of this Group is to stimulate members to think about interesting issues and to
have fun debating the arguments with others in a safe environment.
The group is
run along the lines of a traditional debating society. Every few months we
choose motions for future meetings. One person is nominated to propose each
motion and one to oppose it. (If numbers permit, seconders might also be
nominated). This allows time for them to research the subject of the motion. A
third person is also nominated to preside as 'Speaker' to control the debate.
After opening arguments that are subject to strict time limits, the debate is
opened to speakers from the 'floor' and at the conclusion of the debate a vote
intends to offer a stimulating and challenging experience where members may
even find themselves marshalling arguments for motions with which they
On 17h July
2019 we debated the motion Voting should be compulsory. The proposer
described that voting is compulsory in 27 Western democracies. She argued that
voting is a civic duty and that large turnouts create more legitimate
governments with genuinely approved mandates and tend to produce more centrist
governments. No money needs spending on persuading citizens to vote which
improves manifestos. The duty to vote trumps the argument that compulsion is
not consistent with freedom.
argued that compulsion is indeed not democratic and infringes liberty. Voting
is a civic right not a civic duty. Forcing votes under threat of penalties does
not itself improve the quality of voting outcomes: that would require
education. Citizens who are happy with the status quo may not vote and thereby indicate
their satisfaction. Voluntary voting forces politicians to set manifestos that reflect
the views of potential voters. Compulsion is not necessary and is not
was discussed in depth and the motion was defeated.
programme is as follows:
States of Europe” is unworkable
of the UK are entitled to do what they like with their own body
will be good for the UK
contact via the link above.