Petit Tournament in the Grande Nation (SciencesPo Le Havre IV)

The awkward moment when you notice you actually learned something in school. And if it is only painting rudimentary matchstick men. As the author’s camera stayed in France (damn whoever has taken it), the painting classes in elementary school really paid off. Besides exposing you to incredibly detailed drawings, this article will deal with the Science Po IV which took place in Le Havre on 13-14 April 2012. Melanie Sindelar and Stefan Zweiker joined the small tournament for DKWien.

Warning: The image content in this article is of very poor quality and might be harmful to human eyes.
All people depicted in the drawings are significantly more beautiful in reality

 

Un peu de laissez faire

The Sciences Po IV is obviously not one of the big competitive tournaments on the continent. It takes place annually in Le Havre, a small French town on the channel. In Le Havre the weather is British and food French – and there is a big construction site in the centre. Unfortunately that combination did not attract a large number of debaters. As a result only 24 teams showed up, even though the team cap had been set at 48. Those who came made their way from Serbia, the Netherlands, the UK, Germany and of course there was a bunch of French people. The DKWien team made their way across the channel via Portsmouth, UK. For no other reason than the pure love for big ships (see graphic A).

The actual selling proposition for French tournaments is wine and cheese, not necessarily organisation skills though. There are 2 tournaments in Paris who run very well under that model. As the Sciences Po IV is set in the same country it seemed kind of rational to assume it to be similar. Indeed cheese and wine  (and Cidre even more so) were served on Sunday. The orgcom behaved very French (ie. the tournament was late), and they lacked a slight amount of adjudicators. The latter two things were drawbacks unfortunately. Firstly, due to running late on schedule they moved a round that was set for Friday to Saturday. 4 rounds plus Semis and Finals on one day proofed themselves exhausting especially considered the effects of the social the day before. Secondly there was rarely a debate with a panel of adjudicators (see graphic B). Luckily this was somehow compensated by the quality of their adj core. They had Jack Watson and Anne Valkering as CAs and a couple of other decent adjudicators around so most of the calls felt well reasoned. Also, the motions were interesting and overall very balanced.

In terms of debating (see picture B)  Team LSE A (Judith Rowland and Osho Manikkam) won the Final on whether or not the European Union was a good idea. Melanie and Stefan (Vienna A) gathered 9 points in the 5 rounds and broke to the semi finals. Moreover the DKWien speakers claim the places 5th and 6th on the speaker tab, which was a good reason to be happy. Consequently the result was celebrated with a significant amount of Cidre (and Yakka, and beer; see graphic C).

Were we talking about alcohol? Good, let’s deal with the socials. It might be bad for the debates but overall it’s still a good thing about the socials of a tournament if they are responsible for a considerable lack of sleep. The club night on Friday and a really authentic French pub on Saturday at Sciences Po IV gave enough reason to stay up. A small size tournament suddenly proves to be advantageous when it comes to the pub socials as the atmosphere would just not be as intimate if there was a really big crowd.

To sum it up, even though the orga wasn’t all that flawless, Sciences Po IV was a lot of fun – maybe because it did not have the cold perfection other tournaments come with.  Tough debates, heaps of alcohol served in between resuming into a total lack of sleep might just be the perfect preparation for what awaits us at Belgrade Euros!

Gamut. There was not too much to see, so one would not go to Le Havre for good old tourism (I hope). Yet the situation in what regards debating is similar. Still, as there were at least a few better teams and adjes around, this tournaments ranks debaty on the Gamut. Subsistence was crash and food in various quality. We’ve seen better but due to the friendliness of the organisers and crash people we won’t complain. There was only a small field of debaters present and those were mostly from the inner continental circuit. As described above the Org Com could have done better. They were friendly and very keen about the tournament, just that there were too few debaters among them. See graphic D.

General: April 13-14, BPS 5 rounds, 7min speeches, Semis, 24 (20) Teams; CAs Anne Valkering, Jack Watson; Winner: LSE A.

 Motions

THW ban racist and extreme nationalist parties

THW remove all sanctions on North Korea

THBT the ICC should offer Joseph Kony an amnesty from prosecution

THW impose a 75% rate of tax on all yearly earnings over 100000 euros

THBT all state schools should actively promote the religion of the majority

Semis: THBT state policies should actively discourage consumerist lifestyle

Finals: TH regrets the creation of the European Union