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The second competitive season in the major league for parliamentary debates was opened on September 11

14 September 2012

On Tuesday, September 11, the central outlet of the Bookvoed retail chain hosted the opening of the second competitive season in the major league for parliamentary debates.

In this new season, 8 strongest teams will compete in the major league, to be assessed by professional jurors (debate experts) and special guests.

 

This time the jury of debates was especially impressive and included the following persons: Andrei Ryabykh, a web capitalist, Anastasia Melnikova, a film and stage actress, and member of the Legislative Assembly of St.-Petersburg, Fima_psuchopadt, a notorious St.-Petersburg blogger, Denis Kotov, director general of the Bookvoed bookstore chain, Alexei (DJ_Romeo), Mikhail Ilyin, a lawyer at the law firm S&KVertikal, Irina Kruzhilina, a reporter at the Forbes magazine, Georgy Lobushkin, press service representative at VKontakte, and Aleksandr Tsypkin, public relations director of Northwest branch of OJSC “MegaFon”, acting as president of the jury.

Other celebrities present included Tatyana Plutalova, partner relationship manager at VKontakte, Vladislav Tsyplukhin, head of the press service at VKontakte, and Pavel Durov, the founder of VKontakte. They conveyed an active support to teams by non-verbal means.

As usual, debaters chose a relevant issue and used it as a discussion topic. This time, the topic was the Internet censorship bill for the children: "This Chamber deems it necessary to impose even tighter restrictions on information intended for children”.

Players were divided into two groups: “Government” and “Opposition”. The “Aurora Joker” team (Evgeny Pashkovsky and Peter Gorovoy) played the role of “Government”, while the “Poetic Minimum” team (Julia Gultyaeva and Kristina Voloshina) stood up for “Opposition”.

Debates conducted within the proposed framework provided answers to many issues. The position of the "government" was built on the assumption that “hazardous” content (violence, wrong role sets, etc.) can result in changes in children’s behavior, form wrong attitudes and wrong perception of social values. According to speakers, the contemporary culture tends to heroize evil, and the audience has fellow feeling for the villains. Also the “government” emphasized that label 18+ was meant to help parents discern the TV show suitability or unsuitability for children.

The main point of “opposition” team was that should adults protect children from hazardous information, they shall develop a “distorted” vision of reality and prove unprepared to live the real lives. They placed special emphasis on the phenomenon of "forbidden fruit", and argued that any restrictions are ineffective because of the universal Internet coverage.

The votes were almost evenly split. The most of guest jurors voted for the “Government”, while the most of expert jurors awarded victory to the “Opposition”. So, the “Poetic Minimum” scored tough win over the “Aurora Joker” (6:7) and advanced to the next round of the St. Petersburg major league debates.

As for comments made by jurors, we’d like to highlight some positive criticisms by Mikhail Ilyin (the law firm S&K Vertikal), whose concise remarks exposed not only his personal feelings toward the game but also the legal aspect of the topic.

 

To obtain more detailed information on debates in St.-Petersburg and to join online discussion, please visit the VKontakte page of the Federation of debates: http://vk.com/debate_spb or the website of “Bumaga” online newspaper. 


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