November 18, 2014 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Political debaters engaged in a heated discussion concerning President Obama’s foreign policy at the Munk Debates on November 5, 2014. A group of students from King’s Political Science Students’ Association and the King’s Debating Society attended the debate at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.

The motion of the night stated that, “Be it resolved Obama’s foreign policy is emboldening our enemies and making the world a more dangerous place.”

CNN’s Fareed Zakaria and the New American Foundation’s Anne-Marie Slaughter argued against the motion, while The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens and the Brookings Institution’s Center on the US and Europe’s Robert Kagan were in favour.

Dr. Thomas Tieku, a King’s professor in the department of Political Science and the faculty advisor to both student groups, was happy to see students from all academic programs attend the Munk Debate.

“Knowing how to debate, put arguments together, treat someone you fiercely disagree with, conduct yourself in public and network are skill sets that are in great demand in the 21st century,” noted Dr. Tieku. "The trip exposes students to how the leading debaters in the world do it.”

Sean Gareau, a fourth year Political Science student and the President of the King’s Debating Society, said this was a great event for new members to experience a professionally organized debate featuring some of the top political commentators.

“This year’s debate was a phenomenal experience,” said Gareau. “Canadians tend to form their opinion of Obama based on his self-proclaimed values, so it was refreshing to see a debate surrounding his actual actions, which I think Canadians often forget to consider. All debaters did an excellent job presenting their case.”

A first year student in Social Justice and Peace Studies, Holly Reid, agreed that attending a Munk Debate changed her perspective on the debating platform.

“It’s more engaging than I imagined and connects you to the topic. It’s a real eye opener on what happens during a debate and lets you understand the topic more clearly than you would otherwise.”

The Munk Debates are an initiative of the Aurea Foundation, founded in 2006 by Peter and Melanie Munk to support Canadian institutions involved in the study and development of public policy. The goal of the Munk Debates is to enliven and elevate public discussion in Canada of the major issues shaping the course of world events.