Unknown to perhaps a large part of the student body, the days from Wednesday to Saturday were very taxing for the 5 excited students elected to represent Kungsholmen in the debate nationals at SSHL (Sigtunaskolan Humanistiska Läroverket). These brave students are plucky contradictions of the popular phrase,”sleep, grades and a social life. Pick two.” Going against all the natural student instincts, procrastination went out of the window on the evening of Wednesday, October 10, when the details of the debate team were published. Given the short notice, the initial discussions were structured and the arguments dynamic. Thinking outside the box was not an option as there was no box. As Mr. DiCarlo said, “debating is like an essay written between 3 people.”
On the morning of the debate, the participants were wide awake far before most of us would consider ‘a godly hour’. These students were hardened debaters, if they were nervous it didn’t show. “Debate, after all, is psychological warfare” says Mr. DiCarlo. Upon arriving at Sigtuna each debate team was lead up to a room to prepare for the upcoming debate.
Kungsholmen (proposition) vs. IEG (opposition)
“Religion Provides a Sound Basis for Politics”
The Kungsholmen team made the arguments that moral codes that are a part of religion are a sound basis for politics and; religion has been part of our past, is part of our present and will be there in our future. As Ida Andersson put it, “Religion provides us with the why to the what of politics.”The team was secure in their arguments and were completely unruffled by any questions the opposition proposed. The opposition’s main argument was that using religion as basis in politics would not be democratic. As they put it, “Religiously based political decisions are undemocratic and oppressive.” The judges ruled in favor of a jubilant Kungsholmen team and we were on to the semifinals!
Kungsholmen (proposition) vs. SSHL (opposition)
“Happiness Provides a Better Measure of Prosperity than Economic Growth”
Kungsholmens main arguments revolved around the concept that since both happiness and prosperity were subjective and economic growth was objective, measuring prosperity in terms of happiness would be more accurate. While the oppositions arguments were centered on “Happiness is a lack of sadness. It is also triggered by something, meaning it is a consequence.” They also proposed that measuring happiness would never be as accurate as measuring economic growth, so it would be better to measure prosperity with economic growth. The kungsholmen team seemed more secure in their arguments than the SSHL team, the judges seemed to think so as well because we were on to finals!
Hvitfeldska (proposition) vs. Kungsholmen (opposition)
“The UN Should Play a Greater Role as a Global Enforcer”
In the final round of the tournament we were up against last year’s national champions, aptly described as “machines”. Kungsholmens main arguments orbited around the monopoly of power in the UN due to the members of the security council having the right to veto. In Adrian Stymne’s words, “The United Nations as it stands today is not a fair representative of humankind as it gives the same importance to democracies and dictatorships.” The proposition side made the arguments that the security council was only one of many organs of the UN and reducing the power of the UN would reduce power in aspects where more power could be helpful, for example UNICEF.
Hvitfeldska won the finals and Kungsholmen came second which is almost as good. Tired and certainly not in the mood for debating, the team made their way homewards towards Stockholm, where they are the top debating team.
Kudos to Klas Wetterberg, Ida Andersson, Adrian Stymne; and the reserves Filip Af Malmborg and Maggie Unenbat!