owners that it’s okay to be irresponsible, because the government would hide the problem for them!
Secondly, think about why the cats and dogs are in our society at the first place. It were we humans who kept them as pets for such a long history, that they had lost their ability to live in the wild. It were we humans who made them become dependent on human society. Because we humans bring them into our society, we should be responsible for the problems they cause. Killing innocent animals is not the way to solve the problem.
Thirdly, we notice that the government side kept talking about how these animals are causing problems in this society, and because no one cares about them, it’s okay to kill them. But we see there are also some homeless people living on the street who cause problem to this society. So does that mean it’s okay to kill them? No! We believe it is as irresponsible to kill the animals as to kill the homeless people, because in both cases, the government is hiding the problem instead of solving the problem.
My second argument is that it is inhuman to kill dogs and cats. There are three levels of analysis.
First we may ask, why we care? But reality is that people do care about cats and dogs. There are clothes made specifically for pets. There are restaurants specifically allow us to bring dogs in. And we say dogs are men’s best friends. It is inhuman to kill whom we care.
Secondly, there some people who live along and treat their pets as their closest friends or their family members. What would you think if your friends or family members were killed? It is cruel and inhuman.
Thirdly, we see in this society, we already view eating dogs and cats as an cruel thing to do. We already disallow abusing dogs and cats. What’s the difference between these and killing animals? This policy is certainly inhuman.
Instead, we would proposal an alternative solution: We would use TNR to treat the feral dogs and cats. That is, trap, neuter and return. Because it is neutered, it could not reproduce, and it would be less aggressive. For the case that the animal is infected with an disease that cannot be treated, we would keep it in the care center until it dies naturally. In addition to this, we would require a chip containing the contact information of the owner to be implanted into the animal when a person wants to keep it as a pet.
Our government side kept saying that they want to propose this motion because it saves money. But we believe that even if it saves money, we still cannot let it passed because it is irresponsible and inhuman. Moreover, our DLO will show you that their policy actually costs more than it saves, and our policy actually solves the problem better than their policy does.
DLO: Let me first give some rebuttals…
Now, I will give a comparison about the cost and benefits between their policy and our alternative. First is about cost. Let’s first think about the cost between the policy and the status quo. Our government kept saying that they want to save money, but what money? In the stats quo, because we don’t do anything, we won’t need to build care centers and we won’t need to capture the animals. There is no cost at all. So their policy actually costs more money than the status quo.
Moreover, if someone’s dog accidentally got lost, what would happen? When they capture the dog, they are going to kill it in 5 days! How can you expect them to find the real owner in 5 days? When the owner discovered that his dog was killed, tremendous harm is introduced. Also, his is going to sue the government and there would be waste of social resource. And think about the one who want to adopt the dog. Do they really expect to find an adopter in just 5 days? Even if someone comes and sees the dog in the first day, he still must think about many things and discusses with his family. When he finally makes the decision, when he starts to feel a connection between him and the dog. He would suddenly finds out that 5 days already passed, that the dog was already killed! He would feel betrayed by the government. No one would adopt animals in the care center anymore!
Because of the tremendous cost caused by law suits, there policy clearly costs more than our alternative. And we must say that our alternative solves the problem better. First of all, because there is a chip in the dog, it is less likely for a person to abandon the dog, since he doesn’t want people to find him out. So there would not be so many feral cats and dogs at the first place. Also, it is less likely for us to treat the dogs that are accidentally lost because we can contact the owner. If no chip is present, it is unlikely that this animal belongs to someone who cares about him. And secondly, you see, the dogs are animals who have territory. When the government side kills the dogs, the environment becomes empty, and dogs that are potentially more aggressive are going to move in soon. But if we use TNR, the environment would be filled with less aggressive dogs, so that when a new comer appears, it takes time for him to establish his territory, this gives us more time to capture the dog and use TNR to treat him before any harm is made….
Motion: This house believes that your body belongs to the state after death.
Opinion: This is an extremely close debate. Most of the arguments from the government side were attacked by the opposition side. The attack was not so strong, but the GOV, for some reason, didn’t try to engage directly, but spent most of the time restating their own arguments. However, the arguments and rebuttals coming form the OPP were based on a shaky ground, which is the right for body anatomy that they didn’t prove at all. Also, there existed a big contradiction in their case which damaged their position severely. If the GOV had pointed out how the anonymous body case and family case directly violate their principle of body anatomy, the debate would have been much more clear. However, they just briefly talked about the contradiction of the family case. Actually I think there remained many weak statements in today’s debate, but neither side had picked them out, which make it extremely difficult for me to decide, but I still would prefer GOV a little bit…
Motion: This house would abolish all rights of inheritance.
Opinion: First of all, the government side came out with a rather unexpected position. I’m not saying that it was bad, but it was unexpected. But basically the main reason of the result is that, GOV is suffering from the same problem as the last round that they failed to directly engage the opposition side’s rebuttals, and this time, the rebuttals are strong so that at the end of the debate, most of the arguments coming from the government side were almost taken down by them.
The most important principal coming from the opposition side was that one has the right to give their property to his children. They talked about the meaning of life, how the children can live on behalf of their parents, about how the money are earned by one’s own effort, and about the symbol of love. This argument may not be so strong, but the government didn’t attack it directly except for saying that one earns money mainly because of environment. This remains a deadlock for most of the time, but I think OPP is slightly stronger when Cindy, the reply speaker, talked about how a middle class man, by working slightly harder, may be able to earn a little more. Moreover, the story about one’s memory of their house that OPP talked about is so convincing, and the GOV failed to give a good rebuttal to it.
Another issue brought up by OPP is that this policy can make people lazier. This certainly can be attacked, because they seemed to assume that this policy would have the same result as communism. GOV did try to engage by talking about the China case and that it’s different from the policy. But what’s the difference? They didn’t explain clearly. When OPP extended the case by talking about how a poor father would not work hard because his child could get a free house, I think the matter was settled down.